Florida Football: Gators Looking to Move Forward with Will Muschamp

D. PritchardContributor IDecember 5, 2011

JACKSONVILLE, FL - OCTOBER 29:  Head coach Will Muschamp of the Florida Gators points during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs  at EverBank Field on October 29, 2011 in Jacksonville, Florida.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

The 2011 football season has been painful for Gator Nation. The sad thing is this year's collapse is the second in a row. And now, the fall from grace is official.

To add salt to the wound, Urban Meyer needed all of one year with his family to suffice his "spend time with my family" needs, and has now bolted to Ohio State.

For all of his accomplishments, this situation was handled in classic Meyer style, repeated lying and constant wavering. As every bridge up Interstate 75 burns behind him, the Gators can now officially cut him lose and begin the rebuilding process.

Don't get me wrong, what Meyer did during his tenure in Gainesville was remarkable, but since the 2009 SEC Championship Game, the Gators have been in complete disarray, with Meyer stepping away, wiping his hands of all of it.

With the Gators scheduled to play Ohio State in the upcoming Gator Bowl, the Meyer drama will continue to linger. However, for all things great Meyer brought to Gator Nation, we want to hear his name no longer.

Will Muschamp took over in Gainesville, promising the Gators will be a blue-collar team and outwork their opponents. This wasn't exactly the case in 2011. For all his efforts, Muschamp was fighting an uphill battle from the start.

The Gators were very young in the secondary, very thin on the line, they still had John Brantley at quarterback, and two true freshmen behind him. And apparently, no true running back on the roster. Not to mention, having Alabama and LSU on the schedule, the two most impressive teams in recent memory.

The Gators return ten starters on defense for 2012.
The Gators return ten starters on defense for 2012.Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

For all the promise the defense showed, the offense was terrible. I mean, no excuse, terrible. Charlie Weis and the offense staff showed as much creativity as a Pop Warner team this fall. The offensive line looked like a Notre Dame offensive line, doh, wait a minute!

The Gators have to improve vastly on offense and the 2012 recruiting class could start the process. There are some very big names left on the board that Muschamp and company are targeting, some of them have the skill set to contribute immediately.

Muschamp has even suggested he would like to sign up to 32 in this class, which would no doubt put the class as the best in the nation.

This recruiting season is the most important recruiting season since 2005 for the Gators. The fall from grace has been sharp, but one thing is for certain, Muschamp is not walking away, he's digging in for the long haul. Gator Nation should be thankful for that.

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