Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze suddenly resigned on Thursday night.
Shortly after 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports reported that "explosive new information" had put Freeze's job in "immediate jeopardy." Twenty minutes later, the Ole Miss football account tweeted that Freeze had resigned, effective immediately, and co-offensive coordinator Matt Luke would be interim coach.
USA Today reported the resignation stemmed from a phone call to an escort service, which Ole Miss said "is totally unrelated to the NCAA case."
A one-minute call made from the University-issued phone of Ole Miss football coach Hugh Freeze to a number associated with a female escort service was raised as a potential issue in the back-and-forth between the university’s legal counsel and the attorney for former Rebels football coach Houston Nutt, according to records and correspondence obtained by USA TODAY Sports.
It appears extremely unlikely that anyone but Luke will be head coach throughout the 2017 season, but given the messy NCAA investigation surrounding Freeze and the program, you can bet on Ole Miss cleaning house after the season.
Here are five possible candidates to take over after the 2017 season.
Current Position: Head Coach – Memphis
Mike Norvell has only one year of head coaching experience but the 35-year-old is rocketing up the ranks and will soon have a pile of Power Five offers on the table — if he didn't already last winter.
Current Position: Head Coach – Temple
It takes a lot of stones to leave a job after one season. What if the new opportunity is back in the SEC though?
Geoff Collns, 46, is entering his first year at Temple, his first head coaching job after two decades of assistant stops. He spent the last six years in the SEC as defensive coordinator at Mississippi State (2011-14) and Florida (2015-16).
Current Position: Head Coach – SMU
Eight years ago Chad Morris was a high school coach in Texas. Now the 48-year-old third-year SMU coach is making headlines for quickly rebuilding the Mustangs' program.
The former Tulsa and Clemson assistant went 2-10 in 2015 and 5-7 in 2016. While the Texas roots and connections are undeniable and lead one to assume he'll wait for a Power Five job in the state, could he leap at the Ole Miss opportunity?
Current Position: Head Coach – Tulsa
Like Chad Morris, Philip Montgomery was a Texas high school football coach who has crafted a spectacular reputation as a brilliant offensive mind.
Montgomery joined Art Briles' Houston staff in 2003 and followed him to Baylor in 2008, where he remained as coordinator until 2015 when Tulsa hired him. He's still just 45 years old and appears on the verge of fielding big-time offers.
Current Position: Head Coach – Colorado State
Mike Bobo is a Georgia native, played for the Bulldogs and spent 16 of his first 17 years in coaching at his alma mater, the final eight as offensive coordinator (2007-14). He made a surprising jump to Colorado State in 2015, replacing Jim McElwain, also a former SEC coordinator.
Bobo is just 14-12 in two seasons with the Rams but one strong season could be enough for him to earn a Power Five job.