Auburn football head coach Hugh Freeze will “avoid the hotseat” in Year 1 with the Tigers according to college football analyst Phil Steele — who was largely bullish on AU on both sides of the ball while previewing the 2023 season.
“To the delight of Auburn fans, Steele not only expects a winning season for the Tigers, but predicts Freeze will avoid the hotseat with his team buying into the leadership of himself and associate head coach Cadillac Williams,” AL.com’s Ainslie Lee wrote in a piece recapping the soothsaying of the “highly respected prognosticator.”
Freeze has had one losing season in his college football career: the final season the Oxford, Mississippi native was at the helm of the Ole Miss Rebels (2016) amidst myriad scandal that’d come to light in the ensuing offseason. Liberty went from a 6-6 team under Turner Gill in the Flames’ initial season at the FBS level to a Freeze-coached team that never won less than eight games and went 10-1 during the truncated 2020 season.
The term ‘hotseat’ being attached to Hugh Freeze is anxiety-inducing for Auburn football fans
There have been two firings and two subsequent hirings since the end of the 2020 Auburn football seasons, so the mere connecting of the term “hotseat” to the program by Lee is anxiety-inducing for Tiger fans who continue to watch Nick Saban build something in Tuscaloosa for nearly two decades year after year.
AU almost can’t afford to have another controversy, less they want to damage their reputation to a generation of kids growing up in Alabama with one school winning everything and the other looking like a sporting circus.
Luckily, there isn’t a fear among most rational college football observers that Freeze’s seat will get hot at all during the 2023 season. A season that has a record equivalent to that of merely the fifth-place team in the SEC West last season (Arkansas at 7-6) should be good enough to cool it off instead.
Tiger fans don’t just want cool, though. They want a deep freeze.