He may not have been the first choice, but it's clear that Will Muschamp is the "hero we deserve" at South Carolina. USC and Muschamp share a lot in common - both on and off the field. It's these qualities that make the former Auburn defensive coordinator the near-perfect hire at South Carolina.
Though not one of college football’s traditional blue bloods, South Carolina routinely ranks among the top programs in the nation in terms of annual revenue and attendance. USC’s athletic department ranked No. 22 on USA Today’s latest NCAA finances report. The 2014 campaign, during which the Gamecocks dropped to 7-6 from a 11-2 2013 season, saw USC rank No. 16 overall for average home attendance.
There’s a reason people (rather, haters) use "The hubris of Alabama and the trophy case of Vanderbilt" to describe USC fans. We are a unique group. Loud and proud, though in the eyes of some we may not have too much to boast about. Here’s where Muschamp and his fiery demeanor match up perfectly with USC. He’s not known for his laissez-faire attitude. And that may be exactly what Gamecock fans need after two frustrating seasons.
As mentioned above, the Gamecocks traditionally don’t belong in the conversation of college football’s elite. Florida, Georgia, Auburn, Alabama - SEC powerhouses that thumb their collective noses at South Carolina. You know who else is mocked by the media? Ridiculed by NCAA royalty? Motivated by naysayers? The new HBC...the Head Bill Coach, that is.
Read any national media site and you'll find dozens of pundits questioning the decision to bring Muschamp just one year after getting fired by Florida. Ray Tanner probably hears it. USC fans hear it. Muschamp surely hears it. One can assume Muschamp understands how much faith and trust Tanner has put in him - making him even more motivated to prove USC right for giving him a second chance.
The last two seasons the South Carolina defense has struggled. Actually...struggle is an understatement. They have absolutely failed to live up to the expectations we have for a South Carolina defense that Ellis Johnson established for us from 2008-2011. In 2014 the South Carolina defense gave up an astonishing 30.4 PPG and, while they improved in 2015, it wasn’t by much as the 2015 South Carolina defense gave up 27.5 PPG.
Will Muschamp, along with the excellent defensive staff he will bring in, is going to fix that sooner rather than later. Muschamp’s defenses at Florida never gave up more than 21.1 PPG. Don’t be surprised if South Carolina is playing much better defensive ball next year.
There’s really only one way to say it. Muschamp simply knows how to recruit and he’s tireless at it. According to 247Sports, Florida never finished lower than 10th nationally in recruiting rankings and also finished #3 in recruiting in the 2013 class.
Couple his recruiting acumen with South Carolina’s brand new facilities and a potential staff that can bring recruiting into the 21st century (sends angry look at Spurrier Jr.), I think South Carolina has a chance to be absolutely loaded with talent in a couple of years.