Nebraska fires Scott Frost: Cornhuskers pay massive buyout to fire coach three games into fifth season – CBS Sports

Nebraska fires Scott Frost: Cornhuskers pay massive buyout to fire coach three games into fifth season - CBS Sports

Nebraska fired coach Scott Frost on Sunday three games into his fifth year with the program. Frost, who joined his alma mater as the nation’s hottest coach in 2018 after leading UCF to a 13-0 record the year before, never won more than five games in a single season while compiling a 16-31 (10-26 Big Ten) record in four-plus campaigns.

Associate head coach Mickey Joseph will serve the remainder of the season as Nebraska’s interim coach.

Frost’s Nebraska teams were terrible in close games, losing 10 straight one-score decisions to close out his tenure. The Cornhuskers fell 45-42 to Georgia Southern on Saturday, allowing an 8-yard touchdown with 36 seconds left to fall to 1-2 on the season. The loss broke a streak of 214 straight wins for Nebraska when scoring 35 or more points at home in Memorial Stadium. It also pushed Frost to 5-22 in one-score games overall.

Firing Frost on Sept. 11, the Huskers now have to pay him a whopping $15 million buyout. That amount would have been cut by 50% had Nebraska waited to fire Frost until October 1. However, athletic director Trev Alberts chose to pay the bill before the brand impact of the program against Oklahoma next weekend in Lincoln, Nebraska.

“Earlier today, I met with coach Frost and informed him that we are making a change in the leadership of our football program, effective immediately,” Alberts said in a statement. “Scott has poured his heart and soul into the Nebraska Football program both as a quarterback and head coach, and I appreciate his work and dedication. After the disappointing start to our season, I decided the best way forward for our program was to make a change in our head coaching position.”

Under Frost, Nebraska finished no better than fifth in the Big 12 West from 2018-21 and never qualified for a bowl game with their best record standing at 5-7 in 2019.

Frost overhauled his staff after a miserable 3-9 campaign in 2021, but results did not improve to start his fifth season. Nebraska’s only win through three weeks was over FCS North Dakota, 38-17. Its two losses sandwiched that win and both came by three points: 31-28 to Northwestern in Dublin, Ireland, in Week 0 and to Georgia Southern at home in Week 2.

Now, the Huskers can put themselves in position to hire a coach soon after the 2022 season and hit the recruiting trail before other teams making coaching changes.

There is nowhere left to indicate

Frost was hailed as one of the best recruits in the 2017-18 cycle and a potential game changer when Nebraska nabbed the former title-winning quarterback. It was a homecoming for the Nebraska native and a chance to bring the program back to national prominence.

But almost from the start, excuses flowed. First it was that quarterback Adrian Martinez did not form. Then there was the staff that failed to develop players at a high enough level. Before the 2022 season, Alberts allowed Frost to bring in a new offensive coordinator, several new assistants and a new quarterback. Unfortunately, the results did not change at all.

It’s hard to put into context how badly Nebraska wanted this hire to work. Frost was a beloved son and the apparent chosen one for this program. Unfortunately, his winning percentage ranks as the worst of any full-time Nebraska coach since the Eisenhower administration.

— Huskers face existential questions

There are only eight consensus blue bloods in college football, and Nebraska appears on every list. That is one of only eight FBS programs with 900 program wins and five claimed national championships to their name. But after six losing seasons in 11 years in the Big Ten — which equals the same number in the previous 52 years — the ‘Huskers are facing an identity crisis.

Frost was hailed as a brilliant offensive mind by the Chip Kelly coaching staff who could modernize the Cornhuskers’ offense. Unfortunately, it failed in a very visible way. The previous hires were a perfectly fine Oregon State coach (Mike Riley), a firebrand defensive coordinator (Bo Pelini) and an NFL offensive line coach (Bill Callahan). None worked particularly well.

Perhaps the next phase should involve looking less to the Southeast and more to former Big Eight conference members. Kansas State, Iowa State and Kansas have found incredible success by building developmental programs. Extreme competence should be the biggest priority in the new era.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.