Tuesday, April 24, 2018
Sports

For Muschamp, it's second (chance) and goal (to prove himself in SEC)

Will Muschamp didn't take long to get to his finest quality as a football coach on Monday. He told the good people of South Carolina to take a look at his wife, Carol.

"Gamecock Nation, if you don't think I can recruit, look at her and look at me," Muschamp said. "I can sell ice to an Eskimo."

When reached for comment, members of Eskimo Nation said they would indeed buy ice from Muschamp. But they would not hire him to coach their football team.

South Carolina had no such cold feet. "Coach Boom" has been chosen to replace Steve Spurrier. You wish you could hear the NSA tapes of the conversation that power brokers had while going over the stack of résumés.

"Hey, why don't we hire the one guy who has proven he isn't qualified to be a head coach!"

That's one skeptical explanation. Another is that the Gamecocks have such an acute case of Gator Envy they would have offered the job to Galen Hall if Muschamp had turned them down.

"There's only one coach Spurrier," the new guy said. "I need to be Will Muschamp."

That's what Florida and 12 other SEC schools hope.

South Carolina is banking on F. Scott Fitzgerald being wrong about there being no second acts in American life. While talents from Richard Nixon to Britney Spears have risen from career ashes, most of them at least showed they had the goods the first time around.

In Muschamp's only time around as a head coach, he showed he was a fine assistant coach. There's no doubt Boom can recruit and design a defense. But at Florida he had Trump-like resources and kept filing for offensive bankruptcy.

That's why Muschamp was probably South Carolina's fourth or fifth choice. But as Georgia scooped up Kirby Smart and Houston locked up Tom Herman, it became clear the Gamecocks would have to invoke the Patron Saint of Second Chances.

Bill Belichick was a bust in his first head-coaching job in the NFL. Of course, it was in Cleveland, so he gets some slack there. But a 36-44 record from 1991-95 gave no indication that the next Lombardi was lurking under the hoodie.

Belichick refined his approach, drafted Tom Brady and the rest is Super Bowl history. If Muschamp had recruited Brady, he would have turned him into Jeff Driskel.

And for every Belichick who made the most of his mulligan, there are far more flops like Charlie Weis. That's why there are far fewer coaching re-treads in college.

A FoxSports.com survey showed 51 FBS job openings in 2013 and 2014. Only six went to coaches who'd been fired or resigned from previous jobs.

The pecking order is usually: 1) coaches who've been successful; and 2) assistants with promise and pizzazz. The best a Muschamp can usually hope for is a gig at a struggling mid-major. Now he can show he's learned from his mistakes and is ready for an SEC job again.

I don't know what Muschamp learned in one season as Auburn's defensive coordinator. Based on his sideline tirade during the Alabama game, when he had to be restrained from going WWE on the officials, he still tends to go "boom."

The new ball coach addressed that concern Monday.

"I think absolutely there's a huge difference in being a head coach and a defensive coordinator," Muschamp said

He also hopes there's a huge difference in Kurt Roper, who was his last offensive coordinator at UF. He's getting the band back together at South Carolina.

Fans there can only hope Weis isn't named offensive quality-control coach.

I hope it works out. Almost everyone (except referees) who's been around Muschamp loves him. He didn't win like Urban Meyer at UF, but he ran a far more respectable program.

The Gamecocks can expect that. They can expect intensity, great defense and a guy who really could sell ice to Eskimos.

Beyond that, all Gamecock fans can do now is hope they haven't been sold a bill of coaching goods.

— Orlando Sentinel (TNS)

Comments

High school scoreboard for April 24

Tuesday’s scoreboardBaseballCalvary Chr. 8, Jesuit 1Boys TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, King 1Girls TennisClass 3A, District 9-10 Regional Semifinal: Osceola 4, Freedom 1...
Updated: 1 hour ago
NBA players talking a very good game in playoffs

NBA players talking a very good game in playoffs

Boring interviews have been a hallmark of sports for decades. The art of the non-answer was undoubtedly developed as a defense mechanism — and it was perfected by Derek Jeter during his tenure with the Yankees — but every now and again pl...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

Softball: Haley Murphy, East Bay back in top form

PLANT CITY — East Bay senior Haley Murphy had to take a few games off early this season to give the flaring tendinitis in her left knee a rest.When Murphy did come back around midseason, East Bay coach Glenn Rodriguez eased her into the fl...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Wednesday’s sports on TV/radio

TODAYBaseballMariners at White Sox2 p.m.MLBNationals at Giants (in progress)5 p.m.MLBTwins at Yankees6:30 p.m.1040-AMRays at Orioles7 p.m.Fox Sun; 620-AMCubs at Indians7 p.m.ESPNMarlins at Dodgers7:30 p.m.FSFCollege baseballIndiana at Purdue7 p.m.ESP...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Softball: Boca Ciega gets a shot at defending district champ

DUNEDIN — Standing in centerfield during her team's Class 6A-9 district semifinal Tuesday night, Boca Ciega's Mia Blasingane had one dominating thought: "We want Tarpon Springs real bad. I was saying that to myself. I want to see Tarpon Springs...
Updated: 2 hours ago

Softball: Alonso knocks off defending state finalist PHU in 9A-8 semifinals

PALM HARBOR — To get an idea of just how tough the competition is in Class 9A, District 8, consider that there has been a different tournament champion each of the past three seasons.All three — Newsome (2015), Alonso (2016) and Palm Harb...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

Rays Journal: On the early rainout, pitching plans, medical matters, more

BALTIMORE – If the Rays were going to get rained out Tuesday, they were happy  the Orioles made the decision at a good hour, around 5 p.m."I think they probably did the right thing in the fact that they knew there's a bunch of rain coming,...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic celebration

Carlos Gomez says he was guilty of only one thing in Sunday’s epic celebration

BALTIMORE – Carlos Gomez is perfectly willing to explain the specific elements that went into his epic celebration tour around the bases following Sunday's walkoff home run.The bat flip and raised arms were his initial reaction to how well he h...
Updated: 3 hours ago
ESPN: Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at NFL combine

ESPN: Antonio Callaway tested positive for marijuana at NFL combine

Former Florida Gators receiver Antonio Callaway's off-field struggles continue.ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Tuesday evening that Callaway tested positive for marijuana at the NFL's scouting combine.Former Florida WR Antonio Callaway -- who some cons...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Lightning opens second round Saturday; time depends on opponent

Lightning opens second round Saturday; time depends on opponent

Game 1 of the Lightning's Eastern Conference semifinals begins Saturday at Amalie Arena regardless of whether the Maple Leafs or Bruins win Wednesday's first-round series Game 7 to advance.Still in question is the start time.If the Bruins advanc...
Updated: 5 hours ago