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Hugh Freeze addresses South Carolina rumors

The South Carolina job is open, and Hugh Freeze is most-talked-about possibility as the next head Gamecock.

Asked directly if he'd be interested in the job by 247Sportson Monday, Freeze said this:

"Man, you know, the first thing is, I have no clue if anybody even wants me or not, except for Liberty," Freeze told 247Sports Monday. "And so I'm thankful for Liberty. I know this, and my wife keeps me grounded on this, I live where my feet are and my total focus is on our team here getting them ready for NC State and building this program. I've been honest with them and our administration here in saying that it would take something really, really special for me to even consider leaving here — and I mean that. I have no idea if anybody even would want to talk to me, and that's OK, I'm at peace with that. So I'm happy right where I'm at and at total peace. Got great friends here, great staff, great kids, great administration. I've got a house up on the mountain, two minutes from campus."

Freeze is not the first candidate to go on record in dancing around questions about his interest in South Carolina.

There will be a number of names linked to South Carolina, but Freeze will be the only one with a Sugar Bowl victory under his belt.

His Liberty team is in the midst of the best season in school history. The Flames are 8-0 and in the AP Top 25 for the first time in school history. Having scored victories over Syracuse and Virginia Tech already, Liberty will look to move to 3-0 against ACC opponents with a road trip to NC State on Saturday. The 21st-ranked Flames close their regular season against Chadwell and No. 15 Coastal Carolina on Dec. 5.

Given that success, Freeze will continue to be linked to SEC openings until he takes one or ages out of the profession. Sensing that, last week Liberty handed Freeze his second contract extension within the past year.

Also, a potential Freeze hiring would need the approval of the SEC conference office considering Ole Miss was put on NCAA probation for violations committed under his watch. Alabama was blocked by commissioner Greg Sankey from hiring Freeze as his offensive coordinator.

Having said that, Freeze was the only candidate mentioned by name in Ray Tanner's press conference on Monday morning.

"I’m not going to speak to any particular candidates. Nobody is ruled out. We’ll be looking at a long list of candidates. That work started last night," Tanner said.

As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.