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Nebraska coaching candidates: Mark Stoops, Matt Campbell lead set of coaches to displace Scott Frost

For the seventh time since Tom Osborne’s retirement in 1997, Nebraska wants a coach. That simple truth is both a surprising and depressing trend. Native son Scott Frost was fired Sunday having gone 16-31 three games into his fifth season. Even though they made modest improvements in the areas, the Cornhuskers were consistently bad at a couple of things: special teams and losing close games.

Frost tried everything: changing coaches, changing approaches. Nothing worked to the stage Georgia Southern sealed the offer Saturday night by gaining 642 yards in hallowed Memorial Stadium where Heisman Trophy winners and national champions used to dwell.

Nebraska isn’t exactly the same quality of job it was previously. In moving from the Big 12 to the Big Ten, this program lost its identity. Traditional recruiting grounds in Texas and California were either ignored or eventually shriveled up. Nebraska does not have any natural rival in the Big Ten, just as much as some desire to make Iowa that team. Instead, it’s seen a far-flung outpost in a league that suddenly has a presence in NY, Chicago and soon LA.

Can the Huskers rebound? Absolutely. Consider the teams against that they have lost. Northwestern has played in two of the final four Big Ten Championship Games. Georgia Southern’s Clay Helton was the initial coach fired last season at USC. Almost per year to your day, he previously a submit beating Nebraska and ousting Frost.

Nebraska can change its program around quickly; it just hasn’t done in order of late. Another hire must hit as the hamster wheel of coaches since Osborne is worn and rusted. Meanwhile, a once-proud program suffers.

Nebraska coaching candidates

Mark Stoops, Kentucky coach: Stoops has spent ten years methodically developing the Wildcats into an above-average, competent SEC program. Twice since 2018 he’s got won 10 games, perhaps prompting his angry comeback recently when John Calipari suggested Kentucky is a lot more centered on basketball success. Coming off one of is own biggest wins Saturday at Florida, there’s evidence Stoops could have peaked with the Wildcats. Nothing against Stoops, but no-one is beating Georgia any time in the future. He’d have far better usage of the Big Ten Championship Game (instead of the SEC Championship Game) playing in the Big Ten West. His culture, tireless work ethic and no-nonsense approach would interest Nebraska. Unless you desire to call him the brand new Bo Pelini, fine, but remember Pelini’s legacy (67-27 in seven seasons) looks damn good at this time. Stoops could be better still than that minus the baggage.

Matt Campbell, Iowa State coach: Several sources have told CBS Sports that Campbell is thinking about Nebraska. It’s certainly more highly resourced than Iowa State, especially with the Big 12 moving down in the pecking order with the forthcoming departures of Texas and Oklahoma. But Campbell must get to a particular level this year to stay the mix. Which means 6-6 as well as 7-5 is probably not sufficient for Nebraska, which absolutely must hit a house run these times. Campbell (10-7 in his last 17 games) could have simply hit his ceiling at Iowa State. Ahead of this development, insiders were saying Campbell was thinking about only two jobs: Ohio State and Notre Dame. Both are filled right now.

Mickey Joseph, Nebraska interim coach: Joseph includes a large amount of support as Frost’s associate head coach and a fellow former Huskers quarterback under Osborne. Like Frost, Joseph worked his way up the coaching ladder lately at LSU where he developed what some say is the greatest band of wide receivers ever sold. Like Frost, he’s got a national championship ring (LSU, 2019). He’d also bring continuity to this program. With the timing of the firing being virtually all about recruiting — Nebraska is swallowing $15 million to fire Frost before Oct. 1, once the buyout dropped to $7.5 million — Joseph can grab where Frost left off on the trail.

Bill O’Brien, Alabama offensive coordinator: “Obie” already has Big Ten experience because the first Penn State coach in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal. There is absolutely no healthier coaching tree that to choose a coach: Bill Belichick and Nick Saban. He’s got coached both a Heisman Trophy winner (Bryce Young) and the G.O.A.T. (Tom Brady). The sensation at this time: If O’Brien goes anywhere, it’s back again to the NFL perhaps to displace Belichick 1 day.

Jim Leonhard, Wisconsin defensive coordinator: Like Oklahoma’s Brent Venables, Leonhard has rejected plenty of interest from head coaching opportunities. Like Venables at Clemson, Leonhard needs to be figuring he’s got a more satisfactory job at this time. His next gig needs to be the absolute right fit. Moving within the division to suddenly chase his old boss, Paul Chryst, and alma mater doesn’t look like a perfect move. Leonhard is really a brilliant defensive mind, but does Nebraska desire to put all its eggs in the basket of a hot assistant who had never assembled an employee or been in charge of recruiting?

Gary Patterson, Texas analyst: This makes so much sense. GP has plenty left in the tank at age 62 following a bitter departure from TCU. (Think about this: Just how many guys with statues on campus are firedthrough the season?) Patterson’s skills were on display Saturday as he teamed with Longhorns defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski to limit Alabama to its fewest points in a genuine road game since 2017. Patterson knows Nebraska and its own culture; he’d emerge from the box blazing on the recruiting trail. Blackshirts? They’d be back.

Urban Meyer, Fox analyst: The Huskers wouldn’t would they? Desperation appears to find guys like Meyer whose winning percentage needs to be ultimately balanced against off-field issues. The most recent were internal problems with Jacksonville Jaguars players last season. Meyer, a three-time national championship coach at Florida and Ohio State, was in charge of hiring OSU assistantZach Smith, whose wife accused him of abuse. That cost Meyer a three-game suspension at the start of the 2018 season, his last with the Buckeyes. Meyer didn’t even ensure it is by way of a full season in 2021 with the Jags. Meyer can coach college, but can he avoid becoming the focus for all your wrong reasons?

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