Colordao State Head Coach Jim McElwain leading candidate for Gators job

Via Fightin’ Gators

Three days after Florida’s regular season and Will Muschamp’s time as head coach ended, reports continue to surface linking Colorado State coach Jim McElwain to the Florida job.On Tuesday afternoon, ESPN’s Brett McMurphy tweeted that Jim McElwain has become the top candidate for the Florida job. The Colorado State coach’s name first came up on Sunday when Pat Forde of Yahoo! Sports listed him as “a top candidate,” but the differential to “the top candidate” is a significant one.

Forde reported on Tuesday afternoon that there was a jet en route from Gainesville to Fort Collins, home of Colorado State and McElwain. Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley is expected to meet with McElwain on Tuesday afternoon.

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Named the Mountain West Conference’s coach of the year on Tuesday, McElwain has turned the Rams into an offensive powerhouse. Colorado State averages 498 yards per game (13th best in the nation), while boasting the nation’s second-most efficient quarterback inGarrett Grayson and the top receiver by yards per game (149.1) and touchdowns (17) in Rashard Higgins.

Before taking over Colorado State, McElwain, a Montana native, was Alabama’s offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach from 2008 through 2011

McElwain is in his third season coaching the Rams and has led them to a 10-2 record, dropping their regular season finale to Air Force on Sunday. The 52-year-old was named the Mountain West Coach of the Year of Tuesday and many of his offensive players received first team honors by the league.\

McElwain has a large buy out $7.5 million, but, for program like Florida, that is not a real obstacle. Football Scoop, citing sources at Florida say the Gators AD Jeremy Foley will offer McElwain the position. It also reports that current defensive coordinator D J Durkin would likely keep that job under McElwain.

Foley and McElwain, per sources, are in agreement that it would be best for Florida football to retain defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin and defensive backs coach Travaris Robinson at a minimum

Ole Miss Coach Hugh Freeze rumored to have offer from Florida

Have the Gators found their man?

Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze is considering an offer to coach at the University of Florida for a base salary in the range of $4.2 to $4.3 million annually, according to multiple sources.

Additional sources confirm the Rebels are attempting to compete with the Gators’ offer, pushing Freeze’s salary to somewhere near the $4 million range to take compensation out of the question in a potential decision by Freeze between the two schools.

 Freeze is finishing the third year of a four year contract that pays him $3 million annually, and has twice been extended. Ole Miss athletic director Ross Bjork has previously stated that the university was in the process of renegotiating Freeze’s contract during the 2014 season but not expected to complete the process until the end of the year.

The 45-year-old Freeze has risen through the coaching ranks quickly, having compiled a 24-14 record in three seasons with the Rebels after one year as head coach Arkansas State. Freeze’s first position at the collegiate level was as an assistant at Ole Miss under Ed Orgeron in 2005.

Well, he is an impressive candidate, and on offensive guy, who can hopefully return the Gators to elite status quickly. If he can get Ole Miss going, I like his chances to get the Gators back in the National Title picture quickly. He has denied any contact with Florida AD Jeremy Foley, but, we all know many coaches have played that game.

So, how AM I feeling today?

Like an angry Gator fan, that is how, I could go on and on about our oft-failed head coach should have been fired last year. I could go on and on about how Muschamp does not understand simple principles about offensive football, you know like the forward pass. I could write about how frustrating it is to watch a fine offensive coordinator hamstrung by the head coach who clearly thinks he is Nick Saban when he isn’t (Nick Saban does not hamstring his own offense). I could even rant about how our coach apparently does not understand the basic principle behind draining the play clock when on offense with a lead and the ball deep in the other teams end late in the game. But, instead, I will allow pat Dooley to sum it all up.

This wasn’t the straw, it was a whole bale of ineptitude. And yet, it was right there for the taking, a win that would have been huge for a coach trying to salvage a season.

Somehow, some way, this team and these coaches found a way to lose a game that didn’t look losable.

It wasn’t as if Florida was doing anything special to be in position to win. This was Muschamp Football 101. Run the ball and play defense and try to win 17-10.

But when you try to win by a touchdown, you’re always one touchdown away from overtime.

So of course, it happened.

Of course, Florida was called for holding on a game-clinching touchdown run.

Of course, the Gamecocks blocked a field goal that would have basically put the game away.

Of course, they blocked a punt with 39 seconds to go when you knew they weren’t going to drive 70 or 75 yards against this defense.

Of course, they did.

“It hurts,” said offensive lineman Chaz Green. “You can only say it so many times. It hurts, especially the way we lost it.”

Yep.

The way.

With an offense that chose to ignore all of those gaudy numbers allowed by the South Carolina secondary and throw only 11 passes.

With an offense that has become so predictable, the writers in the press box were calling the plays before they happened.

With an offense that managed all of five second-half first downs.

With a coach who talks about making the opponent one-dimensional yet self-inflicts it upon his own team.

Go read it all, and Coach Muschamp don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

The BCS era ends this season………………But the ending will resemble the beginning

In 1998, Tennessee defeated Florida State to win the first BCS title. Five years later LSU beat OU to claim the crown. In 2004 Auburn was screwed out of BCS finale as USC, the C stood as it turns out for CHEATING, routed OU. Two years later My beloved Gators were projected to get blown out buy the great Buckeyes, but it was the Buckeyes who carried their over rated Big Ten teeth home in a bag. LSU whipped the Buckeyes in 2007 and my Gators bested OU in 2008. In 2009 ‘Bama bested Texas, and in 2010 Auburn topped Oregon. In 2011 the championship came down to two SEC teams, with Alabama besting LSU, and in 2012, Alabama, one of six SEC teams that would have throttled Notre Dame exposed Notre Dame as an FCS school.

Now, in 2013, the BCS era closes as Auburn plays Florida State, and tries to win the SEC’s eighth straight BCS National Title, and the SEC’s 11th in 18 seasons, my Gators destroyed FSU 52-20 in 1996 to win the National Championship. In other words, you FSU fans are walking down a path of certain destruction. You are not playing an ACC schedule any more, you are stepping up, WAY up, to play an SEC team now. Good luck ‘Noles, you are going to need it!

 

Gators land top three recruiting class again

Happy with the results as of now. Of course the real quality of this class will not be known until 2013 or 2014 but, ESPN ranks the Gators class at #2 Rivals has us #3, so that is great coming off an 11 win season. As I have said before, Will Muschamp’s legacy will begin to be defined by how his players, in his system perform. And entering his third year, we will start to see how good his recruiting and coaching styles meld. We Gator fans know we always have talent, and we know what a great coach (Spurrier, Meyer) can do with that. We also know what mediocre coaches can do, (Zook). So, soon we will be able to see where Muschamp can take the Gators

ESPN, ranks the top ten classes like this

#1 Alabama

#2 Florida

#3 Ohio State

#4 Notre Dame

#5 the shocker Ole Miss

#6 Michigan

#7 LSU

#8 Texas A&M

#9 FSU

#10 Georgia

Rivals top ten goes this way

#1 Alabama

#2 Ohio State

#3 Florida

#4 Notre Dame

#5 LSU

#6 Michigan

#7 Ole Miss

#8 Texas A & M

#9 UCLA

#10 Auburn

Man I miss football already!

 

Gators roll over Gamecocks 44-11

Primary logo for all UF athletics since the ea...

Primary logo for all UF athletics since the early 1990s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 It feels good to beat Spurrier, and South Carolina. Once more the Gator defense was dominant, and the offense woke up in the second half. The special teams were huge too, helping us overcome some pathetic officiating early

Florida went 0-for-October last season, with humbling losses to Alabama, LSU, Auburn and Georgia.

It bothered coaches and players for a year.

It motivated them, too.

A year later, the Gators have a chance to end the month with a division title.

“I like this better,” coach Will Muschamp said. “So does everybody else.”

Jeff Driskel threw four touchdown passes — three of them after turnovers — and the Gators (No. 2 BCS, No. 3 AP) matched their win total from 2011 with a 44-11 drubbing of South Carolina (No. 7 BCS, No. 9 AP) on Saturday.

The Gators avenged consecutive losses to the Gamecocks, including one a couple of years ago that ended with Steve Spurrier and his players celebrating a division title in The Swamp.

“We remember the feeling, how bad it hurt,” center Jon Harrison said. “We even had guys getting emotional over it. We just used that as pure motivation to come out here and completely dominate this team.”

Florida’s latest whatever-it-takes win kept Muschamp’s team undefeated and put it on the cusp of the Southeastern Conference’s Eastern Division title. The Gators (7-0, 6-0 SEC) can clinch a spot in the league’s championship game by beating No. 13 Georgia next week in nearby Jacksonville.

Florida won this one with turnovers, stellar defense and more halftime adjustments — the kind of successful tweaks that are making Muschamp and his staff seem like the right fit in Gainesville.