All summer, wherever I’ve gone, I’ve been getting asked the same question: Will the Gators be any better this season under Jim McElwain?
I have a pat answer: I don’t know if they’ll be better, but they’ll certainly be more entertaining under an offensive-minded coach.
That’s perhaps the most important thing coming off four years of watching an insufferable, almost inept, offense for the past four years under a defensive-minded coach who left all offensive creativity back in the locker room on game days.a
Florida fans want to be entertained again. They want to win, too, but they want an offense that’s actually fun to watch, instead of one that makes them want to get out of their seats and leave the stadium in frustration (or not even show up at all). Like Steve Spurrier said back in his Duke days, if you’re not very good at least try to be entertaining.
It’s going to be tough given UF’s offensive line situation, but I think McElwain and his offensive staff will be very creative and find ways to move the ball and get something going in the passing game. He’ll give players, coaches, fan, recruits something to get excited about.
This seems like the perfect way to start the reconstruction of this program. Build it around the offense, just like Spurrier did, just like Urban Meyer did.
Taking that approach, those two offensive-minded coaches combined to win three national and eight SEC titles at Florida. The two defensive head coaches who were most recently fired — Ron Zook and Will Muschamp — combined to win zero championships and lose a total of 35 games over seven seasons. Even when Muschamp went 11-2 in 2012, the offense was painful to watch.
It seems fairly obvious athletic director Jeremy Foley has learned his lesson about hiring defensive-minded head coaches and now has the Gators at least pointed in the right direction again with the hiring of an offensive head coach.
Will the Gators be better in 2015? I don’t know. But they will be more fun to watch.