Auburn football head coach Hugh Freeze is the one guy the university could’ve hired who has experience in even more tumultuous situations than the program has been in these past two years — this, at least, according to Saturday Down South’s Matt Hayes.
“Auburn, the school that can’t historically get out of its own way and late last year blew another coaching hire (and/or fire), stumbled into the 1 guy who may be able to get them out of the mess they created,” Hayes prefaced before saying, “And only because they chose the 1 guy who has been through worse. There’s not an obstacle Freeze hasn’t faced in 30 years of coaching football. From humble beginnings as a high school coach in Eads, Tenn., to NAIA coach at Lambuth, to Arkansas State, to the easy rise and hard fall at Ole Miss, to personal and professional reclamation at Liberty.”
After the inquiry into Bryan Harsin’s tenure on the Plains in February 2022 and the horrific two-thirds of a season that followed before his eventual October 31 firing, all eyes were going to be on the character of who the Auburn football brain trust would end up hiring. Once Freeze was hired, the local media vultures circled around his bad reputation like a carcass and sullied it even further with inflammatory depictions that misrepresented what his accusations even were. He responded by immediately raising the program’s recruiting ranking in both 2023 and 2024; and in turn, boosting AU’s reputation to future recruits.
Auburn football head coach Hugh Freeze could be a victim of his own recruiting success
Auburn fans are a rare breed of human being; one capable of talking themselves into a College Football Playoff appearance after winning 17 games combined the past three seasons. Of course, Sonny Dykes and TCU have paved the way for an immediate turnaround, but that happened in the Big 12.
Not the SEC. And certainly not in the SEC West.
Freeze could end up being a victim of his own recruiting success with the expectations on the Plains artificially high. Fans need to be patient and take seven or eight wins as a rousing success in 2023 or else risk great disappointment.