Trev Alberts handled last week about as good as anyone who isn’t sure on their head coach could. I believe that Trev Alberts is in the same spot I am… The results so far show that Frost isn’t going to get it done, but I need to be 100% certain that is the case if i’m going to make the decision to fire someone that brought a national championship to Nebraska as a player.
Alberts can make this be the right decision no matter what after 2022. While our hole will be dug even deeper than it is now if we can’t get things done in 2022 due to the fact we will have another awful recruiting class and that will be our 6th straight season that we don’t make a bowl, it will have the AD in a spot where he can not only look like he cared to the fans, but other HC candidates. You see, if it doesn’t work out, Alberts can just say “I was not going to put the state of Nebraska in another spot where we have to pay 20+ million to a coach and get rid of them again. To restructure the contract it required another year.” People will understand that, even though we have a couple boosters right now that would sign the check no questions asked. But the opposite can be true as well, and let’s be honest, it’s what Nebraska should hope for if we don’t want to take forever to get where we want to be. If Frost goes 7-5 or better next year, Alberts can say “this is what I thought was possible and that’s why I wanted to stick with our guy.” Basically not cutting bait too quickly with the head coach and avoiding a buyout.
But there were deals that needed to be brokered in an effort to get this done. First, Alberts had actually talked with Frost about some of this stuff during the first bye week. While we still had a chance at a bowl, Frost was already thinking he needed to make at least two changes. We talked before about how if I were AD I would say “what do you think” to Frost and let him talk, let him tell you his thoughts. If he says “we are staying the course” that would be an issue. If he listed some things they needed to do differently, that at least tells you he’s taking self inventory of what’s going wrong. The second bye week comes around and from what i’ve heard, his hand was forced on at least one other departure, but that’s neither here nor there. They made the decision before they went out on the road to solidify that our coach was going to be back.
The biggest problem is getting assistants to come here. As I said on twitter, all of you that said “no coach will want to come here if we fire Frost”, well, it will actually be harder to get assistants here with a coach coaching for his job in 2022 on a one year contract. Frost reduced his contract by 1 million dollars per year to free up more space to entice assistants to come here and give them 2 year contracts instead of 1. I think to get a top level OC, that is probably what you are going to need to do.
Now it’s up to Frost to find new assistants and get ready for Wisconsin and Iowa, two teams we are winless against since 2018. That scares me a bit to go up against the nations #1 defense and only have 1 full time offensive assistant helping, but as we stated earlier, these last two games shouldn’t dictate any opinion of this staff anyway.
Should scheme be determined by location?
I was watching the Browns vs Patriots game this past Sunday and Charles Davis who I really respect said something that got me thinking again about a conversation that always comes up in Nebraska. Should how you play football (your scheme) be determined by where you are? Davis stated “This Patriots team is built to win in November and beyond when the weather is awful and you need to run the ball.”
For the record, I always dismissed that. I thought as long as you were good at something you could pretty much do whatever you wanted. But the person I was watching with goes “well it makes some sense, I mean, there’s a reason when the coin toss goes that you choose the wind in the direction you want it for certain quarters, right? There’s quarters where teams can’t pass at all.”
I always went to Mike Leach as my “go to” to negate that argument, but the reality is while Lubbock is windy, it rarely gets that cold. Long and short, I think I can be sold either way on this. While I think Leach’s offense could work in Nebraska, I also have people that say Ohio State does the same things and have no issues. While that’s true, the Buckeyes still run for nearly 200 yards per game.
I believe it somewhat comes down to the fact that running the ball is portable while many times the pass isn’t. I have a ton of respect for Leach, but for as good as I think he is, he never played for a conference title. I understand he was at Tech going up against Texas and Oklahoma. I understand he was at Wazzu going up against Oregon and others. But typically he would just have a clunker game or two every year where the QB just couldn’t hook up with the WRs and end in a loss. I could see the message boards from “run the ball guy” saying “this is why you can’t have this type of offense up here!”
Someone else brought up a good point that you also need scheme that fits what players you can get. In Nebraska we have tons of TEs that would work. Since 2016 just look at our state, Noah Fant, Austin Allen, Jurgens a converted TE, Chris Hickman, Thomas Fidone, James Carnie, and guys like Kaden Helms and Micah Riley-Ducker going to Oklahoma and Auburn. Even Brahmer our 2023 commit is highly thought of. Guys like Helms, Fidone, Riley-Ducker, Brahmer, Fidone, they are every bit Jordan Akins from UCF (I know Akins was drafted just let me go here). We need to find something that gets our TEs more involved because we will always have an abundance of them.
Osborne basically had every team in Nebraska running the triple option which created players like Frost, Crouch, Tarpinian, Turman, Stuntz, etc. You had fullbacks everywhere like the Makovickas, Judd Davies, Dane Todd. Teams are all running what Nebraska and other schools run so it’s a lot easier now, but we had our own little factory here in the state.
Long and short of it, I don’t think it should dictate your scheme, but Charles Davis got me thinking. You need to be able to run the ball if things get dicey in November to win your division and get to Indy. People will say it’s not that bad in November but in reality I think it can get that way.