Coaching Candidates

I always hesitated to speculate on who we would get if we fired Frost. It just seemed odd to talk about since I knew multiple people working in Lincoln and wanted them to succeed. Alberts pulled the rip cord yesterday earlier than I thought he would, but losing to Northwestern first game, tied at halftime and deep into the 3rd with an FCS team, then losing at home to a Go5 team you paid 1.4 million to come to town basically forced his hand. Further, if he thought it was time to go, he couldn’t wait until Oct 1 and possibly make a move after a win if against Indiana (massive speculation there on winning).

While money isn’t an issue, it doesn’t mean it needs to be spent needlessly. Nebraska firing Frost now cost us an additional 7.5 million. Again, you will have people tell you “a booster will write that check” or “with the B1G money it’s not as big of a deal”. All of those are true, but what if we could get that 7.5 million towards other things rather than a buyout that we wouldn’t need to do if we waited 20 more days? I think you see where i’m going with that. And let’s not forget that Alberts didn’t only rework Frost’s contract for a buyout date, but he reworked it for the buyout number anyway, so we did save money redoing things. And all of this is moot if we fire him for cause (i’m not going down speculation road there, we’ve all heard it).

Alberts had a ton of great comments in the presser, and i’ll start with this one. Let’s look forward. That’s what this post is going to be about. Alberts also made a comment about how Nebraska is a great opportunity for the right coach, and all places have pluses and minuses. People try saying it’s too much of a fish bowl here and the pressure is immense, Brian Kelly was greeted with this by a media member game 1 in Baton Rouge:

Can you imagine Steve Sipple coming like that to Frost after losing to Colorado in 2018? The point is, we have some challenges, yes. But so does every other school in the country. We have some massive built in advantages as well. But it all is dependent on the right coach, who will bring in the right staff, and the right recruits. The whole “if he can’t do it no one can” makes zero sense to me. All schools go through periods like this, we’ve just prolonged it. Have boosters got in the way. Yes. Has administration made things tougher sometimes? Sure. But none of that is an excuse for what’s happened the last 8 seasons here at Nebraska.

As i’ve always said, would you rather have a rabid fanbase begging for you to win, or one that doesn’t care? Nebraska is one of the best jobs in football if you embrace what it is. If things like a lot of media coverage due to no professional teams, people recognizing you at Walmart and wanting a picture, or other things of that nature bother you… this isn’t the place. And that’s what Alberts was talking about when he said they are going to take their time and clearly define what they want and find someone that has parallel values.

What is Nebraska and Alberts looking for?

One of the things that will be tough for Mickey Joseph, is Alberts knows he has to get this hire right, so someone that has no head coaching experience will be tough to get the nod. I would take that a step further and say they need P5 head coaching experience, with success. So unless he gets us to the CCG he probably isn’t getting the job.

Someone that understands Lincoln and the state of Nebraska. While I think we get too enamored with someone with “Nebraska ties” like Frost or Joseph, I think knowing what you are getting into is important. That to me doesn’t mean playing here. I think they need to know the culture and geography of coaching in Lincoln. I think they need to understand that we have some really good players in state.

Lastly, they need to build their culture within their lockerroom and prove that they have been able to do that in their previous stops. That again is really tough to do for someone who has only been an assistant coach, or head coach for minimal years.

Nebraska is going to have to open the wallet:

Scott Frost when his contract was signed was making 5 million dollars per year, and in 2022 his assistant coach salary pool was just over 5 million. Ohio State is at 7.5 million, Alabama and Florida are both over 7 million. You have to at least get to 7 million in my opinion on that.

Positives about Nebraska:

Let’s get into some of the things that make this job extremely attractive. Perhaps Nebraska’s best selling point is being in the B1G West. They are in one of the 2 premier conferences moving forward, in a very winnable division. I mean no disrespect to Northwestern as I think Fitzgerald is one hell of a coach and what he has accomplished in Evanston is somewhat crazy. But they won 2 of the last 4 division titles with massive academic restrictions, little to no tradition, and 100 people at their home games. The right coach can come in here and be competitive in a hurry just because of our division.

Secondly, recruiting. This sticks with the prior paragraph a bit. Nebraska consistently outrecruits every opponent they go against. While that hasn’t proven to be the recipe for success, you theoretically shouldn’t have a problem getting players in here that can help you beat other teams.

Third, Nebraska is building a state of the art football facility that will be second to none as you come in as a new head coach. So you get to sell your vision, sell the facility, along with everything else.

Those are really big things… i’ve stalled long enough, let’s get into some names and i’ll separate them into tiers. Also remember, some of these guys are coaching right now so a really bad or really good season can change everything in terms of how we look at them (and more importantly how Alberts looks at them).

Tier 1 (I know we’ve talked to them)

Matt Campbell (Head Coach Iowa State) – If I had money on it, this is our guy right now. The Big12 is imploding, he coaches nearby so he’s developing relationships in fertile recruiting grounds in our immediate radius, and he understands it’s more about culture than recruits. The thing about Nebraska is we will outrecruit our western division foes, but we are never going to keep up with Ohio State. And Iowa State wasn’t going to keep up with Texas, but it didn’t matter:

Because I think Campbell understands how to get the right players in his program, he made it work at a place that is very similar to Lincoln, and if he was HC for the Cornhuskers he could be even more selective than he was in Ames. They also were in on many of the recruits in Nebraska before our staff was. Nathan Scheelhaase is on his staff, who went to school in Kansas City to help us with our recruiting there.

Nebraska fans may need to get over their 3 high safety that they run, as we will hear how it won’t work in the B1G just like how we hear that about the 3-4 even though Wisconsin runs it. But that’s the cart a bit before the horse here.

Lastly a selfish plug is Campbell moved them to more of a sprinting strength and conditioning platform as opposed to grind the kids to death like we do in Lincoln now. They lost to Louisiana-Lafayette first game after changing that, and people just were all over Campbell saying “see, it doesn’t work”. They end up playing in the conference title game that year, lose to Oklahoma, but then they roll Oregon in the Fiesta bowl. The following year they went 7-6, but had 5 of those losses as one score (so close I remember us saying). They lost to Clemson by a touchdown, Oklahoma by a touchdown, and Baylor by 2 who won the Big12 that year. They are currently 2-0 this year.

I went pretty in depth on Campbell because i’ve heard enough to know he is pretty seriously considered for this position. Also, not to add fuel to the fire but there were waters tested last year with Campbell. So there is mutual interest, whether that would result in a hire, I’m not sure. The rest of these won’t be as in depth. But with Campbell being in the Big12 that is melting away, we have a chance.

Bill O’Brien (Offensive Coordinator Alabama) – You will all remember him from when we played him as the head coach at Penn State. He did a hell of a job getting them through that probation period, then took off to the NFL and the Houston Texans. I would hate this hire (even though I think he did a hell of a job at Penn State). The good news is I think we vetted and the fit just wasn’t there.

Gary Patterson (defensive analyst Texas) – Patterson was the TCU head coach for 2 decades before being relieved of his position, and he now helps Sarkisian and Texas. He has had 6 conference titles and numerous top 10 finishes. Like Campbell, his defense would frustrate people as he likes the 4-2-5, but he knows what it takes to win.

Jamey Chadwell (Head Coach Coastal Carolina) – It’s weird we’ve talked to him since he doesn’t have P5 experience, but it’s hard to deny his success. Further, our staff went and learned from his offensive staff on some of their triple option stuff. Would we hire him over Campbell, no. But if your 1A and 1B go elsewhere or say no, he’s a very good option.

Tier 2 (I don’t know if we’ve talked to them, but we should)

Sam Pittman (Head Coach Arkansas) – Pittman is an OL coach by nature, and besides defense, that is the part of our team that needs the biggest help. He has a lot of time in the great plains even spending some time at Hutchinson Community College and he is doing a masterful job at Arkansas.

Dave Aranda (Head Coach Baylor) – Aranda is a head coach with defense in mind. If you’ve watched our team the last 2 seasons, you’ve seen that a good defense can keep you in every ball game (2021) and a bad defense can have you lose to a Go5 team (2022). I almost think we may lean defensive when looking for a head coach. Aranda was DC at Wisconsin so he understands the B1G, and was DC at LSU during the national championship. He’s in the dying Big12 now so we have a good pitch, but I feel like an SEC team that is looking will back up the truck for him at the end of the year.

Luke Fickell (Head Coach Cincinnati) – Fickell was at Ohio State and even had the interim title for a year there. He currently is the Cincy head coach and got them to the college football playoff last year. While he doesn’t have a ton of P5 head coaching experience, I think he’s worth a call.

Chris Klieman (Head Coach Kansas State) – Klieman was the head coach at North Dakota State and won 4 national titles. He moved to Kansas State and plays the way Nebraska fans would like to see us go about things. While he hasn’t had the accolades in FBS that the previous coaches have, he would be a good candidate.

Kyle Whittingham (Head Coach Utah) – I love how Utah plays. They are tough and always well coached. They are in the Pac-12 that is much like the Big12, and this could be the time we could lure him away.

Matt Rhule (Head Coach Carolina Panthers) – Zero idea if he even wants back in the college game, but what the dude did at Temple and then what he did at Baylor off their probation is nothing short of amazing. I am seeing how his NFL season goes and gauging if he tries to get back to the college ranks.

Dave Doeren (Head Coach North Carolina State) – He has been in the midwest, spending time as an assistant at Kansas and Wisconsin. His first head coaching job was Northern Illinois, and then taking his first and only Power 5 job at NCState. He hasn’t won a conference title so there’s other guys higher on the list for me, but I definitely make the call.

Tier 3 (I at least consider them so I can say I did, but don’t see it happening)

PJ Fleck (Head coach Minnesota) – I hate this dude. But it’s tough to ignore what he’s done up there. I just don’t know if I could handle it, and let’s be honest it’s all about me.

Lance Leipold (Head Coach Kansas) – Leipold won multiple D3 national titles at Wisconsin-Whitewater, so he knows the region. He went to Buffalo and turned that program into a very good team and ended up getting a Power 5 offer to Kansas. I’m just not sure he will have the success at Kansas in a quick enough time (this year) to make that hire be the splash we would need.

Jeff Lebby (Offensive Coordinator Oklahoma) – UCF, Ole Miss, Oklahoma, this dude puts up points everywhere. He just has no HC experience so I doubt we go there.

Gus Malzahn (Head Coach UCF) – Malzahn got Auburn to the national title game in 2013 and seemingly fell apart from there. I probably wouldn’t touch this for the simple fact it would be another UCF guy anyway, but he has had success in the toughest conference there is.

Jim Leonhard (Defensive Coordinator Wisconsin) – He played for Wisconsin and has no HC experience, but his defenses are nothing to sneeze at.

Tier 4 (Names i’ve heard but it’s not happening)

Urban Meyer (Broadcaster) – Remember when Urb retired from Florida and said he’d only come back if it was Notre Dame or Ohio State calling? We ain’t on that level guys. That was before all of the off the field stuff and train wreck in Jacksonville. I just feel we should be smarter than this.

Craig Bohl (Head Coach Wyoming) – He was at Nebraska then ended up building North Dakota State into the powerhouse they are now. But he’s come up to FBS and has a sub .500 record and is closer to retiring than reviving a football program. This would be Mike Riley 2.0 and while Riley wasn’t awful, he didn’t get us where we wanted and neither would Bohl. We also need to severe some of the “this is what we used to do” talk.

I’m sure i’ve forgot some people, but that’s who I look at for right now. Let’s keep an eye on any hot names for guys that get off to a good start this season.

ShortSideOption Blog (Coaching Carousel)

Nothing is required, just helps with site fees


42 thoughts on “Coaching Candidates

  1. Seems Campbell is at the top of many folk’s list. He has built Iowa State up, but the one year they had high expectations they face planted…at least it seemed that way to me. That said, at this point, all I want is a solid team that plays hard, is disciplined, and doesnt fold when things get tough. We have been irrelevant for so long I am not even sure what our expectations should be (aside from playing hard, being disciplined and winning a few here and there)? There is zero chance imo Urbs or similar is brought in..I know its tempting to wish for that so we could get untracked quickly and get it built up and then he would be off somewhere else, but listening to Trev’s press conference, and what he is looking for in a coach…it doesnt seem someone like Urbs is the guy. It will be an interesting season for sure..looking forward to some changes from Coach Mickey and wish him the best of luck. I do wish it would of worked for Frost – I cant imagine the weight he has been carrying these past few years…sure, a lot of things he brought on himself, but there is no doubt he cared and wanted to win in Lincoln more than most anyone

  2. Fickel would create some buzz for sure…double his salary from Cincinnati and gets him back into the BIG?? The guy can coach for sure…no idea how his personality, etc is though.

  3. I think the real question is which coach is going to bring back the fullback to Nebraska?

    But in all seriousness, I liked what Alberts said yesterday and it gives me confidence that he will do what is best for Nebraska. I really wanted it to work for Frost and I wish him well where ever he goes. Once a Husker, always a Husker. There was just a disconnect that wasn’t translating on the field and a change had to be made. I expected it to happen after Oct 1st, but I see why you make that call now. Development is my #1 attribute I hope for in the new coach, but definitely needs to be the right fit for Nebraska. I agree with a lot of the same things you said. I don’t think they need to be from Nebraska, but at least know the area and what they are getting into. I would like head coaching experience at the P5 level and at least assistant coaching experience in the Big Ten for familiarity. I would like someone with similar offense and defensive styles so its not another complete rebuild. I want someone who will embrace the players that are already here and not make excuses of need to get his own players in. I also would like some with a clear identity and culture that will put the players in the best position to succeed. Lastly, I would like someone that is going to bring the the best assistants possible, not just his buddies, who are good teachers and motivators (I feel we already have some on this team I hope he keeps).

    I don’t know how Joseph is going to factor into the future here, but I am hoping for him to succeed and make the proper changes needed to bring some positivity to the program for the future. I hope he is still apart of this program going forward in some capacity. I do like Alberts comments of looking forward and not in the past. We definitely need to look at what is going to make Nebraska successful in the future and not just expect the same old recipe to work.

    Thanks for all the effort and insight as always

  4. Do we know that the Big Ten will still have divisions once USC/UCLA join the conference? The job could become that much more difficult if they just eliminate divisions and take the top two teams each year for the conference championship.
    I completely agree that a “defensive” guy would be the way to go. Do you think there is any chance of getting Chadwell and Leonhard as coordinators? I hope we can hire a CEO type of guy who can get great coaches on staff. We need to be able to develop based on our recruiting radius.
    Also, I know you have written about Frost before but will you be doing a piece on why it didn’t work. I’m still shocked at how this went awry.

    1. Yeah, I was thinking the same thing that our division down the road might not be as squishy as it is now. But if we want a seat at one of the big boy conferences, we’ve got to be able to play with them.

    2. I don’t think we could hire Leonhard for a lateral move, or Chadwell as a step down. I really don’t know which way they will go once USC and UCLA are here. That will be really interesting.

  5. I am 100% with you. Never believed this was not a good job. Sure it has some drawbacks but more than outweighed by the positives. The fanbase alone is massive. It has other major positives which it sounds like Trev will outline so I feel confident we aren’t going to get short changed here.

    Also no chance Urban is coming here. As Trev said “we are not trying to win the press conference” and “high character guys” scream anything but Urban Meyer.

    Given that here is my Tier 1:
    Dave Aranda
    Luke Fickell

    Both those guys tick every single box on the list in my opinion:
    BIG ties – I think this is a big key for Trev and may weigh heavily on his decision
    P5 head coaching experience with proven success
    Program builders (re-builders) – Fickell at Cincinnati and Aranda at Baylor
    High character individuals with integrity – I could see both as a good fit for the culture at Nebraska
    Defensive minded coaches – absolutely love Aranda’s defenses but Fickell was no slouch at tOSU.
    Offensive systems which would suit our roster
    Both at schools that are getting left behind by consolidation 
    Both seem pretty media savvy especially Fickell

    Both Aranda and Fickell would be pretty difficult to pull. Fickell loves his gig in OH and Aranda will get other calls (Texas A&M???) so we’ll see but I think Trev has the resources and the stones to go after either one.

    Klieman is my other 1st tier guy and checks all the boxes except the BIG ties 

    Campbell would be 2nd tier for me. I’m not opposed but no BIG ties that I know of and I think we can do a bit better.

    With you on O’Brien. Would hate the hire.
    I don’t think Patterson is a good fit and I have seen him disparage NU regarding it’s coaching search when he took the job at TCU so just don’t think Trev goes there.
    Leipold is intriguing but ultimately he needs at least one if not two more years to build Kansas.

    I love Mickey but he’s been put in an incredibly difficult situation. I don’t think he can fix this year but if he somehow pulls it off it would be a miracle. Would have to be considered if he gets us to 7 or 8 wins. If not I hope he is retained by the new staff as the transition guy. He would be invaluable to keep around to navigate NU’s unique culture.

    Going to be one hell of an interesting fall.

    1. Yeah even if Joseph knocks it out of the park this year, with the amount of coaching changes we’ve done, I just can’t picture not going after people with a track record as a head coach in P5 1st. If we strike out on literally everyone else, sure.

    2. I’ll be curious to see if Mickey can turn the thought process of the players and get some winning attitude. Not sure what it is about O’Brien, but I think he just needs too much talent to win. Penn State, Texans, Alabama, we ain’t getting guys like that.

  6. Thanks for sharing as always. Been a rough stretch and we just have to get this right. I think we finally have the right guy (Trev) overseeing this.

    Where I’d be curious is how you think Trev sees the full picture coming together. He’s talked about some traits he wants in a coach and we also know what he worked on with Frost. It seems to me he wants to get someone who is a program manager. Someone with the vision of how it should run, who can handle the media circus, build a culture, hire a competent staff to delegate duties to while keeping a light touch on every aspect of the program (and diving in where necessary). Will scheme be important or is he looking for more high level things like offensive balance and a defense that can stop the run first and foremost?

    So everyone seems to be converging on Campbell and you laid it out well why that’s a fit on the surface (its on Trev to figure out how great that connection is). He’s a good coach but he seems to me as a bit more of a high floor, medium ceiling type of coach. I’d be real curious how Trev would see him being able to lift that ceiling, i.e. assistant coaching hires. The last 2 coaches who came in here just ported their old staffs and did a horrible job finding people with Big 10 experience and midwest recruiting ties. And neither realized the value of an ace recruiter until their final year when they couldn’t capitalize. I really hope whoever we hire keeps Mickey Joseph around for a number of reasons but as you mention, Campbell could bring Scheelhaase in to compliment him and just those 2 alone could get us our best recruiting staff since Callahan. We just need to open up the pocket book and hire some strong X’s and O’s guys, kind of like what Clemson did for Dabo when his tenure looked like it was about to end.

    I’m just so tired of seeing us try to hire these coaches who come in with grand plans of recruiting nationally and leveraging relationships in CA or FL then having higher turnover than our peers and always discussing how they are beating us in development. I really hope Trev pushes someone who has a plan for Nebraska in the Big 10 and not some idealized model of what a best case college team looks like. And I’d be ok with him hiring a veteran coach like Patterson or whoever that is not long term but can get the culture fixed and groom a replacement versus trying to reach for the new shiny object.

    1. I’m right there with you… Campbell seems to make a lot of sense. But Alberts needs to vet a ton of people. Even though I wouldn’t like the O’Brien hire, maybe that’s a guy that checks all of the boxes. I think the good news is this is really the first time we are giving ourselves a chance to do a ton of research and due diligence (I know how long it took to get Callahan).

      To your point, I would love to keep Mickey and guys like Busch. Would they hang around? I don’t know but our offense and special teams already look much improved. I believe “who would you bring with you” would be asked to the next coach. “Everyone” doesn’t necessarily make them the wrong fit, because for example if it’s a guy like Fleck who is already winning in our division, why would we say no? I would prefer a head coach that specializes in something (offense or defense, but would prefer defense) and then use a million to get a top notch assistant on the other side as coordinator.

      1. Not just first chance to do a ton of research but we actually have a football guy leading that research. Yes Moos was a football guy but he was brought in solely to land Frost (no research needed). I have a lot of confidence in Trev and am glad he’s here.

        On the assistants, I’d push back on Fleck (or whoever) porting everyone over. This is part of a thorough vetting. Saying he’s done better than Frost isn’t a high threshold. His staff hasn’t been static and he’s never made a conference championship game (and he inherited a decent situation bc Kill was a good coach). That said, when coaches take a job its important to identify assistants who fit where you are. Look how Frost built his UCF staff and it was perfect for where he was but not for Nebraska. If Fleck were to take this job, presumably he would leave the Gophers because he sees more resources and opportunities to win. Those resources would be put towards scaling the staff upwards. I’d expect a coach to keep some of his guys he knows and trusts but ultimately we don’t want want to be Minnesota or Iowa State so I’d expect some changes.

        We’re going to hear a lot of names but we now have public verification Chadwell is a candidate. I have mixed views there bc I think there’s risk and we just have no room for error. I’m also with you on if they can poach a guy like Wittingham, knowing he may not last much longer than 5 years, but will fix this mess and groom a successor we should do it. Trev’s got a tough decision here because there’s a lot of good coaches out there like that.

      2. Ya we won’t have to worry about Fleck coming here. But if a guy like Campbell who has been to a conference title game wanted to bring everyone, I think Trev would have a tough time telling him no. But to your point, some guys that weren’t options for him at Iowa State would now be options for him at Nebraska.

  7. Mark Stoops from Kentucky is a name I’ve heard thrown around, and one that I personally feel would be a good fit.

    Most are not high on Campbell on other boards, probably not enough of a ‘splash’ hire. It seems they see him comparable to Riley – a guy from a smaller school who theoretically would do better with more resources, but won’t ultimately get it done. He isn’t my 1st choice either, but I have a random gut feeling he is the most realistic coach who would also be interested in coming here.

    Agree with DJ’s post from above, I view Cambpell as a high floor but lower ceiling guy. I could envision long-term Pelini-esque type seasons in perpetuity…solid but getting blown out by the big boys constantly. Maybe I’m underselling what he can do. I think it would come down to what recruits he could bring in. At least I’d be happier with him than Pelini, I just didn’t like that guy on a personal level and made it tough for me to root for him.

    My personal favorites (assuming you CAN get them):
    1st tier
    *Aranda – Energetic guy I feel would solidify defense.
    *Mark Stoops – Love how he built Kentucky with solid defense and fundamentals, midwest guy
    *Wittingham – I feel like he just is a really solid coach across the board who’d do well here
    *Rhule – loved watching his Baylor defenses play, think would be a hit if could recruit well here.

    2nd Tier
    *Pittman – feel like would be a good fit for physical, Big10 play, and a quick program builder.
    *Chadwell – This is my boom or bust pick. Maybe he would knock it out of the park recruiting here and combined with his offensive mind would turn into gold. Or I could see it being a Frost situation of a smaller school head coach who comes and gets overwhelmed very quickly.
    *Patterson – I think we’d be very solid foundationally, but don’t know what the ceiling/recruiting would be with him
    *Campbell – See comments above
    *Fickell – Think he’d be solid but not have my doubts how successful he’d be here for whatever reason

    O’brien – I think he’d actually be a good choice if he brought a great O-coordinator with him. I’m guessing he’d be able to recruit well, but I follow Alabama quite a bit, and I’m not impressed personally with him as a pure play caller. Overall just feels like it wouldn’t be the right fit long-term here. See him doing well at a place like Oregon where it’s not such a championship or bust culture, but there’s some recruiting clout and he could get a lot of good skill position players.

    1. I have been getting a lot of the Campbell hate, but I would personally love it. He is comparable to Riley a bit I suppose, but he’s not on the verge of getting fired like Riley was and his best days are ahead of him as he is much younger. I’d agree with the higher floor lower ceiling part on Campbell though i’m not sold he couldn’t be great here. But I also understand the Riley effect of hesitation.

      Stoops is interesting to me, i’m not sure the Pelini’s or Stoops’ are high on Nebraska fwiw.

      Someone brought up Wittingham may be a bit too old and I kind of agree there, but his program is everything I would want. Someone that could emulate that?

      Rhule would be interesting… not sure if he caught lightning in a bottle or if he’s pretty good.

      Pittman and Fickell I feel would be the same in terms of maybe not being able to get them here anyway.

      Agree on Chadwell.

      I am a bit higher on Patterson than most.

      O’Brien scares the shit out of me because I feel he really needs great talent to be good. We need guys that have developed and/or overachieved where they were.

      1. Didn’t really think about the Pelini\Stoops connection, maybe you’re right on that haha.

        Rhule would take a lot of things to fall in place anyway, I don’t think he’s coming to college unless fired, so that would have to happen 1st. I could be fantasizing the little I saw of Baylor, just remember the Big12 championship against Oklahoma, and even though Baylor lost, that Defense was just flying around and so aggressive.

        I wouldn’t be unhappy with Campbell by any means, just would have others higher on my list.

        Patterson I remember wanting when the Riley hire happened. His age might be a similar concern as Wittingham, they’re both 62. But I actually didn’t realize Wittingham was that old, he looks young still. But I feel like coaching into early 70s is not uncommon now, so if one of those guys could turn us around and give us 7-10 years, I’m ok with that.

      2. I agree about Rhule’s college teams, they just looked different. Not only that, but I always used Rhule as a counterpoint when people said Riley left stuff so awful here as “Rhule went into a rape culture on probation and got them into a ccg year 2”. It’s hard to deny what he got done.

        I do think I would like someone a bit younger, and Trev mentioned it, NIL and players these days are just wired slightly different. As a head coach, espeically if we hire one that is more a CEO, the NIL and other things like that are going to be theirs to take care of. Assistants help him win on the field, the head coach wins off of it.

  8. Matt Campbell- I worry that it will look the same as ISU which is better then Neb but what is holding him back at ISU to be better then he has been. NEB might plateau with him in a few years.

    Bill O’Brien – Makes sense but I think Whipple is a better play caller then O’Brien, and didn’t Pen State run him out of town? Who is the Alabama DC, maybe look at him?

    Jamey Chadwell – Similar to how the Scott Frost hire, could be the next big thing or a big miss.

    Dave Aranda – I dont think he will come

    Luke Fickell – He might just be better at a smaller school and confrence.

    Matt Rhule – I like him the best. He is better at the college level. Will be a hard get due to timing. If he gets fired early its a hard sell to the fans. If he isn’t getting fired, he wont listen to our offer and we just cant wait for him to come free.

    I really dont know what is the best direction to go.

    I really hope Mickey Joseph is the next Dabo Swinney!

      1. BYU coach has done well, instills physicality in his teams. I know some BYU fans, I feel like he’s pretty happy with his situation there, might be his destination spot.

        The Alabama DC Golding I don’t think is really much of a hot name right now . They’re not too happy with either coordinator at the moment.

  9. Yeah, I’m just not feeling Campbell. He is the safe and economical pick, but not the BEST choice right now. Say what you want about Meyer, but I still think you’ve gotta make a big-time offer and make him say no. Aranda would also be a home run, but he can likely pick and choose where he wants to go next. I do really like Chadwell, Whittingham, and Stoops. My only concern about Rhule is that he never beat a ranked team while at Baylor. I also wish we’d look at Todd Monken, OC at Georgia, and kick the tires on Chris Petersen. Fickell isn’t leaving Ohio so you can forget about him.

  10. We tried the Pro coach, the top Def Cord with Neb ties, the respect veteran coach, and the former player. I am not sure what is next?

    1. I know some people have things against certain “types” of coaches (i.e. we did the pro coach thing (Callahan), so we don’t need to do another one of those). I really don’t subscribe to any one ‘type’ of coach that we need to hire.

      Kind of like I don’t think there’s one offense/defense that will only work in Nebraska. I have my preferences and there’s things that make it an easier fit due to weather/geography, but can’t say I wouldn’t hire someone just b/c they run a certain offense/defense.

      If anything, I could see how due to our recent history of the last 20 years, a current or former P5 coach with a decent track record just for some stability would be more important given the CURRENT situation. For example, I have no problem taking a chance on a coordinator or HC from a smaller school, sometimes those are the ones a program strikes gold with. But given the turnover, I could see how a safer bet right now could be the priority. But I don’t think that in general there’s a blueprint that has to be followed.

    1. I like Campbell more than most. I really want Aranda. Pittman has been impressive. I think if Klieman gets to 10 wins you gotta take a look at him. Whittinghams program is what I want to emulate but who knows how much time he has left coaching.

      1. Baylor’s private school so Arranda’s salary isn’t listed. Any idea what it is from any leaks? I feel like we’d have to really up his salary to entice him, and I don’t think we are a clearer path to contending than Baylor is unfortunately. Would love it though.

        On a side note, now that all the P5 still have a guaranteed spot in new 12 team playoff, I wonder if that will entice some coaches to stay a big fish in small pond instead of jumping to SEC\Big10?

  11. Half of the names that we have talked to are meh. Gary Patterson was good but his last 3 or 4 seasons he was struggling to go .500

    1. Not trying to say you’re wrong in your feelings, but then who are the names you think are good we could realistically get? Most names here I think may be even out of our reach, but not totally unrealistic. Most would be decent hires. I wouldn’t be elated with all of them, but also have to remember it’s not just who we want, but who we can get.

      There’s few proven elite coaches out there, and many of the good coaches we won’t be an option for them currently. Not saying we can’t be enticing to good coaches still, but not top tier after the last 20 years.

      1. I think that’s what the issue is. Someone sent me a list that had Urban, Dabo, and other names like that. I purposely didn’t go down that road because those ones just aren’t happening.

  12. What got Scott Frost fired before October 1st? I agree with the firing but zooming out and not looking at it like an obsessed fan that I am, what happened? Offense and ST’s are both improved, plus the $7.5 million dollar difference – it has to be more than losing to Georgia Southern, right? I don’t see TA making a move like this early unless he felt he had to.

    1. I think some of the things people have heard behind the scenes were true about being upset with Alberts for saying we needed staff changes (to your point, changes that have worked).

      But here’s what I believe and i’ll put this out on Friday when I go more in-depth about this… Trev saw some things that he knew were issues at the top. Once they came to fruition with a 1-2 start he just decided to make the move. With a nationally televised broadcast here this week, did he want it to be Frost saying how they needed to improve, or did he want himself to be on camera promoting the program and everything we can accomodate for a new coach and start positive spinning?

  13. It would not be a waste of time for Trev to lob a phone call to Bronco Mendenhall. Hell of a coach. He made it clear he was not burned out, just wanted some time off. He is a no-nonsense guy and if he says he wants to coach again you can be sure it is so.

    1. Ya that’s a good call. I worry about guys like him and Petersen because even if they don’t publicly say they are burned out, they took time off. Lubick flat out told me when he told Petersen he just wanted a break and was gonna go back to Colorado that Petersen said “I understand that more than you know.” I just can’t get on board hiring a guy like him if that’s why he left. But Mendenhall may be different.

  14. Mark Stoops makes sense. He rebuilt Kentucky, defense minded coach, revamped his offense to score more points from the NFL, good recruiter and knows the mid-west. Everyone says since going to the BIG10 we lost Texas. So why dont we attack Ohio in recruiting. OHST skips over a lot of good players in Ohio to go after 5 stars else where. Stoops as on Ohio base.

    Only issue is it to similar as Bo Pelini?

Leave a Reply