There are going to be some new faces in the SEC next season.
Vanderbilt recently hired Notre Dame defensive coordinator Clark Lea as the program’s new head coach, while South Carolina hired Shane Beamer (the son of legendary former Virginia Tech head coach Frank Beamer) to replace Will Muschamp.
Auburn is currently searching for its next head coach after firing Gus Malzahn this past weekend.
Then there’s Tennessee. The Vols have underperformed this season under Jeremy Pruitt. Will the Vols make a move? Right now I lean toward Pruitt returning next season, but you can never rule anything out in college football once other programs start making moves.
Of all the potential candidates at Auburn (or Tennessee, if they fire Pruitt), there’s one name that’s being discussed more than any other name.
I’m of course talking about former Ole Miss head coach Hugh Freeze, who is currently the head coach at Liberty.
Freeze is the hot name during this coaching cycle, thanks to the success he enjoyed at Ole Miss from 2012-2016. Freeze beat Nick Saban and Alabama twice during his time as the Rebels’ head coach, before an NCAA scandal and calls to escort services on a university-issued phone ended his time in Oxford.
When it comes to new potential head coaches in the SEC, Freeze is the one that scares ESPN analyst David Pollack (a former Georgia defensive lineman) the most.
Here’s what Pollack recently said about Freeze on his “College Football Podcast with Herbstreit and Pollack”.
I always look at the hires and go, ‘If I was playing against them year after year, who wouldn’t I want there?’ There’s no way in hell I would want Hugh Freeze there,” Pollack said. “I wouldn’t want him there. You’re talking about a guy that, like Kirk (Herbstreit) said, has beaten Bama, but the offense is way different than Gus. Way different. Hugh Freeze has his hand on it, and Hugh Freeze can take advantage of the passing game. Hugh Freeze puts you in conflict.”
Pollack is a Georgia grad and he’s not good about hiding his love for the Bulldogs.
So when I hear him talking this way about Freeze, I hear it coming from a former Georgia player.
And that tells me that Freeze would be the best hire this winter for a program. He’s the one guy that makes other programs nervous.
If you’re a Tennessee fan would you rather have Freeze or Pruitt? The guy who makes programs nervous, or the guy who is still struggling to find his identity as a head coach?
I think the choice is easy.
You have to go with the sure thing.
Featured images via USA TODAY