The comparison was inevitable.

Will Muschamp knew it. Somewhere, Ron Zook knew it. Certainly everyone inside the Florida football team's meeting room Monday afternoon knew it when a reporter asked Muschamp about his situation compared to Zook's 10 years ago.

If your memory has faded, a quick primer: after a disappointing loss at Mississippi State, Zook was told during the 2004 season he would not be coming back to coach the Gators in 2005.

Zook stayed on the job through the regular season and pulled off one of the most memorable wins in UF football history with a 20-13 victory at Florida State on the day FSU recognized former head coach Bobby Bowden by naming the field at Doak Campbell Stadium in his honor.

The Gators lifted Zook onto their shoulders after the game, a final victory ride for the embattled coach.
Fast forward a decade and Muschamp will coach his final game at Florida against the No. 1-ranked Seminoles, who have won 27 consecutive games since a loss to the Gators in the 2012 regular-season finale.

As for all those comparisons, well ...

"I kind of heard that story. I appreciate you rehashing it for me,'' Muschamp quipped to the reporter Monday. "It is what it is. That ain't going to help us win the game, I can assure you of that. We'll prepare well and we'll go up there and play well."

The day after Florida lost in overtime to South Carolina on Nov. 15 to drop its third consecutive home game, Gators athletic director Jeremy Foley announced Muschamp was stepping down after the Florida State game.

The Gators responded by crushing Eastern Kentucky 52-3 in Muschamp's final home game on Saturday. On Monday the focus turned to Muschamp's final game at Florida, where he has a 28-20 record in four seasons.

While Florida's 37-26 win at FSU two years ago stands as Muschamp's signature win as Florida's coach, a victory Saturday in Tallahassee would supplant it.

The defending national champion Seminoles are seeking to repeat and have continued to pile up wins despite close games and the always-unpredictable life of quarterback Jameis Winston off the field.