Ole Miss is in a tight spot with the resignation of Coach Hugh Freeze.
Though the university said the current NCAA trouble isn’t the reason for Freeze’s departure, it certainly will be a reason for the difficulty finding a replacement.
The NCAA alleges 21 charges of misconduct involving academics, boosters and recruiting. Ole Miss already has a self-imposed bowl ban for this season, and it likely will find out further sanctions by the NCAA in September or October.
And ask anyone around college football (outside of Ole Miss) about what kind of coach interim Matt Luke will be, and they’ll be quick to say, “Who is Matt Luke?”
Though the walls are crumbling in Oxford, not all is lost for the Rebels.
It would be in the team’s best interest to move quickly in getting a new coach before the season starts. But what kind of coach would want to come to a program in trouble and headed for more? That’s easy: a desperate one.
Ole Miss targets?
And here are three who might match that criteria — and with great resumes:
Chip Kelly: Not great with the Philadelphia Eagles or the San Francisco 49ers (hey, even Nick Saban crashed in the pros), but Kelly took Oregon to the BCS title game. Most indicators say Kelly will return to the college ranks. UCLA supposedly is ready to pounce if Mora has a bad season. SEC schools Tennessee, Texas A&M and even Arkansas also are preparing to strike should their seasons fall below expectations. Ole Miss has the advantage of having an opening now.
Les Miles: I’m sure a lot of LSU fans would laugh about this hire, just like a lot of Ole Miss fans laughed about loud when Ed Orgeron became head coach at LSU. But Miles has won a national title at LSU and has head coaching experience. The biggest cons are his age (63) and his record against Nick Saban.
Greg Schiano: Bad for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, but great at Rutgers (see Chip Kelly entry). Schiano is now Urban Meyers right-hand man at Ohio State and is a big part of the Buckeyes’ continued success.
Honorable mention: Tommy Tuberville (maybe they can bring him back in a pine box); Jim Tressel (I’m sure he’s learned his lesson by now).
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