South Carolina gives Will Muschamp vote of confidence they probably already regret

Will Muschamp, South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
Will Muschamp, South Carolina Gamecocks. (Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

South Carolina gave Will Muschamp the dreaded vote of confidence, so is he really safe or is there a chance he could be let go if the Gamecocks keep losing?

It seems like only yesterday that Will Muschamp looked to be the right fit as the head coach of the South Carolina Gamecocks. He had his team as the second-best team in the SEC East after only the division rival Georgia Bulldogs back, as the Florida Gators were transitioning from Jim McElwain to Dan Mullen. But South Carolina Athletic Director Ray Tanner released a statement on Friday, giving Muschamp the dreaded vote of confidence.

“Today, I want to make it clear that WIll Muschamp is our football coach and will be our coach going forward. President Caslen and I are fully supportive of his leadership and his development of student-athletes on and off the field. Coach Muschamp and our staff are dedicated to the success of Gamecock football. They have built a program where our team plays for each other and for our University, and they deserve our support. While we wish the outcome of some of our games would have been different, we are excited about the future of our program.”

South Carolina finds itself in a rough spot at 4-6. While stunning Georgia in Athens a few weeks ago was the signature upset of the year, the Gamecocks must win their next two games to achieve bowl eligibility at 6-6. That being said, South Carolina will not do any better than 5-7. South Carolina won’t win its season finale against the Clemson Tigers by any stretch of the imagination.

The only semi-winnable game left on the Gamecocks’ plate this year will be on the road against the cross-divisional Texas A&M Aggies at Kyle Field. Texas A&M is 6-3 this year, but all the Aggies’ losses are to top-tier teams in college football in Clemson, the Auburn Tigers and the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Despite the vote of confidence, things will get worse for Muschamp. Is he really as safe as this statement suggests or is there a chance South Carolina boosters convince Tanner that firing Muschamp is the only decision?

You are what your record says you are. South Carolina is a sub-.500 team that has disappointed under Muschamp. If South Carolina can beat Texas A&M, he really should feel safe. Gamecocks can’t beat Clemson and Muschamp is really tight with South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner. So his relationship with his athletic director is more important than anything.

Patience is often lost in college athletics but will South Carolina regret keeping Muschamp rather than making a coaching change?

The Gamecocks would be intriguing to former head coaches, up and coming coordinators or a program builder from the Group of 5. That’s not to say Muschamp is better or worse than any of those three. He is a retread head coach after failing with Florida and was a career coordinator at several stops before that.

But South Carolina has to be sure he’s not the answer and must have three candidates lined up they believe will take the job. That is the most important thing when looking to replace Muschamp.

Who do you believe will say yes?

If Muschamp is safe, that could also signal the potential candidates South Carolina is interested in aren’t as interested in South Carolina.

South Carolina is the second-best program in the state, fourth-best in the SEC East and eighth-best job in the SEC. Steve Spurrier is not walking through that door and Mark Dantonio may be too old to save his sunken alma mater.

Muschamp keeping his job will be about as useful for South Carolina as putting a band-aid over a gaping flesh wound.

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