Hugh Freeze sends message to Nick Saban and Alabama as Auburn’s new coach.

Hugh Freeze was introduced as Auburn’s new football coach on Tuesday and he had a message for Nick Saban and rival Alabama Crimson Tide.

The Auburn Tigers’ decision to hire Hugh Freeze as their new coach after he fired Bryan Harsin mid-season was met with heavy (and fair) criticism given his transgressions at Ole Miss and even Liberty with his direct messaging activity. But we can sum up Auburn’s decision to one thing: they want to win football games.

Hugh Freeze, without exception, knows how to do it.

He arrived in the program after the Tigers finished 5-7 and were defeated in the Iron Bowl by rival Alabama under the watchful eye of Nick Saban. Freeze did, however, manage to get the better of Saban on several occasions when he was at Ole Miss and the Tigers faithful will be hoping that happens again. And it seems the new coach is aware of that.

Although he referred to Nick Saban and his wife Terry as “friends,” Freeze had a simple message for Alabama and its head coach when he was introduced as Auburn’s new head coach on Tuesday. He just hopes this hire will shake them up a bit.

Hugh Freeze on Nick Saban and Alabama: ‘Hope they’re a little nervous’

Other than a shortage of oat cream pie, I’m not sure there’s much in this world that could make Nick Saban nervous. That being said, Freeze’s move to Auburn, in a strictly football sense, is a move that could allow the Tigers to quickly challenge the Crimson Tide in the Iron Bowl and maybe even beyond.

At Ole Miss and Liberty, Freeze was aggressive and successful in the transfer portal, which will likely be his first avenue to explore now that he has the job with the Tigers. And with the NIL money the boosters have pending, he will have the resources to do an exemplary job there, something akin to Brian Kelly finding immediate success at LSU in the 2022 season.

On top of that, Freeze — despite having done some mischief — was an excellent SEC scout at Ole Miss. Now he has a program that simply attracts better talent and with better resources behind him to land better prospects. That could deepen the talent pool at Auburn quickly as well.

That’s not to say Freeze and Auburn will now surpass Nick Saban and Alabama. But after seeing how uncompetitive the Tigers were by their standards under Harsin, this hire seems like the one that at least gets them headed for a mention in the same conversation.

So no, Nick Saban probably isn’t a little nervous on Tuesday. But once Freeze gets to work, there might be a bead of sweat starting to form in the Tuscaloosa offices.

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