Dan Mullen and Hugh Freeze were on opposite sides of one the SEC’s most heated rivalries from 2012-to-2016 as head coaches at Mississippi State and Ole Miss.

These days, Mullen is an ESPN analyst sharing his take on what’s happening in and around college football, such as Freeze landing the job at Auburn. Mullen shared his thoughts during a recent appearance on SiriusXM.

“I think it’s interesting for them because it’s a different world in college football. I think, now, the issues he had with the NCAA and all the probation issues and that stuff, is kinda thrown out the window now with NIL,” Mullen said. “That stuff, apparently, is more legal now than it was with all the issues he had with the NCAA. I think it’s easier to look past all of that stuff.

“He does bring baggage. … I think if you’re an Auburn fan… he’s beaten Alabama, beat Nick Saban, and had success in the league and knows the league.”

Mullen noted the importance of Freeze’s SEC familiarity, saying he personally feels Bryan Harsin is a good football coach, but the former Auburn head coach may not have known what he was getting into taking an SEC job.

“Hugh checks a lot more of the fit boxes for the Auburn fanbase,” Mullen said.