Our first look at a potential Nebraska coaching search
In December 2017, Scott Frost left UCF after an undefeated season and accepted the head coaching position at his alma mater, Nebraska. This was a slam dunk hire. A perfect fit. An A+ on everyone’s coaching hire grades.
Frost at Nebraska never took off. It started with a disappointing 4-8 in 2018 and never improved. After last season, and 4 years leading the Cornhuskers, his record was a miserable 15-29. In reality, anyone else would’ve been fired. Frost was given another year, but agreed to a restructured contract that included a lower salary and buyout. The buyout drops from $15 million to $7.5 million on October 1st. There’s much speculation that Frost will be let go before the end of this season. And the first two games of Nebraska’s 2022 season don’t prompt much argument to that speculation.
This is typically a mid-season article, but Frost’s seat couldn’t be any more red hot. So, let’s take a look at the rumored candidates to replace Frost at Nebraska should that position come open.
We believe Nebraska is ready to spend top dollar for its next head coach. And we’ve heard Nebraska will prioritize coaches with Power 5 head coaching experience.
ESTIMATED CHANCES FROST RETURNS TO NEBRASKA: 15%
Matt Campbell – Iowa State
Based on what we’ve heard to date, Campbell will be the first call from Athletic Director, Trev Alberts. Campbell has passed on better opportunities. Is he now ready to make a move?
NAMES WE’VE HEARD
Dave Doeren – NC State
Doeren is not the name most fans desire, but people that do the hiring understand what he brings to the table. Doeren has produced consistent results at NC State since 2013. His style seems like a great fit for Nebraska and the Big Ten.
Matt Rhule – Carolina Panthers
Rhule’s time in college, at Temple and Baylor, produced stellar results. His move to the NFL has not gone well. Rumors are that Rhule and Panthers will mutually agree on a split and Rhule will look to get back into the NFL. Rhule will be near the top of every AD’s list looking for their next head coach, including Nebraska.
Urban Meyer – Free Agent
We all believe Urban Meyer will be back on the college sidelines soon. You’ll see his name attached to every major opening. Which team is willing to put up with the Meyer off-the-field issues to get one of the winningest coach in the history of college football? The Meyer to Nebraska rumor will draw laughs from some. Dan Patrick shared an update from his source that Meyer to Nebraska is a legitimate possibility.
Mark Stoops – Kentucky
We’re just passing along a name we’ve heard mentioned a few times. It doesn’t seem likely to us. Maybe if Nebraska wanted to give Stoops a significant pay raise that Kentucky wouldn’t be willing to compete with.
Lance Leipold – Kansas
Some may scoff at the idea of a coach that went 2-10 in 2021 getting hired at their school. Athletic Directors know Leipold is a great coach. And he may end up doing some impressive things at Kansas this season. He was on the Nebraska staff from 2001-2003.
Chris Klieman – Kansas State
Klieman had a fantastic run at North Dakota State and has put up decent numbers at Kansas State. His style of football and personality seem to be a good fit for Nebraska.
Jeff Lebby – Oklahoma OC
We’ve heard this one a few times as well. We don’t anticipate Trev Alberts taking a hard look at someone without head coaching experience.
Matt Rhule. Matt Campbell will continue to pass on opportunities outside of Iowa State. The Carolina Panthers and Rhule will agree to part ways. Rhule will return to college football taking Nebraska’s offer and making Rhule one of the top 10 highest paid coaches in college football.
We will continuously update this article as we hear new names or eliminate coaches as a possibility.