Muschamp not complaining
Coach knows Gators missed their chance at BCS title game with Georgia loss
GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida coach Will Muschamp made a statement about his team's résumé in the moments after the Gators' victory over the Florida State Seminoles on Nov. 24.
But other than that, Muschamp has not spent any time politicking for the Gators to be in the BCS National Championship Game. Not before Saturday's SEC championship game and not after Florida finished No. 3 in the final BCS standings and was sent to the Allstate Sugar Bowl to play Big East champ No. 21 Louisville.
Politicking -- or complaining -- is pointless, because being one spot out of a berth in the BCS National Championship Game is the Gators' own fault.
"It is what it is," Muschamp said Sunday night. "The system we have in place is what we have. We had our opportunity in Jacksonville and didn't quite get it done to get into the national championship game."
Muschamp is talking about Florida's 17-9 loss to Georgia at EverBank Field on Oct 27. The Gators (11-1) turned the ball over six times -- including four from the hands of QB Jeff Driskel -- and lost to the Bulldogs for the second year in a row. UF was driving for the potential game-tying score in the final minutes before turnover No. 6, a fumble by tight end Jordan Reed as he was inside the Georgia 5-yard line.
That was the Gators' lone blemish on an otherwise impressive résumé. They have victories over four other teams ranked in the BCS top 12 (LSU, Texas A&M, South Carolina and Florida State), two of which came on the road.
"Our record speaks for itself," Muschamp said. "So I don't feel like you need to politick much, other than put your shirt on and show where you are and who you are."
Muschamp has a unique perspective on the BCS, because he has been on both sides of the numbers. Muschamp was LSU's defensive coordinator in 2003 when the one-loss Tigers were selected to play one-loss Oklahoma in the BCS title game despite Southern California also having one loss and being ranked No. 1 in both the coaches' poll and the Associated Press top 25.
In 2008, however, Muschamp found out how USC must have felt. Muschamp was Texas' defensive coordinator when the one-loss Longhorns did not play in the Big 12 championship game, an honor that went to one-loss Oklahoma. Texas had been the team that gave the Sooners that loss but lost out on a controversial tiebreaker. OU went on to win the conference title and earn a spot in the BCS title game against Florida.
Even after experiencing that snub, Muschamp won't complain about the Gators not getting a shot to play Alabama or Notre Dame for the national title, because he says his team was well aware that it needed to beat Georgia to win the SEC's Eastern Division and have a chance to make the national title game. That way they wouldn't have to rely on computers and polls and other teams losing.
"We all sit there before the season and we agree on all these rules and this is what we're going to do," Muschamp said. "I'm not saying we have to like them, but when we sit down and agree with something, and then at the end of the day we want to complain about the rules I mean, we started the season understanding the rules of engagement."
The only thing Muschamp will admit to is disliking the rule that allows only two teams from a conference to play in a BCS bowl game. Georgia, which won the Eastern Division and lost to Alabama on the game's final play, is playing in the Capital One Bowl despite having beaten Florida.
"I am frustrated from the standpoint of playing in our league and being limited to only two teams getting in," Muschamp said. "I think [Louisville coach] Charlie [Strong] would feel the same way having coached in this league and understanding how difficult it is. But these are the rules we started the year with, and so be it."
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