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SHOULD SOUTH CAROLINA HIRE WILL MUSCHAMP OR THIS HALF-MILE INFESTATION OF BABY SPIDERS

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A DEBATE IN TWO PARTS

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OPINION: WILL MUSCHAMP MIGHT BE A SECRETLY GREAT HIRE FOR THE GAMECOCKS

By Ryan Nanni

28-21 overall, 17-15 in the SEC, and 1-1 in bowl games. These were the numbers Will Muschamp put up at Florida, and they're the best argument against him getting a Power 5 job just a year after getting fired. You know me, and you know that I am not a Will Muschamp apologist. His offenses are miserable to watch. He is petulant and prone to freaking the fuck out in a way that makes you wonder if he's trying to summon a rhinoceros made of fire using only his mind.

And yet! This might be a fantastic move for South Carolina. Consider that, in his four seasons at Florida, Muschamp had three different offensive coordinators, which made it nearly impossible for that side of the ball to develop over time in any meaningful way. Combine that with the generally accepted mess of a locker room he inherited from the Meyer regime and some generally horrific injury luck, and the picture of Will Muschamp's Gainesville tenure starts to make a little more sense. It's not a GOOD picture, mind you. But it's easier to explain.

Yes, if you make this move, you're hoping that Muschamp learned something from his first run as a head coach. That's a risk. With that risk comes an almost certain improvement on defense; three of Muschamp's four defenses at UF were top ten units nationally. South Carolina's 13th in the SEC this year in yards per play allowed, and their run defense ranks 110th.

Then there are the expectations. At Florida, Will Muschamp was following a coach who'd won two national titles and had been plucked away from Texas when being head coach in waiting for the Longhorns was an honor instead of an unusual condition of prison release. At South Carolina? He's following a legend, sure, but one who barely made a bowl game last season and then quit halfway into this one. Though I can't speak for Gamecock fans, the long term goals are probably fairly high: double-digit wins, an SEC East crown, beating Clemson. Will Muschamp can't give you that within two years. Within five? Maybe.

OPINION: THIS HALF-MILE LONG INFESTATION OF BABY SPIDERS IS PERFECT FOR SOUTH CAROLINA

By Peter Berkes

South Carolina is a job that comes with a particular set of difficulties. The Gamecocks were able to climb to the top of the division in recent years under Steve Spurrier, but that was due in large part to Florida and Tennessee falling into the toilet and Georgia going into its late-Richt years mid-life crisis. That window won't stay open forever, and South Carolina will need to get creative to find ways to keep that thing jimmied open. That's where these millions upon millions of spiders come in.

These spiders popped up over night, and hit the ground running covering one a fertile recruiting ground in Memphis. South Carolina needs that kind of self-starter. These bastards will get out there and work tirelessly, day and night, for the duration of their lives, looking for the best talent and or small insects to sustain themselves. And hey, don't discount the fact that you can two-birds-one-stone this thing and also take care of your palmetto bug problem, Columbia.

Now, don't get me wrong: This could backfire. These spiders have no experience coaching football at any level, and as far as we know, have no ability to communicate with other human beings or even understand anything outside of the most scrapped down and basic kill-and-eat-to-live instincts. On the other hand, kill-and-eat-to-live basically describes Will Muschamp too, so it's not like this is a novel concept for major college football coaches.

Spiders also have an average lifespan shorter than a four-year recruiting cycle, which isn't exactly fixing the problems South Carolina had the last few years under Spurrier. The success of this hire would depend in large part on how the spiders put together their staff, so it would greatly behoove these spiders to somehow combine into a humanoid form, pick up the phone, and get in touch with Shawn Elliott right away to try to keep him on staff.

It's risky, sure, but South Carolina is in a position where they need to be bold. I think hiring these millions of baby spiders to coach the Gamecocks could be that bold decision they need.