Nebraska has been in search of an athletic director after firing Shawn Eichorst, who had been with the program since 2012, back in September. With a new A.D. on the way, it’s likely he or she will be looking to hire a new coach for the cash cow that is the football program. The name on everyone’s lips to eventually replace Riley in Lincoln is Scott Frost.
See, Frost is a link to the most recent successful time in Cornhusker history that fans, alums, boosters and faculty are yearning for. UCF’s second year head coach was the starting quarterback for Nebraska’s 1997 squad that won a share of the National Championship, their last in school history. He was also Graduate Assistant coach under Frank Solich who replaced legendary coach Tom Osborne.
The 42-year old leader of the Knights has quickly put his stamp on his program in central Florida and has drawn high praise for taking a team that finished 0-12 the season before he arrived, to a bowl game in his rookie campaign and now at 5-0 is having the best season they’ve had since 2013 when the team finished 12-1 and Fiesta Bowl Champions.
Frost has learned the game at the feet of legends having played for Osborne, Bill Walsh, Bill Parcells, Bill Belichick and John Gruden, while having coached under Chip Kelly and Mark Helfrich in the hyper-advanced Oregon offense that won Marcus Mariota a Heisman and got them to a National Championship game in 2014. He’s brought all that knowledge to Orlando and its impressed many, especially his old school, with how quickly he’s turned the Knights around.
Look closely at what he’s done in a short time. The Knights lead the American Athletic Conference in points per game at 50.6, having put up 60+ points twice, 51 in another and scoring no less than 38, while holding their opponents 16.8 points per game which also leads the AAC. They’re also first in the AAC in total offense, gaining 547.2 yards per game. Where do these numbers rank nationally? The 547.2 yards of total offense is 5th in the NCAA, the 50.6 points per game ranks first in the country, and the 16.8 points per game given up on defense ranks 14th nationally. The Knights are getting it done in all phases of the game, something the Cornhuskers desperately need.
If the Knights’ continue on their current run, the Nebraska job would likely be Frost’s to turndown. And, if he wanted the job who could blame him? Look around the landscape of college football and several alums are heading up their cherished programs. Mark Richt has made his way back to south Florida and the University of Miami. Jim Harbaugh is in year three at Michigan. Kirby Smart is in year two at Georgia. All of them are doing very well and are firmly in the national championship chase. Coaches are highly competitive creatures, why wouldn’t Coach Frost believe he can do for his alma mater what the previously mentioned men have done at their schools?
It just sucks for UCF because this is a program with the immense talent in the Sunshine State, especially in central Florida, which should be a destination, not a stepping-stone. Just maybe not for this ball coach.