November 22, 2014

Florida Gators
INSIDE SLANT

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  Florida coach Will Muschamp had a feeling his fate was sealed following a 23-20 overtime loss to South Carolina.

Muschamp understood he didn't win enough during his tenure to fit UF's long-term goals. That's why Florida announced on Sunday that Muschamp will be fired effective the end of the 2014 season.

Muschamp will coach Saturday's game on Senior Day at home against Eastern Kentucky and UF's season finale at Florida State, but will not coach in the bowl game if the Gators become bowl eligible. Florida (5-4, 4-4 SEC) can earn a bowl berth with one win in its last two games.

The loss dropped Muschamp's record to 27-20 at Florida and was UF's sixth loss in its last eight home games. Muschamp's high-water mark was leading the Gators to an 11-2 mark in 2012, but since Florida has been a pedestrian 9-12.

"I know this locker room is better than it was four years ago," Muschamp said. "There's no question about that and where we've come. I appreciate our players and how they've handled a very difficult season. You come off a 4-8 year, regardless of the circumstances last year, and you go into this year, and there's little margin for error. There's a bull's-eye on you. Everything is magnified to the N'th degree."

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley said he has not set a timetable on Muschamp's replacement and has yet to contact any potential candidates.

"We'd obviously like an individual that's been successful on the offensive side of the ball," Foley said. "I think that's obviously what the Gator Nation wants. That's what we're going to try to provide for them."

Senior Florida linebacker Michael Taylor said the goal for the team Saturday is to earn a bowl berth and send Muschamp out a winner at home.

"Emotions will run high because it will be my last home game," Taylor said. "It'll be an emotional game. You know, the main goal is to get the victory and go out as a winner in the Swamp. That should be the main thing. In honor of all the people who have supported us, who have cheered for us. Honor all of the people who came in with us and are still here.