South Carolina fired head coach Will Muschamp on Sunday after a 59-42 loss to Ole Miss. Offensive coordinator Mike Bobo will coach the team through the remainder of the season. Since taking over the program in 2016, Muschamp had gone 28-30, making his overall record at both South Carolina and Florida 56-51. Here are five reasons the program was justified in firing Muschamp.
5. A terrible 2020 season
Given the COVID-19 pandemic and an all-SEC schedule, one could expect that the Gamecocks would struggle a bit more this season, but Muschamp is leaving a team that is spiraling. After starting the season 2-2, South Carolina has dropped three straight games, giving up more than 50 points to fledgling LSU and Ole Miss and getting blown out 41-7 by Texas A&M. While this college football season is unique, coaches can't simply be given mulligans because of it.
South Carolina fans are some of the nicest and most patient fans in college football, except for the week the Gamecocks play Clemson. Muschamp did not deliver in this area, as South Carolina lost four straight games under him by scores of 56-7, 34-10, 56-35, and 38-3. The Gamecocks will not be playing the Tigers this year for the first time since 1908, and even though it is a shame that this tradition has been interrupted, I imagine South Carolina fans are breathing a sigh of relief.
3. Steve Spurrier
Muschamp had the misfortune of following the most successful coach in the program's history. Steve Spurrier resigned in 2015 in the middle of a 2-4 season, but prior to that, he had led the team to nine bowl games in 10 seasons and an SEC East title in 2010. He also never had a losing season, while his successor was in the middle of his second straight one. With the success of the "Ole Ball Coach," South Carolina fans expect more than they would have, say, 15 years ago.
2. His losing record
The Gamecocks made bowls in Muschamp's first three seasons but never finished in the Top 25. They went 4-8 in 2019 and are 2-5 this season. He leaves the program with a 28-30 overall record (17-22 SEC) and went 1-4 against Florida, 1-4 against Georgia, 0-5 against Texas A&M, and 0-4 against Clemson.
1. We've seen this before
After Urban Meyer left Florida in 2011, Muschamp inherited a program on good footing with marquee players. The Gators went 11-2 and made the Sugar Bowl in 2012 but went 4-8 the next season. After going 6-5 in 2014, Muschamp stepped down as head coach. It appeared that history was repeating itself in Columbia.
— 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.