Jim McElwain is the reason for Florida’s 180 degree turnaround from where it was in 2014. While a lot of credit should go to McElwain, an equal amount of credit should be given to Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley. He was the one to take a chance on the coach from Colorado State.
Foley hit a home run with this hire, and he said he knew just how good of a guy McElwain was for the job right after Florida upset Ole Miss at home earlier this season.
“Dude wants to win,” Foley said to Gridiron Now’s Buddy Martin. “That’s why he goes for it on fourth down. Why he runs a fake field goal.”
Foley admits that there weren’t many people around the program that thought a turnaround like this was possible.
“There may have been one guy,” Foley said. “Or maybe 14 guys and 100 players.”
But when McElwain was hired — and what he continues to say on a weekly basis — he expects to win no matter who the opponent is.
“I told him (Saturday) night, ‘You’ve totally changed the vibe of a program,’ ” Foley said. “He almost did it immediately. You could feel it. You could sense it. It’s a lot about attitude and beliefs and his players buying into those beliefs.”
Florida could potentially be inside the top 10 in the College Football Playoff rankings Tuesday night. This time last year, Gators fans had no reason to watch ESPN’s program where they release the poll. This year, Florida fans have appointments in front of their television sets waiting to see where the Gators will be ranked.