Forty college football names, games, teams and news highlights where South Florida, New Mexico and Nevada were the only FBS teams to remain winless in conference play:
The third season
Auburn Gonna Auburn
The absurd works according to the behavioral theory that the absurd attracts the absurd. sparrow (21) focused his coaching search on two volatile geniuses: Lane Kiffin (22) There was Plan A, which collapsed after a week of Twitter tomfoolery; and Hugh Freeze (23) There was a plan B. As my partner Ross Dellenger reports on First Monday. A deal has been made to bring Fries to the most charming village on the Plains.
The search never reached Plan C, so we don’t know if that was the case Bobby Petrino (24). One can only guess.
Freeze and Auburn are a perfect match. A man can coach ball and the school only cares about winning ball. A man can win Alabama (25), and the school is obsessed with beating Alabama. This person goes through a major scandal and the school is completely indifferent to the major scandal.
Bruce Pearl (26) A rebuilding hero at Auburn, so why not Hugh Freeze?
Give them credit in this regard. There is nothing artificial here. Not that anyone is pretending. The usual high-minded rhetorical falsehoods that accompany college athletics don’t apply here, and it’s unlikely anyone at Auburn would even try to gasp. The most important thing is getting the Tigers out of the SEC West basement and back into the conference and national championship game.
Freeze can do that. He’s a really good coach. He showed it in Mississippi, solidifying the Liberty program and making it a consistent winner at the FBS level. The big question is whether he can calm the circus he tends to create around him. for Lord Auburn knows that he can make many a circus by himself, and is ready at any time to put on a show by augmenting the strength of the Greek chorus. Add Freeze as the leader of that ensemble and it could be wild.
It’s funny how some of those boosters tried making unproven personal scandals to end Brian Harsin (27), only to turn around and hug Freeze. In Mississippi, his forced resignation stemmed from a “deliberate pattern.” escort service calls on his school-issued cell phone. Auburn’s ability to withstand the hype depends on your winning percentage, and Freeze’s .549 hit at Ole Miss certainly beats Harsin’s .429 at Auburn.
Of course, Freeze’s win-loss record would be much worse if you count all the wins that were exempt from NCAA sanctions due to infractions at Ole Miss. Freeze’s departure from the field was between him and his family—the NCAA violation, and their response, put everything else in the spotlight.
While the school was under investigation, Freeze and others at the school tried to pass the situation off to recruiters and the media as a problem with other sports or his predecessor, Houston Natt. When long The NCAA released a statement about the announcement, which turned out to be false. Freeze said in 2016 that the infractions with recruiters prior to National Signing Day were minor and would not result in major sanctions. That deliberate deception was a disgraceful act.
The violations led to a two-year postseason ban and major recruiting restrictions, humiliating Freeze’s successor. Matt Luke (28). It wasn’t until Kiffin’s second season in 2021 that Ole Miss regained the winning streak it last enjoyed in 2015.
Freeze paid for his transgression. He spent the 2017 and ’18 seasons without a coaching job; During that time, some other SEC schools tried to hire him as an assistant, but he was turned down by league officials. (Call it SEC commissioner Greg Sankey’s private show decision.) What followed was a four-year exile at Liberty, not a bad game, but one that was below his coaching talent.
It would be too much for him to continue his exile until 2022, but Freeze still has a warning label attached.
The 53-year-old has to prove that he has the ability to respond to everything that has been said about him and the public criticism that has captured his teenage interest. In 2013, the same person who tweeted a snarky tweet about how to contact Ole Miss’ compliance office to deny allegations of violations is the same person who sent a strange direct message to a student involved in a lawsuit against former Liberty School IX. a victim of sexual violence. Freeze was not involved in the incident, but athletic director Ian McCaw contacted the student in defense, again calling Freeze’s decision into question.
Freeze agreed to stop monitoring his social media accounts after becoming Auburn’s coach, according to multiple sources. The background check on Freeze was extensive, and the school hired a PR consultant to handle the expected blowback to bringing him on board. They jump through a lot of hoops for Freeze.
An Auburn source said Sunday, “If he’s contractually obligated to stay off social media and they have to hire an ‘Oh S—‘ company before he starts, is it really a good idea to hire him?”
That’s Auburn’s idea. Auburn’s ideas are all about winning, especially when it comes to Alabama.
Freeze had back-to-back wins against Alabama in 2014 and ’15, something no one accomplished against Nick Saban in 2010-11 against LSU. To do so in Mississippi, which had never beaten the Crimson Tide in back-to-back years before or since, was incredible. Freeze owns 20 percent of Ole Miss’ all-time wins against Alabama.
Auburn has historically and semi-recently had strong success against the in-state Goliaths. Of the seven opponents Alabama has played 70 or more times, none has a better winning percentage than Auburn (.431). In that, three different coaches have had Saban with five wins: Tommy Tuberville (one), Gene Chizik (one) and Gus Malzahn (three).
Harsin’s 6-6 regular season finish may have sealed his fate as he gave up the lead in the 2021 Iron Bowl against the Tide. The season turned into a campaign of dirty tricks, and he entered 2022 as a dead coach walking. When the losses came early and often, he was costly, so it was time to move on to a successor.
But first, Auburn’s leadership had to execute whoever it was administrative power play (29). It fired one athletic director (Allen Green) and hired another (John Cohen from Mississippi State). Greene dared to push a culture of augmentation while in office, and there was a price to pay for it.
Then it was on the coaching search that hurt so much at Auburn. Of all the candidates in the world, they settled on two very scarred. The former backfired after a week of public melodrama. The second was to walk from Virginia to southeast Alabama. Now the school has to fight the urge to pretend that hiring Hugh Freeze is anything but a win. And I hope he doesn’t contribute permanent institutional dysfunction of the area (30).
Auburn can be a great job. Hugh Freeze can be a great coach. Without a great bang, it’ll work just fine.