Georgia alum Will Muschamp says he puts nothing extra on game vs. Bulldogs

COLUMBIA – Ask his players and they say he doesn’t talk about it. While several Georgia natives on South Carolina’s roster want to beat Georgia because of future braggin’ rights, the Georgia native in charge of them doesn’t put anything extra on Saturday.

Will Muschamp wants to win because it’s the next game on the schedule. Being born in Georgia and having attended the University of Georgia has nothing to do with it.

“At the end of the day, you’re loyal to the people writing your checks,” Muschamp said Tuesday. “And obviously, I had a wonderful experience at Georgia.”

Muschamp wasn’t discounting what Georgia did for him as a player and future football coach. It’s just when you get into coaching, if you’re going to be forever loyal to your alma mater and refuse to work at any rival school or school that beat you, you’re probably not going to be too successful.

Muschamp’s predecessor, Steve Spurrier, was good enough and lucky enough that he was able to play and coach at Florida. There and at South Carolina, for years he gave one vote in his coaches’ Top 25 to Duke, his other head-coaching stop. While Florida was always his first love, Spurrier still swears his allegiance to the Blue Devils and Gamecocks, except when loyalties clash.

With Muschamp, who thinks football almost 24-7, leaving the silver britches from his playing days behind was easy to do. It really had to be considering his first job out of school was with one of the Bulldogs’ conference rivals.

“I was a (graduate assistant) at Auburn in 1995 and we went and played Georgia, so it happens quickly,” said Muschamp, who graduated from Georgia in 1994.

The Beach Boys sang “Be True To Your School” but it’s not nearly that simple in coaching. You’re loyal to the logo on your shirt, and if you happen to trade garnet for orange the next year, hey, you’re still working.

“It don’t really come up that much,” senior Chris Lammons said of Muschamp stapling extra motivation to any game. “Coach Muschamp just preaches physicality, get the win, and that’s basically it.”

Muschamp has coached at Auburn, LSU, Florida and USC in the SEC. He also spent time at Texas. Any old feelings of his former stops went out the window long ago, although he’ll constantly praise those schools even if he’s going against them for a recruit.

“It’s interesting in the recruiting process because I have recruits and parents that say, ‘You’re so positive about the other schools!’ And I am, because I had a great experience at LSU, I had a great experience at Auburn, I had a great experience at Florida,” he said. “It’s all about your individual choice and what you think fits you best. And at the end of the day, I think we got a great fit for all recruits here at the University of South Carolina.”