After getting drilled in the “Please Don’t Call it an Outdoor Cocktail Party” 42-7 to rival Georgia the buzzards began to circle around Florida head coach Jim McElwain. Now according to sources who spoke with FootballScoop, McElwain is out as coach of the Gators after the team dropped three straight games.
FootballScoop has learned Jim McElwain and Florida are parting ways https://t.co/wQ1HD65CtC
— FootballScoop Staff (@FootballScoop) October 29, 2017
The terms of the dismissal aren’t known yet, but there was a meeting between McElwain and the top Florida brass on Sunday morning. Reports were coming in that Florida was looking to fire McElwain for cause after he failed to substantiate claims that the team was receiving death threats leading up to the Georgia game. Whether Florida was able to fire him with cause hasn’t been determined. If they aren’t able to part ways with cause, the Gators have a heavy buy out to pay.
It’s crazy to see the Gators in this position. McElwain led the program to back to back SEC East titles in his first two seasons. His inability to figure out an offense and get consistency at QB certainly is what hurt the team this year. That along with a slew of legal problems around several players added straw to the pile.
What’s the next step for Florida? First off is figuring out who the interim will be. That likely will go to defensive coordinator Randy Shannon, the former University of Miami head coach. As for the next coach in Gainesville. Well the obvious first name that will arise is going to be Dan Mullen. Florida AD Scott Stricklin is already well familiar with Mullen while he was at Mississippi State. Of course Mullen was the former offensive coordinator under Urban Meyer at Florida when they had their best success. Mullen certainly is going to be talked about as being the top candidate.
One more name that will likely surface, though perhaps a longer shot is UCF head coach Scott Frost, who has the Knights unbeaten thus far this season and has turned that program around in short order.
We will keep you posted on more details surrounding the story.
Gators announced home and home series with Cal Friday
The Florida Gators continued their philosophy of striking “home-and-home” deals with Power 5 opposition, when they announced on Friday that they will be doing so with the Cal-Berkley Bears out of the Pac-12 coming later in this decade.
The Gators made the announcement through their website and social media mid-day Friday that they will play Cal at home first and then travel to Berkeley the following year:
Coast to coast❗
🐻 at 🐊 2026
🐊 at 🐻 2027#GoGators
— Gators Football (@GatorsFB) February 7, 2020
A.D. Scott Stricklin has broken up the long tradition that Florida would only play two home out of conference games in September and usually, against much lesser competition before entering SEC play. Stricklin has been very outspoken that in the age of the College Football Playoff, strength of schedule is emphasized and the selection committee holds schools responsible for not playing top-notch out of conference opponents, at least some of the time.
With that in mind, the Gators opened the 2019 season in Orlando against the Miami Hurricanes and won a sloppy game. And, they already have other Power 5 schools laid out to play home and away.
As we previously wrote, Florida will be playing the Texas Longhorns first in Gainesville in 2030 and then. return the game the following year in Austin.
Florida had previously announced last year that they will also play the Colorado Buffaloes out of the Pac-12, again with the first game in Gainesville in 2028 and then, returning it to Boulder the following season.
It’s interesting with Friday’s announcement that Stricklin and the football program are working backwards with the schedule. And, they will now play Cal before Colorado in September of 2026, and then will be opening on the Berkeley campus the following season.
Florida and Cal have only met two times, having played first in Gainesville in 1974 as the Gators wo 21 – 17 and then, they also met in Tampa to open the 1980 season with a Florida 41-13 blowout victory.
Second National Signing Day recap for top state schools
National Signing Day 2020 has come and gone, and several in state schools were able to improve their classes heading into spring ball. The University of Florida watched rival Georgia secure the number one overall class, but the Gators were still able to land the best class in the state with the number eight class overall.
The Gators officially signed former five-star receiver Justin Shorter from Penn State, and Florida stayed in the family today as well, Xzavier Henderson officially joined the Gators. He’s the ounger brother of former DB C.J. Henderson.
Dan Mullen also able to dip into the state of Texas inking four-star DE Princely Umanmielen. It wasn’t all great news for the Gators, as they missed out on a few key guys, including losing out on arguably top state safety Avantae Williams to in state rival Miami. Overall it was a good cycle for the Gators both recruiting and in the transfer portal.
The Miami Hurricanes continued an impressive offseason on National Signing Day. The Canes made arguably the biggest move in the state by landing Williams and keeping him Florida. Williams became the highest rated Hurricane in the class and propelled the U to the number 13 spot.
Miami has the second-best class in the ACC behind Clemson. With an impressive offseason in the books, once again excitement will be in the air in Coral Gables. The question is: will they live up to it in year two for Manny Diaz?
Florida State and new coach Mike Norvell have been working hard to get this class rolling last minute. After a good early National Signing Day Norvell looked to keep the momentum going. The Noles took a big hit Wednesday though, with the loss of Venice four star WR, Malachi Wideman, who flipped to Tennessee.
The Noles came back from that by landing a handful of other recruits. They got the number six Juco running back La’Damian Webb, ass well as, Robert Scott, an offensive lineman and Corey Wren, an athlete/running back.
Replacing Cam Akers will be tough for Norvell and building the offensive line is a top priority. The former Memphis coach came in late like he did, yet he finishes with a decent class sitting at 22 on 24/7.
Now the work begins turning around the former powerhouse.