Last season, the Nebraska Cornhuskers fired their coach abruptly and hired Mike Riley from Oregon State.
I questioned that move on my blog when it happened: Nebraska Head Coach
So far, in the 2015 season, the Cornhuskers of Nebraska have stumbled out to a 3-5 record. Admittedly, they have been extremely unlucky all season long with last second losses to BYU, Miami and Wisconsin. Also, a crazy loss to Illinois which could be considered a fault of the Nebraska coaching staff. They also had a really tough loss against Northwestern.
With a little luck, Nebraska could very well be 8-0 on the season.
But, the Huskers have had no luck at all in 2015.
This was my question from the very beginning for the powers that be at Nebraska.
Why Mike Riley?
I have nothing against Riley at all. I think he’s a pretty good coach.
Mike Riley was a head coach in the Canadian Football League as a really young man and won 2 Grey Cups in 4 seasons while losing in the playoffs the other 2 seasons.
He returned to the United States and became the head coach at Oregon State and had a very average record before being hired as the head coach by the San Diego Chargers. That move was even more strange than the Nebraska move, but the Chargers took a chance on him.
Mike Riley failed miserably with the San Diego Chargers and he was fired after 3 seasons.
In 2003, maybe to prove there were no hurt feelings over dumping them for the NFL, the Oregon State Beavers hired him back as head coach.
He did much better the second time around and posted a 10-4 record and they went 9-4 three more times. 10-4 and 9-4 are great records for Oregon State.
They are not that great at Nebraska and 2 coaches in the modern era have been fired as the head coach in Lincoln for leading the Huskers to 9-3 records.
On other sites, I took a little grief from Nebraska fans for questioning this hire.
Now, they are questioning this hire.
I don’t care what school you are a fan of, this was a real head scratcher of a move by Nebraska.
Mike Riley had a 93-80 record at Oregon State. Again, that’s a fine record for Oregon State football, but it’s not very good in Lincoln, Nebraska.
He is in his first season in trying to coach the once mighty Nebraska Cornhuskers and he is 62 years old.
Even if he turns this ship back around, how long is he going to want to coach?
One Nebraska fan asked me who I wanted them to hire? Scott Frost?
Yep, Scott Frost is one move that would have made more sense to me.
Scott Frost is exactly who I would have gone after since coaches like Vince Lombardi and Tom Landry were not available at the time. Luring some super star like a Nick Saban, Urban Meyer or most other big name coaches was a pipe dream just like it was for Texas and some other schools in the market for a new coach.
Scott Frost made perfect sense.
Sure, he has zero head coaching experience.
Frost grew up in Nebraska and signed with Stanford out of high school to play for legendary coach, Bill Walsh. Things didn’t work out there, so he transferred back home to Nebraska and played for another legend, Tom Osborne.
Frost was the Quarterback for Nebraska when the Huskers were a threat to win the national title every season in Osborne’s best seasons. Osborne, Frost and the Cornhuskers won the national championship in 1997 with a huge win over the Tennessee Volunteers, unless you subscribe to the theory that Michigan won the national title in that season. It was a split decision, which often happened back in those years.
But, many Cornhusker opponents still have nightmares about Scott Frost running all over them.
Scott Frost was drafted by the New York Jets and played in the NFL as a Safety for a few years with the Jets and a few other teams.
Frost broke into coaching as a Graduate Assistant at Nebraska.
His first real college coaching job was at Northern Iowa where he was hired to coach Linebackers. He was promoted to Defensive Coordinator there and did an outstanding job with their defense.
In 2009, Chip Kelly hired Scott Frost to coach the Wide Receivers at Oregon. Mark Helfrich was the Offensive Coordinator at Oregon under Kelly.
When Kelly was hired by the Philadelphia Eagles as their head guy, the Ducks moved up Helfrich. Frost was promoted to Offensive Coordinator and Quarterbacks coach.
Of course, his pupil at Oregon was Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.
Scott Frost is an intelligent guy as proven by his recruitment by Stanford. He was a star Quarterback at Nebraska and has some NFL experience. He learned the game under some super coaches such as Bill Walsh, Tom Osborne and Chip Kelly.
He has been a Defensive Coordinator and an Offensive Coordinator and done well with each of them. His first 2 seasons as an Offensive Coordinator were record breaking ones.
Since he played at Nebraska, he would be familiar with their history and the Black Shirts defense. He has experience on both defense and offense.
I am saying that Scott Frost would have been the perfect hire for Nebraska. The Huskers made the right move by going to Oregon, but they went to the wrong school and they hired the wrong guy.
At least you can say that Frost has enormous potential, while the same can not be said about Mike Riley.
In my opinion, Nebraska should just go ahead and admit they made a mistake and make a move for Scott Frost before somebody else hires him. Every star coach does not necessarily need head coaching experience. Look at Bob Stoops at Oklahoma. He was the Florida Defensive Coordinator when hired by the Sooners and he won a national title in his second year there.
Nobody asks my opinion on who they should hire, but I’m going with Scott Frost for Nebraska and I am sticking to it.
College football misses a strong Nebraska and the Big 10 needs a strong Nebraska. Mike Riley is not going to make a strong Nebraska and I believe former Husker Scott Frost could do the trick.