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Scott Frost’s glorious return to Nebraska has sputtered and stalled, and now college football analysts from across the country are coming up with names to replace him.
No surprise, really, as Frost’s record at his alma mater is 13-21, his Big Ten mark is 9-18, and he’s 0-4 to open the season against Power 5 opponents. What’s worse is his seemingly laissez-faire attitude about all of it, which was on full display after Nebraska’s Week Zero loss to Illinois, a game in which the Huskers were touchdown favorites.
“One thing we’ve never gotten around here is the spark,” Frost said after the 30-22 loss. “We need to win a couple close games, string some wins together, get some momentum. The guys really believe they’re better, they know they’re better, they are better. They’re better than they’ve ever been. We have more talent, more depth, I’ve been saying that. But they need some good things to happen to really believe. Sometimes I feel like we’re snakebit with the timing of when these things happen, but we’ve got to fight through it.”
Currently, it would cost a fortune to replace Frost after this season—about $20 million—but we saw Auburn and Texas swallow the poison buyout pill last year amid a pandemic that ravaged athletic department finances.
In the meantime, the name that keeps surfacing as a home run replacement is Mark Stoops, who has quietly turned Kentucky into a legitimate SEC program.
Louisville radio host Mark Ennis tweeted a joke while the Cornhuskers were still playing against Illinois: “Nebraska boosters googling Mark Stoops, Luke Fickell, and Matt Campbell right now.”
Pete Thamel also offered up Stoops as one of two “intriguing” candidates (along with Minnesota’s P.J. Fleck) for Nebraska to consider if Frost were to be let go after this season: “Go hire Mark Stoops,” Thamel said. “ … He’s been about as good as Kentucky as you can be. And, look, they (Nebraska) just need to get back to baseline functional. If Mark Stoops has showed anything, it’s that he can get a perpetually awful program to baseline functional.”
National columnists Pat Forde and Dan Wetzel chimed in, too, in favor of Stoops, but neither think that Nebraska will seriously offer more money than a motivated SEC team, given all the cash rolling into the southeastern programs currently.
Frost and the Cornhuskers bounced back in Week One against Fordham in a game that they were supposed to win big, but the Big Ten schedule is about to get very daunting very quickly. Oklahoma, Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Iowa are all coming, and if the “spark” that Frost alluded to is never found, this season could veer from embarrassing into disastrous very quickly for Nebraska.
Nebraska is currently laying (-13.5) at home against a frisky Buffalo team, who just whipped Wagner by 62 points. Buffalo also finished last year’s shortened COVID season 6-1 . I’m no pro gambler but this line seems pretty high. Look for the Bulls to keep this one closer than two touchdowns come Saturday.
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