Hugh Freeze has started the 2015 season off on a hot streak at 3-0 and is currently the highest ranked SEC team in the nation at #3 in the latest Associated Press poll.
A lot of ink has been spent discussing the meteoric rise of Hugh Freeze from Briarcrest High School to a slumping SEC school to the Cover of Sport Issustrated, all within 10 years.
Hugh Freeze is seen as one of the new guard coaches in the SEC, along with Gus Malzhan, Kevin Sumlin and Dan Mullen. As mentioned by Grantland there is a changing face in the SEC and a battle is on-going between the traditional SEC power teams and the more speed based teams.
Each of these new guard coaches have had a chance to sit on top of the SEC the last couple of years but no one has been able to sustain it for very long.
After Manziel left Texas A&M, the hype and the wins have reduced for Sumlin. This year Auburn’s defense (and offense) looks very weak and Dan Mullen has fallen back in the pack just a bit while replacing 15 starters from last year’s team.
Currently, it is Hugh Freeze’s turn at bat to try his hand at “changing the face” of the SEC.
Freeze has the least amount of experience of the four coaches mentioned but has emerged as one of the best offensive minds in the game today. But, what allows Freeze to stand above the crowd right now is his focus on defense.
With the nation’s top scoring defense last year and top NFL prospects like Robert Nkemdiche, they take a lot of pressure off the Ole Miss offense.
It seems like an obvious point to focus on winning with defense in the SEC, but Sumlin and Malzhan would rather sign an extra wide receiver than a third defensive lineman.
By developing an Elite defense, Freeze has been able to build momentum for his overall program rather than just one side of the football and as we have seen so far a one-sided program is just not sustainable.
It remains to be seen if Hugh Freeze can stay on top of the league throughout the year, but it seems the schedule is setting up to favor Ole Miss.
The best team’s on the remaining schedule are Texas A&M and LSU and both of those teams have to play in Oxford.
It’s a great story. Everyone loves to see the “good ole’ boy do good,” but Freeze is on the verge of taking over as the King of College Football.