LINCOLN (Neb.) Scott Frost hasn't won enough Nebraska games. He is aware of that. Trev Alberts, athletic director, knows this. Everyone in Nebraska is aware of this.
A record of 15-27 in four years is enough to fire a coach at any major-time program in America. But Nebraska is different.
Frost isn't like everyone else.
It was not surprising that Frost received a second year with a restructured agreement on Monday. Lincolnians are not surprised.
This was evident again last Saturday as the Cornhuskers prepared for their fourth top-10 match of the season. One fan after another expressed their desire for Frost to return for a fifth season, despite Frost's losing record.
Darron Mapes said, "He's the national championship quarterback, and he's from Nebraska," as he stood next to the Tom Osborne statue outside Memorial Stadium. It takes time to get people in there and the right culture and the players. I don't know if Nebraska would look any other way. Frost is Nebraska."
Jay Lamontagne, his 4-year-old son Cayden, brought him to the Nebraska game. Cayden held up a sign saying, "Win this one to FROST."
Jay Lamontagne stated that "he needs more time." He'll figure it out if you give him another couple of years. He has figured it out every other place he has been his whole life. It won't change."
The Huskers did enough on the field to win against Ohio State. However, the results were the same: special teams errors, questionable playcalling, and inability to find a rhythm on offense.
Another close loss.
Nebraska has lost seven of its seven games by single figures, the worst in FBS. There are two ways to view these results. Frost said postgame that Nebraska was very close and that it was a sad loss.
Frost stated, "I hate losing more that anyone in that locker room," "Man, I love being the Coach here. These kids are my family. They have been through so much. Nebraska is about to see this. It's just the way it is. It's just that we do too many positive things right."
"Man, I love being the Coach here. These kids are my family. They have been through so much. Nebraska is about to see this. It's just the way it is. It's just that we do too many positive things right." Scott Frost
Frost has been in the Nebraska Fan's frustration for four years and has very little to show. Zero bowl appearances. Repeated mistakes. You can't expect anything to change as long as the boss is still in charge.
Alberts stated Monday that he had seen "incremental progression", which was one of the factors in his decision to bring Frost back. Frost will be given the resources he needs to make the Nebraska program compete for the championships again, as it was evident since 2017 when the Nebraska job openings were announced.
UCF's success in 2017 with a 13-0 record was the cherry on the cake. Frost is a Nebraska native, a Nebraska graduate and a Nebraska national champion. He is also a disciple Osborne. Frost knew that Osborne would call him at some point during the UCF season. Frost knew it was difficult to win at Nebraska. This was due to the shifting landscape of collegiate colleges and changes in conference alignments.
He knew he couldn't turn it down.
Nebraska has made an investment in Frost. But it is also emotionally attached to making this hire work. The administration and fans had become tired of having to fire coaches every three years only to have to do it again with deeper financial problems due large buyouts. This hire would be the ultimate test for the program's faltering.
What if the perfect person to take over Nebraska fails?
Frost was aware that the team he had inherited required major work and that it would take time to make them a consistent winner. He also learned some tough lessons along the journey, which he will continue to apply in Year 5. He will not be able to repeat the UCF offense in the Big Ten.
Our Time: UCF Football Get all-access access to UCF football with Gus Malzahn, the new head coach of UCF football. The Knights will be launching into the 2021 college season with the hopes of further cementing the program's status as one of the best in the country. Stream on ESPN+
Although there has been some shift in the offensive philosophy in recent years, more needs to be done to get Nebraska playing at the level it deserves in a division dominated by teams with a track record of winning. As part of a much-needed overhaul, it was not surprising that four offensive assistants were fired Monday, including Matt Lubick, the offensive coordinator.
Alberts said that in a sit down interview with ESPN last month.
Alberts stated that Scott has changed. Alberts said that there are things he does today that reflect the Big Ten reality. It takes no time to look through the Big Ten and see that they have a shorter game. He has adaptable, and that is part of what makes Big Ten strong. Because there is a formula to success in Big Ten, it holds you accountable.
"The hardest thing about the Big Ten is that everybody has resources, everybody is committed -- Indiana Purdue and Northwestern -- but the problem is that there are so few margins that turnovers, field position, hidden yardsage, and field position get magnified. I am at practice every day. Scott and his staff place a lot of emphasis on these areas and we are making progress. However, it may not have been the UCF culture because it is different. We score every fourth play. These are the top college football coaches in America, right here in Big Ten. Scott and his staff deal with these people.
Frost was the coordinator of the Oregon spread offense and UCF's UCF running the game. However, there are options principles that allow for the run to work at a high level. Nebraska doesn't have to embrace the triple option. However, it must find a way of building a dominant offensive line with an effective dual-threat quarterback.
Martinez has been a key factor in Frost's success. Frost did everything to make Martinez a success. Martinez has suffered multiple injuries this season, including a broken jaw. Frost will never doubt Martinez's grit and determination. However, his constant mistakes only added to Nebraska's miseries.
Over the last four years, Nebraska's quarterback Adrian Martinez has thrown for 8,140 yard, 44 touchdowns, and 28 interceptions. AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz
Under the leadership of Erik Chinander, the defense has become a formidable unit worthy to be called Blackshirts. This group has allowed the Cornhuskers to win every game this season. Nebraska would have a better chance of winning than the average offense and turning close losses into wins.
With the added pressure of next year, is that possible? Frost has no choice. Frost has the security of at least one year to recruit the next month. To bolster his class, he must. He will also be using the transfer portal.
Alberts made it clear Monday that Nebraska's players are not giving up, as he said in his statement. "The young men of our program have shown great resilience and remained united, which is a reflection of Coach Frost's leadership."
Frost spoke to ESPN in a quiet moment following the Ohio State game. He said that he was still confident that he could get the job done. Frost had a determined look that indicated that he believed the four years of adversity in the past would push him to do more to help Nebraska get back to the place it deserves.
Frost is the same guy that led UCF to an undefeated year. However, Nebraska has different expectations. There is a lot of competition. Different pressures exist. Every move he makes is scrutinized and questioned. As the conquering hero, he is expected to bring back championships to a place that requires them.
"In Frost We Trust."
Nebraska still believes.
However, the clock is ticking.