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Athlon Sports ranks Hugh Freeze in top 20 of FBS football coaches

Athlon Sports ranks Hugh Freeze in top 20 of FBS football coaches

Ole Miss Head Football coach Hugh Freeze received some praise early Tuesday morning as Athlon Sports ranked him the 17th best FBS college football coach for 2016. Athlon Sports also ranked all of the Southeastern Conference coaches from top to bottom with Freeze taking the No. 2 slot, trailing only Nick Saban, who has led the Crimson Tide to three national championships in the past five years. Freeze has defeated Saban’s Alabama teams the last two years in a row. 

Since Freeze has been the Rebels’ coach, he has climbed the ladder as one of the most respected coaches in all of college football by taking Ole Miss to new heights. In Freeze’s first season with the Rebels, the program finished 7-6. For the next three seasons, Ole Miss improved in the wins category, finishing 8-5, 9-4 and 10-3, respectively.

Post game press conference with Freeze and Trophy

Coach Freeze takes a look at the 2014 Egg Bowl Trophy following Ole Miss’ defeat of Mississippi State in Oxford. (Photo credit: The Rebel Walk)

Before Freeze arrived in Oxford, he had already staked his claim to being a solid head coach. In two seasons at Lambuth, Freeze went 20-5 and the program finished as one of the top two teams in the Mountain West Conference in both seasons. He then led Arkansas State to a 10-2 record and a first place finish in the Sun Belt Conference.

However, Coach Freeze really made a name for himself in his last two seasons in Oxford with back-to-back trips to New Year’s Six Day Bowls, which were highlighted by a dominating 48-20 victory in last year’s Sugar Bowl against Big 12 member Oklahoma State.

The Rebels have had a top three finish in the Southeastern Conference Western Division in the past two seasons.

Freeze has also done well in recruiting, locking up four straight top 20 classes. His 2016 signing class is the best to date, ranked as high as No. 4 in the country by ESPN.com. Quarterback Shea Patterson (6-foot-2, 198-pounds), offensive lineman Greg Little (6-6, 326), wide receiver A.J. Brown (6-1, 225), and wide receiver Tre Nixon (6-1, 170) are some of the big targets Freeze and his staff were able to reel in.

Here is Athlon’s Top 25 FBS Football Coaches:

1) Nick SabanAlabama
2) Urban MeyerOhio State
3) Jim HarbaughMichigan
4) Mark DantonioMichigan State
5) Bob StoopsOklahoma
6) Gary PattersonTCU
7) Jimbo FisherFlorida State
8) David ShawStanford
9) Dabo SwinneyClemson
10) Brian KellyNotre Dame
11) Bill SnyderKansas State
12) Bobby PetrinoLouisville
13) Chris PetersonWashington
14) Tom HermanHouston
15) David CutcliffeDuke
16) Mark RichtMiami
17) Hugh FreezeOle Miss
18) Bret BielemaArkansas
19) Kirk FerentzIowa
20) Dan MullenMississippi State
21) Mike GundyOklahoma State
22) Kyle WhittinghamUtah
23) Butch JonesTennessee
24) Pat FitzgeraldNorthwestern
25) Les MilesLSU

About The Author

Courtney Smith

Courtney is from Memphis and received his Bachelor's Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Memphis in May of 2014. He began his journalism career covering the Memphis Tigers Men's basketball team, which landed him an intern position on 730 Yahoo Sports Radio and a position with Rivals.com. A freelance writer for the Associated Press, Courtney is also a member of The Rebel Walk team and reports regularly on Ole Miss football and basketball. Courtney, the father of a six-year old girl named Soniyah, prefers to cover NCAA basketball and football, but is happy to report on any other sport that comes his way.

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