The purpose of this post is to offer a closer look at how Hugh Freeze has done in his first 2 years.
I will say I never was on the Hugh Freeze train, it really isn't a personal thing but more of a differing view of philosophies. I'm not a believer in his style. I feel the championship way isn't the flashiness of an Oregon but rather the effectiveness of a grind it out Stanford. Alabama has shown everyone the lasting formula for success. Defense and a power running game. I don't think we hired the right guy and I haven't seen anything other than mediocrity. As if that wasn't enough I'm not sure how much of our recent shortcomings aren't due to coaching instead of depth. The man can recruit but how do we know he can develop or adequately strategize in the toughest conference in the country? This season we finished 6th out of 7 in the SEC West. He is 1-9 versus ranked opponents. Of Freeze's 14 wins, only 6 have come against bowl eligible teams.
Hugh Freeze's record 14-11, a winning percentage of .56%
Note- for the only poll ranking I look at the BCS poll and I only look at the last available poll to more accurately reflect how teams played throughout entire season.
In 2012 Freeze's wins:
Central Arkansas (FCS) score: 49-27
UTEP (finished 3-9) score: 28-10
Tulane (finished 2-10) score: 39-0
Auburn (went winless in SEC and fired coach, finished 3-9) score: 41-20
Arkansas (fired their coach, finished 4-8) score: 30-27
Mississippi State (lost 5 of their last 6) score: 41-24
Pittsburgh (finished 6-7) score: 38-17
In 2013 Freeze's wins:
Vanderbilt (beat 1 team with a winning record all year, 8-4) score: 39-35
SE Missouri State (FCS) score: 31-13
Texas (most likely going to retire Mack Brown after another disappointing season, finished 8-4 Ranking when written #24 but probably out of top 25 after loss to Baylor) score: 44-23
LSU (definitely Freeze's best win but this was never a truly top 6 team, truth be told it probably is one of the worst Tigers teams of the last decade, finished 9-3 and #15) score: 27-24
Arkansas (went winless in the SEC, finished 3-9) score 34-24
Troy (went 6-6) score: 51-21
So these are pretty pedestrian wins. A common rebuttal to this is "well look who we lost to, we only lose to the top teams" and while this is understandable (for now) against national championship teams like Alabama; I suggest that this is not the case for all of our losses. Not by a long shot. But more than that, to try and explain away or justify our losses has led to what I feel is a culture of complacency in Oxford. The fact that some have even embraced "WAOM" is ridiculous to me, people might actually care more about tailgating in the grove than the product on the field. This would be the people who shrug off a loss with "well we never lose a party". Not only this but who have we really beaten? Hugh Freze's wins look like the difficulty of a Big10 schedule... Not much quality.
Auburn fires their coach 2 years removed from a national championship and now they are right back to it. So the "give him time" approach is one I personally have no stomach for (in the sense that our progression really isn't that impressive when you break down the wins). Especially when I look at A&M take down Bama in Sumlin's first year or Pinkel making the SEC championship in just their 2nd year in the conference. If we don't expect more from our program we will never make the strides necessary to compete at the top.
In 2012 Freeze's losses:
Texas (finished 9-4 and ranked #23) score: 66-31 (Blownout at home)
Alabama (finished 13-1 and #1) score: 33-14
Texas A&M (finished 11-2 and #9) score: 30-27 (Choked away the game, still mad about going for it on 4th and a centimeter from shotgun)
Georgia (finished 12-2 and #7) score: 37-10 (No idea what happened during the half. We went from close game to steamrolled)
Vanderbilt (finished 9-4) score: 27-26 (another late game choke)
LSU (finished 10-3 and #8 ) score: 41-35 (blew 4th quarter lead)
In 2013 Freeze's losses:
Alabama (currently 11-1 and #4) score: 25-0 (only team other than Arkansas and FCS Chattanooga to be shut out by Bama)
Auburn (currently 12-1 and #2) score: 30-22
Texas A&M (currently 8-4 and #24) score: 41-38
Missouri (currenty 11-2 and around #5) score: 24-10
Mississippi State (currently 6-6) score: 17-10
To break it down Freeze has 4 losses against teams ranked 20 or lower, 2 of those against unranked teams. On the flip side of the coin Freeze has 1 win against ranked teams. He is 1-9 versus ranked opponents. Of Freeze's 14 wins only 6 have come against bowl eligible teams.
The purpose of this post was to question those who see Freeze as "the guy" to fix Ole Miss football. I don't know what it is based on, maybe the don't think Archie could have made such a miscalculation but by that sense not even the NBA's greatest all time player could make the Charlotte Bobcats anything better than a punchline. Now, I hope I'm wrong and next year Freeze goes undefeated and wins the championship to shut me up. But based on our numerous late game meltdowns, I wouldn't bet on it.
My last thing is what are yall's actual expectations for Freeze? What do yall expect from him and in what amount of time? I can't fathom a justification for not eventually wanting to win it all or at least an SEC championship game. Or even how long do you give him before expecting an SEC west title and an SEC championship game appearance? With the culture being one of "what have you done for me lately" and more demand than ever to win consistently regardless of past accomplishments... even more so than what you expect out of Freeze, what do yall demand from Freeze; what must he do to satiate your desires before you decide you prefer a different direction for our program?
Are my expectations set very high, yes. But why would I settle for anything less than what our fellow SEC competitors are doing? I mean, even State made 1 SEC championship game...