(Follow Aaron on Twitter @Aaron_Torres)
While it’s safe to say that there are plenty of more talented teams in college football than the Ole Miss Rebels entering the 2012 season, it’s hard to argue that few are more intriguing. Houston Nutt is out, and the fiery, passionate and (a little bit) zany Hugh Freeze is in, and with it, excitement around the program is through the roof.
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And on Tuesday, Ole Miss beat writer Hugh Kellenberger stopped by to talk about it all. Hugh covers the Rebels for the Jackson Clarion-Ledger and he spoke with me about the following subjects:
- The craziness of SEC Media Days last week, and how Hugh Freeze stole the show, and was the most dynamic coach in the building.
- Looking back on the Houston Nutt era, what went wrong? Was it just a matter of Nutt not bringing in enough talent, or was it what happened to the talent on when it got to campus? Also, why Hugh believed that Nutt took entirely too many chances on kids that had no business being at the school.
- Does the college football world as a whole have a true understanding for just how bad the situation that Freeze inherited is? Also, the subtle, little changes that Freeze has made to change the “character” of the program, in addition to the on the field results as well.
- Freeze’s zany, yet effective recruiting strategies. Ole Miss has offered more kids than just about any school in the country, but is also receiving commitments from kids who might’ve never considered the school before. Is his recruiting strategy working? Are more kids at least thinking about Ole Miss than might’ve in the past?
- Moving to the 2012 season, how is the offense transitioning to Freeze’s fast-paced spread attack. We know that it’ll be an adjustment, but how are they handling both the mental and physical wear the offense takes on a team. Also, how this fast-paced offense has actually helped the defense get in better shape as well.
And finally, what are realistic expectations for this program entering the 2012 season.
Again, while it’s hard to argue that Ole Miss will have a ton of success on the football field this fall, what’s impossible to deny is that they’ll at least be interesting. Freeze has injected this program with life and energy, two things that have been sorely lacking through the years. Hugh and I discuss this it all in this fast-paced, 30-minute interview.
Speaking of the interview, you can access it in any number of ways. If you can’t listen to the show live here, you can always download it straight from iTunes, just by searching for the “Aaron Torres Sports Podcast.” You can also subscribe to the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast by clicking here.
Also for updates on the show, my writing and much more, be sure to follow on Twitter @Aaron_Torres. While you’re there, make sure to give Hugh a follow too (as if you’re not already) @HKellenbergerCL.
And finally (and maybe most importantly to some of you!), please remember that Exclusiv Vodka is now an official sponsor of the Aaron Torres Sports Podcast. And as a thank you for listening, they want to give you a free bottle of their product.
To be entered all you’ve got to do is go to Exclusiv’s Facebook page at Facebook.com/ExclusivVodka. From there, be sure to “Like” their product, and then tag yourself with Exclusiv and the phrase “Aaron Torres Sports Podcast.” Do that, and you’ll be automatically entered to win a free bottle.
Regardless, I want to quickly thank Hugh again for joining the show, and thank you for taking the time to listen.
Until next time…