Twelve Power 5 schools hired new head coaches between the 2017 and ’18 seasons, and seven of those dozen are under .500. Actually, that previously sentence should say “were” instead of “are,” because two of them — Willie Taggart and Chad Morris — have already been fired.
Morris was pushed out after compiling a 4-20 record, while a 9-12 record got Taggart the axe at Florida State.
At another school, in another context, that might make Scott Frost and his 8-13 record nervous, but not at Nebraska.
Frost’s boss, AD Bill Moos, told KILN’s Sports Nightly that Frost needs “three, maybe four” recruiting classes to turn the program around, not two (or, really, one and a half).
“We need to be patient and let these programs take their course, especially the most visible ones, because that’s how we’re being judged around the country,” Moos said, via the Omaha World-Herald. “I’m here to tell you, I didn’t come in to Nebraska to finish in 8th and 9th place. We’ve got a project here, we got the right people in the right place, we got good leadership on campus, we have a lot of things going in our favor. And we need to be patient.”
Eight of Frost’s 13 losses have come by one score, which is at the same time frustrating that the Cornhuskers can’t get over the hump and a sign of progress that, given time, those close losses will turn into wins as the roster matures.
There’s no one reason why so many second-year head coaches are struggling to catch on at their new schools, but The Athletic‘s Stewart Mandel threw out an interesting theory on Sunday.
I think early signing period is making it much harder for coaches to make that big second-year jump. That first class is essentially a lost cause. https://t.co/xZfLukR4ZY
— Stewart Mandel (@slmandel) November 10, 2019
Regardless, firing a head coach after just two seasons is the ultimate break-glass-only-when-necessary move, one that is costly in terms of financial and human capital.
Frost was never in such danger, largely because, well, where do you go if you’re Nebraska and you fire former national champion Husker quarterback Scott Frost?
That’s not a question Moos ever wants to answer, ever, and he’s certainly not going to do so after just two seasons.
As always, stay tuned to The Scoop for the latest.