Ten reasons why Muschamp should be fired. One reason he won’t.

By BUDDY MARTIN

Actually, I was hoping to sit this one out, because I’m on record as never having agreed with the hiring of Will Muschamp. I have no relationship, working or personal, with the Florida coach, so pardon my aloofness. Full disclosure, however: I have enjoyed both a working and personal relationship with the Gators’ last three coaches. So take what I am about to say with a grain of salt. I do feel impelled to finally comment. Callers to my radio show, Buddy Martin’s Sports Page, (5 p.m. Monday-Friday on WOCA.com and1370 AM/96.3 FM) won’t let me off the hook and neither will some of my friends on Facebook or Twitter. So here goes.

It’s getting perilously close to the time for Athletics Director Jeremy Foley to push the eject button on his embattled head football coach. By any standard, Muschamp must be labeled a failure. By Foley’s and Florida’s standards, an abject failure.

Matter of fact, Muschamp is one butt-whipping away by South Carolina and a drubbing from FSU from having somebody else put Foley’s finger on the eject button and pushing it for him. Given the above scenario, the decision to fire Muschamp might be out of the erstwhile AD’s otherwise capable hands.

The Gators lost more than a football game Saturday. They lost their dignity.

Getting pushed around and beaten by Vanderbilt for the first time in 23 years was bad enough; losing at home to the Commodores for the first time since 1945 was downright disgraceful, considering the difference in talent.

This was one more level down in a death spiral that began in the January Sugar Bowl loss to Louisville, after that “Fool’s Gold” 11-win season. Since that time Muschamp’s teams not only haven’t improved — they have gone backwards, losing their last four and six of the last 10.

Equally as devastating as the losses of games is the fact that the Gator Nation has lost its passion. Already swept up in a wave of apathy that seems to be eroding the fan bases of college football like a pack of termites, Gator fans are walking out early even if they show up in the first place. I know 50 or so devout fans who gave up their tickets this year which they’ve been buying for decades.

Now why would those expatriate fans ever want to come back?

They are fresh out of excuses in Gainesville.

Let’s not cop out with the injury card or the feeble buck-passing “empty cupboard” myth.

Muschamp was clearly not the right man for the job in the first place.

It’s time to cut your losses — in this case, literally — and just clean up the mess. Here’s are some reasons why:

Ten Reasons Why Muschamp Must Go

1. Florida’s brand has been severely damaged and a winning tradition erased. All the momentum gained more than two decades over rivals FSU, Georgia and Tennessee that was built up by the last three coaches has dissipated and Gators are back to square one.

2. Ron Zook’s record was better than Muschamp’s and Zook was fired before the season was over. Muschamp 23-14 for .629; Zook 22-13 for .662. In his entire six years, Urban Meyer only lost 15 games.

3. A tidal wave of Gator Nation discontent may have started before he arrived, but it has now reached epic proportion. It may be irreversible for the foreseeable future.

4. FSU’s remarkable season and the popularity of quarterback Jameis Winston has captured the imagination of many fans, which means major recruiting inroads to talent in Florida and the South.

5.The Seminoles will likely be playing for a national championship while the Gators are unlikely to even reach the lowest rung of their goals, to become “bowl eligible.”

6. The offense is dull and uninspiring. We knew that from the first game of the season, even when Jeff Driskell was playing. Baby Boomer Gators have seen this movie before: Starring Doug Dickey and or even Bob Woodruff.

7. This “empty cupboard” myth has gone too far. Urban Meyer’s last three classes and how ESPN ranked them nationally: 2008 — No. 4; 2009–No. 5; 2010–No. 1. So where did all that talent go? Worse yet, look for some major decommits and misses on the recruiting trail.

8. Will Muschamp wouldn’t know an offensive coordinator if you drew him a picture of one (see Charlie Weis fiasco). And anyway, he certainly can’t find one who enjoys wearing handcuffs.

9. What he lacked in coaching skills, Muschamp certainly hasn’t exactly made up for in social decorum. He got into a hissing contest with a Gator fan after the Georgia game. And while his petulant child-like tantrums may have been tamed him a little, the images of his meltdowns linger vividly in the minds of fans and player.

10. Finally, there’s no denying Muschamp’s DNA: He’s the long lost great, great grandson of Gen. Robert Neyland and great grand nephew of Bob Woodruff. He thinks defense wins games and proves that by putting most of his talent on that side of the ball. One step away from punting on third down.

And what’s the reason he won’t get fired? If Foley digs in, putting his job on the line to save his coach, but makes Muschamp fire some assistants as sacrificial lambs, the AD has enough respect from President Bernie Machen and key boosters to give him a mulligan. As far as I’m concerned, Foley is delaying the inevitable. But like I say — maybe I’m prejudice.Image

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27 Comments

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27 responses to “Ten reasons why Muschamp should be fired. One reason he won’t.

  1. Murph

    All valid points. Gator fans are becoming apathetic which leads to empty seats and the firing of Muschamp. I hope Foley learns his lesson this time. The UF football program is too big to hire a HC in training. Didn’t work with Zooker. Hasn’t worked with CWM. We continue to be one of the nation’s leaders in penalties and the unwillingness to change philosophy on offense clearly show he was not ready for this coveted job.

  2. Hey , my Dad played for coach Woodruff during the Golden Era.
    Of course , I am a Fla. Grad….. Maybe , we should get rid of Foley first .
    Steve S. said he would not coach under Foley again. Maybe , he was on the right track . My dad was , Red Mitchum .

  3. Carey Freeman

    Sherry, That would be a heinous and asinine mistake of epic proportions. Stay calm. Stay calm. WM is probably out the door, but let’s not get crazy.

    Buddy,

    If you don’t mind, what were your initial reservations re. WM and who did you like at the time?

  4. Sherry

    You are so right about everything you wrote. As the saying goes you hit the nail on the head! If Foley was a smart man he would clean house, Time to MAN UP Foley!!!

  5. DCGator

    I think Muschamp is a good but really young coach. I think he is learning a lot about offensive philosophy and hopefully, that will change. I am a Gator grad and yes I miss the fun offense but the truth is it is very very hard to find a coach that can take you to a BCS bowl…..ask Georgia. I think with the injuries this year, its been pretty brutal and although Muschamp really…REALLY needs to change his views on offensive play and realize that a nasty defense he can make with a high flying, point producing offense is the keys to a national championship- he should be given another year to figure it out. Allll that being said..it really sucks to be a gator and have to endure this.

  6. Clyde Wiley

    I don’t buy the idea that any coach flukes his way into an 11-win season in the SEC, unless he’s got phenomenol talent that simply overcomes his coaching shortcomings. On the other hand, it seems as though Muschamp is stuck in the mud re: offense and has lost almost the entire base of support he needs.

    I go round and round about dismissing or retaining Muschamp, and some of my closest friends who are Gatord do the same. But if he’s going to be dismissed, it should be done sooner, not later as in 2014.

  7. let’s see…….. Mark Richt lost five games in 2009 and seven games in 2010, and his AD stuck w him because he understood the dynamic behind the record, and most importantly, the character of the coach. Turned out pretty well.

    We also hired a young basketball coach who had losing records his first two seasons, and barely a winning one in yr three. And we didn’t fire him…… oh by the way, it turned out fairly well.

    So you are suggesting we fire WM because he doesn’t meet your standards? Rather than support a tough season, you and others want to pile on ignoring the confluence of factors beyond anyone’s control and the underlying reasons for same. No one likes it……. least of all WM.

    I guess last year was an aberration……….. against the toughest schedule in the nation, we finish the year ranked 2nd in BCS and on to the Sugar Bowl. Same coach, same staff. But w/o the attendant defections and injuries.

    How quickly some forget.

    So why are so different at UF?

  8. Al

    agree with most but to 2 nd guess the charlie weis and Pease hires is something nobody thought were weak hires- both were highly respected o coordinators when muschamp made the hires

  9. Mark

    You are entitled to your opinion but if you know so much why aren’t you coaching (yes I know you are an ward winning writer- I don’t care).

    I graduated when we were 0-10-1 and the only reason we had a tie that year was because Tim Golden ran back an interception against GT We went 8-4 the next year and played Maryland in the Citrus Bowl and nobody was asking for Charlie Pell to be fired but these days you have to succeed immediately.

    We were 8-5 (4-4 conference I believe) when Urban Meyer resigned because of stress or whatever.

    I wouldn’t be bragging about his recruits and how he lost only 15 games. Lets see… Carlos Dunlop – drunk at the wheel, Janoris Jenkins – best pot smoking corner in the SEC, Marcus Thomas kicked off for what? not sure we ever found out. I don’t want even get into Aaron Hernandez and I am not talking about the “alleged” murder in CT, I am talking about the incident in Gainesville, where he R Nelson and the Pouncy Twins were named in some police investigation I had never heard anything about until the CT fiasco. Oh yeah and then there is the world class tweets of Chris Rainey and Will Hill. But I guess between you, Urban and Machiavelli the final result is what matters. You want to praise him talk about everything , even the bad stuff : like why all the highly decorated defensive recruits had such an issue with the way they were treated Urban’s last year.

    I have liked Coach Muschamp ever since he kicked Jenkins off because I believe he has integrity, just like when Coach Spurrier booted Hambrick off before the Sugar Bowl even though he knew it would hurt our team

    I think Coach Muschamp should be given the time he was contracted for and then if you don’t feel he’s performed then make a change.

    I believe in him and think he will turn it around but then again I remember when Wilber Marshall beat USC single handedly 17-9 ( I believe) and Kerwin Bell limped in to beat Auburn 17-14 ( I believe). Hmm didn’t score 50 points back then. Go follow Oregon if you want to see pinball offensive numbers

    Lastly, if you truly believe Coach M should be fired the have Foley resign as well, because you are saying Foley made the same mistake 2 out of the last 3 hires. ( Not really though as if we are being honest Zook had almost as much to do with the 2006 NC as Urban) . Oh yeah don’t think we were very good on offense that year either. hmm did you ask for Urban to get fired?

    My college roommate, who feels just like you, texted me this url or I wouldn’t have seen it but having seen it I am just a little tired of all the criticism toward Muschamp,. Id like to see you produce a “fools gold” 11-1 record.

    It says you have won 165 awards so I apologize in advance if my writing skills don’t conform to your standards but really could care less if I dangle a participle. I just wanted to stick up for a coach who I think has integrity and should be given the opportunity to coach through his contract.

    Lastly, The phrase is “Through all sorts of weather we’ll all stick together” NOT “Through all sorts of winning seasons that meet the approval of Buddy Martin”. You don’t like the state of Florida Football cover FSU.

    Mark

  10. Ron

    Complacency of the sort Mark is suggesting is a recipe for disaster of epic proportions for the future of UF football. Already, Muschamp has become a liability; the nation’s top talent are now wary of signing, whereas before anyone would give their left eye to become a Gator football player. We’ve got to dig out the cancer that is WM before it spreads. And kills.

    • Mark

      1) Nothing in my response suggests “complacency”. Complacency is a feeling of being satisfied with how things are and not wanting to try to make them better. I specifically laid out why I thought Coach Muschamp should be retained through his contract. Because a) I believe in him suggesting I think he will turn things around and it will get better and b) I believe the University should honor their commitment and allow him the remaining time on his contract. Time will tell if I am wrong or right in my “belief” but it has nothing to do with complacency.

      2) The success and/or failure of our football team for the next 1-3 seasons ( we were 11-2 last year ) would hardly qualify as a “disaster of epic proportions” .

      3) ESPN has our class next year at 10th and Rivals has us currently ranked 14th. Unless the recruits are calling you personally, you nor I have no idea where we will ultimately finish but we are currently doing pretty good with only 15 recruits.

      4) Spare me the hyperbole and quit referring to WM as a cancer that “kills” He is a football coach and I believe a good one. Anyone who has a family member fighting cancer will find that highly offensive, including my 4 sisters and I as our 5th sister currently battles breast cancer.

  11. Pingback: Patience is wearing thin for Muschamp | College Football Insider Blog

  12. Bright Idea

    Simply a sign of the times. Can’t keep a coach with one losing season because recruits fear he’ll be fired. And when the new coach has a losing season same thing.

  13. Jeff Doubek

    There’s a reason top programs stay at the top, even during down years. I’ve seen good programs tough out a coach and give him his due time. The key is well stated in Buddy’s column: recruiting and fan disassociation. You lose those two keys and you can dive quickly into a dark period of mediocrity. Florida worked hard for its stake at the top. Football is a business, and most successful businesses move on quickly for less. I admire some Gator fans’ loyalty toward Muschamp, but he needs time to cut his teeth and earn his job before he deserves the benefit of the doubt.

    If there’s a better option available, then Fla should take it.

    – Outsider

  14. SimpleDawg

    Misery loves company…….and when that company becomes a loud majority, then no matter who is at the helm, you either have a mutiny and dump the captain or the ship sinks into oblivion – there is no ‘righting of the ship’.

  15. MPotter

    The easiest way to figure out what needs to be done…ask a FSU or Georgia fan what they think. They all smile and say “give him a chance” or “he’ll right the ship” The same way we did in Bowden’s last five years or during the Ray Goff era. Remember how they hated SOS, and said “he’s going to the NFL” every year? Or how they hated Urban and yelled from the roof tops that he was on his way to ND. Those coaches made fans of our rivals nervous…the only people Will makes nervous is Gator Nation. Go Gators

  16. Fran Seabrook

    One doesn’t need a magnifying glass to read between the lines of your epistle about WM. You had a relationship with both SOS and UM and were “allowed” to write books about them. Whether you want to admit it, the fact, by your own admission, that you don’t have a relationship with WM has obviously tainted your “objectivity” as there is no potential there to help out Buddy Martin’s bottom line.
    A few more thoughts regarding WM’s tenure with Florida: The talking heads on radio and television (you being one of them in a minor league market) would have an absolute field day if WM was fired after coaching the Gators to a 11 win season one year ago. That would cause serious damage to recruiting efforts as well as the ability to find a so- called top drawer experienced head coach. Who would want to take the job?; For you and all the naysayers who have replied to your blog, I would urge you to read the article written by Carlos Alvarez that recently appeared in gatorcountry.com entitled “What Do We Do Now, Gator Nation?”; WM is a good football coach and should be given the chance to return our program to relevance. I seriously doubt your favorite sons, SOS and UM, could have fared much better this season with the incredible number of key injuries this year’s team has experienced.

  17. Miss your writing in Star Banner. What’s your thought on Kerwin Bell as an OC…. or… are sitting down?….HC

  18. Chip Merlin

    You were and are right. There is no doubt after losing to Ga Southern.

    • Time will tell , but money SPEAKS in fact it SCREAMS that wee willie has to go to put fans back in the seats and buying Gator Gear . No doubt that wee willie is probably a good defensive coach . However , the pentalities for unsportsmanlike like conduct should not take 3 to straighten out . Wee willie also seems to not be able to get a psyche coach for his field goal kickers or punters like Donovan has had for his basketball players , etc. I really believe he is not calm enought or supportive enought to be anywhere near the field goal kickers or punters . He is probably like a guy screaming at a golfer on the tee – NOW DON’T SHANK IT ,instead of saying I know you will kick it straight through . I cannot believe any 5 or 4 star receivers would care to come to Florida , when , you don’t get down field passing until the closing seconds when the game is on the line . Then even the announcers on the TV at the end of the half or end of the fourth quarter are puzzled by his clock management or having 12 men on the field or not getting guys off the field in time . I do not have a answer – but I would tell him it is time to go and put Joker Phillips in charge for the Florida State game and maybe a few fans will show up ! Foley ran Spurrier off , passed on Charley Strong , and hired wee willie . It is time to get the Baylor offensive coach ! Or somebody who can rally turn this mess around . It is obvious what and who (wee willie) that is not working . Gator Tom

  19. Georgia Southern lost has convinced every one on the planet that follows college football .(i.e. See Huffington Post article that Vegas had us winning by 28 points ) that wee willie cannot be a good sideline coach in critical situations , recognize and effectively use or develop talent in practice , or offer any more than excuses for a lack of discipline in getting pentalities that a good coach like Saban never allows his players to get so many personnel fouls . Willie cannot recruit the receivers require to stretch the field . The old PETER PRINCIPLE definitely applies in his case . Texas is thanking their lucky stars that Foley hired him . Gator Tom

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