Reading between the traces of Nebraska athletics director Trev Alberts’ feedback Sunday, when he introduced the firing of Scott Frost, the Cornhuskers’ subsequent coaching search will match beneath these parameters:
- Nebraska may have cash to spend.
As a living proof, the college can pay greater than $16 million to toss Frost after the ugly loss to Georgia Southern quite than ready simply weeks till Oct. 1, when his buyout was set to be trimmed in half.
Along with the more and more massive payouts handed down by the Big Ten, that extreme package deal signifies Nebraska will probably be motivated to transcend Frost’s $5 million annual wage and are available nearer to and even exceed the $7 million mark that has turn into the brand new benchmark for top-of -the-line head coaches within the Power Five.
- Alberts will probably be affected person (and he’ll should be).
Getting out in entrance of the market can repay in the event you’re evaluating candidates capable of drop every thing and step proper into the job by midseason. In the final cycle, Texas Tech (Joey McGuire) and Georgia Southern (Clay Helton) employed new coaches in November, a couple of month earlier than the market historically heats up.
Nebraska is not taking a look at that type of possibility. While this system might be able to reset the market from a monetary perspective, the doubtless listing of contenders for this opening will nonetheless maintain the Cornhuskers tethered to the top of the common season until the college faucets an instantly out there possibility akin to former Florida coach Dan Mullen or former Virginia coach Bronco Mendenhall.
- The Cornhuskers need a longtime head coach
Meaning a present head coach or one who has been a head coach within the current previous. More particularly, this search goes to heart on present Power Five head coaches with a observe file of growing expertise, constructing chemistry and establishing an id that may function the bedrock of all the program.
Regardless of cash, Nebraska will not have the ability to draw back a sitting head coach at a program of better worth — the athletics division should promote the opening as an opportunity to rebuild a once-proud model in a coach’s picture, which will probably be very interesting to a sure kind of candidate. But the largest names in coaching aren’t tossing apart a greater scenario merely for the chance to place their stamp on the Cornhuskers.
While issues can and can nearly definitely change earlier than the top of the common season, these are five practical names for the Nebraska opening amongst present Power Five head coaches.
Matt Campbell, Iowa State
As a candidate, Campbell is a protected and durable choose who aces three of the Cornhuskers’ major standards.
He’s a confirmed Power Five coach who has achieved historic success beneath less-than-ideal circumstances by figuring out prospects who match his scheme no matter their rating as recruits or curiosity from Power Five friends. He’s established a tradition at Iowa State that has performed a considerable function in the most effective run in program historical past. He’s a grinder who revels within the foundation-setting portion of a coach’s tenure and would embrace the duty of digging Nebraska out of the depths of current embarrassment.
Basically, Campbell is a 300-yard drive down the green that leaves you in vary of a birdie however with the ground of saving par. You know what you are going to get: clear, stable, bodily football that may conceivably play properly in Lincoln. In phrases of his availability and curiosity, Campbell has had alternatives to depart Iowa State however has been ready for the precise place to return open; Nebraska might signify the candy spot.
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Dave Doeren, North Carolina State
Not lengthy faraway from coming beneath some scrutiny following a 4-8 end in 2019, Doeren has the Wolfpack as much as No. 12 within the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll and within the combine for probably the most profitable season in program historical past. He’s posted seven profitable data in his 9 full seasons and carried out a really good job growing quarterbacks and edge rushers, two positions the place Nebraska has missed far most of the time for greater than a decade.
Originally from the Midwest and an assistant at Kansas and Wisconsin earlier than being named the pinnacle coach at Northern Illinois, he would perceive the panorama within the Big Ten however would want to reestablish a recruiting foothold within the Cornhuskers’ 500-mile bubble. Unflashy and reserved, Doeren’s persona would match the ethos of Nebraska.
Like the final identify on this listing, nevertheless, for Doeren to decide on the Cornhuskers would require that he toss apart a protracted constructing course of and forego possession of a program lined from high to backside along with his fingerprints. It might be a troublesome promote.
Chris Klieman, Kansas State
Few energetic coaches at any degree have been as profitable as Klieman, who took house 4 Championship Subdivision nationwide championships in five years at North Dakota State and has gained eight video games in his two non-COVID seasons with the Wildcats. This yr’s group simply routed Missouri and appears able to take care of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and Texas for the Big 12 crown and New Year’s Six berth.
While he is in a great place with very stable job safety, the Nebraska job ranks increased on the Power Five ladder. On the opposite hand, Klieman has already led the Wildcats by the early transition interval and appears to have this yr’s group destined for a Top 25 end. Is he prepared to restart that course of in a more durable scenario with the Cornhuskers?
If not the best resolution for him to make, Nebraska can merely supply extra: more cash in a greater convention with a deeper reservoir of sources.
Lance Leipold, Kansas
Fresh off an extra time win at West Virginia that leaves Kansas at 2-0 for the primary time since 2011, Leipold has rapidly reversed the Jayhawks’ dropping methods and positioned this system on an upward trajectory for the primary time in over a decade. As an off-field Nebraska assistant within the early 2000s, he understands this system, the expectations and, importantly, the disadvantages that include the place.
Like Klieman, he is gained massive on decrease ranges of competitors. Leipold ran a powerhouse Division III program at Wisconsin-Whitewater, profitable six nationwide championships and enjoying for one more, after which turned Buffalo into one of many high groups within the MAC.
While Nebraska can nearly definitely land him, it could turn into a a lot simpler promote for Alberts and the athletics division if the Jayhawks can keep sizzling and make a run at bowl eligibility. Even if the search is not geared towards profitable fast public acclaim, there is a matter of what kind of goodwill the brand new rent brings to the place: Leipold can be in a greater place from the beginning if Kansas will get to five and even six wins in the course of the common season.
Mark Stoops, Kentucky
Stoops would signify a home-run rent for the Cornhuskers primarily based on his work reworking Kentucky from SEC punchline to one of many hardest groups within the Power Five. He has the added observe file of reeling in recruits out of Big Ten nation, particularly Ohio. Schematically, Stoops and his employees have developed a mannequin designed to even the enjoying subject with extra gifted opponents, with terrific outcomes.
Then there’s the query: Why would he depart the SEC for a spot at a traditionally stronger however not too long ago far weaker program? Like Doeren, he is spent years constructing Kentucky into an annual Top 25 contender. Leaving means giving that away, in fact. But the Cornhuskers can supply cash and the prospect to be the largest present on the town — one thing he’ll by no means, ever get with the Wildcats, which has worn on Stoops as evidenced by his public back-and-forth with basketball coach John Calipari.