(Photo: BART BOATWRIGHT/Staff at Greenville News)
As the scandal at Ohio State involving Urban Meyer and the football staff continues to unravel, it's nice to know that the two main football programs in the state of South Carolina are in good hands -- Will Muschamp at South Carolina and Dabo Swinney at Clemson.
Muschamp's first attempt at being a head coach in Gainesville did not go well. During his four year tenure in the 'Swamp,' Muschamp compiled a 28-21 overall record and finished 17-15 in SEC games. In the 2012 season he took the Gators to an 11-2 record and Top Ten finish in the final poll. His other three years he finished with records of 7-6 (2011), 4-8 (2013), and 6-5 (2014).
While his time at Florida did not go as planned, people tend to forget exactly what he inherited when he got there. Urban Meyer had left the Gator program broken and in a state of disarray with a culture of bad habits and lies. Over 30 players were arrested while Meyer was in charge there. It wasn't the easiest first head coaching gig to be given.
But we can't pretend that it all falls on Meyer. Muschamp was well-known for dipping into the offensive side of the ball too much and virtually limiting what the offense would run. He addressed that issue at SEC Media Days...When Muschamp brought his former Offensive Coordinator from Florida [Kurt Roper] with him to South Carolina, many feared it would be more of the same in his second head coaching stop. After two seasons with the Gamecocks, Muschamp dismissed Roper back in December of 2017 before USC's bowl game vs Michigan.
Bryan McClendon was given the interim OC position and eventually landed the full-time job after a tremendous second half of play-calling in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day.
Muschamp has continued to show signs of progression in his coaching ability. He is still maturing as a head coach but there is reason for hope that he may be exactly the right guy for the Gamecocks right now.
Say what you will about his struggles and infamous outbursts and tantrums or the struggles he had at Florida; but there is one thing you can give him credit for if nothing else.....the guy runs a clean program.
In regards to the Urban Meyer/Zach Smith dilemma, Muschamp addressed it at the South Carolina media day before the start of fall camp. He responded to the question that prompted it saying, "If you see something, say something." [full answer can be found here]
Dabo Swinney took over the Clemson program halfway through the 2008 season and hasn't looked back since. He has led the Tigers to seven straight 10+ win seasons and looks to make it eight in 2018. Not-to-mention he brought the Tigers their first National Championship since 1981 back to Clemson in 2016.
While Swinney has brought tremendous success to Clemson on the field, he has done even more off the field.
As a man of faith and integrity, Dabo makes it evident that while football is important, it doesn't top his priority list. He is involved in multiple charities like the South Carolina Coaches for Charity (Will Muschamp also now takes part in this event), his own annual event, "Dabo Swinney Ladies Clinic" for his All-In Team Foundation and many more.
Dabo is also very outspoken about his christian faith. At ACC Kickoff back in July, he was asked about during the Clemson portion of the press conference...
To keep it short and sweet, the two main football programs in the state of South Carolina seem to have two great guys at the helm. Nobody is perfect, but if you're a fan of either of these teams or even just a resident of this great state, you can hold your head high and know that you will always be represented the right way when it comes to Will Muschamp and Dabo Swinney.