After Muschamp Fails, Who's Next In Line At Florida?
Will Muschamp is destined to fail at the University of Florida.
Long known for his defensive prowess, Muschamp has shown he can recruit players to help on the defensive side of the ball. However, the offensive side is a totally different story. With a 22-16 overall record (worst than that of Ron Zook before fans called for his head), Muschamp is clearly on the hot seat. Fortunately, he was 11-2 in his second season to earn a fourth season. However, Florida's chances of doing much better than last year's 4-8 mark are slim to none.
The season opens with three games that the Gators should win against Idaho, Eastern Michigan and Kentucky. Then comes five straight where the Gators will have their hands full against Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Missouri and Georgia. Wins in two of their final games will likely come against Vanderbilt (although the Commodores prevailed last year) and Eastern Kentucky while South Carolina and Florida State should easily beat the Gators.
Needless to say, the season is going to ride on the Gators finding playmakers on offense, which is something that isn't likely to happen. Even with all of his game experience, Jeff Driskel is not among the top half of quarterbacks in the SEC.
If the offense falls flat on its face again, Muschamp will be fired at season's end. If that happens, who are the candidates to replace him?
Kirby Smart, Defensive Coordinator, Alabama
Smart is the obvious choice because he succeeded at Alabama. In his time with the Crimson Tide, they won three national titles with a defense that continues to reload. The one thing that may prevent Smart from getting the job, outside of his wanting to stay at Alabama, is the fact that he is a strong defensive coach, just like Muschamp was at Texas. Would Smart be able to recruit on the offensive side of the ball and hire an offensive genius to help him get the Gators back to respectability on offense?
Jeremy Pruitt, Defensive Coordinator, Georgia
The new defensive coordinator at Georgia has shot up the power rankings of college football assistant coaches after serving as an assistant at Alabama during its national title run in 2012, and as Florida State's defensive coordinator last season.
Being a defensive-minded coach could prevent Pruitt from getting the job as fans and alumni at Florida are likely looking for an offensive-minded coach.
Chad Morris, Offensive Coordinator, Clemson
An offensive coach who coached the likes of Sammy Watkins and Tajh Boyd last year, Morris knows how to recruit offensive talent and use it to his advantage. He successfully recruited quarterback Deshaun Watson and all-purpose back Jae'lon Oglesby to keep the train going.
Morris understands his players' abilities, and it shows in the schemes he runs. If it's something he's interested in, Florida could use an offensive-minded coach like him to take over for Muschamp.
Phil Montgomery, Offensive Coordinator, Baylor
Montgomery coached the No. 1 offense in the country last year, making him an excellent candidate to take over for Muschamp. Florida fans loved it when Steve Spurrier would run up the score and that's something Montgomery will give the Gators the ability to do once again.
For fans who want to go back to those days, Montgomery would be the most logical choice.