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March 16, 2011
Smith: Spring Practice Breakdown
The last time Florida had to replace a legend, athletic director Jeremy Foley fell Zook, line and sinker for the wrong coach.
This time, he appears to have landed a prize-winning bass. Will Muschamp and Ron Zook share nothing more than surface similarities - both were defensive coordinators and neither had been a head coach when they accepted the Florida job.
But Muschamp never has been demoted for poor performance, as Zook was by Steve Spurrier in 1994. Muschamp's defenses never have made mediocre quarterbacks look like the second coming of Joe Montana, as Zook's did to the likes of Jamie Howard and Todd Jordan in 1993.
Muschamp was in the top one percent of one percent among college defensive coordinators and the head coach in waiting at Texas. Foley reeled him in when he had the chance, and the Muschamp era begins in earnest today.
It's an exciting time, but unfortunately none of us will get to see anything until the Orange and Blue game since Florida has closed spring practice to fans and reporters for the first time in school history.
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