After the firing of Will Muschamp, everyone wants to talk about what direction the Florida Gators are going to head in, but I’m going to talk about the other half of this break-up. Where is Will Muschamp heading? One of the best defensive coaches in the nation is now on the market.
Let’s quickly go over what happened with Will Muschamp at Florida. He was doomed from the start, coming into a program that was at the top of the college football world that could only go down. It was no secret that Muschamp was doing a phenomenal job with the Gator defense. Florida’s Athletic Director, Jeremy Foley, felt that Champ would do well taking over as head coach of the Gator Nation, despite not having any prior head coaching experience at this level. We all saw how this panned out for the Gators. He was head coach for four years, and will be remembered for his 4-8 season, but more specifically, his loss to Georgia Southern. Not his Sugar Bowl appearance, or the stellar, consistent defense he led all the while. After a loss to South Carolina, it was made public that Muschamp would not return to the University of Florida for what would be his fifth season as head coach. To me, there is one place that seems perfect for Will Muschamp, and this potential new home for Champ is less than 150 miles away.
It is quite clear that this year’s FSU team has been less effective than last year’s team, but why?
The talent level may have been slightly better last year, but not by much. Let’s focus on the defensive side of the ball. After FSU’s national championship season, they lost three key components of their defense: LeMarcus Joyner, Terrence Brooks, and Timmy Jernigan. Joyner and Brooks are both defensive backs. Before this season, many NFL scouts projected two of FSU’s DB’s, P.J. Williams, and Ronald Darby, to be selected in the first round of the draft. If you ask me, neither of these two are even the best DB on this team. I have saved that title for Jalen Ramsey, a true sophomore that is not eligible for the NFL draft. He plays all over the field and is very successful when blitzing, reminding me of a taller LeMarcus Joyner, with a higher ceiling. So losing Joyner and Brooks didn’t hurt this defense too badly. Timmy Jernigan was a big loss in the FSU D-line, but Mario Edwards is still there drawing double teams and reeking havoc for opponent offensive lines. Freshmen Lorenzo Featherston, and Jacob Pugh have also stepped up in the front seven of this defense.
Now, we can agree that as far as pure talent, this defense is not much worse than last years, if at all. Here’s a stat. In FSU’s 2013 season, (excluding National Championship) their defense allowed more than 14 points, two times (Boston College and NC State). This year’s defense has held their opponent to under 14 points only twice. (Citadel and Wake Forest).
What’s the difference in this years defense?
They lost their defensive coordinator, Jeremy Pruitt, who took an SEC defensive coordinator job as soon as it presented itself. He is now coaching at Georgia after only one year at FSU.
Enter Will Muschamp.
As aforementioned, Will Muschamp is one of the best defensive coaches in college football right now, and I think that FSU would be great fit for him for more reasons than one. For starters, He and coach Jimbo Fisher are great friends. So much so that they own a beach house together. Who wouldn’t want to coach next to one of their good friends? Muschamp is a Florida guy, going to both elementary school, and high school in Florida. If FSU does decide to give Muschamp a job offer, I would be very surprised if he declined. Almost as surprised as I’d be if FSU passed on this opportunity to sign him.
FSU will not ask Will Muschamp to do anything for their already potent offense, and he will be able to focus solely on defense. Even this year, in a mediocre year for the Gators, this Muschamp led defense ranked in the top 10 in the nation in a few major defensive categories. It seems to me that FSU is a good defensive Coordinator away from creating a Bama-like Dynasty. I think Muschamp is the man for the job in Tally.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : Blake Giusti