As a lifelong Nebraska fan, I have mixed emotions about the firing of Bo Pelini as head football coach. I mean the guy came in after the debacle that was Bill Callahan and there were improvements. This was the guy that was the architect of some of the most dominating defenses at LSU that I have witnessed in my life. Many Husker fans, including myself, thought that Bo would bring back power football and a smothering defense to Big Red, but that never happened.
I could go into stats about the defense during Bo’s reign, but his entire seven year tenure was summed up his Melvin Gordon’s 408 yard rushing game when the Huskers still had a chance to make it to the Big Ten Championship game. That is what Bo’s teams did. They would beat the teams they were supposed to, but every time they squared off against a quality performance, the team wilted. They couldn’t beat Colt McCoy during the last year in the Big 12 when they had one of the best college defensive tackles in Ndamukong Suh and they got humiliated in the 2012 Big Ten Championship game.
The only game that that I can remember the Nebraska won that was a surprise to me was when they beat Ohio State in 2011. However, that game should have an asterisk by it with the Buckeyes being lead by Luke Fickell. Sure, Bo won nine games every year for seven years and only the prodigal Nick Saban has done that, but there were hardly any quality wins. I was never concerned with the offense. The Huskers had the horses to run with anybody. Oh but the defense. Bo’s apparent specialty was a constant weak spot every year.
Onward and upward, Nebraska.
I will say that the termination does come at a bad time with coaching vacancies opening up at Michigan and Florida. To most head coaching candidates, both of those schools are more attractive than Nebraska. Shawn Eichorst says that money will not be an issue when selecting the new heir apparent in Lincoln, so I am hoping the war chest is plentiful because it is going to take premium money to get someone away from the other two spots.
In my opinion, there are two possible candidates that I would applaud; but really only one.
Scott Frost, Offensive Coordinator Oregon
Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of years, Oregon has had the most potent offensive in all of college football. Get this, the man behind that attack is a Husker legend. Frost lead the Huskers to the 1997 national championship beating the Peyton Manning led Volunteers. Frost is mentioned around Lincoln in the same sentence as Tommy Frasier and Eric Crouch as the best Husker quarterbacks of all time. He is the only acceptable choice in my mind. Yes he doesn’t have heading coaching experience, but he also has experience under Chip Kelly and now is the time.
If Nebraska is scared of him and wait, Frost will not be available in two or three years because someone is going to give him a chance. What does Nebraska have to lose? It is not like they were making waves with Pelini and he was a first time head coach. Frost has also got the backing of Tom Osbourne which is huge. Please Nebraska, please back the truck up and get Scott Frost. This guy understands and was a part of the winning culture at Nebraska and he can have an immediate impact.
Jim McElwain, head coach Colorado State
McElwain has done a terrific job turning around Colorado State. The only reason I would endorse him is because he is a Saban disciple. He had to pick up a few things from Nick that would straighten Nebraska out. I am pretty much convinced that McElwain is on his way to Florida, so I am not too optimistic about this choice.
There have also been mentions of Jerry Kill from Minnesota, Justin Fuente of Memphis, Rich Rodriguez from Arizona and Bret Bielema from Arkansas. I would be ok with Bielema if Frost turned it down, but he is probably staying in Fayetteville. As for the other candidate, no, no and no.
Please don’t be stupid Nebraska and get Scott Frost for Husker sakes.
Cover Photo: Bruce Thorson/USA TODAY Sports
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