"I think it accelerates our journey, our process," he said. "Not just the extra practices, but the extra media coverage ... we're one of the teams still playing."
Freeze said he doesn't know much Pitt, beyond that the Panthers took Notre Dame down to the wire and got better as the season went along.
Running back Ray Graham and quarterback Tino Sunseri give Pitt a 3,000-yard passer and 1,000-yard rusher in the same season for the first time.
The Panthers came to Birmingham the last two trips with interim coaches after Dave Wannstedt was released from his contract and Todd Graham left for Arizona State.
They beat Kentucky 27-10 two years ago and lost to SMU 28-6 last season.
"We've been given a great opportunity to play a quality program like Ole Miss," Chryst said. "I know they finished the season strong and looked impressive in winning the Egg Bowl against Mississippi State."