OT: Why would Scott Frost go to Nebraska?

Submitted by MGlobules on November 13th, 2017 at 10:42 AM

Scott Frost is being wooed for both the Nebraska and U Florida jobs; meanwhile, UCF donors are ponying up big  bucks for facilities at that university.


The indoor player facility that Frost is getting is something that Jimbo Fisher has been poor-mouthing about his school's need for all season long, as fans look with increasing ambivalence on his team.

It's not so widely known, but UCF is the biggest public university in the U.S., in a rapidly growing and increasingly pleasant big, cosmopolitan city, with a lot of wealthy donors intent on pushing it past FSU and UF as the state's major program and school--well-situated to do so.

Does Scott go "home" to cold, recruit-limited Nebraska, a place he is known to be ambivalent about, or build something enduring at UCF? I don't know. But the landscape of football in Florida is in flux. 

EDIT: A few posters taking it for granted that the guy would want to return to NB, but I don't think that this is a Harbaugh story. Just going to add this piece about Frost's ambivalence to his alma mater because I realized that it had influenced my thinking about him going back:




November 13th, 2017 at 12:26 PM ^

General feeling when Meyer left Utah was that he'd go to Notre Dame (had a special clause that he could leave for ND, claimed it was his dream job), but then he surprised a lot of people by going to Florida.

But he did because it's easier to get talent there.  And the  difference between Florida and Nebraska is even bigger.  If he wants to win national titles, Florida is the better place to go.


November 13th, 2017 at 12:33 PM ^

I'd go to Nebraska.  If you're Frost, that's your school, the place that's special to you (I assume).  Florida is a great job but it's not your alma mater.

Your odds of success might be lower at Nebraska, but the upside to winning is greater - you're the prodigal son who saved the day.  


November 13th, 2017 at 12:45 PM ^

As college football fans, this doesn't come intuitively to us but there are people who are deeply ambivalent about their alma maters. Scott Frost's tenure at Nebraska sounds absolutely hellish according to the Omaha World:

The hazing and physical pounding he faced from angry teammates when he transferred to Nebraska after having originally spurned the Huskers in favor of Stanford.

Finding himself trapped between Lawrence Phillips and his former girlfriend in an incident that made national headlines.

The threats and taunts that came after Frost quarterbacked the Huskers during a 1996 debacle in the desert that ended the Huskers’ 26-game win streak. And how the experience caused him to rediscover his religious faith.

The boos he faced from home fans after a 1997 game — ironically, against Central Florida — and his anger at Osborne for his role in helping to create the scene.


November 13th, 2017 at 12:49 PM ^

If that's true then Nebraska shouldn't be a consideration for him.

If he has a positive attachment to Nebraska, he should go.  This is basically the Rich Rodriguez decision of 2006 and 2007: go to a powerhouse or stay at your alma mater, even if some things aren't perfect?  In hindsight he should have stayed at WVU.



November 13th, 2017 at 12:30 PM ^

he'd have to stick it out for a while and try to get into the ACC or SEC to be able to do anything at UCF.  He literally could not be doing more this year and is still in the teens in CFP rankings. Bummer for them their game against GT was cancelled because if they looked good there and against USF and in the AAC title game, maybe they could be getting some CFP love.


November 13th, 2017 at 12:31 PM ^

P5 school where all the money and prestige is at. Any coach wants to coach in the P5 and win conferences and hopefully an NC.  UCF is never going to pay him what he could get at UF or a Nebraska.  He has success at either place and his recruiting will take a huge leap. 


November 13th, 2017 at 11:41 AM ^

No recruit dreamed of playing for Miami before the 1980s either. 

Florida is continually changing and growing, there is so much room in that state for more development. They have far too few universities to serve their population (11 public schools for 22 million people, Texas has 27 million people and over 30 public universities), so all of their schools have fucking insane numbers of students. 

In 20 years, you will have a whole legion of kids from Orlando who want to stay in Orlando as well as ~1 million 40-50 year old UCF alumni at peak income willing to pour money into their alma mater. Don't sleep on them. 


November 13th, 2017 at 11:56 AM ^

Idk, man, would you have said Gary Patterson should leave TCU a decade ago? He stuck around and now, due to shifting landscapes, he is in a P5 conference and is a perennial CFP contender. And he built that shit himself. You can say the same thing for Utah, albeit with less success in the P5, and Louisville.

In the past decade several programs have been promoted from mid-major status to the P5. A school with as much upside as UCF is an obvious target for expanding conferences, who still have not topped out at the inevitable 16 teams. At UCF, Frost is an ACC or Big 12 invitation away from having it all.

I'd still probably go to Florida, but it's not as obvious as you are making it sound if you're someone interested in being Fielding Yost instead of being Lloyd Carr (ie creating a program rather than being it's third or fourth most legendary coach). I remember Don Nehlen telling RichRod that "the coach at West Virginia walks on water in West Virginia, the coach at Michigan walks on water everywhere"... I bet RR still wishes he were walking on water in West Virginia, is what I'm saying. 

Ghost of Fritz…

November 13th, 2017 at 12:06 PM ^

are asking Frost to hang on at UCF on the hope that someday UCF will be in the ACC? 

That is...unwise.  UCF may never get an invite from a power 5 conference.  Or it could be 5 years from now, an eternity in CFB. 

We are not talking about an offer from Vanderbilt here.  Nebraska and Florida a really good power 5 jobs.  Frost would be a fool to turn them down on the hope of some future re-alignment that may never happen.

And as far as Patterson goes, if he had been offered the Nebraska or Texas (sort of like Florida job today) job 10 years ago, I absolutely would have advised him to take it. 

The fact that he stayed at TCU and things worked out fine is not an argument for making a bad choice today.  IOW, not every bad decision turns out badly.  But that does not mean it wasn't a bad decision.


November 13th, 2017 at 12:55 PM ^

and that's the best case scenario for Frost at UCF. The abundance of talent in Florida that could potentially support another P5 team is similar to that in Texas.  Question is whether he wants to stay for 10+ years there to see it though.  He's probably be giving up a lot of money in the shorter term, unless the boosters really step it up.

RichRod couldn't have known that he wasn't big program, perennial-national-title-contending material without trying to see if he could do it. Anyone with enough ambition to get to where he was had to want to know what his ceiling was. Plus, he could have gone back to WVU if he didn't burn bridges on the way out, the reasons for which probably make him not regret that he's not back there.


November 13th, 2017 at 2:12 PM ^

TCU had/have A LOT of institutional/booster support behind making sure that their program takes a back seat to nobody in the state of Texas.  When they were making their rise under Patterson, TCU was switching conferences (WAC, C-USA, MWC) all the time while also pouring a lot of $ into the program.  Constantly trying to better themselves.  They felt shunned when they were left behind in 1997 (Big XII formation), and nearly everyone at TCU was behind the effort to get back to the same level as Texas, Tech, and A&M.  Even when TCU was at their lowest, they still did view themselves as equals with those schools.

I don't think that same dynamic exists at UCF.  Fan support --- well, you saw the attendance Saturday.  Institutional support --- seems alright, but not great.  Total school mindset - they simply don't see themselves as an equal to Florida, FSU, or Miami.

UCF could be another TCU - but they seem to be missing those aspirational intangibles that TCU had/has.


November 13th, 2017 at 2:52 PM ^

and I'm just taking the OP at his word that there are boosters and alums that aspire to take UCF to that level (and more importantly, that will put up the capital to do so).

And I hadn't considered the fact that TCU was actually in the same conference as Texas, A&M, et al, prior to 1996 as part of the SWC.  That was before my college football fanaticism began, but you're absolutely correct that there would be a strong institutional desire to get back to a level that they had already been.

My guess (although pure speculation) is from a fan standpoint, most UCF students are also UF, FSU or Miami fans, sort of like MAC students that sort of root for their teams but usually back a Big Ten team even more fervently.  That makes it more difficult to get to a point institutionally where you have equal fan support and equal attendance as the flagships.


November 13th, 2017 at 3:13 PM ^

many of them ARE UCF fans second, and UF/FSU/Miami fans first.

So said a number of UCF fans I've met and talked to (the UCF fans that traveled to Dublin for the Penn State game a few years ago).

That's a definite limiting factor for UCF.  Also something unthinkable for nearly all TCU fans during TCU's nomadic WAC/C-USA/MWC era (1997-2010).


November 13th, 2017 at 11:41 AM ^

No recruit dreamed of playing for Miami before the 1980s either. 

Florida is continually changing and growing, there is so much room in that state for more development. They have far too few universities to serve their population (11 public schools for 22 million people, Texas has 27 million people and over 30 public universities), so all of their schools have fucking insane numbers of students. 

In 20 years, you will have a whole legion of kids from Orlando who want to stay in Orlando as well as ~1 million 40-50 year old UCF alumni at peak income willing to pour money into their alma mater. Don't sleep on them. 

Blue and Joe

November 13th, 2017 at 12:21 PM ^

Even assuming they don't win it, my point was that's the biggest accomplishment you can hope to achieve at UCF. Maybe you make it to high profile bowl game once in a while, but getting in the Playoff is going to be extrememly difficult if not impossible.


November 13th, 2017 at 2:17 PM ^

This is not unreasonable. 

Matt Rhule basically had to leave Temple to take a P5 job at that tire fire that is Baylor because he knew this truth.

He's not doing very well there but is making a bit more money. He's in the P5 though....

College football would be a lot better if it ran the same kind of open system to a larger playoff that basketball runs. More profitable also.


November 13th, 2017 at 11:14 AM ^

Except that Frost is openly frosty about his time at UN.  He also didn't grow up in the football facilities with direct interaction with Tom Osborn, like Harbaugh did with Bo.  Aside from UN being his alma mater and a school in his home state, he's got nothing to tie him there.  Ann Arbor is so much more to Harbaugh than Lincoln will ever be to Frost.


November 13th, 2017 at 2:57 PM ^

but I seem to recall it being a bit more than a handful.  Probably not a majority but not an insigificant number of my friends felt this way.  But that was when we were good and entitled and felt like we could blacklist a good coach.

After the RichRod and Hoke years desperation was such (and Harbaugh's success was great enough) that no one still felt that way in 2014.  Errr'body was like, yes, please. 


November 13th, 2017 at 12:55 PM ^

The exact comment that Harbaugh made, was about his arriving at Michigan, wanting to major in History and then being told to choose a less difficult major and him being pleased that Stanford was not doing the same thing to football players.  That was the entire thing.  When pressed about it later, he repeated the exact comment.

But, this being Michigan, we overreacted like we always do about everything, and it became a story about him slamming the University of Michigan academics.  The fans circled the wagons, it built up momentum in the press, and then former players started lashing out.

My source for this comment is Bacon's book.  It is well researched and clearly written with direct quotes from the people involved.  I was amazed we were able to move on and hire him. 


November 13th, 2017 at 12:23 PM ^

Emotion aside, when Harbaugh came to Michigan he also knew he could win here. 

Frost is not likely to be that certain at Nebraska.  They have Michigan-like expectations, but with a lot lower ceiling to achieve them.  That's not a healthy mix for a coach.

They will not settle for just competing for the Big Ten West every now and then.  That's already happened, and they booted those coaches.

The Maizer

November 13th, 2017 at 3:08 PM ^

The difference is that it's pretty reasonable to call it a ceiling for Pelini and we don't yet know for Harbaugh. In 7 seasons, Bo Pelini never had fewer than 4 losses at Nebraska (including conference championship games). I think people will be upset with Harbaugh if in year 7 he has never exceeded 10 wins, even if he also never loses more than 4.


November 13th, 2017 at 3:11 PM ^

gives them a lower ceiling than us?  An elite coach can do just fine at Nebraska.  They just haven't had one in a little bit longer time than we went without one.

They don't have significant institutional barriers that we don't have. Both programs have fairly limited in-state talent and depend on national recruiting/talent rich neighbors.  And while we probably have a better brand for national recruiting, their lower admissions standards, easier transfer requirements (from JUCOs) and much easier division could be considered offsetting advantages.


November 14th, 2017 at 12:52 AM ^

we have Jim Harbaugh as our coach and they have Mike Riley or Pat Riley or some dude that isn't a good recruiter.

We didn't recruit that well when RichRod was here and UNL averaged about the same class rank during that time.  I will say there is more talent in Michigan than Nebraska and we largely get first pick. So we do have a slight advantage institutionally, but the rest is dependent on us having a coach that can recruit really well, which Harbaugh obvioulsy can, and which Hoke/Mattison did for two years, but overall our recruiting had been largely meh between 2007-2015 save those two Hoke years.

The interesting thing is, they used to recruit Texas really well being the big 12, but now they don't as well. It's hard to know if it's because they're not in the big 12 or if their coaches just aren't good at recruiting, but there's chatter that Nebraska isn't happy with their decision to come to the big ten because of that.  They did leave themselves a bit out an island in terms of recruiting.  Left a conference with the Texas schools but aren't that close or attractive to Ohio and Pennsylvania kids, who comprise so much of big ten talent.