Another month, and another round of negative headlines for Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.
The day before he was set to speak at SEC Media Days, former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt filed a lawsuit claiming Freeze was spreading a false narrative to journalists about the school’s NCAA investigation.
Then when Freeze spoke on Thursday, he tried his hardest to avoid questions about the suit and regarding the NCAA’s allegations, issuing a lengthy opening statement.
As for what Ole Miss fans think of Freeze, the coach saw his approval rating plummet in the SEC Country approval rating poll in June. His mark dropped from 83.3 points to 70.6 points, putting him 10th among SEC coaches.
Ole Miss currently has the No. 10 recruiting class among SEC teams with 10 commitments. However, none of those commitments are 4- or 5-star commits.
Freeze did lead the Rebels to back-to-back seasons with at least nine wins in 2014-15, including a Sugar Bowl victory, but that won’t help save his job if Ole Miss deems his program’s alleged wrongdoing as too much.
The Rebels bring back talent, specifically in former 5-star quarterback Shea Patterson, but it is fair to question how motivated this Ole Miss team will be without the possibility of playing in a bowl. The school self-imposed a bowl ban for the 2017 season.
Ole Miss opens the season against South Alabama on Sept. 2. The Rebels went 5-7 last season, but five of those losses came against teams ranked in the Top 25, and they lost starting quarterback Chad Kelly for the final three games.
Freeze reportedly was paid 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.