The Playoff Era of College Football is now three years old. In three years, Ole Miss has had two of its best seasons since Archie Manning was quarterback, and also perhaps its most disastrous.
In three years, Ole Miss went 9-4, 10-3… and 5-7. They finished 17th, 10th… and unranked in the AP Poll. They’ve seen great heights, and terrible lows. Earlier this year, they self imposed a bowl ban for 2017 due to “lack of institutional control”. Now, despite great recruiting recently and a promising young QB in Shea Patterson, the future is very bleak.
On top of all that, Ole Miss managed to steal the show on Wednesday of Media Days, despite Freeze not appearing until Thursday. Houston Nutt, former coach of the Rebs, announced he was suing the school for defamation after he was partially blamed for the NCAA investigation.
On Thursday, Freeze finally got the chance to speak. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t get to talk much about his football team. This is nothing new. Laremy Tunsil and his multiple problems with the NCAA have stolen the show the last couple of years. This is all despite them pulling off one of the best two-year stretches in Ole Miss history.
Ultimately, Freeze wasn’t able to talk about Houston Nutt and his allegations. According to Freeze, he “would absolutely love to comment on it. But unfortunately it’s a legal case, so I can’t.”
Freeze also stated to Antonio Morales in a twitter video that “the timing seemed ironic.”
Regarding the actual football product in Oxford this season, Freeze seemed to acknowledge the difficulties he’ll likely face in 2017, but also showed optimism for the future.
Regarding potential star quarterback Shea Patterson becoming a leader, Freeze stated “It has to happen… I think his ceiling is pretty high.” Patterson is a true sophomore this year.
Coach Freeze also stated the bowl ban will make him a bit more aggressive in his coaching style. “We might go for it more on fourth down,” said Freeze.
Overall, it appears Freeze knows he is facing a tough stretch in the next few years. It’s entirely possible the NCAA takes away more scholarships and extends the Ole Miss bowl ban. It was very obvious, despite the image of integrity he tried to convey, that he is desperately waiting for the day he can talk about Rebels football again.
“I think its the fifth year in a row I’ve been here and haven’t been able to talk about our players,” Freeze told the hosts of SEC Now.
We’ll find out how soon Ole Miss can talk about football at SEC Media Days. We’ll also find out whether Freeze can pull a rabbit out of his hat and keep the Rebels in contention in the Southeastern Conference.