Head Coach Matt Luke of the Ole Miss Rebels watches his team warm up before a game against the Arkansas Razorbacks at Hemingway Stadium on October 28, 2017 in Oxford, Mississippi.
RebelGrove was the first to report the news. When Freeze was sacked, Luke took over as head coach and helped Ole Miss to a 6-6 record in his first year in 2017. Half the team is talking about leaving if Luke leaves. Ole Miss' win-loss record regressed each season under Luke. The team lost 21-20 to Mississippi State in the Egg Bowl after receiver Elijah Moore's unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and the kicker's missed point-after try. The incident put the program in the national spotlight for all the wrong reasons and was heavily scrutinized by the national media.
Numerous sources with Ole Miss football say that a handful of players stormed out when Carter broke the news, and that a large portion of the roster is thinking about transferring. The early signing period for recruits in the 2020 class begins on December 18, and the expectation is that a hire will be made by then. "At the same time, winning is important, and we know that we can compete for championships at Ole Miss".
The Rebels averaged 48,128 fans per home game this season, down a whopping 14% from 2018, and attendance numbers had fallen every year since 2015. The school announced him as such three days later. "From a recruiting, academic and overall culture standpoint Matt did a tremendous job and we will always be grateful for his leadership".
Why it makes sense: Kiffin, 44, has head coaching experience in the NFL (Oakland Raiders), SEC (Tennessee), Pac 12 (USC) and now at FAU. Lousiana's Billy Napier and Appalachian State's Eli Drinkwitz are also considered to be strong possibilities. The third-year head coach was let go following a 4-8 season. He was 28-15 at Southern Cal after taking over a program that was ineligible for postseason play, but was sacked five games into his fourth season.