During Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze’s first three seasons, the message was to play hard and see what the scoreboard says. This season, the expectations ramped up, and an SEC and national titles were the goal.
With the Rebels heading to the regular-season finale with three losses, a national title is way out of the picture. But an SEC title is still within reach. Ole Miss (8-3, 5-2 SEC) needs a win against Mississippi State and an Auburn win against Alabama to reach the SEC Championship game in Atlanta next week.
The Tigers, a 13.5-point underdog, have low odds of pulling off an Iron Bowl upset, but the Rebels remain hopeful. Freeze jokingly let out a “War Eagle” before exiting the room following his press conference Monday, according to the Associated Press’ David Brandt.
With the Iron Bowl kicking off at 3:30 p.m. ET, Ole Miss, which doesn’t kick off until 7:15 p.m., will undoubtedly be keeping an eye on what’s going on in Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium — something Freeze and his team will have to handle in preparation for the Egg Bowl.
“We’ll probably leave (the hotel) around (4 p.m.),” Freeze told reporters Monday. “The (Iron Bowl) will just have been starting. We won’t turn on any TVs. Once we get to the stadium, all the phones will be put away. We’ll have no idea really what’s going on in that game. I’m sure there will be some updates in the stadium. I typically don’t pay attention to those. There will be enough riding on the Egg Bowl that we should be playing with everything we are for it.”
There should be plenty of emotions on the Rebels’ sideline regardless, but if Auburn does pull off the upset, you would have to think that would give Ole Miss a boost just before kickoff.