Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators: The Impact of Will Muschamp's Guarantee

Andrew HallCorrespondent IIIMay 25, 2011

Muschamp is confident coming into his first year as the Gator's head man.
Muschamp is confident coming into his first year as the Gator's head man.Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Last week, new Florida Gators head coach Will Muschamp visited Georgia for the annual meeting of the Atlanta Gator Club.  While entertaining the audience, breaking down spring practice and giving an outlook of where the Gators are headed, Muschamp was asked if he could guarantee a Florida victory over Georgia.  His response, “I certainly can.”

Such a proclamation is bold for any first-year head coach to make, especially against a rival and even more so in the state of said rival.  However, it’s hard to argue with Muschamp’s confidence. While Florida struggled last season and there is an entirely new regime in Gainesville, the Gators have dominated against the Bulldogs for the past 20-plus years. 

Of course, news of this guarantee reached Mark Richt pretty quickly.  When asked about the remark made by Muschamp, a former Bulldog, Richt simply responded, “I thought that was a good thing.” 

For the first time in a few seasons, I fully agree with Mark Richt.  The Bulldogs have struggled against rivals and in big games for the past several years, and I think a major contributing factor to those shortcomings has been Richt’s inability to get the team fired up for such games.  The Dawgs have consistently come out sluggish and run out of steam in the fourth quarter.  So, I would love to see Will Muschamp’s comment motivate the Bulldogs

If Richt can’t fire up the Dawgs, then I’m fine with the Gators’ head man doing it.  I think Muschamp’s guarantee can and will motivate the Bulldogs during their offseason conditioning, two-a-days and practices.  I hope that Muschamp’s arrival in Gainesville serves as the downfall of Florida in this rivalry to the same extent that Steve Spurrier’s arrival marked the rise of the Gators. 

I think Muschamp’s comment will prove to be a rookie mistake, and I hope that Mark Richt and the Bulldogs can capitalize off of such a statement.  If the Dawgs can pull out a victory in Jacksonville, then I think Bulldog Nation would agree that Muschamp's guarantee will indeed have been "a good thing."

Maybe next year Richt could be guaranteeing victories rather than clinging to his job.

So what do you think?  Can the Dawgs use Muschamp's comment as motivation and turn around their luck against the Gators?  Or will Muschamp be vindicated in his confidence?