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5 Reasons Florida was Justified in Parting Ways with Jim McElwain

Jim McElwain

Jim McElwain

Florida officially parted ways with head coach Jim McElwain on Sunday after a he made allegations that death threats were made against himself, his family and his players. However, he never reported them to university officials and they could not be substantiated. Those allegations are one of five reasons the University of Florida was justified in making the decision it did on McElwain.

Florida Football Schedule: Jim McElwain

5. SEC East stinks

Okay, so Florida did win back-to-back SEC East titles under McElwain. The Gators also had four losses either time and were no match for Alabama either time they played for the SEC championship. In addition, their toughest competition in the division, Tennessee and Georgia, both finished with three losses in 2015 and four losses in '16. All in all, Florida was winning an SEC East that had been irrelevant in the national championship picture since 2012.

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4. Saturday’s loss to Georgia

If ever a game felt like a watershed moment in real time, it was Georgia’s 42-7 thrashing of Florida in Jacksonville last weekend. Coming into the game, Florida had lost to Georgia only six times in the last 20 years and had won the last three games. Saturday’s beatdown made it clear that Georgia was laying its claim to become the preeminent power in the SEC East and Florida under McElwain could not keep up.

3. No offense

Before becoming a head coach at Colorado State, McElwain had more than 20 years experience as an offensive coordinator or position coach. However, his three teams in Gainesville ranked 100th or worse nationally in scoring offense. McElwain was able to get by with such atrocious offenses in 2015 and '16, but it appeared the chickens were coming home to roost for the 3-4 Gators this season.

2. “Death threats”

It is easy to believe that somebody in north Florida could make death threats against McElwain, his family and his players. But one would also assume that whoever did is not a Day of the Jackal-type operative and could easily be found. The fact that McElwain made this statement and it could not be substantiated is quite disturbing. We sadly live in an era where politicians can get away with making false statements to divert attention. Head coaches at high-profile programs in the midst of a poor season do not have that same luxury.

1. Florida expects more

Whether there were death threats or not, McElwain was not living up to expectations. Florida is one of the best gigs in college football and the Gators' coaching staff can pull together a top-five recruiting class without having to drive more than 90 miles away from Gainesville. The school also has amazing facilities and one of the biggest athletic budgets in college football. Florida and its fans expect more from their head coaches, as they should.

— Written by Aaron Tallent, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network. Tallent is a writer whose articles have appeared in The Sweet Science, FOX Sports’ Outkick the Coverage, Liberty Island and The Washington Post. Follow him on Twitter at @AaronTallent.