AL.com’s Matt Cohen believes that Hugh Freeze’s reaction to reporters pointing out to him during a September 25 press scrum that Kirby Smart brought Georgia to a College Football Playoff Championship game in his second season — exuding a face of shock, awe, and trepidation that Auburn football fans may expect similar results — indicates that the Tigers head coach knows that he won’t be able to do the same.
“Maybe that look of surprise comes from knowing it’s not going to happen that quickly at Auburn,” Cohen prefaced before saying, “Freeze has already talked about waiting until his third or fourth year to truly compete.
“These situations are different, Auburn and Georgia. But as Freeze prepares for his first time in the Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry at 2:30 p.m. Saturday in Jordan-Hare Stadium against a program he’s called the gold standard of college football right now, Freeze’s interests are being pulled multiple different ways. He’s in a battle to rebuild, to keep those he already has happy and do so with a clock ticking over him.”
Auburn football fans are not being unrealistic with the team’s record in 2023
In 2024, there will be some heat on Freeze if the Auburn football program isn’t back to at least a level of winning comparable to the pre-pandemic Gus Malzahn era, but there may be patience within the fanbase until 2025 given the acknowledgment of the damage Bryan Harsin’s tenure caused.
In 2023, there are practically no expectations. There was alignment ahead of Week 4’s 27-10 blowout in College Station from Freeze and the Auburn family that the Texas A&M/Georgia/LSU games could essentially be scheduled losses.
While it’s good that the sky won’t be falling should AU barely become bowl eligible, or worse, don’t at all, the program shouldn’t be content with not making a major jump in the conference considering the increased capability to in the mass transfer/NIL era.
All we need is just a little patience, as Guns N’ Roses lead singer Axl Rose once said. Not enough patience to last until the end of time.