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Gators coach Muschamp and Seminoles coach Fisher make odd couple

Think of it like The Odd Couple: Two men trying to share a house without driving each other crazy.

Jimbo and Will.

Will and Jimbo.

And would someone please pick up their towel after they shower?

Think of it like one of those Corona commercials: Two people on lounge chairs looking out at clear skies and blue water, each trying to let the stress burn off.

Will and Jimbo.

Jimbo and Will.

And who is the coach-in-waiting for the big bedroom this visit?

Now, maybe it's just me, but I don't think Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler ever shared a house. I don't think Bobby Bowden and Steve Spurrier picked up the wives and went on a retreat to Third-and-10 Acres together. I don't think Bear Bryant and Shug Jordan ever went shopping for a cozy getaway with a two-car garage.

And by the way, what did you do with the remote control?

This is delicious, hysterical stuff, of course. Two nationally known schools, two football-mad universities, two teams with fans who can barely stand sharing Florida, have hired coaches off the same couch.

Just wondering, but after next season's Gators-Seminoles game, do you suppose the losing fans will know which side of the house to send the moving vans?

Look, we're all for peaceful co-existence, aren't we? We live in a world where lions lie down with lambs, and where you can be a little bit country and a little bit rock 'n' roll, and where many Gator fans are married to Seminole fans, though for one week a year, neither side seems crazy about it.

When it comes to coaches, however, rivals should not be roomies. This is supposed to be football, for crying out loud. It is not supposed to be a very special episode of Friends where Joey chops and Chandler chomps.

Oh, I understand. Once upon a time, FSU's Jimbo Fisher and UF's Will Muschamp worked together, and as LSU assistant coaches, they didn't get out much. Their wives worked out together. Their kids were best friends. So why not buy a Florida beach house together for an investment and a place to draw plays in the sand?

Okay, okay. The truth is the families didn't usually vacation together. But imagine the possibilities. They could build an extra room to make space for fellow former LSU staffer Derek Dooley, now the Tennessee coach, if they wanted. Heck, they could even draw a pentagram on the floor in case their former boss, Nick Saban, now the Alabama coach, wanted to visit.

Shoot, Spurrier and Ray Goff used to talk about buying a house together. Well, no, not really. But Goff did reportedly say once that he would like to share a dark alley with Spurrier, though to tell the truth, I don't think he was talking about finding a rental property.

Come to think of it, maybe more coaches should buy homes together. Wouldn't you love to see a reality show where Urban Meyer and Lane Kiffin share a living space? Or Bowden and Joe Paterno? Or Jim Tressel and Rich Rodriguez? Sparks would fly, and fun would ensue.

Which leads us back to Muschamp and Fisher.

Man, this could be fun to watch. These days they're not just sharing a house, they're sharing a state. Think of Miami as the front porch and Jacksonville as the east wing and Tampa Bay as the living room. Think of recruiting as paying the bills, which it does.

There has never been a time like this in Florida for college football. If you count the four programs from BCS-qualifying leagues, you have two first-year coaches and two second-year coaches. That's a lot of guys scrambling to make introductions.

There is Fisher, who has been here awhile. There is Muschamp, who just got here. There is Al Golden, trying to convince recruits that, yes, he really is the coach at Miami. And there is Skip Holtz, trying to prove that USF deserves the same consideration as the other three.

So who is in the lead? Today it is Fisher. After spending three years in the on-deck circle waiting for Bowden to finish up, his team seems to have the most momentum. But the state is probably in its biggest free-for-all in a long time.

Think about it like this: If you were, say, a linebacker who was undecided, which coach would you follow home: Muschamp, who must prove he can be a head coach? Fisher, who now must prove he can elevate FSU back to the level of national championship contender? Golden, who must show he didn't need an in-between stop between Temple and Miami? Holtz, who must take the Bulls from the middle of the Big East into contention?

A lot of new energy there. A lot of possibilities. A lot of new conversations on those evenings when Jimbo and Will can't figure out what to watch on television because Glee is a rerun.

Let's be honest here. This is much too amusing to continue. Fans can accept a lot of things from their head coach, but tolerance of the rival head coach is asking too much.

So, no, the bet is that Will and Jimbo won't continue to share a house, and sadly, the loser of their first game won't have to pay the cable bill. To be fair, both coaches ought to list "prospective buyer'' among their recruiting needs.

In the meantime, don't blame either coach for the mistakes of his past. Don't forget, Schembechler played for Hayes at one point, and that didn't get in the way of their rivalry. Miami's Jimmy Johnson was a teammate of Oklahoma's Barry Switzer. Sometimes coaches get over this "friendship'' thing.

So what are Will and Jimbo going to do with their dream house?

Who knows? Maybe they can sell it to Golden.

Gators coach Muschamp and Seminoles coach Fisher make odd couple 12/16/10 [Last modified: Thursday, December 16, 2010 9:44pm]
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