Scott Frost detailed his plan to lead Nebraska back to a place among college football’s elite in a story by Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman that was published Tuesday. The Huskers’ new coach detailed what he saw as the reasons for the proud program’s downfall.
The former Nebraska quarterback is in his first offseason with the Huskers, who are trying to right the ship after a 4-8 season in 2017. The program sunk to a low point under Mike Riley last season, but Frost says the problems went well beyond that.
“There’s a formula that worked at Nebraska for 30 years,” he tells Feldman. “If you were in any business and your company was the best-performing business in the sector or in the top two or three — and Nebraska was arguably the best program for 30 years — and then for the next 15 years you have average-to-poor performance, you’re stupid if you don’t look back and say, ‘What made our company the best in our sector?’
“Well, the leadership on campus and in the AD office ruined this place because it was either guys who thought, I wanna do it my way, let’s go get a West Coast offense guy, or they didn’t understand what made Nebraska so good for all of those years.”
That “West Coast offense guy” appears to be a not-so-veiled reference to Bill Callahan, who coached the Huskers to records of 5-7, 9-5, 8-4 and 5-6 from 2003-07. Frost mentioned Nebraska’s nutrition, strength and walk-on programs as primary reasons for the Huskers’ ability to contend year after year up to the mid-90s.
He doesn’t see Nebraska’s location as quite the disadvantage others do, and like many, he points to Wisconsin’s recent success as a reason the Huskers can return to prominence. Here’s the formula Frost says worked for Nebraska, and can still work:
“You took kids that were a cut below some of the 5-star kids going other places, and by the time they left school here, they were bigger, faster and stronger than those other guys and they got 100 more reps a week than those other guys.
“There was a toughness here, a work ethic here, a unity of purpose at Nebraska that was better than everybody else. Everybody knew what we were, knew their role was pulling in the same direction, supported each other, and they just took a 180-degree turn from that.”