Jim McElwain is out at Florida. The guy who rode into this season naked on a shark — ALLEGEDLY — who had a 16-3 record in SEC conference play when the calendar turned to October — didn’t finish the month. And after getting stomped by Georgia in the cocktail party on Saturday 42-7, McElwain was out of a job 24 hours later, beating Butch Jones to the breadline as Florida athletic director Scott Striklin didn’t even wait for the contract buyout talks to be finished before cutting the cord.
That’s how bad this thing got. That’s how quickly this thing turned. Pen to paper hasn’t even happened and McElwain’s office already has the cleaning crew in it.
You could say that there was “blood in the water” and there was no chance that McElwain was going to “wrestle” back control of that gig. Not naked on a shark. And not in his AD’s office. Not after putting his foot in his mouth early, often and repeatedly — and not after being hired to fix the offense and in Year 3 rolling out the 113th best offense in the nation.
Because Striklin didn’t hire McElwain. And he wasn’t about to wait around and see if he could turn the program around. Not when he sees the SEC East at a low-point and Florida sinking with it. Not when rival Georgia is ranked No. 2 in the country and laying it on the Gators. And not when McElwain has had to live down idiotic comments like the one he made at his introductory press conference, when he said “I can win with my dog Clarabelle” playing quarterback. Or when he called out the administration’s commitment to winning after beating Iowa in the Outback Bowl. IOWA IN THE OUTBACK BOWL. That’s not Urb or Spurrier hoisting crystal, that’s Jimmy Mac out-dueling Kirk Ferentz for a Bloomin Onion. And then McElwain really stepped in it last week when he stepped in front of the podium and claimed Florida fans were making death threats to him and his family but when asked about it by the administration he offered no proof.
Look, McElwain ‘s a good coach. Maybe not as good as HE THINKS HE IS, but he’s a good coach. But he’s also a coach that had TEN PLAYERS suspended for committing credit card fraud this season. He’s a guy who is selling his own brand BBQ sauce at home games when he’s only won 3 games this year. And he’s a guy who came into Gainesville thinking he was Nick Saban when he’d really just been the guy who made sure the weather channel was on and the Little Debbie’s were stocked up in Nick’s office.
Life moves pretty fast in the SEC. And while everybody sat waiting for Butch Jones to meet the reaper, McElwain is the first guy to go. And after surviving an offseason that included Shark Humping allegations, McElwain learned the hard way that wrestling great whites is one thing, being 4th place in the SEC East is another.
But hey, plenty of time for deep sea fishing.