What the new HC will need to change immediately

When Riley was let go and we hired Frost from UCF, there was a ton of talk about how there was a losing culture in the program. In fact, fans and media took is so far to say that it was going to take a few years to get rid of the “losing Riley culture” and Frost should be allowed time to do it. While there definitely was a culture shift that needed to change, it wasn’t as bad as needing past 2019 to fix it. If you were one of the people that said that about Riley, you now have it actually verified for what Frost has left us with. While it was used as an excuse for Frost and his staff, it’s very real at this point with the 2022 team. Again, while people were stating that as fact back in 2018, 2019, and 2020, it was never verbalized as an actual issue.

I just had never seen things like this verbalized by our team before. And even before that after the Northwestern loss, you could see players like Garrett Nelson who is as great of a leader as we have on this team just look absolutely deflated. You had first year players like Casey Thompson talking about how “this is just one game” and “we will bounce back”. The first year guys were the ones trying to direct the narrative and change the mindset.

The new coach is going to have to purge the roster in my opinion, and do a complete overhaul getting new guys in looking for a fresh chance and eradicate the culture that has been created in the lockerroom. And the new coach will have the power of a “flip quick” tool called The Transfer Portal. But what does that look like?

We will start with Greg Schiano at Rutgers, who in 2020 added 10 transfers to his program and got the Scarlet Knights to their first bowl game since 2016 in his second year of 2021. It happened year 2 for him.

Mel Tucker is another recent example we have used to talk about just how quickly it can change. In his first season at Michigan State, the Spartans went 2-5 and Tucker saw a ton of gaps with his roster. Before the 2021 season, they hit the portal hard and brought in 20 new transfer players to the football program. The results were almost immediate, while Sparty hosted a college gameday game, was in the top 10, and went 11-2.

The last thing i’ll go over that really bothers me is when people would tell me “you have to keep Coach X to preserve the recruiting class.” Head coaching hires are bigger than one recruiting class. Further, with the transfer portal it’s even less important. I still remember the other site where someone told me we had to keep Riley because Keyshawn Johnson said the entire class would leave if we fired him. It doesn’t matter, especially with the transfer portal.

Gary Sharp’s Question

To go along with the new coach thoughts, a topic was on the radio today that sparked some good discussion. He asked who is the most important to keep that could come back next year between Casey Thompson, Trey Palmer, and Garrett Nelson. Most people said one of the first two. I understand, and I also think those guys are the most talented of the 3. But with the transfer portal, QBs and WRs are easy to replace. Hang with me here…

DL/LBs are very tough to go just grab in the portal. Remember when I got in a Twitter argument with someone that said Ochaun Mathis is a sure fire first round draft pick and you take him every day of the week? For the most part he’s been pretty quiet on the field this week. So if you can keep a guy like Nelson, you set him as priority #1 with your NIL.

Further, Nebraska has a very good track record with WRs, finding a difference maker there is easy, so while I believe Palmer may be the most talented, he’s probably the easiest to replace.

Lastly, with Thompson, who knows if that guy even fits the offense the new coach will be using. I also think it’s very important for a head coach to have “his guy”. With us almost assuredly going new OC, that guy surely has QBs he can bring in. While I think our QB room is a complete dumpster fire, you can fix it pretty fast between the portal, JUCO, and your recruiting. It’s not difficult to find a QB that can come in and play year 1 for you.

For me, the answer is simple and you keep Nelson who has led your team in sacks the last two years. I’m not worried about replacing Palmer, and I want the new coach to have his QB that can be done easily in the portal, JUCO, or even recruiting class.

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16 thoughts on “What the new HC will need to change immediately

    1. A lot of factors i see is that in the BIG10 you are getting pounded by the run game whereas in the Big12 you are primarily a passing league.. Simple, but there is a lot to it..

      1. Should have just read your reply first. Agreed. By the time Wisconsin, Minnesota, or Iowa throw it for you to get a sack you’ve been getting pummeled by their run game.

    2. I think he feasted on pass happy not so good offensive lines in the Big12. Nebraska’s OL that he goes against in practice is the worst he sees in the league so may be tough for him to do what he needs to. He’s what I expected from him, basically another Caleb Tannor coming in, which isn’t a knock it’s just he wasn’t a first round NFL pick like people were trying to tell me.

      1. Go re-watch the final touchdown from Saturday. Focus on Hutmacher and Robinson. Pathetic is too kind. Top tier edge guys are great but with our interior DL we were just never going to get much production on the edges. Outside Nelson, who has 1 year left, I don’t think we have anybody on that side of the ball we would miss if they entered the portal. I’m with SSO, start over.

      2. Here’s my thing… I talked about changing the culture but I won’t hesitate to get into it in the comments…. we have double-digit players on scholarship that have no business being at a Power 5 school let alone being on scholarship. Just think about our QB room, we are going to be on our third coordinator in 3 years there, gotta trim the fat. OL hasn’t developed at all and our Rivals Top100 DL doesn’t even look close to the part.

  1. I tend to agree…the new coach needs to come in and do a serious purge. Hard to fathom how ingrained the losing culture and mindset is (or non winning culture lets say). there was no doubt in my mind that the Huskers were going to lose the Wisky game even up 14-3 – I could feel it, my 11 year old felt it, I am sure the players felt it too…hence the program needs a fresh start by whoever it is that is coming in. Speaking of, seems like Rhule isnt going to work out according to some…if the best we can do is truly one of the Kansas coaches, it is going to be hard to get excited about that…maybe Klieman would be ok?? I think it will be a long and interesting offseason, but unless an out of left field coach is named that really moves the needle, I see more apathy ahead for the fan base. But then again, how much worse can it really get than where we are sitting at now? (no offense, no quality linemen, absolutely zero QB development (I see why you were sour on our John Lennon QB coach). Next weekend cant get here fast enough

    1. I actually am getting more and more excited about Kleiman the more I watch him. Leipold I could get on board with if we figure out the defense for him, his DC will be critical.

    1. Mike Schaefer from 247 was on the radio this morning and I agree with him 100%… Nebraska has enough talent on their roster right now to win 6 or 7 games every single year. Coaching has failed the roster the last 5 years minimum, you could probably go back the last 8-9 years even, though Riley at least got us to 9 wins one year.

      I will say Frost’s evaluation was a little suspect as well, but even then, you are getting a Rivals100 defensive lineman in and he can’t even separate himself from a walk-on we have starting. It was just bad all around.

      1. Maybe this is a new post for you but when a new coach comes in here, what are the things they can legitimately focus on to get things on track to 6-7 wins (besides roster purging)? I honestly think our front 7 talent is MAC talent level at best. Our OL has mastered the art of a running back taking the handoff alongside 2 defenders. Unless Thompson returns and we have a vertical passing offense, its hard to see any QB exciting a new coach. I know Leipold brought a few Buffalo players with him to KU so maybe we can pull off similar and have some players in the pipeline?

      2. That’s the biggest thing that worries me… our front lines on both sides of the ball are so bad. Transfer portal is going to be so massive to be any good. MAC level may even be pushing it at some levels. With that said, I know we all point to Hutmacher and Robinson in the QB sneak to win the game for Wisconsin, but we did hold them to 15 points, I think we can at least get serviceable on that side. When it comes to offense though, we have a long ways to go. I’ll be curious what route we go there.

  2. Spot-on about the new coach will be putting in a new scheme on offense; the Whipple design was not a good fit for the B10. What do you think the new coach will do with our defense – stick with the 3-4, or move to a 4-3? It seems we’ve been playing more with 4-3 looks already; time to do the complete switch?

    1. I’ll be curious what the new defensive scheme does. If I had to guess, he may move to a 4-3, but we just have zero bodies for more linemen on the field. I will be anxiously awaiting who the coordinators are the new coach brings in .

  3. Rumors on the interwebs seem to say that Rhule isn’t interested in taking the job right now, and top 3 are back to Leipold, O’Brien, and Monken. No clue what validity any of that is, I’d prefer Klieman to those 3 personally.

    Leipold is just tough to judge for me. We talked before how one season shouldn’t be the end all be all, but it is tougher to jump on board with someone whose season has fizzled more compared to Klieman for example, probably why also Matt Campbell’s name has cooled off. Leipold probably has overachieved to what Kansas should be doing, so not saying he’s done a bad job by any means. My main concern is what his level of recruiting will be like.

    I don’t expect to be Ohio St/Michigan, but think at Nebraska you need to have higher aims than like Kansas/Iowa St and just hope to develop them.

    I have a feeling at this point there’s going to be a lot of people who won’t be pumped at who it will be, but we’ll see.

    1. I think we still have Rhule. Not sure how current that thought process is, but we know Leipold is out. If we go with Monken and Leipold were about the same for me.

      I’ve learned even an Urban Meyer hire will make people unhappy so I just hope we get someone I can find some positives with.

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