Can you give us one more year Coach Joseph?!
Here’s what i’m hearing… MJ is trying to capitalize on the fact that he got us a win against Iowa and kept this team together. I’ve heard he’s asking for 7 figures and a 3 year deal. I tried googling things but that would make him the highest paid assistant (non coordinator) in the country. Do I think he’s the best assistant in the country? Probably not. Do I think we should pay him that and give him the extra year most assistants don’t get? Absolutely.
We’ve got one problem though. Alberts’ frugal investment in Rhule blew up a bit when we had to give him “fair market value” to coach, and all of a sudden ballooned to a 9 million dollar deal. So Trev is already feeling the strain (Bob Diaco) of the financials. Further, Wisconsin just got a guy for 6 million that is every bit as good of a hire as Rhule (more on that later). Now he’s going to have to pay a non-coordinator 7 figures? We should, but will Trev do it?
Mickey staying on staff would go such a long ways that I think Trev has to nut up here. It would keep our recruiting class mostly together, he can give precious intel to Rhule about who needs to stay and who needs to go on the roster while giving a sense of famililarity to the players, and the biggest piece in my opinion is keeping the portion of the fan base who wanted Joseph as head coach engaged and happy. Pay that dude his money.
Rhule V Fickell
If you read most of my previous posts, you know I held Rhule in high regard and had him on my top tier. I think we knocked this one out of the park. I had Fickell a tier below Rhule only for the fact that I didn’t believe he wanted to come here. If there was a chance he would have chose Nebraska, him and Rhule are on the same tier all day every day. I really like what Fickell did at Cincy, it’s tough to ignore going to the playoffs. But he also has no full-time head coaching experience in Power5 and took over a team that won the conference title 3 years before he got there. The cupboard wasn’t bare.
This is in no way bashing or downplaying what he did. That is an unreal hire for Wisconsin and they won a conference title a few years ago while mostly battling for supremacy in the west many years (save the last couple). The fit is just there for Fickell, the rebuild isn’t as steep.
Conversely, Matt Rhule steps into a situation at Nebraska where we haven’t had a winning season since 2016. We haven’t played for a conference title in a decade. This thing needs to be torn down and built back up. He has experience that quite frankly other coaches don’t in dealing with our current situation. And that’s why I think both teams got perfect fits for what they were needing.
Look… since 2020 during a Covid year where we got hit with NCAA violations for practicing when others weren’t and still couldn’t finish with an above .500 record while people said Covid year deserves a reset. Then in 2021 when we have a 4 year starter coming back at QB and still can’t have a winning record. Then in 2022 firing our coach after week 2 and not even letting me enjoy this season of college football… Forgive me if i’m going to look at the positives and try to enjoy 2023 and 2024 for the Nebraska football team.
I freaking know he didn’t beat a ranked team at Baylor. Do you know that no Power 5 coach had ever gone from 11 losses to 11 wins in 2 seasons or less before him? I freaking know he hasn’t been places too long and he may bolt if things go well here. Do you know that if he bolts because things are going well here that means things are finally going well here?
Look, there’s going to be things that are great about this hire and things that aren’t great. Even Luke Fickell doesn’t check the box of Power 5 coaching experience, but that’s a great hire for Wisconsin. I have no time for trying to be pulled into a direction of not being happy with where we are going in 2023 and beyond so while i’ll give opinions on why things could be an issue, i’m not going to be worried about anything until I see things unfold on the field.
The New Hires
As we discussed in our previous post, the corners coach that he had at Baylor and followed him to Carolina will make his way to Lincoln. I don’t know enough about any of these guys yet, but what does excite me is this leaves room for Busch to stay on as safeties and/or special teams coach. We will see what happens there.
Corey Campbell is coming over from Carolina, and i’m not sure if he’s full time strength coach replacing Duval or in some other capacity. TBD on him but for those of you that know me, i’ll be diving deep into this one.
Lastly, he is bringing over Knighton who was the assistant DL coach for the Panthers. I’d be curious what capacity we have him here, and people need to remember if we go 3-4 Rhule had a DL coach and a DEs/OLB coach. Knighton was a college coach at Wagner who I faded nearly this entire season for gambling purposes (not sure the relevance just funny to type out), but again i’ll be watching closely to see in what capacity he is inserted. If full-time, might be a little Raiola-ish (again, speculating and don’t know a ton yet there).
ShortSideOption Blog (new hires)
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