Going Deep: Quiet coaching-change season in SEC?
(AP) -- Some Florida fans may be a little disappointed to hear this right now, but there's a good chance no Southeastern Conference coach will be fired this season.
That doesn't happen very often. The last time was 2009, but that's only if you count Phillip Fulmer's resignation from Tennessee as voluntary.
Before that it, 2005 was the last time there were no firings in the SEC. In fact, '05 is the only year since 1991 in which there were no coaching changes in the SEC.
It's not just the SEC. There has been so much turnover throughout FBS in the last couple seasons 30 teams replaced coaches from 2012 to 2013, following 26 in 2011-12 that major college football was due for a relatively calm silly season. Though that could change if more high-profile jobs such as Southern California come open and create a domino effect. Or if the NFL comes calling.
In the SEC, four coaches are in their first season with their current teams, and two more are in their second.
Will Muschamp is in his third season at Florida and was coming off an 11-2 record in Year 2. This season has been a wreck for the Gators, who are 4-5 and will need to upset either No. 11 South Carolina on Saturday or No. 2 Florida State in their regular-season finale to avoid the program's first losing season since 1979.
"It's frustrating," Muschamp said Monday. "It's very frustrating. (But) you work. People are depending on you to do a good and do a good job for the players and do a good job for the university and that's my job."
Injuries have crushed Muschamp's Gators in 2013, taking some of the bite out of a defense that looked as if it could be the nation's best.
Linebacker Antonio Morrison (knee) became the seventh starter on either side of the ball lost for the season after being hurt in an ugly loss Saturday to Vanderbilt in the Swamp. Florida's offense has, on the other hand, been problematic since Muschamp took over. Patience is short in Gator Nation, but it would seem that all the injuries will allow athletic director Jeremy Foley to write off this season and focus on the good job Muschamp has done in recruiting.
The only other SEC coach that could be considered to be in a precarious situation is Mississippi State's Dan Mullen, and that seems like a stretch. Mullen is in his fifth season in Starkville, and coming off three straight bowl appearances, a first in Mississippi State history. The Bulldogs are 4-5 with games left against No. 1 Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi. Cutting bait on coach with a 33-27 record, that routinely faces one of the toughest schedules in the country, would seem to be an overreaction.
Of course, no firings doesn't necessarily mean no turnover.
Texas A&M's Kevin Sumlin has already been mentioned as possible target for USC, and he could draw NFL interest as well. He did last year. Vanderbilt's James Franklin could also be a hot commodity, depending what jobs do open.
And did you hear about Nick Saban and Texas?