The elephant in the room was addressed in Columbia on Monday.

Following the firing of Will Muschamp at South Carolina following the team’s 59-42 loss to Ole Miss on Saturday, many Gamecock fans have their hearts set on the school hiring Liberty’s Hugh Freeze to replace Muschamp.

During his Monday morning press conference, South Carolina AD Ray Tanner was asked if Hugh Freeze would be a candidate for the head coaching job in Columbia.

Here is his response:

“I’m not going to speak about any particular candidates. Nobody is ruled out,” Tanner answered. “We will be looking at a long list of candidates and that work started last night. So, at this point, we will consider a lot of different people and we are in the process of narrowing that list down.”

While that’s far from a firm sentiment one way or another, Tanner did have an opportunity to downplay those rumors and his response suggests South Carolina is interested in the Liberty coach.

If you missed it, SDS’s Matt Hayes is reporting that Freeze is at the top of South Carolina’s list to replace Muschamp.

Freeze’s Liberty team is 8-0 and ranked No. 21 nationally in just his second season at the school. Freeze, the former head coach at Ole Miss, has a career record of 65-33.