Jim McElwain was hired to spice up the bland and not-very-good offense that Will Muschamp left behind. McElwain has the resume to suggest that he will make a huge difference on the offensive side of the ball. Last season as the head coach of Colorado State, McElwain's Rams averaged 497.8 yards and 35.9 points per game. CSU was top-10 nationally in passing efficiency (33 TDs/6 INTs), passing yards (326.3 yards) and third-down conversion (.512), all categories in which Florida ranked 90th or below.
Those stats should signal bad news for sophomore quarterback Treon Harris. Last season, Harris only completed 49.6 percent of passes and never threw for more than 215 yards in a game. When you compare that to Colorado State's QB last season, Garrett Grayson, he threw for more than 215 yards in every single game except one.
The buzz surrounding the program is that redshirt-freshman Will Grier will ultimately win the job, making Treon Harris the emergency backup.
"If truth be told it's Will Grier's job to lose and Treon Harris probably should go ahead and transfer, but they can't have that happen because then all of a sudden you're stuck with Skyler Mornhinweg as your backup," Associated Press' Mark Long told 1010 XL in Jacksonville.
McElwain operates an offense in which the golden rule is quarterbacks must complete the short and intermediate routes with ease. The quarterbacks also must be able to throw the deep ball. When you look at what Harris did well last season -- it wasn't throwing the ball -- it was taking the snap and running the football. Coach McElwain prefers quarterbacks that can stand in the pocket and deliver the football, Harris cannot do that with accuracy.
Coming out of high school, Grier, who is competing for the starting quarterback role, was the more polished passer. He has a quick release and a live arm -- and like Harris -- can run if he needs to.
This quarterback competition is eerily familiar to the Jacoby Brissett and Jeff Driskel battle we saw a couple of years ago. Driskel ultimately won the job, and Brissett transferred. But knowing what kind of scheme McElwain runs, Harris should've seen the writing on the wall and realized that his skills do not match with the vision of the new head coach.