Reprinted from 2016: Why We Hate Scott Frost

Submitted by BursleyHall82 on September 17th, 2018 at 1:15 PM

I posted this Diary entry back in 2016, on the eve of the Michigan-UCF game in which we were outhit and yet somehow managed to squeak by, 51-14. With Frost returning to the Big House, I thought it was worth a re-post. For those who think our hatred of Frost is overblown or unwarranted, here's the full story. We hate him for good reason, and always will.

This has been mentioned numerous times in other posts, so it's probably worthy of its own thread. Many of you might be too young to know the story, and others may have forgotten it, so you're wondering: Why is there so much animosity among the Michigan fan base toward UCF head coach Scott Frost?

Here's the short version: Because he cost us a unanimous national championship in 1997, and he did it by denigrating Michigan.

Here's the longer story, and exactly what Frost said. The 1997 season was the last one before the BCS came in, so national champions were determined solely by the AP (media) and USA Today (coaches) polls. Michigan finished the season on Jan. 1, 1998, by beating Washington State in the Rose Bowl, 21-16, to finish 12-0.

Nebraska finished the season on Jan. 2, 1998, by beating Tennessee and Peyton Manning in the Orange Bowl, 42-17, to finish 13-0.

In both the AP and USA Today polls, Michigan was a clear No. 1 heading into the bowl games. This was primarily because Nebraska had to cheat to beat a very mediocre Missouri team late in the season. A Nebraska player admittedly kicked the ball in the end zone to keep it alive for a TD, and the refs didn't call him for it. (That's illegal.) The play became known as the "Flea Kicker," and it's very famous. Look it up.

In any case, Michigan's season-long body of work was better, which is why, following the Missouri game, pollsters vaulted Michigan ahead of Nebraska. It should have stayed that way following the bowl games, but then Nebraska quarterback Scott Frost stepped in.

He knew that the AP was never going to sway from Michigan, but following the Orange Bowl, he made an impassioned plea to the coaches to give Tom Osborne (who was retiring) a national championship as a going-away present.

And this is the important part - and why we hate Scott Frost: He did it by denigrating Michigan. This is exactly what he said on the night of Jan. 2, 1998 (emphasis mine):

"So, it's up to the coaches. I'm so proud of this team and Coach Osborne, I don't want to see him go out without a championship. I basically have two points for the coaches:

"One, if you can look yourself in the mirror and say if your job depended on playing either Michigan or Nebraska to keep your job, who would you rather play? You watched the Rose Bowl and the Orange Bowl. Michigan won with a controversial play at the end. We took apart the third-ranked team in the country.

"The second point I have is: I can't see how any coach outside the Big Ten or the Pac-10 would vote for Michigan. Because if somebody from North Carolina, Florida State, West Virginia, Notre Dame--wherever it might--if they were undefeated and won the Alliance bowl game, they would expect to share the national title.

"I don't know who would win the game if we played Michigan. I think I know. I think all you guys know. The thing I'd like to say is: Who would be favored?

"I'd like to see the line on that game, because I think it would be seven, 10, 14 points (in Nebraska's favor). Any time that it's that way and you vote the other way, you've got to be crazy."

So, that's why we don't like Scott Frost, and that's why we want to see Harbaugh hang 70 on him on Saturday. Scott Frost whizzed a fastball at our head 19 years ago, and now he's finally coming up to the plate. It's time for payback.

Elephants and Wolverines never forget.

Comments

Wolverine 73

September 17th, 2018 at 1:36 PM ^

And let’s not forget, the only reason the Rose Bowl wasn’t salted away was that WR blatantly pushed Woodson out of the way to catch a long pass late in the game.  And the ref swallowed his whistle.  One of the most blatant offensive PI you will ever see, and it wasn’t called.

remdog

September 21st, 2018 at 1:15 PM ^

Yes, I was at the game.  That was an amazingly bad call, possibly the most blatant PI non-call I've ever seen.  That's was the only way they were going to complete that pass against Woodson, by cheating.  I remember being fearful that might cost us the game.  And it should have been salted away before that but Carr played conservative Lloyd ball with the lead, giving them extra chances and keeping the game close.

yossarians tree

September 17th, 2018 at 2:10 PM ^

"I'd like to see the line on that game, because I think it would be seven, 10, 14 points (in Nebraska's favor). Any time that it's that way and you vote the other way, you've got to be crazy."

Apparently they weren't drug testing in those days.

markusr2007

September 17th, 2018 at 2:22 PM ^

In 1997 both Michigan and Nebraska teams faced an equal share of weak opponents. Not their fault, but the difficulty of their schedules was very similar overall.

Michigan's defense was superior to Nebraska's.

But Nebraska's offense was easily superior to Mike DeBord and his signature QB waggle pass play Griese to Tuman every game. Also DeBord's offense was anemic - 26 points per game.  People defend this by saying Michigan's defense gave up only 9 pts per game, so it doesn't matter. 

Except it does matter in close games, as the Rose Bowl game vs. WSU (10-1, ranked 8th) proved.  As great as Michigan's defense played, WSU lost the Rose Bowl game to Michigan by only 5 points and almost pulled it out before time ran out.

Meanwhile, Nebraska annihilated Tennessee (11-1, ranked 3rd) in that Orange Bowl. The outcome was never in doubt.

Hard to say what would happen had the teams faced off as they should have.

All I can say is it is a damn good thing we don't have that stupid problem anymore, or stupid comments like that of Scott Frost.

Bando Calrissian

September 17th, 2018 at 5:12 PM ^

I'll never forget walking down the stairs the morning after the Orange Bowl to see my dad, sitting at the kitchen table with his head in his hands, looking like he'd been punched in the gut.

"They picked Nebraska. The coaches picked Nebraska."

I can't forget it. And I can't forgive. Scott Frost took something from all of us that year. Make him suffer.

churioz

September 17th, 2018 at 8:14 PM ^

I don't remember Scott Frost having a vote.  Who cares what he said.  If anyone else was in his shoes, they would have done the same thing.  Blame the system at the time and the Michigan haters who swung the vote.  

grumbler

September 18th, 2018 at 10:33 AM ^

If a Michigan quarterback was asked whether he thought his team better than some other team, I'd hope that he would say something similar to what Frost said in 1997.  He didn't vote in the coach's poll, though, so took nothing away from Michigan.   the "out-hit' comment was far too pathetic to be irritating, and the mythical national championship is no more mythical than many others.

Frost is who he is.  I want to beat his team because they are between Michigan and a conference championship.  Frost himself isn't significant enough to be a factor in my thinking about the game.

funkifyfl

September 18th, 2018 at 12:00 PM ^

No one questions Michigan's 97 title and this kid was making a legit case for his coach. I'm not familiar with the kicking rule you alluded to, but I don't have any problem with the Flea Kicker being called a catch. More clear cut than the catch rulings shenanigans on Sundays currently.

His handling of ethical issues in comparison to other B1G coaches recently makes him a better person. His "outhit" comment was silly, but I have more respect for an ethical silly coach than a serious coach with no morals. Just my $0.02.

MaizeMN

September 19th, 2018 at 12:14 AM ^

I remember that season like it was yesterday. Michigan would have destroyed Nebraska. And it wouldn't have been close.

The coaches knew it. The media knew it. The fans knew it. Most importantly, the teams knew it. That was the best defense I've ever seen in college, bar none.

The split NC was all about getting Osborne something his coaching and team never could. 

Fuck Scott Frost and, Fuck Nebraska.

GO BLUE!

S5R48S10

September 19th, 2018 at 9:08 AM ^

Never could?  Nebraska won back-to-back nat'l championships in '94 and '95, and only went 11-2 in 1996 before their undefeated 1997 season.  Yes, I believe Nebraska and Osbourne were awarded the 1997 split based on reputation, but let's not act like that reputation was not well-deserved.  

MaizeMN

September 24th, 2018 at 8:30 AM ^

The "never could" I was referring to was the '97 season. That team was 1 kicked pass away from a loss to Mizzou. They never could have/would have "won" a share of that title without the "fabulous parting gift" bullshit that got used to justify a title

Anyone and everyone watching that year knew Michigan was a far superior team, in every way and would have throttled Nebraska, head to head.

Even the Nebraska fans I partied with at the Alamo Bowl a few years later conceded that point.

Mpfnfu Ford

September 19th, 2018 at 3:08 PM ^

Look Michigan will now play Frost a lot I reckon so f him on principle but like, academically, what was he supposed to say? "We're undefeated and have won two of the last three national titles but actually give it to Michigan the Big 10 was tougher this year than the Big 12 and their road was a lot tougher and really bowl games are kinda overrated as a measuring stick for the quality of a team as research by Bill Connelly who I think is just a college kid goofing off at Missouri at this point will clearly show in the future?"  

Would you expect Jim Harbaugh to have said anything different when he was in college in a similar position? He was a competitor and a leader of a team that was real stinking good and absolutely deserved to play for a national title, and would have if the system for picking a champion wasn't so stupid then. Yes, too many people made too big a deal of Michigan underperforming against a sorry ass Pac 10 champion given how much tougher their regular season has been, but Nebraska DID absolutely murder a Tennessee team that won the natty the very next year. 

remdog

September 21st, 2018 at 1:19 PM ^

I still recall how unfair it was for Nebraska to vault Michigan in one poll at the end.  Nebraska really wasn't an undefeated team that year since it took a miracle last second illegal play to prevent a loss to Missouri.  And it was obvious purposeful kick by the Nebraska player.  It still annoys me.