Here comes the Boom!
Well actually the Boom is leaving Gainesville, but the Auburn Tigers are celebrating the return of Will Muschamp, Coach Boom, as their defensive coordinator.
Muschamp first served a stint as a graduate assistant at Auburn from 1995-1996 and then as was the defensive coordinator for the Tigers from 2006-2007.
Muschamp was fired as the University of Florida head coach on November 16, 2014 while in the midst of his fourth season with the Gators. He finished out the regular season and then reportedly took time away with his family out of the country.
The past couple of weeks have been rout with rumors about where Muschamp would land. The college football media world took a small reprieve to announce the hiring of Jim McElwain as the new Gators head coach, and then returned to speculation and misplaced reports concerning Muschamp.
At one point he was headed to Columbia to be Spurrier’s defensive coordinator and head coach in waiting.
Then he was weighing competing offers from Auburn and Texas A&M (that one may have actually happened).
At one point, about 10 hours before he was officially hired by Auburn, he was apparently interviewing for the head coaching position at Houston.
All of these rumors were most likely placed by Muschamps agent Jimmy Sexton in order to drive up the price tag to snag ole Willy, but it also speaks to just how highly those in college football still think of Will Muschamp. The man is a hot commodity as a defensive coordinator and the school that finally picked him up would be a very lucky one indeed.
He may have fallen on his face in The Swamp, and that’s something that will understandably be hard to forget for Florida fans.
While his defense was consistently stellar, the offense slowed things down considerably and became a poison that spread and couldn’t be eradicated.
In 2014, the Gators offense was ranked 91st in the country in total offense and turned the ball over 21 times.
But Auburn fans have a long memory as well and for years they have harkened back to what a great defensive powerhouse the Tigers were under Will Muschamp, and how glaringly obvious the difference has been since he left.
When Muschamp was at Auburn, the program had a Top 10 defense both years.
In fact, every stop Muschamp has made along his coaching trail, he’s been able to field a top 20 defense nearly every year.
*Total defense is an average of points allowed, yards allowed and yards per play among other things. All of the following stats have been gathered from the official NCAA statistical rankings.
His first year on the plains, Muschamps defense was 19th in the country, holding teams to 292 yards per game.
In 2007, the Tigers jumped to 6th in the country.
Following that season, Muschamp went to Texas to become DC and head coach in waiting. He had a lot of work to do and that first year, 2008, his defense was 51st in the country, allowing 342 yards per game.
In 2009 though, the Longhorns made a HUGE jump, and the defense finished 3rd in the country, allowing an average of 257 yards per game. They lost only one game that year, to Alabama for the National Championship.
Muschamps last year in Austin, 2010, Texas finished with the 6th best defense in the country.
Then it was Muschamp time in Gainesville. 2011 saw Muschamp keep a steady defense left over from Meyer and come in 8th in the nation.
In 2012, he took the defense to 5th in the country, allowing 287 yards per game and essentially being why the Gators were able to win 11 games that season.
The NCAA website doesn’t have stats posted in their historical archives yet from 2013.
In 2014 though, the Gators were able to finish the regular season with the 9th best total defense in the country.
Now he’ll take that talent back the prettiest little village on the plains and team up with Gus Malzahan. That thought should be scary for opposing SEC teams. Yes I’ve seen the numbers reminding us all what Alabama was able to do against a Will Muschamp defense in 2014. But perhaps it’s also in the Crimson Tide we see why Muschamp returning to a DC position at Auburn should be at least slightly worrisome for the Tide. For it’s Alabama that has lit up the scoreboard this past season with their new offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin.
Kiffin was making enemies and failing in the most grandiose ways as a head coach just a couple of years ago. Once he took a step back though, and didn’t have to deal with the responsibilities and tasks of the head coach and only had to focus on the X’s & O’s, which he understood, then he began to flourish again. And now he’ll get to flourish even more in the first College Football Playoff. Which Bama got to thanks in large part to its ability to outscore opponents in a big way this season. Opponents like Auburn, who got beat at it’s own offensive game in this years Iron Bowl when Kiffin began throwing it all over the field and the Tigers didn’t have a defense that could stop it. See how I brought that full circle?
But now the Boom is returning and with it/him comes excitement that will bubble over until kickoff 2015. For Gators fans, the biggest question is whether there will also be some assistant coaches coming with him from Gainesville as well. Those questions should all be answered by Christmas.
The Gators won’t face Auburn in the regular season until 2019. The two teams could feasibly face off in an SEC Championship game prior to that. That would be the best case scenario for Gator fans to face their former coach while he’s still at Auburn.
With the ability to learn a couple of years under Malzahan, who is by many standards one of the smartest offensive minds in football, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Muschamp take a head coaching job again sooner rather than later. Although it will most likely be at a much smaller school than Florida.
When Auburn announced the hiring I quickly received a phone call from my father. It’s probably here where I should mention the majority of my family is Auburn fans. He just wanted to give me a quick ring to tell me how excited he was. Muschamp was back and between him and Gus, Auburn was about to be unstoppable.
After hanging up with him, I gave my Granma a call.
“Hello”, she answered.
“Guess who your new defensive coordinator is?” I asked her.
“Are you serious?” she screamed. “Oh yes Merry Christmas!”
This is what Will Muschamp brings back to Auburn. A defense that rounds out an already potent offense. A fire on the sideline that Gus Malzahn was struggling to keep burning on his own with no help from his past coordinators. Excitement, and of course a little Boom.
*Warning: This video contains expletive language