Florida is 7-1 in 2015. It’s really a remarkable sentence to write considering where Florida was after Will Muschamp left. The Gators were not a good team under Muschamp, but Jim McElwain has come in, with Muschamp’s players, for the most part, and has found ways to win — something Muschamp could not do. McElwain has miraculously turned around the Florida program in less than a year and the national media is taking notice.
After Saturday’s 27-3 win over UGA, some of the national media had positive remarks about the job McElwain has done with the Gators.
Check them out below.
Matt Hayes, Sporting News
“You don’t go from stumbling through back-to-back 4-8 and 7-6 seasons, and show up this fall with a nearly identical roster that has won seven of its first eight games in the toughest conference in college football,” according to Matt Hayes of Sporting News.
“You don’t go from a blocked punt with 30 seconds to play while protecting a seven-point lead in the last of the unthinkable and unexplainable game-changing mistakes under former coach Will Muschamp’s tenure, to beating your bitter rival by 24 points despite completing a lousy eight passes without some tangible reason for change.”
Rodger Sherman, SB Nation
“Florida shouldn’t be here. It’s Year One of the Jim McElwain era after third- and fifth-place SEC East finishes the past two years under W_ll M_sch_mp. (I’ve redacted certain letters of that name to reduce the risk of Florida fans suffering seizures while reading.) The Gators were picked fifth in the SEC East, with only one first-place vote. Their apparent saving grace was rookie QB Will Grier, but now he’s suspended.”
“For Florida to merely be competent would’ve pleased a lot of Gators fans. They haven’t been merely competent. They’ve been demonstrably better than everybody else in the East,” Rodger Sherman wrote for SB Nation.
Mike Bianchi, Orlando Sentinel
“Gator Nation, you can now get down on bended knee and genuflect before McElwain, who in eight games has already reconstructed a program he once helped raze,” Bianchi wrote in the Orlando Sentinel. He’s about to take the resurrected Gators back to Atlanta for the first time since 2009 when McElwain was the Alabama offensive coordinator on the night the Crimson Tide destroyed Urban Meyer, Tim Tebow and the undefeated Gators 32-13 in the SEC Championship Game. McElwain’s Alabama offense rolled up 490 yards that night and annihilated a UF defense that was ranked No. 4 in the nation.
“Tebow cried after the game and Meyer quit.”
“And Florida football hasn’t been the same since.”
“Coach Mac taketh away and now Coach Mac giveth back.”
Chase Goodbread, NFL.com
“The Gators’ resounding 27-3 win over rival Georgia gave first-year coach Jim McElwain a comfortable two-game lead on the rest of the division, with only two SEC games left against the two worst teams in the league. Florida can clinch the division — making McElwain the first Florida coach to win the SEC East Division in his first year with the program — with a win over Vanderbilt next week,” Chase Goodbread wrote for NFL.com.
“That’s an awfully long climb back from the downtrodden place where Will Muschamp left the Gators program last year. UF still has issues on the offensive line and quarterback Treon Harris might not be able to carry the offense in a close game, but this season can already be considered a one-year turnaround.”
Booger McFarland, SEC Network
“Jim McElwain should be mentioned for coach of the year; not only in this conference, but the country,” McFarland said during the halftime show of Tennessee-Kentucky.