Only three coaches in SEC history have reached the conference title game in their first season. Two of them — Auburn’s Gus Malzahn and Florida’s Jim McElwain — have done it in the last three years.
Malzahn and the Tigers not only won the 2013 SEC Championship, but they made it to the national title game and narrowly lost a thrilling 34-31 contest to Florida State.
But Malzahn has struggled at Auburn since that magical first season as head coach, going 8-5 in 2014 and 7-6 last year. He’s now on the hot seat heading into this fall.
McElwain had similar early success with the Gators, becoming the first coach in school history to win 10 games in his first season. Florida fell to Alabama in last year’s conference title game.
As McElwain enters his second campaign at UF, what will it take for him to avoid the sophomore slump Malzahn experienced?
In the latest edition of The Zach Abolverdi Show, SEC Country’s Gators beat writer discusses this topic as well as the second-year trend with Florida’s last five head coaches.