Replacing Hugh Freeze won’t be an easy job. And with NCAA sanctions looming, it may very well be an impossible one. But SEC Network’s Booger McFarland is ambitious.
The SEC Network analyst and former LSU star dropped a list of three names he believed would want the challenge ahead in Oxford– former LSU coach Les Miles, FAU coach Lane Kiffin and former Oregon coach Chip Kelly.
McFarland hit all of the potential “big name” hires, but did he hit on the three that would be most likely to take the job? It’s hard to say.
Kiffin, who was the head coach at Tennessee and USC prior to winning a national title as Nick Saban’s offensive coordinator at Alabama, would surely love an opportunity to get back into the SEC spotlight. He has the head coaching gig he so coveted at FAU, but he Boca Raton and Conference USA seem too tame to hold Lane for long. Especially if he proves he can win there this season.
The wildcard with Lane Kiffin on this job in particular: Just how involved was his brother Chris, who is now on staff at FAU, with the Ole Miss allegations during his time as an assistant coach for the Rebels?
Les Miles seems to be a popular pick among those who are speculating on a potential replacement. The former LSU coach surely would love to get back in the SEC, and he’s been very open about his desire to continue his coaching career after missing out on a new gig during the 2016 coaching carousel. But at 63 years old, is there enough left in the tank here for what is almost sure to be a drawn-out rebuild?
And finally, Chip Kelly’s name appears to be associated with pretty much every football job opening. Though his last two coaching gigs have been of the NFL head coach variety (San Francisco 49ers and Philadelphia Eagles), Kelly has expressed an openness to returning to the college game that brought him so much success at Oregon. Ole Miss is in a position of strength in that it has the only opening at the moment, but Kelly is the type of coach who can probably wait for someone else to get canned and find himself in a much more palatable situation for starting over.
One thing we know for sure at this point: It will be Matt Luke calling the shots in Oxford on an interim basis in 2017.
Hugh Freeze resignation coverage from SEC Country
- Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze resigns
- Ole Miss names Matt Luke interim after Hugh Freeze resigns
- Report: Ole Miss found ‘at least one’ call from Hugh Freeze to female escort service
- What Ole Miss AD Ross Bjork and Chancellor Jeff Vitter said after Hugh Freeze’s resignation
- Internet goes nuts over shocking details of Hugh Freeze’s resignation at Ole Miss
- Ole Miss recruits react to Hugh Freeze resignation
- 6 coaches who make sense to replace Hugh Freeze as the next Ole Miss coach
- Matt Luke: 5 things to know about the new Ole Miss football coach
- Hugh Freeze resigns: Ole Miss-NCAA war was always going to end this way
- Hugh Freeze’s firing reminiscent of Bobby Petrino’s