There's nothing like a little smack talk at a booster club meeting to add a little fun to the doldrums of the offseason.
Florida head coach Will Muschamp got into the mix on Tuesday. Only this time, he took aim at a team within his own conference.
While speaking to the Gator Club of Jacksonville (Fla.) at the Jacksonville Fair and Expo Center, Muschamp took aim at his alma mater—the Georgia Bulldogs—who have won two straight over Florida after winning only three of the previous 21 meetings (via Florida Times-Union):
"It's not going to be a long winning streak, I can assure you," said Muschamp. "We feel very comfortable...You turn it over six times and give up 17 points, you put yourself in a situation where you can win the game. We fought through a lot of adversity we created for ourselves in the game. It just didn't work out. We turned the ball over two years ago twice inside our 20-yard line, which resulted in 14 points."
Good for Muschamp.
It's absolutely the kind of quote that will add spice to the 2013 edition of the World's Largest Cocktail Party (yes, Dr. Michael Adams, we're still calling it by its proper name).
That kind of confidence and candor is refreshing, especially in a day and age when coaches have toned down the offseason trash talk following SEC commissioner Mike Slive's stern discussion with them in 2009.
This game doesn't need offseason hype to add to its importance. It's a game that has established itself as one of the top rivalries in the SEC, and often carries enormous division title implications.
But a little flavor never hurt anybody.
You can bet your bottom, top and middle dollars that Muschamp's quote will be featured prominently around Butts-Mehre Heritage Hall ahead of Nov. 2, when the two programs meet at EverBank Field in Jacksonville.
This is totally different to Stoops' comments. While they both made waves at booster club events, Muschamp showed precisely how to fire up the fanbase, take shots at a rival and rally the troops in a way that isn't dripping with jealousy and envy.
Florida is in an interesting spot this season.
It jumped back into the national title hunt ahead of schedule last season, posting an 11-1 regular-season record and a berth in the Sugar Bowl—a 33-23 loss to Louisville. Florida danced on the outskirts of the BCS National Championship discussion late into November.
But it wasn't without stress.
The Gator passing game was simply atrocious last season, finishing last in the SEC in passing offense with 146.3 yards per game. In the game against the Bulldogs, quarterback Jeff Driskel averaged just 7.1 yards per attempt, tossed two interceptions and fumbled three times—losing two.
If Muschamp is this confident about upending the Bulldogs, he must be confident that Driskel and offensive coordinator Brent Pease will be able to stretch the field and become two-dimensional.
If that happens, look out SEC East.