The nationally prominent Florida Gators being blown out in the Swamp by Vanderbilt seems like some delusional dream in a far off land. Throw in the fact that it was Florida’s homecoming game, and it couldn’t really get worse for the injury-riddled Gators right? The nightmare will continue as the Gators are at huge risk of not making a Bowl game for the first time seemingly since the Declaration of Independence.
Perhaps you have heard of two of the opponents the Gators have left as they both have BCS and BCS National Title aspirations hanging in the balance. This isn’t a very good scenario for Florida.
The Gators travel to South Carolina to face their old general Steve Spurrier, who has the Gamecocks still sniffing at the SEC East Title and a possible BCS date. Don’t expect the Old Ball Coach to be very kind to his former school. Possibly even worse is their last this season against in-state rival Florida State, who is on the brink of playing for a National Championship. The Seminoles will be looking to make one last statement to the voters, which unfortunately will come against the hapless Gators. To make matters worse, it is in the friendly confines of the Swamp.
It may actually be a good thing the Gators will not get to a Bowl game this year as the expectations of the season have come crashing down with an incredible thud due to massive injuries, bad fortune and a snowballing effect that has consumed the program in the last month. This Florida team simply isn’t as competitive as it could or should be.
While this has been a nightmare for Gator Nation, this should be the lowest point, and look for Will Muschamp and company to right this ship quickly and emphatically. Fan bases have become increasingly impatient and these days, the prevailing winds are of ‘what have you done for me lately?’. Muschamp had the Gators very close to the SEC Title game last year and settled for a Sugar Bowl date.
That should not be forgotten, and athletic director Jeremy Foley is likely not to have a quick trigger on Muschamp after the disaster of a season in 2013. The guy is a top-level coach and recruiter, and labeling him as a really good coordinator and not a head coach is way too premature.
Look for Muschamp to shake up his staff. The most likely target not to return is offensive coordinator Brett Pease. While Pease is likely to bear the heat of this year’s dumpster fire, there will be intense pressure on Muschamp and the Gators to perform at the highest level next year.
Hopefully as the Gators put this nightmare of a season to bed, the preparations for 2014 are firmly entrenched in the Gators program. Another season of futility is likely to see the Swamp drained, and all coaching inhabitants swept out with it.