If Ole Miss is found out more guilty than imposing losses of double-digit football scholarships between 2015-18 (inclusive), then let’s be honest: This team has certainly been worth the money.
Under Hugh Freeze’s tutelage, which started in 2012 (although 2013 was the first class), Ole Miss brought in one of the greatest recruiting classes ever assembled in Rebs’ history in 2013, including DT Robert Nkemdiche, O-Lineman Laremy Tunsil, WR Laquon Treadwell, and S Tony Conner. 3 out of 4 of those assembled players went in the NFL first round, and Conner’s still in school after suffering injuries.
Saw three players not only go to the NFL, but go in the first. Treadwell grabbed the headlines for the right reasons (coming back from injury etc etc etc), while Tunsil’s gasmask and the thoughts that Nkemdiche might be out of mind were also slightly “unusual”. OK, they weren’t great.
On the field, the recruiting class that Freeze put together:
- Owns a two-game winning stream over Alabama (the longest current winning streak over Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide).
- Has beaten Mississippi State in back-to-back Egg Bowls.
- Has beaten LSU 2 out of the last three games.
- The only team they never solved in the SEC was Auburn, who has beaten them 2 out of the last 3 years (but not in 2015).
- Finished with an continually-improving 27-12, The record improved incrementally year-on-year. And in the SEC over the course of that time, they went 14-12. The last Ole Miss coach finished with a winnning SEC record was David Cutcliffe.
And it’s not over yet. But Tunsil, Treadwell and Nkemdiche leaving are going to be massive, massive losses.
But we can say this for certain: Ole Miss definitely got what it paid for.