National Signing Day 2016 presented an opportunity for Bret Bielema to speak in public. He didn't disappoint:
Bret Bielema on ESPN2: "Florida is kind of the new Ole Miss. They're doing some things in recruiting that kind of shock you a little bit."— Jon Solomon (@JonSolomonCBS) February 3, 2016
Naturally, this quote made the rounds. People have been accusing Ole Miss of dirty recruiting since at least 2013, and it was so bad then that Hugh Freeze issued a "come at me bro" on Twitter telling people to turn in any information they have about violations to his school's compliance office.
So naturally, most folks took this quote to mean that Bielema was accusing Ole Miss of being a cheat and Florida stepping up to match the Rebels. And naturally, Bielema then "clarified" his remark:
Hugh Freeze just told SI’s Signing Day show that Bret Bielema called him and said his earlier comments were meant to compliment Ole Miss.— Zac Ellis (@ZacEllis) February 3, 2016
OK, so he meant that Florida has been doing unexpectedly well on the recruiting trail, just like Ole Miss has been. You know, the same UF that has only finished outside the top 15 recruiting classes once since 2010—that being Jim McElwain's first class a year ago when he had to rebuild obvious lame duck Will Muschamp's minuscule class from scratch.
But sure, coach. We totally know that what you truly meant was that you're surprised Florida is doing well on the trail. Sure.
UPDATE: Bielema issued a longer statement.