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Possible Nebraska Candidates? by TJ Chapman

Candidates to replace Scott Frost at Nebraska

Nebraska Athletic Director Trev Alberts released a statement today saying that he has fired head coach Scott Frost. This comes as a surprise as the buyout in Frost’s contract is $15 million but drops to $7.5 million on October 1st. The Huskers were defeated at home yesterday by Georgia Southern, 45-42 and it became clear that Alberts needed to make a move now. When Frost was hired by Nebraska, he brought hope that the once proud Nebraska football program was going to be revived and brought back to the glory days of winning championships. That did not happen as Frost was a horrible 16-31 as the head coach, going 10-26 in the Big Ten. What became a bad trend for the Huskers under Frost is that his teams went 5-22 in one-score games. The final 10 Husker losses were all one-score losses. The unfortunate thing for Nebraska is that most kids who are being recruited to play there were not alive the last time Nebraska football was relevant. The upside for Nebraska is that with NIL deals the Huskers have the ability to lure top talent to Lincoln. Now they just need a coach who can put it all together. Not sure if the Huskers need a “splash” hire but they do need someone who can rebuild that defense. I can’t remember a Nebraska defense being this bad in my lifetime. Below is a list of potential candidates I think AD Trev Alberts could consider to be the Huskers new head coach.

–Mickey Joseph-Nebraska interim head coach-Joseph has a 9-game audition to prove to Alberts and the Nebraska boosters that he’s the man for the job. He has a reputation as a great recruiter and is well respected in the coaching world. He also played football at Nebraska, but as we’ve just seen with Frost, that won’t always be the best thing for Nebraska. Another concern is his only head coaching experience is from 2008-2011 at FCS Langston University.

–Matt Campbell-Iowa State head coach-One of the early “favorites’ ‘ to land the job, Campbell is a great coach. His turn around at Iowa State has been remarkable. The Cyclones just beat Iowa for the first time in seven years. I think the brakes need to be pumped on this one, though. Campbell has passed up chances to coach at other Power 5 schools to stay at Iowa State and I think he will do the same here. However, the money Nebraska can throw at him may be too much to pass up, even for Campbell. If he gets the gig I’d say Nebraska may have what it takes to get back into national relevance.

–Clay Helton-Georgia Southern head coach-Why not? The coach that put the nail in Scott Frost’s coffin at Nebraska as his Georgia Southern team left Lincoln victorious. Helton is a very good offensive coach who, if hired, will need to bring in a very good defensive coordinator. His tenure at USC wasn’t horrible but it also wasn’t great.

–Pat Narduzzi-Pitt head coach-Nebraska’s problems have been on defense and Narduzzi is a defensive master. His coaching style, especially what he wants with his offense, fits the Big Ten West. His Panthers just won the ACC last season, so he has a track record of recent success. Landing the right offensive coordinator will be key.

-Bill O’Brien-Alabama offensive coordinator-spent the last two seasons working under Nick Saban. Has NFL and college head coaching experience. As with Clay Helton, he’ll need to hire a solid defensive coordinator.

–Matt Rhule-Carolina Panthers head coach-If things don’t go well in Carolina this season it’s widely speculated that Rhule will be fired. If he is, Nebraska has the resources to offer the kind of contract that will be needed to get Rhule to Lincoln. He has the ability to rebuild at Nebraska the way he did at Temple and Baylor.

–Luke Fickell-Cincinnati head coach-Incredible coach. His family wants to stay in the Midwest. He led Cincy to the College Football Playoff last season. 55-23 overall record. Had a stint as the interim head coach at Ohio State so the Big Ten won’t be new to him.

-Will Muschamp-Georgia defensive coordinator-Was a defensive analyst at Georgia last season and is co-defensive coordinator this season. Very good defensive coach but had rough tenures at both Florida and South Carolina. Maybe a change to the Big Ten West would fit him well. Will need to get a solid offensive coordinator.

-Jim Leonhard-Wisconsin defensive coordinator-Incredible defensive coach. Has the ability to fix the problems with the Nebraska defense and do it quickly. Not sure if Nebraska wants to turn the keys over to a first-time head coach but if they do Leonhard would be a great candidate.

-Jeff Lebby-Oklahoma offensive coordinator-Another first-time head coach. Very good offensive mind who had good tenures with UCF, Ole Miss and now Oklahoma. Will need to make a home run hire as defensive coordinator to rebuild the defense.

-Al Golden-Notre Dame defensive coordinator-Very good defensive coach. Had a solid run as Temple’s head coach, not so much at Miami. Had a few stops in the NFL until being hired in February of 2022 by new Irish head coach Marcus Freeman. If the Huskers do hire Golden, I’d say that Trev Alberts whiffed on his top candidates.

–Urban Meyer-Fox College Football Analyst-The obligatory Urban Meyer candidacy for a top college coaching job. This one may be a pipe dream but at the same time Meyer has just as much bad as he does good. He’s won national championships at Florida and Ohio State but after he left both places there were reports of issues off the field. There’s also the disastrous season he just had as the Jacksonville Jaguars head coach and the reports of his treatment of players as well as the infamous video of Meyer and a woman at an Ohio bar after the Jaguars lost a game. Meyer has the ability and name power to turn things around but there will be many questions about how he does it and his behavior. Not sure Nebraska wants to sign up for that and sign that deal with the devil.

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