Monday, December 13, 2010


I've never met Will Muschamp, and as such know nothing of the man. I do know Kirby Smart. People have been saying Muschamp will attempt to bring Smart over to Florida with him. If this is true, then it already shows that as a Head Coach, Muschamp already has a handle on how hard it is to also be a coordinator. It's not something many people can do - and if you're going to take over the reigns of one of the most premiere programs in the country you will do yourself a world of good by not splitting your focus.

Many pundits are trying to figure out if this is a good hire. Will Muschamp be able to come in and rescue a faltering program? You know...that program that has won two national titles in the last five years. The one that missed out on a national title opportunity by losing one game in 2009. Yeah - that one.

Wow. Sometimes I wonder what the irrational head of a college football fanatic looks like on the inside.

Anyway, here's what I know about Muschamp. He's been hired in as a DC twice in major college football. He was promoted up to DC in the SEC and held the post with Miami Dolphins as well. In his two most recent college jobs, he improved both defenses in his first season. At Auburn, he improved on the Tigers' already great OPP Scoring avg of 15.5 in 2005 to 13.9 in 2006 (his first year). In his second year, the Tigers fell back to 16.9. Still, that was strong enough for Muschamp to be brought over to Texas. In 2007, Texas' Opp Scoring avg was 25.3. In 2008, Muschamp's first year, 18.8. 2009 - 16.7. The 2010 squad was the first Muschamp defense since his return to college football to give up more than 3 scores per game, coming in at 23.7.

Still, the data begs a question - does Muschamp do a great job recruiting kids or not? He obviously knows football. The immediate improvements show that. Whether it be by scheme or by attitude, when Muschamp has come to a new school, he has improved its defense. However, at both of his recent positions, the defense has fallen back off a few years later. Is this due to poor development? Poor recruiting? Is it possible that the offenses that face his defense figure him out after a couple of years?

I'm sure people will over-analyze the hell out of this hire. They will dig into all of the stats possible and come up with whatever answers they want to find. Here's what I know. Florida's defense gave up 21.1 ppg this year. That's going to change. Florida has the talent. They still have all of those great players Urban hung around to sign last February. Muschamp is going to come in and he's going to fix the defensive problems. Losing Charlie Strong was too much for FL to deal with last season.

For me, there's another big issue at play in this one. Whether or not Muschamp gets Smart (or is truly even looking to do so), the defense is going to get better. However, the offenses in the SEC have really picked up the pace in recent years. If Malzahn does indeed go to Vandy, you can bet the Commodores will have an improved look up there, too (*** I'm reading on ESPN that he has decided to stay at Auburn***). That means that despite Muschamp's best first-year efforts, points WILL be scored against his defense. This means his offense is going to need to keep up.

Who is he going to hire on the OFFENSIVE side of the ball? I think THAT is the big question. Does he go pro-style or spread? Is Major Applewhite up for the gig? It's going to be an interesting thing to watch. Also, how will these kids adapt to their third set of coordinators in three years?

Hopefully they'll adapt with an L in Jacksonville!

Go Dawgs!

No comments: