Scott Frost’s rapid rise up the coaching rankings got a little nudge on Thursday. The second-year head coach was given a one-year extension and a raise by Central Florida. The new deal, which runs through 2021, bumps Frost’s salary to $2 million per year. Based on last year’s numbers from USA Today, that could be tied with Ken Niumatalolo of Navy for the highest salary in the American Athletic Conference.
“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue building a winning culture and a winning football program at UCF,” Frost said in a release. “Ashley and I feel like we have found a home in Orlando and with the UCF community. I look forward to an extended tenure of creating a football program that matches the vision of university leadership, including President [John] Hitt and Danny White.”
Generally speaking a one-year extension probably isn’t that noteworthy, but here it’s sort of a notification that the UCF brass know what’s probably coming. Frost took the Golden Knights from 0-12 the year before his arrival to 6-7 last season, and he did it, perhaps surprisingly given his ongoing efforts to extend the UCFast brand, with defense in year one.
If the offense, young a year ago, makes some gains and the win total climbs, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Frost start to draw some Power 5 interest. And, for what it’s worth, ESPN’s FPI projects UCF’s record at 7.6-4.7. The Knights are underdogs in five games (Memphis, Georgia Tech, at Maryland, at Navy and South Florida), but FPI gives UCF at least a 42.4 percent chance of winning four of those games. They’re tossups, essentially.
Steal a couple of those without dropping any projected wins and you might see Frost and UCF in the top 25 come December. A one-year extension probably isn’t going to stop what would happen from there, but if you’re UCF you’ve gotta try.
Experienced Options Now Available
Interesting and comprehensive read from Jake Trotter of ESPN on graduate transfers in football.
“These young men who come in, they know everything,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “They’re smart. They’re college graduates. They know this is their last year and are looking for somewhere where they can fit in.”
The grad transfer rule, adopted in 2006, allows players — already physically developed and usually rather seasoned — who earn their undergraduate degree before completing their eligibility to transfer without having to sit out. Quarterback Russell Wilson became the cover boy for grad transfers when he left North Carolina State in 2011 to play his final season at Wisconsin, and led the Badgers to a Big Ten championship.
Wilson’s probably the most notable example in the Big Ten, certainly during Nebraska’s tenure. There are only a handful in the conference this season (so far).
Purdue’s getting some help in the passing game, both ways, with the addition of defensive back Josh Okonye (Wake Forest) and wide receiver Corey Holmes (Notre Dame). Wide receiver Jalen Brown (Oregon) will catch passes for Northwestern this season. Rutgers is getting a backfield transplant with the addition of former Louisville quarterback Kyle Bolin, who will contend for the starting job this fall, and ex-Miami running back Gus Edwards (977 yards over three seasons) should a crack at major carries.
The Grab Bag
- Mike Babcock previews the Huskers’ weekend series with Rutgers.
- Athlon looks at returning starters in the Big Ten.
- Ben Kercheval of CBSSports.com offers this survival guide to college football’s offseason.
- The Florida judge who admonished Charlie Strong during a hearing for a USF player has recused herself from the case.
Today’s Song of Today
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.