UCF fans were rightfully delirious after their 62-55 double overtime victory over Memphis to claim the American Athletic Conference championship. With the subsequent announcement that Coach Scott Frost was leaving for Nebraska, some of the euphoria was tempered.
Those watching at home or in local establishments saw and heard ESPN report Frost was leaving even before Saturday’s game was over, sparking some outrage. Winning the game and finishing a 12-0 season was a temporary band-aid.
Frost was emotional following the game when asked about his pending departure and also held back tears at the post game press conference. Each time he pointed toward his players and the trophy they had just won.
“I will remember (the championship) for a long time,” he said. “I couldn’t see anything because of the confetti, but that’s not my trophy. That’s their trophy. It’s a proud moment for me, but I wanted to get that trophy in these guys’ hands as fast as I could.”
Sophomore offensive lineman Jordan Johnson tweeted the right message:
“Please don’t let our coach leaving overshadow the fact that we just won the American Athletic Conference Championship. #UCF”
With the championship in hand and the major bowl bid soon to come, it will not be long before we learn who among Frost’s current assistant coaches will go with him to Husker land.
With the level of talent returning next year, plenty of quality coaches will want to come here. Not necessarily a well-known name, but perhaps someone like Frost who is a current top offensive or defensive coordinator at a big-time program.
“I think we have the most attractive football opening in the nation,” UCF Athletic Director Danny White said after officially announcing Frost’s departure.
Tennessee and Florida State might disagree, but when comparing the state of those three football programs, White has a leg to stand on with that statement.
On Saturday, he named offensive coordinator Troy Walters as interim head coach. Walters, the architect of college football’s highest-scoring offense, should be given serious consideration for the full-time gig.
Over the last two games, UCF gave up a total of 97 points to USF and Memphis. A guy who designs an offense that scores 111 and wins both of those games deserves a good look.
“There is no question Scott and his staff did an outstanding job of restoring our football program to where it should be,” White said.” We have many competitive advantages here at UCF. This is a special place and I am as excited as ever about our bright future.”
How bright that future looks depends in large part on who White hires as the next coach.