When viewed as a whole to date, Will Muschamp’s two stints as a college football head coach are schizophrenic and downright puzzling. As the head man in charge, he’s currently 47-35 all time over seven seasons. He won 11 games in his second year at Florida, and nine in his second at South Carolina, his current employer.
The seasons that punctuate those 2012 and 2017 performances, though? We need to talk about those.
As the premier college football mischievous history blog on the internet, and because Ole Miss is playing South Carolina this week for the first time since 2009, we’re here to appreciate some Muschamp-centric landmarks in the SEC and elsewhere, in order to get a fuller grasp of just how different things were back when Carolina and Ole Miss got together for a football match.
We must also publish a disclosure: the author of this post attended the University of Florida during the first two seasons of Muschamp’s tenure at UF. Coach BOOM was terminated in Gainesville late in 2014. The author of this post’s general mood this week is:
georgia plays cocky tomorrow. read this, for @edsbs, which got some random dude from macon supremely pissed off at me https://t.co/kCIjXy6TTJ pic.twitter.com/n7belwFbgQ— Jim Lohmar (@jimlohmar) September 7, 2018
About Muschamp’s 11-2 season at Florida.
Jordan Reed and Trey Burton are very good and well paid NFL players. Urban Meyer recruited both of them to Florida as ATHLETEs or SLASH BACKs or QBs, and Muschamp inherited this duo of supremely talented guys. Neither of them could connect on a forward pass when throwing the ball, though, and Florida’s offense in 2012 shrunk into one attack of “run the ball, even if it isn’t working.”
It’s good to see Reed and Burton thrive as tight ends/slot men in the NFL, especially considering they were brought onto the Florida Gators’ roster to play quarterback. If that fact surprises you, you don’t follow college football all that closely.
Anyway, Georgia and Florida used to play very, very stupid football games. In 2012, when Muschamp’s Florida outfit finished the year 11-2 with a Sugar Bowl loss, his Gator club was a fumble away from playing for an SEC and potentially national title. And Jordan Reed, of all people, was responsible for coughing up the turnover in question while smashing his way into the end zone with single-digit minutes remaining in the game.
Those 11 wins in 2012 earned Muschamp just two more seasons of equity in Gainesville. He was fired after the 2014 season, took a year off, then landed the job at South Carolina.
Muschamp has brought up a South Carolina program in need of direction.
SEC football in Columbia is more or less about holding one’s head above water, and that’s what BOOM has maintained since his arrival in the Palmetto state. He’s 19-14 as lead man in Columbia and has taken the Gamecocks to two bowl games, losing one and winning the other, that latter over Michigan, no less.
Muschamp piddles in and out of the Top 25 each year where Steve Spurrier kept at least a double-digit ranking attached to his Gamecock clubs. Muschamp just last year coached this Cocky shop up to a no. 24 ranking and led bowl-game campaigns the previous two years.
Carolina — like Kentucky, like Vanderbilt, like Missouri — emphasizes other student and alumni interests, be they academic, athletics or things otherwise.
Muschamp is more or less a tenured professor at Carolina for the present, because he’ll average about six wins every season, and that’s a fine student review for a football watcher at Carolina. Not standout, of course, but at least they don’t openly despise you.
Muschamp has four wins in 2018, and it’d be hilarious if bowl-ineligible Ole Miss won this game and prevented him from playing in the postseason this year. A loss in Oxford won’t affect his employment, but it would certainly accelerate sportswriter talk about THE SOUTH CAROLINA POSITION and who Cocky is looking at for a new head coach (lol).
Muschamp ain’t going nowhere.
Coach BOOM grew up on the mean streets of south Georgia high school and college football, Baton Rouge, Miami (Dolphins under Nick Saban, mind), Auburn, Austin, and Gainesville. That’s a murderers’ row of football doctrine from prospect-level all the way up to the NFL. He’s seen a lot of football.
Muschamp’s four wins on the current season are no concern in Columbia. As a Research 1 university in one of the poorest states in the US, high-profile, elite college football doesn’t really register, unless it’s wearing orange and purple. Clemson rules the day; Carolina is besides-the-fact.
Dabo Swinney’s covering fire protects Muschamp’s job security in Columbia, though. Muschamp can afford to lose here and there. Just don’t fail too hard, BOOM, and you’ve got a job.