Multiple reports are coming in that Jim McElwain is officially out as head coach at Florida. I haven't seen any statements from the University yet so I'm not gonna say it is official yet but it seems like it pretty much is. Many people are surprised by this move considering it is only McElwains third year as the head coach and considering he won the SEC east in his first two years there. As a Florida fan I had never really been a fan of McElwain and honestly I'm really glad he is out. Now, I will give him credit, he did have some success, he beat Georgia and Tennessee 2/3 years and won the SEC east 2/3 years but there were way more underlying issues present that forced his departure.
I have already seen people comparing McElwain to Will Muschamp, and honestly I thought Muschamp had a better program going then what McElwain has right now. Don't get me wrong, Muschamp wasn't great either but he did take the Gators to the sugar bowl one year winning I think 11 games that year, he was able to win big games and he brought in good recruits. I'm not saying that I want Muchamp back but there were some things that even Muschamp could do that McElwain hasn't done.
Now with the issues that McElwain has had. Like I mentioned McElwain has won 2 SEC east championships in his time at Florida but he did that during two of the worst years ever for the SEC east. It was still impressive but the competition was hardly there at all. One thing McElwain has done is beat teams he is supposed to beat, I will give him that. Muschamp struggled with that at times and that is part of the reason he got fired. Unfortunately for McElwain he didn't always play teams he was supposed to beat, and that is where he struggled. When Florida has played teams that are better then them over the past few years they have looked absolutely awful. Weather it was Florida State, Alabama, Michigan, Georgia (this year) or whoever else, the Gators never kept any of those games close which showed just how far from the top they really are.
Another problem I have with McElwain is one that people always bring up, the offense. It amazes me that in the state of Florida at the University of Florida you can't get the athletes to have offensive success. Even when he was able to get the players, the discipline wasn't there and that is 100% on the coach. I think even this year the Gators have descent talent on offense, at least better then how they are playing, they have a good line, good backs, descent athletes at receivers and a Quarterback who I believe is better then what he has shown. To me the problem is with the coaching, too many problems I see have to do with play calling, schemes, and discipline in the offense, not with the execution from the players.
One last thing I noticed early on is this year that McElwain struggled with was controlling his program. It all started with the suspensions at the beginning of the year and continued as I watched how the players react to him. He seems to have an attitude of confusion that rubs off on the players when things are going rough. When the going got tough I never really saw McElwain go above and beyond like a coach should to get his players going. At least with Muschamp he had fire and energy and players loved playing for him, that's just something I never saw with McElwain.
All that being said I think this was a good move for Florida making this move now and allowing the program to move on and look forward. Not only can they get all of the distractions out now and allow the players to move on, they also get a leg up on other programs who refuse to fire their coach mid season even though he just lost another game this week, this time to Kentucky, not naming any names or anything but that school is really BUTCHering this one. Where Florida goes from here? Not sure yet, but they are 3-4 right now and have a chance in their remaining 4 to still make a bowl game and maybe even beat a Florida State team that looks about as bad as Florida.
*As I'm about to post this I just saw a tweet from the official Gators football page saying McElwain is out, so there it is.