You could almost see it coming, that mini-meltdown Florida coach Will Muschamp had after the Gators’ final preseason scrimmage Wednesday.
This is what happens at the end of camp, when a coach feels the need to get the attention of a team that has pretty much been hearing nothing but good things about it for weeks. Nothing like a little buzz kill to get everyone refocused and back to reality with the season about to start.
When Steve Spurrier was at Florida, he used to get on the media boys occasionally if he felt there were too many positive stories coming out about the Gators. He feared his players would believe everything they were reading and grow complacent. He said that had been a big problem at UF in the past, when the great expectations were never reached, including when Spurrier was playing for the Gators.
I think this is where Muschamp was at heading into that final scrimmage. Up until that point, almost all camp headlines were positive (as were most of the quotes from Muschamp). John Brantley is on fire, the offense is clicking, the defensive line is dominant, the offensive line has come around, the offense is game ready … and on and on and on.
I think Mushcamp was starting to sense that the players were starting to almost feel too good about themselves and might lose their edge, their focus. Maybe he felt it was time to grab the Gators by the shoulder pads and shake some sense into them — which he apparently did with his post-scrimmage comments Wednesday night.
Here’s another thing that I think irked Muschamp a little bit: information leaking that he did not want out there, like the revelation last week that Chris Rainey, Jeff Demps and Trey Burton were lining up at quarterback in the Wildcat formation.
Muschamp said before the start of camp that UF football would have one voice — his. That voice spoke loud and clear Wednesday night, telling the Gators it’s time to get serious, time to get focused, time to stoke the competitive fire because the season is here now.