South Carolina Gamecocks at Florida Gators game preview – FOXSports.com
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s home finale against South Carolina could be an awkward affair.
Not only is former Gators coach Will Muschamp returning to the school that fired him just two years ago, but the first-year Gamecocks coach will be in the stadium for Florida’s “Senior Day,” when most of the players honored will be guys Muschamp recruited to Gainesville.
And if the banged-up and 22nd-ranked Gators struggle again — they were noncompetitive in a 31-10 loss at Arkansas last week — Muschamp surely won’t be the target of the home crowd’s angst.
“It’s going to be different,” Florida receiver Ahmad Fulwood said. “I haven’t had him as a coach for two years, but to actually be playing against him is something different.”
It also could be costly for the Gators (6-2, 4-2 Southeastern Conference).
Florida leads the SEC’s Eastern Division and could clinch a spot in the league’s title game in Atlanta with a victory Saturday coupled with Kentucky beating Tennessee. If the Gators falter against the Gamecocks (5-4, 3-4), who have won three in a row, they also could lose control of the division race.
So Muschamp has a chance to spoil his former team’s season.
Even crazier, the Gators are essentially paying him to do it.
As part of his buyout at Florida, Muschamp got a $3.15 million payment following his termination on Nov. 16, 2014. The deal also included four annual payments of $787,500 on the anniversary of his firing. The second installment is due next week.
Less than a month after he was fired, Muschamp landed at Auburn as defensive coordinator and started recruited against the Gators. Florida was seemingly so frustrated by the situation that it added a “Muschamp Clause” to coach Jim McElwain’s contract, which gives the Gators some financial protected if