Gator Nation: Will Muschamp needs your vote

Wouldn’t it make sense for Florida Gators football coach Will Muschamp to be among the top 20 candidates for a coach of the year award?

Especially a coach of the year award where fan votes count?

After all, the Gators have risen from No. 23 in the preseason to No. 11 in the latest Associated Press Top 25 poll after opening with a 4-0 overall record and 3-0 mark in Southeastern Conference play. That has included come-from-behind road wins against Texas A&M and then-No. 24 Tennessee as well as a convincing 38-0 home win against Kentucky on Saturday.

In addition, the Gator Nation boasts one of the largest fan bases in all of college sports. That, along with Muschamp’s success in only his second season, should be plenty enough to get his name in the running.



As of 3 p.m. on Thursday, Muschamp’s name did not appear in the top 20 for the Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award. The top 20 rankings are based on fan votes only, and even Texas A&M’s Kevin Sumlin came in tied at No. 20 with 76 Aggies voting.

Iowa State’s Paul Rhoads topped the list with 1,470 votes followed Kansas State’s Bill Snyder with 1,132.


The Gator Nation could swallow the combined fan bases of Iowa State and Kansas State with one chomp.

Other notables, as of Thursday afternoon, were Alabama’s Nick Saban at fourth with 759 votes and Georgia’s Mark Richt in seventh with 445 followed by former Florida and current Ohio State coach Urban Meyer in eighth with 423 votes.

Former Gators offensive coordinator and current Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen was ninth with 415 votes followed by LSU’s Les Miles in 10th with 329 votes. Miles, last year’s award winner, and the Tigers come to The Swamp for a 3:30 p.m. kickoff against the Gators on Oct. 6.

Another former Florida assistant, current Louisville coach Charlie Strong, is 13th with 168 votes.

Now that any of the aforementioned coaches are not deserving of recignition, but isn’t Muschamp just as deserving?


Those who agree can cast their votes by clicking here and on Twitter by tweeting your vote with the coach’s full name and the full school name to @imcoachoftheyear with the hashtag #2012COTY and the link:

Here’s an example of how your tweet should look like in order to ensure your vote counts. Feel free to copy and paste onto your timeline:

@GatorCountry I vote Will Muschamp of Florida for @lmcoachofyear #COTY2012

Interestingly enough, fan votes actually count for the actual award, too. They account for 20 percent of the voting while the College Football Hall of Fame committee’s votes are worth 55 percent and media votes make up the remaining 25 percent.

According to the web site, “The Liberty Mutual Coach of the Year Award recognizes college football coaches who demonstrate Sportsmanship, Integrity, Responsibility and Excellence both on and off the field. Endorsed by the College Football Hall of Fame, the program awards one winning coach from each NCAA division (I-FBS, I-FCS, II, and III) with $50,000 to donate to a charity of their choice, a $20,000 grant to each school’s alumni association, and the Coach of the Year trophy.”

Initial fan voting ends Nov. 30 and finalists will be selected Dec. 3. There then will be another round of voting for the finalists only Dec. 4-20 with the winner announced on July 7, 2013.

Here’s how the votes stacked up as of 3 p.m. on Thursday:

1.  Paul Rhoads, Iowa State University — 

2. Bill Snyder, Kansas State University
 — 1,132

3. Brian Kelly, Notre Dame
 — 1,030

4. Nick Saban, University of Alabama — 

5. Dabo Swinney, Clemson University
— 640

6. Dana Holgorsen, West Virginia University —

7. Mark Richt, University of Georgia 
— 445

8. Urban Meyer, Ohio State University 
— 423

9. Dan Mullen, Mississippi State University — 

10. Les Miles, LSU
 — 329

11. Mark Hudspeth, University of Louisiana
 — 298

12. Brady Hoke, University of Michigan
 — 231

13. Charlie Strong, University of Louisville
 — 168

14. Mack Brown, Texas
 — 165

15. Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State University — 

16. Jim Mora, UCLA
 — 86

17. Jimbo Fisher, Florida State University 
— 84

18. Mark Dantonio, Michigan State University — 

t-19. Chip Kelly, University of Oregon
 — 76

t-19.  Kevin Sumlin, Texas A&M University — 76

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Mike Capshaw brings a wealth of experience to the Gator Country team. He’s been overseeing all editorial aspects of and Gator Country magazine by managing our team of staffers, interns and freelancers. He is now moving into a bigger role as a reporter by covering the football and basketball beats as well as providing coverage of all sports on campus. Mike’s 15 years in the business has included more than six years of covering SEC sports and recruiting at a daily newspaper in Arkansas. He has also helped launch a newspaper, magazines, websites and even a sports talk radio show. Because Mike puts family ahead of his career, he left the place where he was established when his wife received an opportunity to further her career at UF. He took a leap of faith that he could find a job in the Gainesville area and worked for a year at a newspaper group before joining the Gator Country family in November, 2011. Mike has won Florida Press Association awards for Best Sports Game Story and Best Sports Feature Story in the past two years as well as a company-wide award at his former newspaper group that includes some 60 publications, for Excellence in Sports Reporting. You can follow Mike on Twitter at @MikeCapshawGC.