When no sign or progress is made over a long period of time, a head coach has to know his job is up for grabs. Florida lost to Missouri 42-13 which means Will Muschamp is under even more pressure than before, unable to jolt his football team back into life, losing, and badly, against every respectable team they happen to meet.
Missouri, the same Tigers team that got shutout by Georgia, needed only 120 yards of offense to beat the slipping Gators, falling to 3-3 this season, including 2-3 in the SEC East. This was supposed to be the year Muschamp turns things around. Without injuries holding him down and a new offensive coordinator in Kurt Roper, Jeff Driskel should have been doing much better. The Gators should have been looking much better.
But Driskel is no longer the leading quarterback. There’s a weird two-QB system, with Treon Harris in it as well. Harris did a bit better than Driskel, throwing a touchdown pass and only one interception, while Driskel threw two picks. One of them was a pick-six. One of his fumbles was returned for a touchdown, and another fumble of his resulted in a field goal. It couldn’t have been any worse for the Junior quarterback, who has been one massive disappointment since he began his career in Florida.
Six turnovers in all for the Gators. Missouri scored four different return touchdowns – fumble, interceptions, punt and kickoff. Maty Mauk looked terrible as usual, completing 6-of-18 passes for only 20 yards and an interception. But when the defense does the job and Missouri take advantage of almost every opportunity given to them, it seems like it doesn’t really matter that Mauk plays also like someone who doesn’t belong at this level.
Muschamp isn’t the only head coach of a big program under a lot of pressure to turn things around. But he isn’t making things easier for himself. By changing coordinators he put the pressure on himself and his defense to show that last year wasn’t their fault. After losses to Alabama and LSU and now to Missouri at home, it’s hard to see anyone leaving this season with a good feeling. Not all of the remaining schedule is bad, but there’s still Georgia and Florida State to play. Somehow finishing on top of the SEC East seems less and less likely.
Calling for a head coach to be fired is somewhat lacking in class. That is a man’s livelihood. But a head coach isn’t a job set for life, and the bigger picture, not to mention the success of the program is the most important thing. If the school believes Muschamp is the man to lead this program in the future with his own recruits, than non of these results matter. If it’s the other way around, and they’re just thinking about ending it when the season is over, it’s better to end it now. No good will come out from having a dead man walking working the sidelines.