On the eve of the biggest Egg Bowl battle in recent history, rumors are running rampant that Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze could be leaving the Rebels at the end of the season to join the Florida Gators.
As far back as August, I was concerned about the possibilities of Hugh Freeze leaving Ole Miss for Florida. In fact, I told a number of my tailgating buds to hope that the Gators have a good season to eliminate any chances of this eventuality. Apparently my instincts were not out in left field as local wags are now saying where there is smoke, there is a fire!
For weeks the rumors were fast and furious that the State coach was Florida’s number one target. However, in recent weeks these rumors have decreased dramatically. It makes all the sense in the world why Florida would be interested in Freeze. His age, his ability to recruit and now with three years under his belt as a proven SEC head coach all would be appealing to most any high profile program.
Florida also would like to recapture the number one position in their state from FSU. Unless, you have the ability to out recruit the Seminoles, the likelihood of this happening is not likely.
If this speculation has merit, would he leave Ole Miss after only three seasons? He personally told me at the Ole Miss Fantasy Camp two years ago that his aim was to be able to coach here for ten seasons and then retire, and Bjork has said the university is ready and willing to give Freeze a raise after his performance this season. I had no reason to believe otherwise then and still do not now.
All in all, his tenure here has been nothing short of sensational. Winning two bowl games in his first two seasons and having nationally-discussed recruiting classes following a 2-10 team that he inherited would get anyone’s attention. Because the talk surrounding this situation is spreading like a “forest fire”, the next concern is all of this serving as a distraction for our preparations for the Egg Bowl?
Whatever transpires, it should all be out in the open shortly. Let’s hope the ultimate ending will be in the best interest of the University of Mississippi. In the interim, let’s also hope that tomorrow’s ending to the 2014 Egg Bowl will also be in the best interest of the University of Mississippi!
Steve Vassallo is a HottyToddy.com contributor. Steve writes on Ole Miss athletics, Oxford business, politics and other subjects. He is an Ole Miss grad and former radio announcer for the basketball team. In addition, he is a certified economic and community developer and currently, a highly successful leader in the real estate business with Premier Properties of Oxford.You can contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 985-852-7745.