Muschamp alienating fans in a rebuilding year is a bad idea…
Urban Meyer closed practices to the fans and media last season.
Will Muschamp decided to do the same this season. No fans, no media allowed.
Meyer’s reasoning was he wanted to keep the players away from autograph hounds and agents; or as he put them “internet people” and “scumbags.”
Muschamp wanted to minimize distractions with the new coaching staff.
The difference is Meyer was a proven head coach with the Gators fan base on his side.
Muschamp? He hasn’t earned that yet.
Closing practices was Muschamp’s first move in isolating the fans.
The move, by itself, isn’t so much a bad thing.
But when you pair it with the lying in media appearances, the fixable mistakes that remained unfixed and the fact that this is a rebuilding season, Muschamp is on his way to inadvertently isolating Gator Nation. Not something you want to do in your first season as a head coach.
Rational fans realize that this year was going to be tough. Before the season, I warned people that 8-4 should be the goal, but 7-5 is more realistic. Some airheads thought I was an idiot for not thinking this team could win nine games.
Now that Florida’s on track for a 7-5 regular season, the last thing Muschamp needs to do is push away Gator fans.
Muschamp has repeatedly lied to the media about injuries and playing time. It has gotten to the point where asking about injuries is pointless. Muschamp’s answers do not translate to Saturdays.
The coaches treat the injury report like it’s a top-secret CIA file. And for no good reason.
This was even more evident this week.
Ronald Powell injured his neck last week against LSU. Muschamp did not mention Powell’s name when discussing injuries, and said he was practicing.
During warmups before the game against Auburn, Powell was a no-show.
After the game, Muschamp said Powell was still injured and hadn’t practiced all week.
The coaches also said Mike Gillislee would get more carries after he was the only bright spot in the running game vs. LSU.
“He’s one of the guys we recognized realized the way we needed to play [was] with some toughness. We need to get him some more touches.” - Will Muschamp
Gillislee had a mere three carries against Auburn. Whether he got injured in the second half or not is in question. We know he wasn’t injured in the first half, though. He had no carries in the first half; all unproductive runs from Chris Rainey.
When you lose three games in a row, the small mistakes turn into glaring issues.
Take the defensive line constantly jumping offsides as an example. This has been a problem - a fixable problem - since the first game.
Game seven, and the defensive line is still jumping offsides.
Muschamp berating the officials isn’t quite as endearing when he’s losing games.
As the losses mount, the small things are going to be magnified.
And the last thing he needs to do is push the fans away.