There are home runs and there are moon shots, balls traveling so fast they should come with an in-flight magazine and pretzels. Nebraska athletic director Bill Moos just went Aaron Judge on the rest of the Big Ten, and as he rounds the bases Adam McClintock has a question for Cornhuskers fans:
Any room in left on the Scott Frost bandwagon for one more analyst?
“That was probably the best hire they’ve made since [Tom] Osborne retired,” said McClintock, the co-founder of Matrix Analytical Solutions and a consultant who’s been analyzing and grading coaches for college football websites and athletic departments for a decade.
Based on a 26-game sample size at Central Florida, McClintock said Frost’s career grade is trending toward a B-plus after an A-plus performance last fall with the 13-0 Knights.
“Which is extremely high,” McClintock said of the new Nebraska football coach and former Big Red quarterback, “for somebody who’s only got two years of data.”
Head coaches are graded by McClintock based on results relative to the talent said coach has recruited; coordinators are marked based on the talent on hand and the per-play efficiency with which their units either score or surrender points.
While Frost’s career grade is “is kind of murky because he’s only had two seasons, and I like to have three complete seasons [for data],” the analyst says the impact of the Huskers’ decision to bring in No. 7 to replace Mike Riley is crystal clear:
Grades via @AthDeptEdges
Nebraska Offseason Process Grade:
Decision Grade: A+
Coordinator Hires/Pace Match: A-
HC Hire Grade: A
Final Process Grade: A
— Adam McClintock (@cfb_professor) December 28, 2017
Frost’s rankings from 2017, as you might imagine, were in the stratosphere. The Wood River, Neb., native landed at No. 1 in the nation in efficiency rankings and was No. 2 at the end of the regular season:
End of regular ssn HC performance rnk & ssn grade. Difference between Grade & Rank? Rank is pure performance. Grade is performance relative to talent & schedule.
1. A+, Chryst #Wisconsin
2. A+, Frost #UCF
3. A+, Norvell #Memphis
4. A+, Brown #Troy
5. A+, Candle #Toledo
— Adam McClintock (@cfb_professor) November 28, 2017
Meanwhile, no shock, Riley’s 4-8 campaign last autumn scraped the bottom half of the rankings barrel. Oh, and former offensive coordinator Danny Langsdorf might want to look away. Plus, the strain on Bob Diaco’s brief Big Red legacy wasn’t any easier for McClintock to bear:
McClintock’s numbers cast a brighter light on new Huskers defensive coordinator Erik Chinander, despite some initial hand-wringing over some of the point-a-minute shootouts the Knights sometimes found themselves in over the last 26 months. The analyst said UCF’s defense ranked No. 34 nationally in his scoring efficiency model last fall, and that Chinander grades out with a straight-A over his two seasons in Orlando:
Hey #Nebraska fans still worried about new DC Eric Chinander: His defensive per play efficiency this season (which was his worst season btw) would be a 5% increase over any defense Nebraska has fielded in the last 7 years. Quit worrying. #Huskers #GBR
— Adam McClintock (@cfb_professor) December 13, 2017
“They need to [be patient],” McClintock said of Nebraska fans, and he’s one of them. “Because if they would only give [Frost] three or four years, and they fire the favorite son, nobody is going to come to Lincoln, Nebraska.
“And so they have to give him all the chain that he requires. This is one of those things, that they’re going to [have to] ride it out with Scott Frost.”
Right now, that doesn’t look like it’s going to be much of a problem, brother.
— Nebraskans For Frost (@nebraska4frost) October 17, 2017
— Dahaun Meredith (@dam32613) January 3, 2018
— Matt Coffman (@MatthewJCoffman) December 3, 2017
“If this doesn’t get them back in the national spotlight, like they want to be, they might as well be Minnesota,” McClintock laughed. “This is it. And, you know, ever since they fired [Frank] Solich up there, there’s been such a schism in the fan base. And this is the first time that I’ve really seen the fans completely together since they fired Solich.
“People in Lincoln should be extremely excited about it. That’s the best thing to happen to that football program since the national title, since 1997. It’s been awhile.”
A long while. Too damn long, now that you mention it.