The addition of graduate transfer QB Malik Zaire sparked a debate among Florida Gators fans about who should play quarterback in 2017.

I’ve argued – both here and on the most recent Gators Breakdown podcast – that it’s important to get redshirt freshman Feleipe Franks meaningful snaps because the defense isn’t ready for a championship run.

But who starts at quarterback doesn’t matter if he isn’t in position to succeed. And after taking a closer look at the resume of offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier, I have serious concerns about whether he will put them in that position.

Statistical analysis of Doug Nussmeier as an offensive coordinator

On initial inspection, Nussmeier’s resume is impressive. He mentored QB Jake Locker as the offensive coordinator at Washington and won a national championship with Alabama serving in the same capacity.

But looking further into his record, there doesn’t appear to be much evidence that Nussmeier makes offenses better.

Offensive statistics the year prior to, during, and the year after Doug Nussmeier was offensive coordinator. (Will Miles/SEC Country)

The above chart shows that in gory detail. Offenses at Fresno State, Michigan and Florida all got worse under Nussmeier. The declines were enormous at Michigan and Florida. In three of his four stops, offenses improved when Nussmeier left. The one offense that stayed at about the same level was the 2014 Alabama team that made the College Football Playoff.

The bright spots on the chart are the significant improvement at Washington and slight improvement at Alabama. But Steve Sarkisian was the head coach at Washington and was the lead play-caller. And at Alabama, Nussmeier inherited QB AJ McCarron and four offensive linemen who have all played in the NFL, two of who were first-round draft picks (Chance Warmack, D.J. Fluker).

Gators coach Jim McElwain likes to talk about being proud of

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