To the surprise of many, the college football carousel completed without Liberty head coach Hugh Freeze returning to a Power Five team, let alone an SEC team.
The former Ole Miss head coach re-upped with the Flames for the 2021 season and beyond with a big contract extension this past year. And he has big plans for his team moving forward.
Specifically, Freeze wants to see Liberty finally join one of the ten FBS conferences. Speaking to ESPNU Radio on Wednesday, Freeze argued that the Flames deserve a chance to plead their case for “a seat at the table.”
“Yes we’re interested in talking with conferences if they decide they want to expand,” Freeze said, via 247Sports. “We want a seat at the table and to plead our case. As to when, I stay out of those conversations because it would confuse me and I worry about what I can control. I have great trust what (the school) is doing for us. In the meantime, we try and see the positives of being independent. We can put our kids in a lot of different environments to play college football against some really good Power Five programs and some Group of Five schools that are good and challenging.
“When recruiting comes up, I ask kids to tell me who won (so and so) conference last year. They can’t tell you. There’s what six to eight schools that have a chance to win the national championship? The rest of us are playing to go to a bowl game and we have that opportunity just like everyone else. Our bowl ties have increased… I think it’s exciting for fans and we bring an exciting brand of football. That’s what I concentrate on right now…”
Liberty has been an FCS independent since joining the FBS in 2018. Prior to that, they were a dominant force in the FCS’ Big South Conference for over a decade.
But if Freeze has any national title ambitions at Liberty, he may want to opt for a Power Five conference instead of one of the Group of Five conferences. We’ve seen time and again that being dominant in the Group of Five doesn’t matter nearly as much as being simply the winner of a Power Five conference.
Liberty went 10-1 in 2020, rising to No. 21 in the nation before suffering their only loss to NC State. But they finished the season on a high note, beating Group of Five titan Coastal Carolina in the Cure Bowl.
Which conference would Hugh Freeze and Liberty be ideal for?