Ah, here's some bolder stuff from Will Muschamp. Via the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Jeff Schultz, Muschamp visited the Atlanta Gator Club on Thursday and informed them that they can expect a Florida win over Georgia this year:
"Coach, I’m getting married soon and he’s a Georgia fan and …"
"That’s not my fault," Will Muschamp said, playing to the crowd.
"My wedding is on the same day as the Florida-Georgia game," she continued. "I was wondering: Can you guarantee Florida will win?"
Muschamp, the native of Rome, a long-time Georgia resident and former Bulldogs safety, smiled.
"I certainly can," he said (and then he turned in my direction and alerted the crowd that this pronouncement almost certainly would be used in the local newspaper).
Schultz' lamentable use of the parenthetical aside, that's some boldness from Muschamp, daubed with the media savvy and wit that he's flashed early in his tenure as Florida head coach. It's perfectly fine with me, too.
While I'm no huge fan of guarantees in general, and especially ridiculous ones (hello, Lane Kiffin), Muschamp's playing things up to a crowd, rallying the base, saying things that are supposed to make the news, and so on. And guarantees are worthless on both sides: The benefit is a riled-up Gator Club meeting, but the harm in saying Florida's going to beat Georgia is what, exactly? Georgia's going to try significantly harder to beat Florida than in any other year because of that?
The 2011 Florida team's got a decent chance of beating the 2011 Georgia team — remember, a half-speed pass rush harassed Aaron Murray last year, and that was without Sharrif Floyd, Dominique Easley, and Ronald Powell getting tons of playing time — and I'm not going to be offended if Mark Richt makes the same guarantee to a meeting of Georgia boosters.
Talking about the game, in a sound bite-saturated sports culture, is part of the game. Keep talking, Coach Boom: As long as you back it up, all will be well.