Are the Gators rolling the dice with Muschamp?

Even when the regular season is over, it ain’t over. So what did we learn, and what do we still want to know?:

1. Are the Gators rolling the dice with Muschamp? Urban Meyer announced his “retirement” last Wednesday after six years as the head coach at Florida. In the next 48 hours everybody from Bob Stoops, to Jon Gruden (there is that name again), to Chris Peterson, to Dan Mullen to Chip Kelly was considered to be the  front runner for one of the top five jobs in college football. Then suddenly, at 8:28 p.m. on Saturday (note the time) Florida announces that it had hired Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp as its next head coach. The press conference will be Tuesday. Some consider it a risk by athletics director Jeremy Foley, who got burned the last time he hired an assistant (Ron Zook). But those who know Muschamp know that he’s been groomed for this since he was a player at Georgia for Ray Goff. Muschamp has worked at LSU (for Nick Saban), at Auburn (for Tommy Tuberville), and Texas (for Mack Brown). He is ready.

2. Florida will win the SEC East in 2011: How ready is Muschamp? Well, here’s the first prediction for the 2011 season: Florida will win the SEC East championship. The problem at Florida last season was not talent. It was a lack of focus and a lack of leadership. The team was not focused because too many leaders had left and there was never a coherent offensive strategy. Muschamp can fix the leadership issue and if he hires a top-flight offensive coordinator the other problem can be fixed as well. Media reports say Muschamp is looking at Major Applewhite, an offensive assistant at Texas. My choice would be Dana Holgerson of Oklahoma State (who is in the running for the head coaching  job at Pitt.)

3. I’m disappointed in the timing of Florida’s announcement: This is strictly an opinion, but I wish Florida had waited until after the Heisman Trophy presentation to announce its new coach. The official press release came just minutes before Auburn’s Cameron Newton was handed the hardware in New York. The announcement opens Florida up to charges that it was trying to step on the moment of a player from another SEC school. And with Newton’s background at Florida, which includes concerns that academic information about his time at the school was leaked to the media, it is something that simply should have been avoided. I was informed this morning by Florida officials that they had every intention of waiting until after the Heisman Trophy presentation but that once the news leaked out through the social media the school felt it had no choice but to release the information.

4. What does the hiring of Al Golden tell us about the Miami job? First of all, I think Golden is a great hire. Remember that it wasn’t long ago that Temple considered dropping football. The school basically got booted out of the Big East. Golden took over and he took the Owls to a bowl in 2009 and this season went 8-4 (which included a win over Fiesta Bowl bound UConn). But it also tells you that Miami’s job is not one where the school can go out and command the services of a Tier One proven head coach. Jon Gruden wasn’t coming. Neither was a successful head coach at the BCS level. Miami is a tough job because if you don’t win and win big, the people just don’t come. Again, I think Golden is a super coach. He has been named as a possible replacement for Joe Paterno at Penn State. He will win at Miami. I just think Mike Leach would have been a more inspired hire.

5. If he goes to Vandy, how will Gus Malzahn handle the BCS championship? It looks like Vanderbilt is Gus Malzhan’s job to turn down. So what does the Auburn offensive coordinator do if he accepts, which could happen as early as today (Monday)? I certainly believe he would coach Cameron Newton one last time in the BCS championship game with Oregon on Jan. 10. But I’ve seen other coordinators try to get ready for a BCS title game while attempting to build a staff and organize a program at another place. Mark Richt did it at Florida State after he took the Georgia job in 2000. Richt admits now that it was very difficult. The only person I have seen pull it off really well was Bo Pelini, who was the LSU defensive coordinator for the 2007 BCS championship game while organizing his new program at Nebraska.

Stay tuned.

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“Barnhart and Durham:” We will break down all of the coaching news on today’s “Barnhart and Durham Show” on 790 The Zone. Among our guests will be UConn coach (and former Georgia Tech assistant) Randy Edsall, who is headed to the Fiesta Bowl. Pat Dooley of the Gainesville Sun will bring us the latest on Will Muschamp at Florida. Craig Barnes, a former reporter for the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel, will bring us reaction to the hiring of Al Golden at Miami. Please join the fun which starts at 10 a.m. www.790thezone.com.

697 comments Add your comment

McDawg

December 13th, 2010
9:45 am

so basically what TB is saying is that the problems at UGA are a lack of talent

MURPHY

December 13th, 2010
9:45 am

Jax Gator,

Make sure you are back on these blogs next year and tell me what you think of yall’s new hire.You wont be happy I assure you.Muschamp will be a good head coach but it will take more time than Florida has patience for.Im glad Mullen wasnt hired!

winterDawg

December 13th, 2010
9:46 am

Way too early to make predicitons. Tenn, UGA, S. Car and Florida will be tough. I even think Joker Phillips may have Kentucky primed for some upsets.

Phone Check Homey

December 13th, 2010
9:46 am

I agree with the poster above
Muschamp and Smart can suck a free GT hotdog

Will

December 13th, 2010
9:47 am

Of course Florida is “rolling the dice” on hiring a head coach with no previous experience as a head coach.

A head coach of a major college football program is a manager of assistant coaches, details and “nuts and bolts” running of the program. In addition, the head coach is the face, voice and ambassador of the program.

An assistant head coordinator may be skilled and experinced in details, nuts and bolts and even management of the other coaches on his side of the ball but he is rarely the face and voice, much less the ambassador of the program. That’s why you see many career assistants. It’s not that they could not do the job, its that they don’t want the hassle of the press, alumni, etc.

Will may very well make an excellent head coach but what he is walking into is a far cry from what he has been used to. Nothing against, Will – a fine young man – EVERY assistant assuming a head coaching position is an unknown quantity.

BAMA dude

December 13th, 2010
9:47 am

I don’t know about the Muschamp hire. If he ends up bringing Major Applewhite with him it makes even less sense to me. Also, all I have heard about regarding his assistants is how many “friends” he has to choose from. Hiring someone you consider a friend can easily undermine your ability to hold them accountable- doesn’t sound too good to me. Gus leaving the Barn is delicious though. Those folks are freaking.

Hyman Roth

December 13th, 2010
9:47 am

Tony — Sorry, you don’t get a vote on when UF should or should not made its announcement. Mike Slive brought this on himself, AU and the Conference when he decided that integrity and by-laws were optional, so he is reaping what has been sewn. The whole ceremony and BCS title game are fraud. Also, you credibility about UF predictions for next year are laughable given you predicitions this summer about John Brantley being anointed best QB in the conference, even though he had ZERO experience in meaningful game situations.

zulucanibal

December 13th, 2010
9:47 am

Fullback…gators have to find one.

Alphare

December 13th, 2010
9:51 am

No way Muschamp is the 1st choice.

Why did Petrino get a big raise out of blue? No everybody is a Kiffin, look what he has achieved so far with the #1 recruiting class in Southern Cal? Mullen is whole lot smarter than Kiffin.

Kenny Powers

December 13th, 2010
9:51 am

Miami should of hired Leach!

Richt > Muschamp

December 13th, 2010
9:52 am

With UF hiring an inexperienced coach, Richt will own UF for years. Ga will start a long run of wins against fl in 2011–mark it down! GA–back on top. Fla’s brief fluke run is over.

The Fonz

December 13th, 2010
9:52 am

Dear Mr. Barnhart,

You have officially jumped the shark. I can’t take you seriously anymore. That is all.

Paul in RDU

December 13th, 2010
9:53 am

BAMA Dude – You made a good point on the hiring of “friends”. Obviously a HC wants to surround himself with people he knows and trusts and who are talented. It shouldn’t be an issue if they are “friends” provided the HC takes a business approach – some managers/HCs don’t take that approach and it hurts them and their program.

Gatorrock

December 13th, 2010
9:53 am

Again Foley has shown why he is the measuring stick for college AD’s. He knows the FBI will uncover the truth on Newton’s recruitment not only as it pertains to MSU, Auburn but at UF too…with Meyer gone and not bringing back Mullen..all the key players will be gone at UF, so he hopes to get off with merely a slap on the wrist..unlike what will happen to Auburn and MSU..its amazing how one player could impact a team on the field…even more amazing the number of teams he has the potential to impact off the field.

shankit

December 13th, 2010
9:55 am

Muschamp coached at VSU under Hatcher.
Don’t see Hatcher leaving a head coach job
to coach under one of his prior assistants.
Same with Mike Leach, who is an offensive
genius. Coached at VSU too, with Muschamp.
Probably Major Applewhite, although word out
is he is renegotiating with Texas as the head
OC out there and Texas is his Alma M. Who does that leave?

John

December 13th, 2010
9:55 am

SC will win the East again next year. Their schedule isn’t as rugged next year as it was in 2010. Clowney will sign with SC in February and SOS will field his most talented team yet over there. It’ll come down to SC and UF again, except in 2011 the game is in Columbia.

Joey

December 13th, 2010
9:55 am

Does Cam’s “contract” with Auburn require him to play in ‘11?

boog

December 13th, 2010
9:58 am

to answer your question…Yes… UF is rolling the dice. He may be “ready” as you say but it is anyones guess as to the success that he will have. You would think that Muschamp would have had to prove himself at a slightly less visable venue before a Florida came calling.

Mark Richt

December 13th, 2010
9:58 am

“Hiring someone you consider a friend can easily undermine your ability to hold them accountable”
*************************
Ain’t that the truth . . .

MURPHY

December 13th, 2010
10:00 am

BAMA dude,

A head coach hiring friends isnt a good choice-Just ask Ray Goff and Jim Donnan. Gus to Vandy is interesting-Does he coach the National Championship Game.That could leave AU in a bad situation uh? Now quit laughing and give me your thoughts.

takedowndawg

December 13th, 2010
10:01 am

Interesting hire. I would agree we you who have mentioned above that Muschamp was a backup hire, not a primary. Would like for fl to continue with its “mis-mash” offense for all the SEC’s entertainment NEXT YEAR. Pure street ball. If our DC, grantham, can’t stop that form of offense he doesn’t deserve to be here. I was personally very embarrassed that were not able to stop it when it counted most. Very ugly indeed. Go STREETBALL FL!

Joey

December 13th, 2010
10:01 am

“With UF hiring an inexperienced coach, Richt will own UF for years.”
****************************
Like the way he “owned” Zook?

Heisman

December 13th, 2010
10:01 am

Disgusting to watch.Some of those guys up there looked like,Damn,Can you believe this $hit,Just get it over.Tarnished,indeed!

MURPHY

December 13th, 2010
10:01 am

BAMA dude,

Also about hiring friends-Mark Richt-look were our program is at right now.

JB

December 13th, 2010
10:02 am

News on the Vandy job: The Auburn OC is waiting word from Louder to see if the money to stay at AU is as good or better than Cam’s deal……..

dawgfan

December 13th, 2010
10:02 am

I what a surprise. A member of the media is picking Florida to win the SEC East. I think I’ll wet my pants. Yes, Florida has won their fair share of SEC East titles in recent years. However, they are almost always the favorite to win the East every single year and it doesn’t always come to fruition. You’d probably have to go back to 2005 to find the last time Florida wasn’t picked to win the East, and even that was an abberation. They’ve been the favorite every year since. Even when Georgia was preseason #1 Florida got the nod in the East. So forgive me if I’m not exactly putting up a white flag because Mr. Media College Football says Florida will win the East. Whoopdeedoo.

Thanks.

BAMA dude

December 13th, 2010
10:03 am

Murph, he’ll coach the MNC game. It ain’t like Vandy has a big class coming in that they need to hold onto. I can’t believe Vandy found $3MM honestly, but glad to see him leave. The Barn 2011 will look like Texas 2010 imo.

Muschamp>Zook>Richt

December 13th, 2010
10:06 am

I cannot believe how the delusional fan base from Jawja still defends Richt. Oh well, I hope he stays forever.

JB

December 13th, 2010
10:07 am

AU also loses FOUR veteran offensive lineman off this years team. When Cam and Fairley leave and these lineman leave, They will be back to being toothless tigers. This year was impressive though.

Muschamp>Zook>Richt

December 13th, 2010
10:08 am

dawgfan what a surprise. A member of the media is picking Florida to win the SEC East. I think I’ll wet my pants. What a surprise, Humpers thinking the UGA will dominate again. WAKE UP IT HAS BEEN 30 YEARS AND HERSHEL HAS NO ELIGIBILITY REMAINING!!!

JB

December 13th, 2010
10:09 am

Gus is looking at Vandy to plump up his 401K. No way to win up there. Saban couldn’t win there if offered 10 mil to go.

BAMA dude

December 13th, 2010
10:10 am

JB, your initial-sake (Yeah, it’s a word. I just made it up) Josh Bynes, MLB and leader of the D, is gone too.

jumbeauxtiger

December 13th, 2010
10:10 am

BAMA dude

“I don’t know about the Muschamp hire. If he ends up bringing Major Applewhite with him it makes even less sense to me. Also, all I have heard about regarding his assistants is how many “friends” he has to choose from. Hiring someone you consider a friend can easily undermine your ability to hold them accountable- doesn’t sound too good to me.”

Well said. I learned a long time ago never to hire friends in business. Almost always backfires.

MURPHY

December 13th, 2010
10:10 am

BAMA dude,

I see Vandy finally being determined to make Football a little bit more important.Hope it works out for them.Would like to Vandy improve which would make the SEC even stronger.

JB

December 13th, 2010
10:11 am

Georgia’s problem is Dr. Adams……When the money dries up, he’ll fire Richt. Winning is not that important to him AS YOU CAN SEE.

MURPHY

December 13th, 2010
10:13 am

JB,

I some what agree with that statment.It is however important to Mc Garity.I can see him and Adams butting heads in the future.

jumbeauxtiger

December 13th, 2010
10:14 am

Ranking up there with Muschamp as the shock of the weekend has to be Vandy paying $3 mil for a coach.

Gatorrock

December 13th, 2010
10:16 am

John I think UF blows the doors off SC next year..and before you start with the SC returns all that talent line..they almost lost to a UGA team that had a QB and new D that had never taken a snap in a SEC game…and Auburn blew the doors off SC much worst than they did UGA…SC might win one of those games I just don’t see them beating both teams.

MURPHY

December 13th, 2010
10:16 am

jumbeauxtiger,

How about yall getting Mettenberg? Happy bout this? Good kid-good player.

producewiz

December 13th, 2010
10:17 am

proof is in the pudding.we’ll see.Just like this 4 or 5 * recruting crap we get all the time.Sure worked for Texas,Florida,Alabama, and Georgia , this past season didn’t it?

MURPHY

December 13th, 2010
10:18 am

Gatorrock,

I saw Carolina BLOW THE DOORS off the Gators in the swamp! Wishfull thinking yall will go to Carolina next year and return the favor-Go back to your dream.

JB

December 13th, 2010
10:18 am

Murph. 2011 is the year year for Richt. The question will be what amount of wins keeps him in Athens. Does going 8-4 and losing to Boise,SC,Fla and a surprise loss bring him back. That’s nothing special.
Beating those three mentioned teams would. I know another 6-6 gets him fired, but I think 8-4 saves him, especially if this years class is strong. Thoughts?

Mike

December 13th, 2010
10:18 am

Didn’t Tuberville want and campaign for the Miami job? I thought he was a successful BCS level head coach?

BAMA dude

December 13th, 2010
10:21 am

Gatorrock
December 13th, 2010
10:16 am

John I think UF blows the doors off SC next year..and before you start with the SC returns all that talent line..they almost lost to a UGA team that had a QB and new D that had never taken a snap in a SEC game

I seem to remember them handling UGA pretty good.

JB

December 13th, 2010
10:22 am

I don’t think Tuberville has that much fight in him left. I think he just wanted to not end his career the way it ended up at AU.

jumbeauxtiger

December 13th, 2010
10:22 am

Murph,

We’re excited about Mettenberger. You can’t win championships without at least a servicable QB, something that LSU hasn’t had since Matt Flynn in 2007.

PoliticallyCorrectDawg

December 13th, 2010
10:23 am

Many times, coaches who find it necessary to act out on the sidelines, don’t have the patience or smarts to get it done in the overall strategy and game planning part of the job. Muschamp is a lifer assistant coach, most probably.

Somebody said nobody knew who Tressel was when he was hired. Now, we all know who he is: an over-rated coach at an over-rated school who is exposed at the end of each season cause he can’t win a bowl in a game with a team outside his powder-puff conference.

Arch Dawg

December 13th, 2010
10:23 am

Vandy has a huge endowment. They can afford to pay more for a coach than any other school in the SEC. If Vandy just comitted to having the best program in the SEC I assure you they could afford it.

BAMA dude

December 13th, 2010
10:24 am

Mike
December 13th, 2010
10:18 am

Didn’t Tuberville want and campaign for the Miami job? I thought he was a successful BCS level head coach?

Al Golden has to hit incentives just to max out at what TT makes every year.

JB

December 13th, 2010
10:25 am

Mettenberger lit it up in JC like Cam did…….Don’t think he’s the runner Cam is, but has the Arm. Richt overreacted with this kid because of all the other mess in Athens. We’ll live to regret not having him in Athens and LSU will be tickled to have him.