Exactly where Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze ranks in his daughter’s eyes is unclear.
But there’s no doubting 15-year-old Ragan’s affection for LSU coach Les Miles, to which Freeze confessed Thursday at SEC Media Days.
“My daughter, Ragan, she keeps a ranking of the SEC coaches,” Freeze said. “If you’re at any of our games and viewing her an hour before game time, she’s at midfield trying to find the other head coach.”
Miles’ kindness during a recent Rebels visit to Baton Rouge, La., swayed Ragan’s rankings his way.
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“He spent 10 minutes with her talking,” Freeze said. “Then, last year when they came to our place, she was out there with me talking to him. To her that’s her favorite.”
Freeze declined to divulge Ragan’s complete list.
“I don’t know that I will give you the whole ranking, but No. 1 in her book is coach Miles,” he said.
Ragan doesn’t include her father on the list, but otherwise “I would be her No. 1, I hope,” Freeze said. “That’s my girl. … My fear is, as they get older, my girls don’t want to be around their dad. That hasn’t happened yet, and I hope it never changes.”
Freeze, who sported a buzz cut after losing a golf bet with South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier a few months ago, also talked some football.
Mississippi was picked fourth the Western Division in the SEC Media Days preseason poll, which was released Thursday, but many consider the Rebels a dark horse to contend for the conference crown.
Much of the reason for that optimism is the return of quarterback Bo Wallace.
“Leadership will be the key,” Freeze said. “We haven’t developed leadership within our locker room to the point that I am totally happy with, but we’re better than we were. I think Bo Wallace has matured quite nicely.”