Will Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze be a little more freewheeling during games as a result of his school’s self-imposed bowl ban for 2017?
Without the possibility of a postseason berth, Freeze said Tuesday that he may be more aggressive in fourth down situations as a result.
“I would think that — I haven’t really thought through that, but I may be a little more apt to go for it on fourth down than you would have been,” Freeze said Tuesday at the SEC spring meetings. “That may be interesting.”
The ultimate irony, of course, would be if Ole Miss is more successful than it otherwise would be and gets a bowl-eligible record if Freeze is more aggressive on fourth down and in other similar scenarios.
The 2017 season will be the second-straight year that Ole Miss hasn’t gone to a bowl. The Rebels needed just one win over the final two games to be bowl-eligible in 2016 but ended the season with losses to Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.
He said the season without postseason potential will be a “great opportunity” to develop as a coach and he’s reached out to people including former interim Baylor coach Jim Grobe for advice as to how to handle the sanction.
“That came up some,” Freeze said about a discussion regarding Grobe’s 2016 season. “It was more about the situation I’m probably facing right now. But — I wouldn’t want to share the things about his situation that he shared — but he was the right man at the right time to stand in the gap there.”
Ole Miss sanctioned itself after receiving an updated Notice of Allegations from the NCAA that alleged the school with a lack of institutional control. In addition to not going to a bowl game, the school will sacrifice approximately $8 million in postseason revenue it was scheduled to get from the SEC.
The school is facing allegations in multiple sports. After the updated NOA, 21 of the allegations are against the football program and many violations allegedly took place during Freeze’s tenure.
Former Ole Miss coach Houston Nutt, who coached at the school from 2008-11, told Yahoo Sports last week that he wants a public apology from the school. At the time Yahoo broke the story of allegations against Ole Miss in January 2016, the school responded that many of the football allegations dated back to Nutt and his staff. Nutt directly preceded Freeze.
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