Hugh Freeze and the Ole Miss Rebels did not have the best February.
After bringing in the 12th best recruiting class in the SEC, the NCAA issued a new Notice of Allegations against the Rebels that include a number of Level I — read as very serious — violations, including the dread lack of institutional control. After not even qualifying for a bowl game in 2016, Freeze and the Rebels will sit out the postseason in 2017 in hopes that the NCAA sees this as a fit punishment. Some have suggested that the latest allegations could end up costing Freeze his job.
Freeze did lead Ole Miss to back-to-back seasons of 9 or more wins and a Sugar Bowl win, but that won’t help him save his job if Ole Miss deems his reported wrongdoing as too much.
The Rebels bring back some talent, specifically in former 5-star quarterback Shea Patterson, but it is fair to question how motivated this Ole Miss team will be with no postseason possibilities. Ole Miss opens the season against South Alabama on Sept. 2. The Rebels went 5-7 last year, but that was largely due to a difficult schedule and losing starting quarterback Chad Kelly for the final three games of the season.
In SEC Country‘s first approval rating poll done last month, Freeze had an approval rating of 80.6 percent. That was good for seventh in the conference, but well ahead of Kevin Sumlin and Gus Malzahn. But that number was totaled before the latest NCAA allegations came out.
Freeze reportedly made about $4.7 million in 2016. He’s 39-25 at Ole Miss, including four bowl appearances in five years.
Vote on Hugh Freeze’s approval rating
The SEC Country approval rating poll is designed to give an indication of fan happiness over a period of time.
Our formula is based on the percentage of respondents that select each answer. We multiply that percentage by the following factors: 1 (strongly approve), 0.67 (approve), 0.33 (disapprove) and 0.0 (strongly disapprove). In other words, if 50 percent of respondents select “strongly approve” and 50 percent select “approve,” the formula would be (50 x 1) + (50 x 0.67) = 83.5% approval rating.