University of Florida head coach Will Muschamp’s days are numbered following the most recent low point of the 2013 season, an embarrassing 26-20 home loss to FCS Georgia Southern. The loss drops Florida to 4-7 on the season, guaranteeing the Gators will finish below .500 for the first time since 1979. It also ends a 25-year streak of winning seasons.
Just when you thought this Florida team hit rock bottom a couple of weeks ago when they lost to Vanderbilt at home for the first time since 1945, the Gators absolutely imploded today. If you thought the offense struggled against FBS opponents, the step down in competition brought out an even lower level of offensive execution.
Florida managed just 272 yards and 15 first downs against the Eagles. The worst part was Florida didn’t even turn the ball over, which would usually be taken as a positive. But here, it simply represents the fact that the Gators didn’t even have to help an FCS beat them in their own house. In fact, Georgia Southern helped Florida by losing two fumbles.
It gets worse. The Eagles only attempted three passes the entire game. They completed exactly zero. Georgia Southern didn’t complete a pass and still beat the Florida Gators at home. The Eagles running game, however, was rolling. GSU racked up 429 yards on 54 carries and steamrolled a defense that was giving up just over 115 yards per game (3rd in SEC).
It was an embarrassing showing for this team, the coaching staff, the fan base and the university. And you can bet the heat is about to be ratcheted up to a smoldering, white-hot show of disapproval in the job Muschamp and his coaching staff are doing.
Florida entered the season with a top-10 ranking and expectations of winning the SEC East and competing for a conference title and possibly a BCS Championship. Though a host of injuries to key players have played a big part in the disappointing season, the drop from those lofty goals to losing at home to an FCS team is dramatic one. One that cannot be downplayed.
Earlier this month, UF athletics director Jeremy Foley said the University was still fully behind Muschamp, despite the struggles this year.
“As athletic director, I’m a thousand percent convinced that Will Muschamp is the guy to lead this football program,’’ Foley said inside his office at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. “Nothing has changed in what we feel about Will Muschamp from the day we hired him.”
UF President Bernie Machen joined Foley in support of Muschamp.
“I want the Gator Nation to know that I have full confidence in Coach Muschamp and his leadership of the football program,’’ Machen said.
But losing to Georgia Southern is a new low, forget about ending decades-long streaks of successful football. This is an unforgivable sin. A sin that Muschamp will likely pay for with his job.
And it’s only likely going to get worse next week, when No. 2 Florida State University comes to town. With historic lows piling up by the boatload this season, don’t be surprised if Florida suffers the worst beatdown in the history of the rivalry next Saturday.
The best news for Muschamp at this point is the fact that he may be spared the misery of enduring the powerful Seminoles. There’s a chance he’ll watch the game from home, as the ex-coach of the Florida Gators.