Let’s get my personal feelings out there first: I’m disappointed Will Muschamp is not coming to South Carolina to be our defensive coordinator. Not two-touchdown, fourth quarter lead blowing disappointed. Not losing to Clemson disappointed. Not Chick-fil-a forgot to put my fries in the bag disappointed. But disappointed nonetheless.
South Carolina football has been a wreck in 2014. The Gamecocks were picked to win the SEC East prior to the season but finished 6-6 and is headed to dreaded Shreveport for one final exercise in futility. Our defense is ranked near the bottom nationally and is the worst we’ve seen in Columbia since the 90s. Recruits have flipped, with threats of more flipping to come. Steve Spurrier seems disengaged, distant, lost. Things feel very, very bad for the program at the moment.
Change is needed, no doubt. And I think any amount of change from Spurrier stepping down to some minor staff adjustments is still on the table. I’m personally hoping for something somewhere in the middle. We need a new person running the defense at minimum.
But in reality I have no idea what is going to happen. And unless you are Steve Spurrier or Ray Tanner neither do you. We are mostly at the mercy of sites like The Big Spur or Gamecock Central, where we pay $9.95 a month to have them tell us everything and nothing all at the same time. They do a good job at both places, with good people working their asses off to get scoop to us that nobody else can. But at the end of the day they’re mostly subject to second hand information, and have to try to read between the lines to figure out what’s really going on and pass along that information to us with disclaimers peppered throughout. (Then there’s the Scout site who, damn the torpedoes, ran with one unreliable source and goodbye business plan.)
And message boards, hoo boy the message boards. The guy who knows the guy who is a realtor who knows another realtor who was helping Muschamp close on his new Columbia house. The words “done deal” associated with Muschamp over and over by people with anonymous screen names. Message boards are never more toxic than times like this.
But let’s step back and try to understand what has gone on since the end of November in regards to Muschamp.
- After Clemson the HBC told us that everyone on his staff was safe. He did not say there wouldn’t be changes, he just said he wouldn’t be firing anyone.
- I think we can safely say Will Muschamp was pursued by USC. How hard – how much money he was offered, what title he would’ve been given – is very much up for debate.
- There were reports early that he would be offered a head-coach-in-waiting title. This was eventually de-bunked, I think, by Ray Tanner himself.
- Spurrier said more than once that he hadn’t talked to Muschamp, and no offer had been made to Muschamp.
- Muschamp was linked to us, Auburn, Texas A&M, Houston, and the NFL before ultimately choosing Auburn.
Do we really know much more than this? Yet people are screaming that Tanner and Spurrier botched this, that they didn’t work hard enough, are blind to our problems or aren’t committed to fixing them, etc.
If it required a head-coach-in-waiting title to get Will Muschamp to USC, then I’m perfectly fine that we didn’t get him. I personally am not so desperate for something to happen that I’m willing to put a band-aid on a gaping wound.
Muschamp is a fine defensive mind by all accounts, one of the best in the college game. He wouldn’t have gotten the Florida job if he wasn’t. But need I remind you what happened to him at Florida, a failed tenure that ended just two weeks ago? Florida fans were begging for him to be fired. According to them he was a bumbling, meme-inspiring doofus that didn’t deserve to be on the sidelines at The Swamp. Would it really make you feel comfortable to have that guy in line as your next head coach?
Now people are acting like our football Jesus has forsaken us because our administration is either too stupid or doesn’t care enough. I’m not buying it.
If we made an offer to Muschamp, it was to to become our defensive coordinator/assistant head coach probably in the neighborhood of $1.2 to $1.6 million per year if I had to guess. Auburn offered roughly the same thing, and there was no chance in hell he was going to choose us over Auburn for a defensive coordinator position, for a variety of reasons.
I’m hoping beyond hope there’s a plan B in the works, and I’m confident there is. It won’t be as sexy as hiring Muschamp, but pretty much anything is a step in the right direction. Being patient is not easy, but I don’t really have a choice, do I?
Since the majority of you reading this are capable adults I’m in no position to tell you how you should react to this situation. Be disappointed, be devastated, it’s your call.
I’m gonna go have a cup of coffee and watch some cartoons. Maybe later I’ll check a couple of message boards.