Minnesota Recap 2021

We don’t have an identity. At all. We constantly try to create one, or recreate one from week to week, and the teams that are establishing theirs are starting to own us even if overall our gameplan is better. What I mean by that is what those teams do is not foreign to them from week to week, so it’s easier and executed better. Minnesota now has 3 straight wins against Frost, a team that we beat 53-28 in year 1 of this regime while we still had “terrible Riley culture”. But why is Minnesota starting to run away from us while we constantly out-recruit them? Fleck said it, but in case you missed it:

He knows we have the better players out of high school, but he’s 3-1 against us. He had to make a tough decision in his second year after Frost lit him up and he fired one of his coaches. The rest is behind him when it comes to playing Nebraska.

I have said for years that I freaking hate that guy, but he just may be a really good coach. I thought he was a carnival barker just spewing nonsense. I’m starting to come to the conclusion that having an identity, something you can hang your hat on, and a motto or image is pretty important. And no matter how terrible that image or mantra is from the outside looking in, if you get people to believe in what you’re selling you’ll probably make some noise. It reminds me of China a bit, I hate nearly everything that country stands for, but every single person is pulling in the same direction and they are ascending in multiple categories on a global scale. Is that what Fleck is doing up in Minnesota? Because I have no problem thinking he’s a communist.

Got off track there, but you get what i’m saying. Even if what you are promoting sucks, if you get the players to love it, you end up with wins against teams you probably shouldn’t have. So let’s get back to what was drawing me to the conclusion of us just grasping at straws to have an identity. Read these two tweets:

Wow, that’s a pretty cool motto, I liked that. But all of a sudden I started hearing our head coach using it…

Frost probably has, but i’ve never heard him say that before. In fact a media member said he counted that Frost said the word 7 times. To me it sounds like we heard that’s what someone did to us and now we are trying to insert it into our motivational speeches as well. I hate that. Does what our motto was not apply for what just happened in Minneapolis? It’s ok to find something that may work better, but it seems like we’ve been doing that for years. It’s even happening off the field with things like this now. But let’s go even deeper than that…

Why did we look so much different against Michigan, Michigan State, and Oklahoma compared to Illinois and others? Why later into the season did our offense look better? You had people pointing to the OL shakeup and that was the answer. The reality is, this offseason Frost and staff worked with Coastal Carolina and Nebraska-Kearney to get their offensive philosophy installed. Husker fans were overjoyed, you heard things like “it’s the new triple option” and just how close we were.

The reality of the situation was it was a new wrinkle we unveiled midseason and now that teams have seen it, they’re ready. But even worse, the prior 3 seasons of growth, development, and identity (if there was any) was gone and we are now starting over on offense. Again. We couldn’t get anything going, our defense had their struggles, and it ended in a loss this past Saturday. My how far we’ve gone from “if we need to hire other coaches to help us tackle, we are in the wrong business” to soliciting help from a D2 team and a Go5 team offensively. I’m fine with help, I actually appreciate the growth from our staff there. I just think we are all over the map and it confuses our players.

Last point on that to really drive the nail into the coffin. I mean, let’s go back to how Wandale Robinson was exactly what Frost and his offense needed. He was the whale and this staff did an unreal job reeling him in.

He then transfers out and we get some bigger wide receivers in, and we hear “having bigger guys out there allows us to be more who we want to be” and other comments from our coaches like that. It just doesn’t make sense. Wandale Robinson was the #1 all-purpose back in the country and a freshman All-American. Having to change things again is just hurting our development. That’s the big issue.

Going back to communist Fleck, sticking with something and staying the course works better than continual change. And that’s all we’ve had.

What did Minnesota do offensively?

It wasn’t anything fancy. Quite honestly Minnesota built the lead knowing exactly who they were. I actually could sit there and tell you exactly what was going to happen based on how we were lined up. The Gophers OC didn’t disguise anything, they just ran RPOs to put our OLBs and safeties in conflict to build a 21-9 lead in the first half. Once you get a double digit lead, the 2 turnovers that Tanner Morgan had didn’t even matter.

I’m not sure if this is the first one they run, but they did a lot out of this formation that strained us (those of you who get the reference, 1,000 points!) They are in a trips formation and Tanner Morgan is reading our OLB Caleb Tannor. The Gophers knew that since we were in trips, our LB would be out over one of the WRs, and our ILB would be shifted over to help with #3 who is a TE in this play. Once Morgan sees Tannor flying in to help on run since he sets the edge and is responsible for a “gap”, he just pulls and throws to the stop route.

So Tannor flies in, the WR runs a stop route. Easy throw and catch. Gotta stop that, so Nebraska next time they are in this formation tries something different. This time it is up top and we have Domann over the slot WR. Basically right before the snap you see Domann bail away, and if you remember the play before our OLB is Morgans read who came flying up to stop the run, so he simply hands the ball off because without Domann in run support there is a gap unaccounted for.

Minnesota runs all different variations, and here is another. Again, the trips formation so Minnesota’s offensive coordinator calls the RPO. Morgan sees Tannor flying in to help, but this time there is a bubble screen called with it. The WR blocks the corner and the receiver is now one on one with our safety trying to make the play from 10 yards deep.

And here’s some out of a “doubles” formation (2 WR to both sides of the line). Minnesota ran the plays before out of trips, now they just do base plays out of “doubles” or “deuce”. Minnesota sees that we line up with 2 high safeties, so they just run the ball.

Chinander knows you can’t just let teams get 3 yards a carry because that’s first down, so we have to change it up a bit and keep them guessing. I let the video run a bit longer on this one so you can see that the Minnesota OC just takes a look at how we are covering the formation then calls the play he feels gives them the best chance. Here you can see up top our corner is in press coverage and even one of our safeties is in press coverage on the slot WR since the play before even though Garrett Nelson gives a great effort, we still got gashed a little bit. That only leaves one guy deep, so you see Tanner Morgan look to the sideline, call for the wheel route for the WR out of the slot and throw a 50/50 deep ball.

Minnesota isn’t fancy, they just know who they are. Conversely, i’m not sure if Nebraska does.

Minnesota defensively vs Nebraska

I really don’t know what to say here. It’s tough for me to say “we should do this differently” when I watch us run plays and not block playside LBs and down linemen.

The reality from the Minnesota game

We’ve heard our coaches, captains, and players say it. But we just weren’t ready for whatever reason. When that happens, the team you play doesn’t have to be fancy. And Minnesota wasn’t. They ran the ball just enough, and Morgan made the easy throws. I have said before when you have to coach motivation you are in trouble, and that’s what we had this past Saturday.

You really had this as a must win. You couldn’t lose to Minnesota and still make a bowl game in my opinion. Further, you didn’t want to go into a bye week and be sitting on a loss. I know I heard someone say one of our radio announcers was blaming the 8 games in a row from the B1G and “what did you expect”, but the reality is they kind of helped us with a week 0 game and two byes. We just chose to move Fordham to one of those so that we could get wins before the Oklahoma game. We were actually already supposed to have a bye under our belt. With us changing our own schedule earlier this year, that made it so we have 2 byes in the back half of our season.

We’ve gotta quit with thinking the conference has it out for us. I promise you everyone in the league office knows the B1G is a better conference if Nebraska is Nebraska.

Rest of the season

This is going to be so tough. You play Purdue who just beat Iowa, then you have Ohio State, Wisconsin, and the Hawkeyes. You can convince yourself how beatable those teams are, but if you looked in the mirror you would know that Nebraska is the most beatable out of all of those teams. You can’t lose to Purdue, or the losing season trend continues. I just don’t know.

Speaking of trends

If you followed me on the other site, I spent a lot of time saying I don’t believe in one offs or judging after one or even two years. I believe in trends.

2018 B1G West Finish – 6th

2019 B1G West Finish – 6th

2020 B1G West Finish – 5th

2021 B1G West Current – 7th

I wouldn’t want to be Alberts, because there’s a strong possibility we are in the bottom of the division again. I get he’s been here not even a year, but that’s all sorts of bad. And it’s absolutely warranted to move on. Anyone else would have been let go by now.

What’s next?

Since it’s a bye, i’m going to do a couple installments this week. One is going to be a recruiting update, and hot seat talk. The other will be a “what went wrong” segment starting with 2001 Colorado if I can dig up the film.

Go Big Red!

49 thoughts on “Minnesota Recap 2021

  1. Sunk cost. Move on. We all thought he was the guy, and it sucks that he’s not, but he’s not. Giving him another year with a new QB and a whole new defense because we feel we owe it to him isn’t doing anyone any favors and just digging the hole deeper for the next guy. Our recruiting class is laughable; imagine how next year’s would look.

    Everyone wanted it to work, but it didn’t work, and it sucks. That Bishop tweet is shocking and embarrassing.

    1. Here’s the rub… Alberts absolutely can not give him year 5 and have him fail to make a bowl game for the fifth straight year. That would mean a terrible 2022 class, and a 2023 class that would fall apart except the Husker kids and set us back even further. He doesn’t have a crystal ball unfortunately. It’s going to be a tough decision for him if we go 2-2 down the stretch. 1-3 I think Frost should be let go. 0-4 the decision is easy because that means you only had one Power 5 win this year.

      1. Our luck, we keep him, he flips a couple one score Ls into one score Ws, goes 6-6 with a bad team, and then we have to give him even more time. All because we made one Bahamas Bowl in 5 years.

  2. ***Having finished my post, I realize this is extremely long, so apologies feel free to skip the rant, but need to just vent pent-up emotions.

    It was probably good your post wasn’t up soon after the game, b/c I probably would’ve gone-off out of anger. I’ll admit I just want to move on from Frost. Last game hit my boiling point. I’ve actually become apathetic to losing, but am angry because the results say it’s been 4 years, we suck, and I feel like he’ll still be here a while. I probably would’ve never mentioned this publicly a few years ago for backlash, but I just really don’t like Frost personally, which definitely plays into my wanting him gone I acknowledge. I think he’s arrogant and has rubbed me the wrong way with his quotes since day one. But I can admit it, if he was crushing it, I would still personally think he was a bit of a tool, but I wouldn’t care due to the results.

    Have stated this elsewhere, but my nightmare is this: We have a lot of talent that is getting an extra year, and could be very experienced next year as well if everyone comes back. Let say we start having a pulse, getting some lucky breaks our way, and beating most of the teams we should based on talent. I could easily see if things bounce our way it looking like this:

    2022: Wins – NW, North Dakota, Georgia So, Rutgers, Indiana, Minny, Purdue, Illinois. Losses – Oklahoma, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa.
    2023: Wins – Colorado, N. Illinois, L. Tech, NW, Illinois, Purdue, Maryland, Mich St. Losses Minny Michigan, Wiscy, Iowa.

    That’s 8 or 9 wins. Now, I’m not trying to say those wins are a given. I fully know trying to predict the future in futile. My point is I think the Big10 West is not good, and our non-conference & crossovers outside of Oklahoma next year are pretty weak (on paper right now IMO). I think it’s not out of the realm of possibility to win 8 games with the upcoming schedules, without ACTUALLY being that good.

    Then it’ll be hard to fire a coach ‘on the upswing’. But I can foresee the scenario where we look good against the bad teams for a few years, and our current poor recruiting will come back to haunt him, and then won’t be pretty in 2024 when we have the crossover of Michigan/Penn St/Ohio State. Maybe with more success, recruiting will uptick greatly. But I don’t like this year’s class, and I don’t think last year’s class was all that good either. I think there were some really good guys at the top, but the rest I don’t think is getting us anywhere with good teams. I might feel different if this staff has shown they identify guys well and develop. But I’ve seen nothing to lead me to believe either of those, and to your point I don’t see us having a strong identity that we’re fitting them into.

    If he is here for more than a few years, I hope we actually become competitive against good teams and he’s the right guy long-term, because it’ll be really hard for me to swallow 3-6 more years of him if we’re just going to fire him anyway. And he is really hard for me to root for right now as the leader of our team.

    OK rant over

    1. I think that’s my fear a bit. What if all of a sudden we go 6-6 in 2023 and it’s marked as progress? Then you can’t fire a coach that’s progressing even though 6-6 being your best season out of five years is really frustrating.

      My thing is, before the season, AMart, CTB, Daniels, Stille, Domann, Dismuke, Williams, were all going to be gone. Now it looks like Allen could make the leap as well. There’s no better time to do it then when you are having to break in new players and a new QB.

      That said, i’m not on the fire Frost train yet. But Alberts needs to be ready if things go off the rails.

  3. the single most frustrating thing for me is likely what you opened with..we have zero identity…we switch back and forth without much consistency. Whether that is who is playing on the field on any given saturday, or the actual plays that are called. Inexcusable that they didnt have the “juice” to start the game too. I have honestly become numb to losing..it is now expected and this game, within 45 seconds of starting, I knew how it was going to play out and it did. I would venture a guess Frost comes back next year with some coaching changes, but who knows, because AT BEST I see us finishing with 4 wins this year…it is truly a sad state of affairs, and those stats you posted are eye popping….just incredible how bad things have gone through 40 games….never, ever would I have thought this was possible. Interesting times in Lincoln coming up I think:(

    1. I probably could have included that in my write-up as well, that we play new guys every week (on offense). RB situation, the WR situation, rotating OL. It’s tough to get a rhythm.

      1. This is one thing I haven’t been able to wrap my head around that we’ve consistently seen from this staff. Last week Betts was used a lot, some weeks he’s had 0 targets. Look at our line. Both Piper and Benhart have gotten benched. I thought Banks was up in the mix as well. I mean I can understand if a guy like Teddy is coming along and overtakes somebody but seems like this staff has trouble finding the right guy before the season starts. Piper took somebody’s spot midseason last year didn’t he? Now he’s the one getting replaced? Rhamir and Yant started the season out probably #4 and #5 in the RB rotation now they are 1 and 2… Is Stepp hurt? He started off the season as Co- starter and now he’s where?? Just doesn’t make sense to me at all how you could be that far off in your preseason evaluations across so many positions.

        Yet then again we’re usually begging for them to give somebody else a chance when they’re not getting the job done but at some point you have to gain some sort of consistency.

  4. He’s done. Here is the rest of the schedule.
    No. 25 Purdue (4-2)
    No. 5 Ohio State (5-1)
    at Wisconsin (3-3)
    No. 11 Iowa (6-1)
    Frost is 1-10 against that slate. He is 2-20 against teams with a winning record.
    3-9 or 4-8 seem very possible. In year 4. Recruits beginning to decommit. Maybe Trev gives him another year but in my opinion the cost to not fire him is higher than the buyout. He is not going to magically turn the corner next year. Nobody is going to show up for this sh*tshow in Lincoln and he will not be able to recruit to the program. Game over.

      1. Yeah. I understand letting it play out through the end of the season if you are Trev but with what is left on the schedule I think it’s just a formality. The cost of keeping him for another year would be devastating imo.

  5. Its a QB driven game. A good or great QB can change a lot, even with a bad oline. AM does enough to keep us in games and makes plays to keep us happy, but he has never won a game for us, and make that one mistake that will loose us the game. Has he ever won a close game in all 4 years? Look at Okla switching QB and they look night and day different. Look how bad Clemson is now without a good QB. When the OHST QB struggles that offense does not move no matter how good the WR or RB are. What I am saying, maybe next year with a new QB things start clicking.

      1. I do think it is a lot to do with coaching to. I think Riley and Pelini were better coaches. I do think Frost can get better at coaching. Not all coaches are finish products right away. I think he will learn and if he gets the right QB it might work. His fault AM is still playing like a freshman. Look at Kirk Ferentz record. Many times he should of been fired based on Nebr standers.
        Year Overall Record (%) Big Ten Record (%) Bowl Game
        2020 6-2 (.750) 6-2 (.75o) Music City
        2019 10-3 (.769) 6-3 (.667) Holiday
        2018 9-4 (.692) 5-4 (.556) Outback
        2017 8-5 (.615) 4-5 (.444) Pinstripe
        2016 8-5 (.615) 6-3 (.667) Outback
        2015 12-2 (.857) 8-0 (1.000) Rose
        2014 7-6 (.538) 4-4 (.500) TaxSlayer
        2013 8-5 (.615) 5-3 (.625) Outback
        2012 4-8 (.333) 2-6 (.250) – – –
        2011 7-6 (.538) 4-4 (.500) Insight
        2010 8-5 (.615) 4-4 (.500) Insight
        2009 11-2 (.846) 6-2 (.750) Orange
        2008 9-4 (.692) 5-3 (.625) Outback
        2007 6-6 (.500) 4-4 (.500) – – –
        2006 6-7 (.462) 2-6 (.250) Alamo
        2005 7-5 (.583) 5-3 (.625) Outback
        2004 10-2 (.833) 7-1 (.875) Capital One
        2003 10-3 (.769) 5-3 (.625) Outback
        2002 11-2 (.846) 8-0 (1.000) Orange
        2001 7-5 (.583) 4-4 (.500) Alamo
        2000 3-9 (.250) 3-5 (.375) – – –
        1999 1-10 (.091) 0-8 (.000) – – –
        Overall 168-106 (.613) 103-77 (.572) 18 bowl games

      2. True, but what they pride themselves on is not having Nebraska standards. They love to tout their continuity on the recruiting trail. And even if he should have been fired before, he only has 4 losing seasons in 22 tries and we are about to have our 4th in 4 tries.

    1. I agree with the premise in general. A great QB can flip the script real quick. I guess where I’m at is I don’t foresee anyone we have on our roster that’s going to flip the script for us and you’ve had 4 years to find someone to be that guy for you, and it hasn’t happened yet.

      If one of our backups turns out to be an all-cinference baller, then yeah we could look much different. But I just believe that in any given season, you can point something out as to why it’s not working. Every team will have some lulls do to roster turnover, injuries, recruiting misses. But 4 years of consistent losing records, that to me comes down to the head coach, regardless of reason.

    2. I’m not convinced any QB is going to be coached up to his potential under this staff. For all of AM’s flaws, he at least can make something out of nothing. The fact that Frost still went with an injured Martinez against MN concerns me.

  6. When you take a college coaching job your first task is to win as much as you can with what you inherit while you try to flip the roster to your liking as soon as possible. Complaining about your predecessor doesn’t change that but all the whining rather than developing sealed his fate. He lost too many games while recruits and coaches noticed it and became hesitant. Struggles in year 3/4 have us in a spot where this staff can’t recruit. The time for changes under Frost was last offseason. There was no way 4 straight losing seasons was going to cut it here or anywhere really. Barring an unexpected finish Trev has to make a change.

    I really don’t have a perspective on who we should hire to replace him. On paper, Frost was the ideal candidate. I just think the next coach will need to outline their offense and defense, how they hire assistants and recruit to it with a commitment to rebuilding local relationships. Ideally this staff would have ties to the Big 10 and midwest so they know what they are walking into.

    The one positive I’d end with is I honestly believe a lot of coaches would look at our roster and see opportunity and they wouldn’t have to tell us how awful it was before they arrived. Consider the OL. Everybody nationally wanted Corcoran. Everyone in the west wanted Benhart. Piper had an Iowa offer and Miller signed with them. Prochazka likewise drew a ton of national interest before an early commitment shut it down. Everyone listed there has 3 more years. Add in 2 more years of Jurgens and the kids we have redshirting. They have talent and potential. Our RB room is all soph and younger with Rahmir starting to emerge. We have 3 freshman WR’s redshirting this year with 3 more years eligible for Betts. The QB room needs help but a new staff may be able to develop support around the QB to enable a transfer guy to hold this over for a year or 2 while building towards the future.

    1. That was my whole thing with him. A good football coach makes football players better, not just his football players. We ran off guys like Avery Roberts and others who could have helped us, and just said “they don’t work hard enough.” We shouldn’t have been as bad as we were. But I kept saying “well if this is our floor to build a bigger foundation I can take it.” 2019, 2020, and 2021 went like they did and it looked even more foolish.

      1. Is it me, or does it seem like we’ve played and gone to some of those ski position players more in our bigger games, or should say better teams maybe (Oklahoma, Michigan), and then they we dissapeared against the Minnesotas and the like?

        I didn’t watch the NW game, soaybe this is selection bias. Just felt like to me we came out well against Oklahoma and Michigan, and those guys seemed involved, then they dissapear. No stats or evidence for that…

      2. I don’t understand why we play Betts and Manning a ton then they disappear. It really is frustrating and goes back to not having an identity in my opinion.

      3. This is exactly the deal. Instead of coming in and getting those players to believe in him and play hard for him……he came all cocky and mouthy and acted as if the old players didnt know how to work. Didnt have good culture or character. And you expect them to play for you? So the cup board was more bare than it should have been. A good coach would have had T lindsay, A Roberts, JD and others staying and growing. He needed guys like that to stay to overcome recruiting mistakes like Washington and others. And then that attitude led to guys like M jones leaving.
        Now that is not the only reason we’ve sucked but its one of the bigger reasons.

      4. Right. And it’s one thing if “not your guys” are leaving. But then guys like Wandale, Fleming, Bell, Washington, and others are taking off. There’s really only one common denominator there.

  7. I think our Identity has become if we lose to a team we should beat we will make excuses. I’m so angry, especially when our HC says in the postgame presser that he will just “keep detailing”. I’m not sure he even knows what he is saying anymore. Besides a coach, I’m also an English teacher (surprising – yes I know LOL) I really think SF doesn’t have his own identity or ability to have his own vision. We teach a unit to our seniors about understanding your own identity and how to live that life. He is an interesting study. He’s a different person each week. Sometimes a different identity day by day. He wants to use parts of TO, Chip Kelly, Dungy, etc. He’s just copying what others have done in his own experiences.
    To steal his phrase, I do feel like I am watching the same movie. The same one where Bo and MR their last seasons started to lose the team and just seemed worn out. I get mad at myself though too. I was very content with the three losses to out top 10 ranked opponents. Now after just one game, I’m a complete 180 about Frost and our staff.
    Rant over.
    My question, why do people say one more year? Kind of like what “hrock” mentioned above, we go another year maybe get 6-8 wins,,,,,does that add more years? Does that equal an extension? If we have 1 or 2 consecutive solid years, would he be done with another losing, non-bowl season?
    I believe in TA. Looking at factors other than W/L record, how would you arte HCSF?
    -Development of Players
    -Leadership – listening to DB yesterday and how Betts has been handled makes me question what is going on with discipline, etc.
    – Gameplanning before we couldn’t make adjustments, now we play better in the second half but can’t come up with an initial plan that will work, minus Michigan and the screen pass to Johnson
    SSO – where is this headed?

    1. All great questions. I really don’t know, even if we go 2-2 we are only 5-7 (even though I think we may go to a bowl). This is all just so bad. Dangerous in 2019 has turned into hopefully a winning record by 2022.

    2. My take in those areas –
      Recruiting – Thought he started strong but has waned. Don’t think he is a great recruiter, I think he the results were good when there were (theoretical) good results (aka riding the wave from his UCF success). He had strong Florida ties and that initially worked well, but now I think those are fading. Has done pretty well IMO locally, but not regionally.

      Development – not good overall. There’s some position groups, like LB and DB that seem to develop OK. Other than that, I think poor overall development. If a position coach isn’t getting it done, then it’s on him to find someone or figure it out.

      Leadership – awful IMO. But I can’t say for sure b\c I admit I’m biased b\c he rubs me the wrong way personally.

      Gameplanning – Ok. I think he can draw up plays that work well. It seems that he can call successful stuff in spurts. I’ll give him due that sometimes it can look really good. But I don’t think he is good at adjustments in 2nd half or crucial moments, and overall big picture planning. This is something that I wouldve had more patience for for a newer coach, but everything else has been so bad I don’t really anymore.

  8. Pretty much all of the chips are on the table come October 30.

    Beat Purdon’t and there’s still hope to turn things around with one last “big game atmosphere” versus tOSU.

    Lose to Purdon’t and risk a total team quit versus tOSU and a result similar to other blowouts over the past 20 years that have sealed a coach’s fate.

  9. To answer your question above…Do you think we fire at 4-8? I don’t know if he will.
    I think he should but I am unsure what Trev’s thought process is. If he beats Purdue out of those last 4 does anyone care? I think Frost has shown us who he is and he’s not a good fit in the BIG and its questionable if he is a good coach. If I’m Trev I’m looking at recruiting weakening last year and this year it looks to be collapsing. Frost wont have anything to sell kids going forward. Does the sellout streak survive? If it survives 2021 and you retain Frost I think it dies in 2022 and then your foundation is really beginning to rot. Weak roster, apathetic fanbase etc.

    Given this class is already lost and you have a pretty solid roster of kids in the program coupled with a chance at re-energizing the fanbase with a solid hire I think its a no brainer if he doesn’t get to a bowl game. 5 years and counting with no bowl and you bring back the coach that is responsible for 4 of those? Yikes. You have to give the kids and the fans something to be excited about because this is not working.

    1. Agreed on most points.
      So….IF WE GET STEAMROLLED THE NEXT FOUR WEEKS…and if a change is made…the question becomes “if not Frost, then who?”.

      There’s no way Trev hires an assistant with no HC experience. And he needs someone who can not only recruit but also work with the pieces that are already in place.

      Matt Campbell comes to mind and his shine is dimming a little this year. Maybe he can be had if the price is right?

      Tom Herman would also be a possibility.

      And don’t overlook Dave Clawson at Wake Forest. That dude can coach and he has won championships at every level.

      1. Why wouldn’t we hire an assistant with no HC experience? Trev’s job is to hire a good coach, not the most experienced head coach. TO, Solich and Bo all took this job with no prior HC experience. Callahan, Riley and Frost were all HC’s previously.

        Among the many learnings of this staff (and some prior ones) should be that its not just about the top guy but the entire staff. The next coach has to hire strong assistants and when someone isn’t working on, be willing to move on. There needs to be some prior Big 10 coaching experience, don’t care where but its mind blowing we have hired 2 straight staffs with 0 prior Big 10 coaching experience. And we need multiple coaches with recruiting ties into our geo footprint. Someone to rebuild the broken ties in state then 1-2 more who have ties to territories like Chicago, Minneapolis, Detroit, St. Louis, Kansas City, etc. That’s where the bulk of our roster needs to come from with us supplementing this with players from the coasts. Its time our staff reflects this reality.

      2. Honestly I have no idea. I would love to see the names on Trev’s shortlist. I will say this. I think the stars are aligned for the first time in a very long time to make the right hire. The athletic dept. is on solid footing and in complete alignment. The facilities are already being upgraded. The fanbase is still there. Trev seems to be a very detail oriented guy who understands what it takes to win and he truly understands what the needs of the program are. He also seems to be a very good salesmen for the program.
        Contrast that with the last few ‘searches’ that were either completely mismanaged, or in the case of Moos, he was handed his candidate and didn’t bother to do the due diligence in regards to assistant coaches etc. I know a lot of people are ready to let go of the Frost dream but I think he’s going to make it an easy decision down the stretch. We’ll see.

      3. Regarding the necessity of previous head coaching experience….See the impact that Frost’s limited experience has on his game week, game day and inter-game management and how that correlates with so many of our current issues.

      4. @SofaKing – I still don’t see the correlation; I see one misread data point. Frost was a HC previously, even had an undefeated season. Conversely, the #1 team in the country has a first time head coach. The Big 10 is loaded with first time HC’s who haven’t had these issues. The issue is Frost and the staff he hired. We need to hire a good coach and previous HC experience is not a must. We should be open to NFL assistants too. Trev has a tough job ahead of him.

  10. I feel like I come on here and leave the same comment after every game. Anybody with a pulse can see who our big play people are. Why we can’t get the ball in Manning’s and Betty’s hands more often is beyond me. They are ELECTRIC. They have pounded their proverbial heads against the wall to establish the run for the most part which is OK…but Frost is a truly peculiar play caller sometimes. I feel like he isn’t having those natural, flowing drives where you can almost “feel” the right play call…. OR 2AM just doesn’t execute when he has to make the right read… throw…. Etc.

    I love 2AM the man. His skill is undeniable —but his lack of awareness and execution will get Frost fired. I don’t see how it goes any other way at this point. Instead of being enamored with what Adrian CAN be, they have to accept who he is. McKenzie Milton has half of 2AM’s talent but 10 times the awareness and decision making. If you haven’t developed another quarterback on your roster who can make the right decisions you don’t deserve to have your job anymore at this point.

  11. @SofaKing –
    I have absolutely no idea. I would love to see the names on Trev’s shortlist. I will say this. I think the stars are aligned for the first time in a very long time to make the right hire. I don’t think the athletic department has been aligned with the football program until Moos was hired. The previous ‘searches’ were a disaster and it’s easy to see why in hindsight. Pedey, Eich etc. have been dissected ad nauseum. Moos’s failure was to not do due diligence when he hired the states golden boy. He should have questioned Frost’s assistant hires but at the time that magic season had everyone fooled. Water under the bridge.
    Contrast that with now. New facilities are already under construction. Fanbase is fanatical. No easy choices for a coach with past ties ala Solich, Bo or Frost. The athletic department is aligned completely with football with Trev at the top. Trev seems to be a very detail oriented AD who has very specific ideas about what Nebraska football should look like as well as an understanding of the uniqueness of the program. He is also very articulate and a good salesmen. I am sure he has a list of coaches that meet his criteria of what he wants and what NU needs and I would imagine he would have done his due diligence along with being a shrewd negotiator. I know a lot of people aren’t ready to let go of the dream with Frost but I think he will make it an easy choice once these next four games play out. Just my 2 pennies.

    1. I think it might take a real ugly loss for that to happen. Peer\booster pressure is real. I don’t think Trev is mindless and will just sway which way the wind blows. But if we’re competitive against all these teams, I could easily see the economic realities dictating the decision more of not firing…just need to clean up some stuff and we need a few more years. Getting obliterated by Ohio State or Iowa I think maybe tilts the opinion enough. But I personally think we match up pretty well against Iowa and Wiscy, and don’t think those will be blowouts either way. Ohio State is the one I’d be worried about if I were Frost. I think they’re playing incredibly motivated, and need the style points to get back in the playoff picture. Don’t think they’ll fall into anymore trap games with their one loss already

  12. I apologize in advance for the lengthy post, but I wanted (needed) to vent some thoughts I’ve espoused elsewhere.

    had/have zero problem with Fleck stating the fact that culture vs skill was on display during that game.

    I’ve mentioned this in other threads on other sites, that as a leader/coach:
    – What you permit, you promote
    – And what you promote is what you want
    – And obviously what you want is what you should continue to get.

    For those still blaming the previous culture(s), please consider that the “culture problem” is likely related to the culture that Frost has instilled, not the one he inherited.

    Case in point:
    * Frost has been installing “his culture” since day one
    * The roster is now filled with “his guys”
    * “His guys” have talent
    * “His guys” are now bigger, stronger and faster; they pass the eye test
    * Frost has nearly all the coaches that he brought with him 4 years ago; value in consistency/chemistry

    But even with all that:
    * The team still lacks discipline – unforced errors (i.e. penalties) are still a problem from familiar positions
    * The team still lacks accountability – doesn’t appear that consequences (benching or otherwise) are handled consistently if at all.
    * The team still lacks attention to detail – situational awareness (i.e. execution, ball security) are a problem during critical times

    The last three bullet points have little if anything to do with player talent, and everything to do with culture and coaching.

    This team and coaching staff express the “desire to excel”, but they absolutely have mastered the “no fear of failure” part of Frost’s slogan… his culture. The W-L record is evidence of that.

    They SHOULD fear failure like the plague… loathe failure… failure should NOT be an option!

    So, I totally buy-in to the culture argument. I just happen to put my money on the likelihood that it’s Frost’s culture that is the problem.

    So what does Trev Alberts do?

    In business, the most successful leaders are committed to the success of the organization, and the organization’s mission. And while their staff and/or workforce are their most valuable asset, that also means that they must make difficult decisions when individuals and/or their areas of responsibility are failing to meet/exceed expectations.

    For the individuals that you value for reasons other than performance (and you’ve tried “everything” to help them in their current position), sometimes the best you can do is reassign them to a role that’s better suited for them… or part ways all together.

    This great philosophical dialogue comes to mind: “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few… or the one.”

    Our Huskers have been a very interesting (albeit frustrating) study in Leadership and Culture.

    I agree that Trev Alberts has difficult decisions to make. I’m thinking that he may feel that Frost needs a chance to meet/exceed specific goals/expectations that he sets for him. Especially if he feels that Frost did not have the appropriate systems/structures in place under previous AD Bill Moos. I recall TA making comments to this effect.

    So, whether we like it or not, from his AD “C-Suite perspective” unless Frost totally loses the team from here on out… I think that Trev uses his first year (or less) to assess and establish baseline measures for his expectations of Frost. Than he’ll assess Frost’s ability to meet/exceed those expectations now that Frost has the systems/structures and guidance/support from the AD that Alberts feels was needed.

    After all that, we’ll see changes that lead to improved results… whether those improvements are with or without Frost as head coach remains to be seen.

    1. Excellent points Frank. Those last three points are what scares me about the program moving forward. It seems after each week the staff talks about what they need to fix rather than preventing anything from happening in the first place. To me it seems like we react with discipline, accountability and attention to detail once something bad happens instead of living those traits daily in practice to prevent some of the things that have taken place in games.
      After four years, it is difficult to see where this is headed. Who really knows? Probably TA isn’t 100% sure. We don’t know what will happen at qb, who will coach next year’s qb or who will coach on the offensive side of the ball. Too many unknowns make me lead towards wanting a change.

    2. I agree in general with most of what you wrote there, good post. I guess regarding Alberts and your comment regarding the support Frost needs…I guess I’m of the mindset that Frost has definitely had plenty of support from Moos to run things the way he wanted and was given the resources to do everything he wanted. Whether or not you think Moos did a good job, I think he was at least competent on a baseline level, and hired Frost, and gave him what he needed to do things his way to succeed, as much as he could’ve.

      So I guess I would consider that for Frost, his baseline should be measured on these last 2 years, I don’t think a new Athletic Director is giving him more support is the missing ingredient. I actually think you could make a much stronger argument for that case for Mike Riley (not saying I think he was the answer…). Maybe Trev thinks he has some advice or guidance that Frost needs, if so OK, but I think Frost has gotten whatever he has needed thus far to show improvement/results.

  13. I’ll just add this…

    If Frost/Nebraska had simply beaten Illinois and Minnesota over the past two seasons, we wouldn’t even be having these conversations.

    2020 Illinois…dud team with lame duck coach
    2020 Minne…came to Lincoln down 35 guys
    2021 Illinois…dud team with brand new coach
    2021 Minne…well, you just saw that one

    So if Frost/Neb just wins those four eminently winable games…

    5-3 with a bowl game in 2020
    5-3 and headed to a bowl game in 2021


  14. Talking about identity, was listening to 97.3 the ticket and they talked Husker basketball. Fred came in with an identity/style of play and stuck with it since day one. Yes the record isn’t great, but Fred is able to show players that his style can work. It will get you open looks at the hoop or kick out for open 3 pointers.

    Now Fred has brought in some better/higher rated players, so we will see if that translates to the win column or not. But Fred has stuck with his identity and that’s what he can sell to recruits!!

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