By Parrish Alford/NEMS Daily Journal
Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze will have to wait until Thursday, the final day of SEC Media Days, for his turn at the podium. Here are 10 topics he’ll likely be asked about.
• experience level: Freeze has one year of Division I head coaching experience, at Arkansas State – and since that was in the Sun Belt Conference, the term is used loosely.
• Relationship with Ross Bjork: His new AD also comes from the Sun Belt Conference as Bjork was hired away from Western Kentucky. In the spring, Bjork and Freeze let it be known that they were on the same page and moving forward together. There often seemed to be an undercurrent of discontent in the relationship between former AD Pete Boone and former football coach Houston Nutt.
• Academics: As many as 25 players faced some sort of hurdle to retain eligibility. Not all of them made it.
• SEC losing streak: It’s at 14 games. Can the Rebels break it this season?
• Channing Ward: The most prized recruit in Freeze’s first signing class, the impact defensive end from Aberdeen, still has ground to cover to become eligible.
• Recruiting: How many scholarship offers are out there, and what’s the approach to rebuilding the talent base?
• Quarterbacks: No clear leader emerged in the spring. You have a mobile, West Virginia transfer who is suspect as a passer but could develop into a leader and junior college record-setter who is a better passer but has had a couple of off-field incidents since arriving in Oxford. Who’s it going to be?
• Talent and depth: Is there enough of both to be competitive in the SEC this season?
• Wins and losses: Freeze has told his fans the program is currently in the wilderness and looking for a way out and that all you will ask of your players is play with effort and give it their all for 60 minutes. That being said, can you keep them together if there’s nothing tangible to show for improvement.
• His offense: It’s been called a spread. He calls it up-tempo. There are co-offensive coordinators but offense is clearly one reason Freeze was hired. How involved will he be?