There’s more than one candidate for the Nebraska job. Has to be. But there’s one candidate that has a clear and insurmountable lead as the fan favorite – UCF head coach Scott Frost.
Given the interest level, not to mention a pretty fascinating backstory, I’ll be offering updates, thoughts, links and anything else that grabs my attention until we definitely know Mr. Frost is the next man up in Lincoln or we definitely know he isn’t.
Welcome to Day 1. I'll do these as often as is merited. Maybe daily.
The Path (Reportedly) Clears a Bit
USA Today columnist Dan Wolken (and others) reported Sunday evening that Mississippi State head coach Dan Mullen has agreed to become the next coach at Florida. No official announcement yet, but if true that’s not bad news for Nebraska fans hoping for Frost.
Everyone knew Chip Kelly was the first big domino that had to fall in this coaching-change cycle. Kelly chose UCLA on Saturday — pretty big coup for Bruins AD Dan Guerrero – and that meant the Gators’ top option was gone.
Yahoo’s Pat Forde reported Friday that Florida would redouble its efforts to lure Frost and hoped to meet with him this weekend. According to Wolken (again), that didn’t happen.
Scott Frost went back and forth on meeting with Florida this weekend; ultimately decided not to pursue the job.
— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) November 26, 2017
Hence the Mullen news? I don’t think it’s too big of a jump to make. Whether the hire is a result of Frost officially telling Florida “no,” it’s good news for Husker fans who want him in Lincoln. The Gators clearly wanted Frost, and it’s a program with a lot to offer including what an easy transition it would’ve been. Florida had the potential to be a stumbling block for Nebraska, and it looks as though it’s about to be removed.
A brief ranking of things I’ve heard based on how much I believe them:
1. Bill Moos likes Runzas: This is just to set the scale. After yesterday, I’m 100-percent certain this is the case.
2. Frost-to-Nebraska is a done deal: I’m not putting a number on this one now, but Chris Schmidt asked me on Hail Varsity Radio last Wednesday for a percentage that Frost ends up at Nebraska, and I was at 60 percent. It’s gone up since then based on Mike Riley’s quick dismissal, what I’m hearing since then and today’s Mullen news. If Nebraska doesn’t end up with Frost, I’ll be very surprised.
3. Frost has already begun reaching out to people about potential staff positions at Nebraska: This one is dependent on No. 2 being true, so it obviously can’t be higher. The context for this tip was pretty good, and I could buy that one or two of those conversations have happened. I still might put it in the unlikely or coin-flip category, however, given that UCF has a championship game to play on Saturday. Either Frost isn't sleeping – maybe true anyway with a new baby at home – and conducting a little bit of this business, or it's just rumor and he's squarely focused on playing Memphis.
UCF is currently averaging 48.3 points per game. If that number holds through the bowl game, it will be the highest average by an FBS team since Baylor averaged 52.4 and Florida State averaged 51.6 in 2013.
The Knights face Memphis, which is second nationally at 47.0 points per game, in the AAC title game on Saturday. That should be fun to watch.
I actually do have a "Frost File" on my computer, and have been compiling stories, scraps and ephemera for a while now. Given that Frost was basically a local celebrity from the time he could drive, there's a lot of good stuff from the archives.
Like this quote from the Sep. 1, 1992, edition of the Lincoln Journal Star:
"We have the 40 times every six months from about the time he was 2 years old," said Carol Frost, Scott's mother.
The beauty of the journey Frost has been on to this point is that I genuinely don't know if his mother, a former Olympian, was joking when she said that.
Other Horses, Other Carousels
- Tennessee fans and politicians are not handling well reports that former Rutgers head coach and current Ohio State defensive coordinator Greg Schiano will be the Volunteers next coach. And now there are reports that the outbursts may have worked.
- Kevin Sumlin is out at Texas A&M and our friends at TexAgs.com are reporting that the Aggies should have a replacement in place in about a week.
- Arizona State Vice President for University Athletics dismissed Todd Graham Sunday morning and then gave a press conference that, well, made it feel very unlikely that the Sun Devils are going to get better in the near future.
Brandon is the Managing Editor for Hail Varsity and has covered Nebraska athletics for the magazine and web since 2012, Hail Varsity’s first season on the scene. His sports writing has also been featured by Fox Sports, The Guardian and CBS Sports.