Jim McElwain UF

Florida’s current head coach and previous head coach are engaging in a cold war over the state of the Gators’ roster, and it’s been highly entertaining.

First, let’s go back to Will Muschamp’s outgoing press conference way back on Nov. 17 of last year. Despite Florida’s 6-5 finish to the 2014 season, Muschamp insisted the roster he left behind was ready made to win in 2015. “They’ve got a deep and talented roster, so don’t let that new guy tell you he ain’t got any players. I can tell you that right now,” Muschamp said at the time. “There are some good football players in that locker room.”

A couple weeks later, McElwain arrived in Gainesville and confidently proclaimed he could win no matter what or was not left behind in the locker room. “You got to understand this. I believe I can win with my dog Claribelle,” McElwain said on Dec. 6. “That’s the attitude. There’s good players here. That’s just our responsibility to get that going.”

Now let’s fast forward nearly five months. McElwain’s had a chance to look under the hood, turn the engine a few times and take his new team for a spin… and he’s slowly backed away from the blind enthusiasm he showed back in December.  “You’ve got to play the hand you’re dealt. And right now, quite honestly, the hand we were dealt is really insufficient at some of the areas,” McElwain said last week.

However, Muschamp is holding his successor to his previous comments. “He said he could coach a dog and win,” the new Auburn defensive coordinator said Thursday. “Heck, he likes a dog better than his players?”

This is clearly two coaches’ self-interests bumping up against each other rather than a personal war of words. It clearly benefits both coaches if Florida is successful in 2015, but each coach would like to deflect blame away from himself in the event that does not happen.

I don’t know about you, but this makes me look forward to the next game between Florida and Auburn in… 2019? What?

(HT CBS Sports)

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National columnist - Zach joined the staff in 2012...and has been attempting to improve Doug and Scott's writing ability ever since (to little avail). Outside of football season, you can find him watching the San Antonio Spurs reading Game of Thrones fan theories.