SEC MD17 4: Scouting Ole Miss

Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze
Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze speaks during the Southeastern Conference's annual media gathering Thursday in Hoover, Ala. [AP Photo/Butch Dill]

Ole Miss Coach: Hugh Freeze, sixth season (69-32 overall, 39-25 at Ole Miss).
Last year: 5-7 overall, 2-6 in the SEC (7th in the West).
Best case scenario: Pressed into playing late in his true freshman season last year, quarterback Shea Patterson, a five-star recruit, makes a quantum leap in his sophomore year and the Rebels take off on offense. The defense is more sound than last year and Ole Miss and the Rebels find a way to win enough games to become bowl eligible.
Worst case scenario: The NCAA’s dark cloud becomes a major distraction and the Rebels continue their free fall that started at the end of last season with one-side losses to Vanderbilt (38-17) and arch-rival Mississippi State (55-20). The schedule is brutal, with consecutive road games against California, Alabama and Auburn.
Quotable: “I keep waiting for the Media Day where I come here and we can just talk about our players. For whatever reason, the journey we’ve been on — obviously, some of our fault — has continued for a long time. This will be my sixth Media Day, if my memory’s right. Be the fifth time we’re talking about something other than our team.” — Freeze