Is Hugh Freeze Auburn Football’s best ‘long term’ option?

Many local and national media members have tabbed their projected front-runner for the vacant head coaching job at Auburn, which is considered to be the top job out of the current openings around the Power Five level of College Football.

The top names mentioned to this point are Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin and Jackson State’s Deion Sanders. However, there is another coach with ties to the Magnolia State that has the attention of one ESPN college football analyst.

ESPN’s Adam Rittenburg recently ranked the current openings around college football, placing Auburn at the top spot. He also shared his top candidate to watch for the open position, where he mentioned Hugh Freeze, the former Ole Miss head coach who is currently leading the football program at Liberty.

Rittenburg feels that Freeze would be a phenomenal recruiter, and utilize NIL to his advantage, which would allow him to stay at Auburn for the “long run.”

Although Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin is viewed as the frontrunner for the Auburn job, Freeze might be the better fit for the long run. Freeze embraces the recruiting piece and would use Auburn’s NIL program to his advantage. He has a known track record of producing exciting and effective offenses, first at Ole Miss and now at Liberty. Before Liberty, Freeze had spent his entire career in the SEC footprint. He has the personality to connect with Auburn fans and possibly bring together the power brokers around the program. His new contract at Liberty likely wouldn’t prevent a move to Auburn. Freeze was unhirable in the SEC for a while after his downfall at Ole Miss, but more than five years after his resignation, a return makes more sense.

The new contract that Rittenburg mentions above is referring to the extension that Freeze signed with Liberty on Oct. 28. The contract is set to expire in 2030, and will pay Freeze $5 million per season. In three seasons at Liberty,  Freeze has won 33 games, and has led the Flames to a 7-1 record in 2022.

List

Coaching Carousel: Ranking possible destinations for Bryan Harsin

Story originally appeared on Auburn Wire