I want to start off this post for saying if any of you reading this get information from someone who was saying “he is definitely getting fired” or “he is definitely being retained” you probably should stop listening to those people. If you remember in my post “Trev’s Big Decision 2.0”, I told you that we would hear something in 72 hours. When I wrote that, there was definitely still some questions needing answers. But how did we get to “he will be back in 2022” after hearing this just a couple short weeks ago?
Remember, those comments were made during the first bye week. While our staff was mostly solidifying current recruits, they were also out trying to find new 2022 offers to finish this class as well as getting more 2023 and even 2024 recruit film. The greetings were nearly all the same… “coach, we need to know if you are going to be there if we are going to commit to you.”
I’ve always brought up that if i’m AD, I would need to make sure I did everything in my power to help the coach succeed. But even more important, things I did (or in this case didn’t do) couldn’t hinder success. If we were going to retain Frost, a statement needed to be made before they got out on the road again. If we weren’t, I expected that decision to come after Iowa. Thus my 72 hours we will know for the better for Frost, or silent will be no good for Frost.
Make no mistake, the last two games weren’t going to matter in the process. But what I was talking about in the first paragraph that no one knew yet, is that Alberts still needed questions answered from Frost, and for his decision to be a bit easier after the Ohio State game. If Frost had at all lost this team, Alberts could have certainly went the other way with this. So he wanted to make sure that wasn’t on the table. We showed that against the Buckeyes.
But Alberts also knew things just weren’t working, and changes needed to be made. Our AD isn’t the type of guy that will force those changes, but as i’ve alluded to multiple times this past month, he was going to ask questions of Frost and let him talk. “Well, how do we feel and are there any offseason things you need from me?” And down the road Frost went with Alberts on those things. While I expected at least two assistants to be fired, I didn’t expect 4. But in all reality, we’ve been that bad. Let’s dive into those:
Mario Verduzco – I won’t belabor this point because everyone knew I wasn’t a fan. But Martinez has gone from preseason Heisman candidate in 2019 to a guy people are saying is losing us games. This makes things easy.
Greg Austin – He and Frost have been butting heads for awhile, and let’s be honest, our year 4 offensive line may be the worst since this staff got here. We gave him “run game coordinator” when he and Frost got into it about what our personnel was best at to try and keep him happy, but at the end of the day it was time.
Matt Lubick – Here is one I was wrong about. I said on the other site this would end up better than Walters at OC, and I was wrong. With that said, red flags were going up immediately after I made that statement. He verbatim said one time “I mean I wasn’t dying to get back into coaching, it’s not like the opportunity at Nebraska made me jump out of my shoes. But the opportunity to go work with my friend again in an offense I knew was something I couldn’t pass up.” That’s verbatim.
Ryan Held – Here’s one I was wrong about and still wrong about. I defended Held so much, and was pretty wrong about all of it. Our RB stable just never seemed to get figured out. With that said, Held saved our ass in recruiting in 2020 when he brought 7 official visitors in the weekend before NSD. He brought us guys like Pheldarius Payne, Jordon Riley, Omar Manning, Greg Bell, and on down the list. JUCO recruiting is so important. But on the field production is paramount, and we just weren’t getting it done.
So where do we go now?
It will be interesting to me what route Frost goes. Is he going to get a bunch of coaches that he is familiar with and still run his stuff? Or did we clean house so that we can tell a new OC he can hire 3 or 4 guys he really wants to install his offense in a hurry? The reality is, this is a one year make or break year in 2022. So we have no time to screw around. Here’s how I would do it if I were Frost:
Frost HC/QB – Most important position on your team so you handle these guys. Also gives you room for my last suggestion.
OC/OL or WR – You have to find out what your coordinator wants to coach and go from there
OL/WR – Whatever you didn’t hire with your OC
RB – Obviously need someone handling duties here
Special Teams Coordinator – Quit screwing around and get someone in here that knows what they are doing. Dawson doesn’t want to do it so get it off his plate. Sean Snyder is an absolutely real possibility. Keep an eye on that name.
I also like what Mitch Sherman shared here as well, this could work to make room for Snyder:
You get that OC in here to watch the last 2 games and judge what you are doing. You allow him to get his staff together and you hit that transfer portal hard. And this new staff probably saves a bit of your recruiting class.
I have been hearing a former HC as a possibility at at least one of our openings, which would be great news to have some ideas on how he did things back in the day.
This is a massive gamble
If this falls on its face, this will set us back even more than we already are this year. If this doesn’t work, we will have 2 straight recruiting classes that are flat out awful (this year where we are currently sitting 77th overall and second to last in the big ten for average star ranking and then next year if we fire Frost). What you have to remember is most recruiting classes fill up before the season starts. So we are going to be recruiting kids with four straight losing seasons and be mostly full before we even have a chance to show we are better. A new offensive staff will help, but it’s still a hefty load to make right. We are lucky we have two four stars in state for 2023 that want to come to Nebraska no matter what.
How will this land with the team?
It’s not easy to tell kids they committed to that you fired their guy.
How will our RBs, OL, and WRs respond? That is going to be what is fascinating with all of this. Does this give us added pep in our step? Or do we crumble because the foundation has a crack in it? That’s one of the last reasons I wanted to bring up on why the timing is now. You don’t want to have us lay a stinker in one of our last games and then come out and retain him. Do it while people are excited with the “close” mantra and let the cards fall where they may. The bye week also gives Frost a chance to get in front of his new candidates and figure out what he wants.
Interesting week everyone. Excited to see the changes.