Just a couple more coaches to go now that Ole Miss' Hugh Freeze has finished up his main media session. Here are the takeaways from the third-year coach's date with the press:
* Freeze began his opening statement by referencing Steve Spurrier's quip a couple of years ago that he'd rather have Ole Miss on his schedule at a permanent opponent than Arkansas, who was on the Gamecocks' schedule at the time. Freeze believes it's a positive sign that "Coach Spurrier's not talking about wanting to play us every year." He then said that Spurrier and Les Miles have been very helpful to him since his arrival in the SEC three years ago. Asked later if he'd ever talked with Spurrier about his comment from Media Days 2012, Freeze laughed it off and said no. "At that point, who wouldn't have wanted to play Ole Miss?" He said the two talk often. In fact, over the summer Freeze, Spurrier and Gus Malzahn all played a round of golf. The game was up-tempo and played in under three hours. "Not a lot of practice swings in that group." Freeze then said that his short hair cut today was due in part to losing a bet over that golf game. Spurrier won the round; Freeze cut his hair for Media Days.
* If there's anyone as affable as Mark Richt, it might be Freeze. He comes across each year as a friendly, earnest and humble man.
* Freeze also revealed that his 15-year-old daughter keeps tabs on the SEC by ranking the league's best coaches. Asked who topped her list -- LSU's Miles. Freeze said he spent 10 minutes talking to her before a game a couple of years ago and last year, on the field pregame, she was talking to him without her dad even around. Asked where his daughter ranked him, Freeze said she doesn't put him on the list, but "I would be her #1, I hope." Good stuff.
* Ole Miss' coach said his theme for his team this season is "All in with relentless effort." While you can't be perfect in execution, "you can be perfect in your effort."
* Freeze said his team's spring couldn't have been better, that they've added depth and that the Rebels' "buy-in percentage is at an all-time high." However: "Leadership will be the key... We haven't developed leadership in our locker room to the point that I'm totally happy." He did say leadership is better now than at any point in the last two years.
* Queried about expectations, Freeze said UM's turnaround has been "faster than I thought possible." He said he expected to reach a bowl in Year Three, not his first two seasons. "Most fans realize we're maybe a year or two away from looking like an SEC team in the depth chart." The head Rebel pointed out that this season marks the first time his squad has featured 85 players all recruited to be on scholarship. "We're a better football team today than we were in Year One and Year Two and we should be very competitive."
* Freeze -- who often posts photos of the fish he's caught on Twitter -- says he uses social media to "get my brand and the core principles of our program out" to the public. Apparently one core principle involves fishing.
* Asked about the push for better scholarships, medical insurance, etc, Freeze said that his top message to his players is: "Do not forget the blessing. They are blessed individuals to be at an SEC program, to receive compensation to play athletics and for (their) education... Many, many people (would like) to trade places. So don't forget that you are blessed." He then pointed out that the SEC's coaches and the league as a whole are leading the charge for full-cost-of-tuition scholarships.
* The Rebels will open the season at LP Field in Nashville versus Vanderbilt, where they beat Georgia Tech in last year's Music City Bowl. "We love Nashville. There's a lot of Rebels there. We won two games there last year." Oooh, a little jab at Vandy?
* Ole Miss had a top five recruiting class in 2013 and many of those freshmen played important roles for the Rebels last year. But Freeze believes they did hit a wall. "I think fatigue took place, if not physically, definitely mentally. And I've had a learning curve on that, too... Those freshmen, that (travel) is a whole new world for them. And I do believe it took somewhat of a toll on them." Now sophomores, Freeze expects better things from his hyped '13 class. "Another year in our offseason program, being a college student-athlete" should help prepare them for "the grind of what we ask them to go through."
* Freeze said quarterback Bo Wallace needs to "continue to cut down on his turnovers and make sure he's making smart plays." He added, though, that he's been overshadowed by great quarterbacks in the league the last couple of years. Now, "finally healthy and confident," Freeze feels his senior signal-caller can "be one of the guys in the SEC."
* Finally, Freeze said that the key to a quick turnaround -- aside from a better, deeper roster -- is accountability within a program. "I just don't believe it's possible for teams in this league to have success without having accountability to the little things."