About 6 weeks ago I recommended UCF fans enjoy every week with the special football team playing for them. The reason for the nudge was the strong possibility the master builder of this group, Coach Scott Frost, would in all likelihood be coaching somewhere else next season.
While Frost was doing wonders with the Knights in Orlando, his alma mater, the woefully underperforming Nebraska Cornhuskers, would likely fire head coach Mike Riley by season’s end. They would then almost certainly come after Frost.
Riley’s final game was a 56-14 blowout home loss on Friday to Iowa. Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos fired Riley and his entire coaching staff 15 hours later.
On the same day UCF was part of one of the best, if not THE best, college football game of the year. For those who did not see the Knights pull out a last-minute, 49-42 victory over the South Florida Bulls, you missed something special.
This was what I was trying to tell you 6 weeks ago.
When UCF plays the Memphis Tigers at Spectrum Stadium on Saturday, anyone who can get a ticket, should do so. If not, those who can watch the game on television, must do so.
The stakes are higher now. Barring totally unexpected circumstances, it will be your last chance to look at a Frost-coached UCF team.
It is highly likely that representatives from Nebraska are already in contact with individuals representing Frost. While he will not discuss his future beyond Saturday, the signs are beginning to point to a return home.
While Frost is being tight-lipped, Moos, the man in charge of hiring Cornhusker football coaches, is not.
“He’s obviously a Nebraskan,” Moos said about Frost. “Scott is someone that I am considering, but I’m being very sensitive to the fact that he’s still coaching a team, and he’s having a heck of a run.”
Perhaps in an unguarded moment, Frost did let something slip. After sharing thoughts about the bond between him and his UCF players, Frost was asked at Monday’s press briefing if he was interested in Nebraska.
“I’d be hurt if Nebraska weren’t interested in me. We’re undefeated; I’m from there,” he responded.
Realizing he was sliding into dangerous territory, Frost quickly got back on track by saying “what matters is these players and what they’ve accomplished and they deserve the focus to be on them and not me.”
Before hiring Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen, the Florida Gators were pursuing Frost. They became convinced he was either headed to Nebraska or staying put in Orlando.
Reportedly Frost received a call from his college coach, the legendary Tom Osborne, with a simple message: “It’s time to come home.” While Osborne denies using those words, he would welcome Frost as (head coach).
If Frost does decide to head north, everyone at UCF should thank him and wish him well. At the same time, the Knights deserve some respect from Nebraska and Frost in return.
A huge game awaits on Saturday. A win by UCF puts them in a New Year’s Day bowl game against a top 10 team.
No serious contract negotiations need to be going on this week. We don’t need leaks from “a source not authorized to comment on negotiations.”
We can understand the Nebraska players, recruits and potential recruits want to know what’s happening. At the same time, the UCF players need to go into this huge game knowing their coach is still with them in body, mind and spirit.
That is not too much to ask, is it?