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Week 0.5 Mailbag: How would YOU fire Scott Frost?

“So then I told Tim Brewster ‘Have fun in D3 next year’ and he got so angry that it seemed like he wanted to fight me at midfield during the handshake. Anyway, have fun in D3 next year.”
Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

GOOD AFTERNOON AND HAPPY GAMEDAY! It’s time to get excited to watch the Buckeyes win and Rutgers play football. Try to ignore how everything in the world is trash and just focus on football for your sanity.

Thank you to everyone who helped give us this magnificent batch of questions, feel free to provide your answers here, and I’ll be back to ask for more on Sunday.

So who’s going to be Nebraska’s coach next year? - WSR

Beez: Scott Frost or that guy from Iowa State, if he’ll take a slight downgrade for a lot more money.

MNW: Oh man. It’s so excellent.

  • Scott Frost EVEN
  • Matt Campbell +150
  • Gus Malzahn +200
  • Luke Fickell +200
  • Alex Grinch +300
  • Mike Elko +400
  • Scott Satterfield +500
  • Hugh Freeze +500
  • Bronco Mendenhall +500
  • Chris Klieman +750
  • Jay Norvell +750
  • Jason Candle +1000
  • Todd Graham +1000
  • Bo Pelini +2000
  • Les Miles +3000
  • John L. Smith +5000
  • Bill Callahan +10000

RockyMtnBlue: I’m incapable of original thought, but I’m happy to respond to MNW’s picks. I REALLY want John LLLLL Smith back in the conference (as long as it’s not at my team). Instinctively Satterfield feels doable. It won’t be Campbell or Fickell. Why would they go backwards?

BRT: Scott Frost

Kind of…: Probably Frost, but let’s push forward. Teams often use a hire to set a new course from the guy they just fired. If Trev Alberts wants to do that, what would better send that signal than hiring a defensive-minded coach who’s the furthest thing from a Nebraska legend? That’s right, bring in Sooner DC Alex Grinch!!! [Plus, they’re going to ask Matt Campbell and he’s going to say no. Grinch and Campbell played together for three years at Mount Union.]

BuffKomodo: Nebraska deserves Chris Ash, but if the NFLPA gets rid of Urban Meyer…

Thumpasaurus: Don’t tell Scotty, cuz Scotty doesn’t know.

WSR: I saw this today. I love everything about it so much. It needs to happen.

You’re given the job of hatchet man from Trev Alberts to fire Scott Frost. Your only stipulation is you make the firing as humiliating as possible. How do you do it? - Sally Mason’s Ghost

Beez: I’d organize an amazing, nationally-televised, NCAA-recognized ceremony, purportedly for UCF to be officially named as co-national champs for that one season where they went undefeated and beat a bunch of trash plus Auburn. I’d invite Scott Frost to come to the podium/mic to unveil the banner or plaque or whatever that UCF was going to get. The banner would say “Scott Frost, you’re a terrible head coach and you’re fired from Nebraska, effective immediately.” Then I’d have him unveil another banner that read “Nebrasksa: 1997 National Co-Champions” but it would burst into flame, Hunger Games style (when Katniss’s dress lit on fire and turned into something else), to read “Michigan: Rightful 1997 National Champions.”

Green Akers: /stares at Beez’s answer in wonderment

Creighton: My joke answer is that no single person is more responsible for every bit of success that Scott Frost had as a head coach than NYU-Stony Brook alum and three time New Hampshire Wildcats letter winner George O’Leary, so he’s the obvious choice.

My serious answer is that Trev Alberts will screw this up in the most humiliating way possible. He will openly court Matt Campbell or Luke Fickell, have both guys fall through or take better jobs, and then stay with Frosty through a very awkward 2022 season.

BRT: Announce it on Twitter without bothering to tell him in person.

Kind of…: Have actual firing papers drawn up. At the podium, crumple them up as if you’re going to give Frost another year. Turn and shoot them at a wastebasket, but Matt Davison comes flying in and kicks them to Trev Alberts, who then fires Frost on the spot.

BuffKomodo: I bring him to a podium in front of an ESPN, FOX Sports, and Local Nebraska cable news crew. I replay his comments about playing Indiana more so he can get more wins about 100 times. Then we replay the final 2 minutes of the 2019 Indiana, Nebby game. I then bring Tom Allen out and force Scott Frost to offer himself as tribute to the future juggernaut coach. Being the gracious man Tom is, he declines to see Frost sacrificed, but instead banishes him off to the Patriot league for eternity.

WSR: I have PJ Fleck do it while wearing a hoodie and spouting every single catch phrase he’s got.

What is each B1G school’s best sport, historically? - IUinVA

RockyMtnBlue: Michigan: Trampoline. Total dominance. I can’t find proof on the internet so you’ll just have to take my word for it.

MNW: Here you go, RMB:

Northwestern’s is women’s lacrosse.

RockyMtnBlue(reprise): I knew I’d read about it somewhere!

Creighton: Iowa is wrestling. Nebraska is a volleyball school now. I don’t have the energy to go through the other 12 schools so before I move on to the next question I’ll just guess that rutgers is really good at that English game where you chase a hoop down the street with a stick.

BRT: Historically, it’s probably still football. Obviously it isn’t currently, but that’s not what you asked, is it? Volleyball has a case though, as it’s been strong for pretty much the entirety of its existence as a program, and has not had the uh, valleys that the football team has had. They’ve also managed to build a devoted and enthusiastic following, which is always a feat for any women’s sport. They also have FIVE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS, and four of them were even from this century.

Beez: I am decidedly not the go-to person for factual questions about the University of Wisconsin. More feelings-based questions, plz.

Kind of...Hey Beez! Dig this: men’s hockey and women’s hockey each have six nattys. The men’s all came between 1977 and 2006. The women’s have all come from 2006-present. Men’s rowing have nine titles, though not official NCAA ones. But for a true “the more you know” moment, UW was the dominant school in boxing, winning eight national titles from 1939-1956. However, the death of a Badger boxer in 1960 pretty much ended the sport at the NCAA level.

HWAHSQB: I’m pretty sure the thing the University of Illinois does best is Engineering (not driving trains, don’t get too excited Boilers) If we’re strictly speaking sports, Illinois has 10 men’s gymnastics championships followed by FIVE football championships! See, we’re a football school.

Candystripes: For consistency purposes, it’s men’s soccer (8 time national champions and counting). But you could certainly make an argument for men’s swimming and diving (6 straight team national titles from 1968-1973), and many people would suggest that Indiana is still a basketball school (5 national titles) despite recent struggles.

WSR: Women’s hockey. There might be some trash upstart enjoying a moment in the spotlight, but Gopher Hockey is Women’s Hockey.

Assuming you have kids, which question scares you more: Why is this wet? What is that smell? - HotTakeAhoy!

Beez: Don’t have kids, so this is the only appropriate response:

RockyMtnBlue: Like Beez, I have no kids. I am a professional uncle. In either case the response is “Nephew, come get your child!”

Creighton: Easy. The smells are all easily identifiable. It’s the moistness that has a mystery about it. Piss? Festering milk? Juice that will get sticky and attract ants? The liquid that seeps out of a diaper full of diarrhea? Is it something that went in them or something that came out? BOTH? Anyway, never have twins.

BRT: Assume away. I have no children and thus live a life free of what sounds to be horrifying concerns like these.

HWAHSQB: Why not both?

Buffkomodo: As a new parent, I usually know the answers to both of these questions. As littlekomodo grows, I’m sure I’ll smell will concern me more.

Kind of…: Smells dissipate. Wet can ruin.

WSR: Definitely smell. I have a spotbot, so if something’s wet that can be fixed quickly. But it takes real investigative work to figure out what’s causing smells.

What have been the most deceptive season openers in your team’s history? - Vaudvillain

MNW: Fuck you for this question.

In the positive, let’s highlight the 2018 ‘Cats, who beat Rondale Moore and Purdue (after, it turned out, Pat Fitzgerald and Mike Hankwitz made a great halftime adjustment), then lost three straight to Duke, Akron, and ranked Michigan, each in their own frustrating way.

The ‘Cats then reeled off seven straight Big Ten wins, wrapped up the West on November 10, gave Ohio State a game in the conference championship, and won the Holiday Bowl over Utah.

The 2013 Northwestern Wildcats are my answer in the negative here. Ranked 22 to start the season, they went on the road to Cal and beat Sonny Dykes’ Golden Bears, 44-30, in an absurd game marked by Collin Ellis’s two pick-sixes that didn’t end until about 2am CT. Pastings of Syracuse and Western Michigan followed before a closer-than-needed win over FCS Maine.

Northwestern’s ranking hit #16. Just in time, #4 Ohio State was coming to town. So was College Gameday.

We lost. Rumor has it I took it well.

The wheels then fell off the Northwestern season. The two-quarterback system of Kain Colter and Trevor Siemian was less effective than it’d been in the past, and without a star, feature running back the ‘Cats couldn’t break through.

Now, this might not be a perfect comparison: in retrospect, the seven-game losing streak for the ‘Cats was marred by FOUR straight one-score losses (20-17 to Minnesota; 17-10 to Iowa in overtime the FUCKING MIKE TRUMPY SPEED OPTION, GODDAMNIT, WHY; 27-24 to Nebraska NO I’M NOT READY TO TALK ABOUT THE HAIL MARY; 27-19 in 3OT to Michigan when DREW DILEO AND THE LINE WERE MOVING; then a 30-6 pasting by Michigan State in which I blacked out on Dragon’s Milk pregame and came to in the stands). Still beat Illinois, though.

RockyMtnBlue: Well 2020 is a pretty good choice. We beat the hell out of a ranked Minnesota squad on the road in prime time. Turns out a few things were true:

  1. We didn’t actually beat them as bad as it felt at the time.
  2. Minnesota had key injuries / covid quarrantines, especially on OL which gave them massive, exploitable holes.
  3. Minnesota would probably have sucked even without the missing players
  4. Minnesota pretty much never covered Milton’s first read, and it turns out he can’t get to a second one.

We felt so good after that win. Rutgers would be the only win the rest of the season, and we needed three overtimes to get even that.

Creighton: 2009 vs UNI. Iowa’s offense was completely stonewalled by an FCS school. It was the game where they blocked back to back field goals on 3rd and 4th down with 39 seconds left to hang on and win 17-16. Embarrassing, right?

Today everyone talks about what a great game it was, but at the time the fans were miserable. The assumption for the entire next week was that we’d struggle to be bowl eligible and that a 4 or 5 win season was a very real possibility. I remember retconning the 2008 season in my brain to think that 100% of the team’s success that year was because Shonn Greene was simply unbeatable.

Anyway, that team would go on to win their first 9 games of the season and finish 11-2 with an Orange Bowl victory.

BRT: I’ll go with 2016’s opener against Fresno State, which Nebraska won 43-10. It’s not that Fresno State was anything great, but it was an emphatic win, which sounds nice to me right now, and more importantly, Nebraska won the next six games as well. I don’t think anyone was under illusions that this was a great team, as the opponents were mostly underwhelming (2016 Northwestern, Illinois, Indiana, and Purdue were not exactly a murderer’s row)—but it was certainly a case where the opener and early season results on paper looked much better than the reality of the team.

Candystripes: There have probably been many openers in IUFB history that in no way represented how awful the team actually was the rest of the season, but the recent example that comes to mind is 2013, when the Hoosiers opened the year by blowing the doors off Indiana State 73-35 (and it could easily have been more lopsided), and then followed that up by failing to beat Navy at home a week later. Other notable moments from that season: Indiana’s first win over Penn State, losing a game to Michigan 63-47 but causing a female Michigan fan to become temporarily brain-dead on camera when they pulled close in the second half, losing to Minnesota because Tevin Coleman let what he thought was a pass roll around on the ground until a Gopher picked up what was actually a fumbled lateral, and beating Purdue for the Old Oaken Bucket for the first of four straight seasons. Final record: 5-7. Not the worst Indiana has ever looked, but not great at all.

HWAHSQB: 2012, Illinois easily handled WMU, who had been to a bowl the previous year under the guidance of offensive guru Bill Cubit. I thought, sure, that Beckman fellow looked like an idiot at all his press conferences, but who cares since he can obviously coach. The following week, ASU mollywhopped us as the defense couldn’t even get lined up before those Sun Devils snapped the ball. We did manage to beat a really bad FCS school on the way to 2-10.

Kind of…: 2020 doesn’t count, so take your Graham Mertz September Heisman jokes and shove ‘em. I did a deep dive for most B1G teams and I was really surprised at how few good examples I found. Sometimes teams would start 0-1 or 0-2 before catching fire, but the losses were almost always against good competition. And beating a bad team soundly before your season falls apart is not that deceptive. Most of the best candidates are more of the “we narrowly escaped and, lo and behold, actually developed into a really good team” variety (2015 Iowa above). A couple of really good Purdue teams—’97 and ‘03—opened with losses to MAC teams, but each time the MAC team ended up being really good, and they were coached by Gary Pinkel and Urban Meyer, respectively. The best example over the last 30 years or so is probably ‘96 NW. Fresh off the Rose Bowl year, NW lost the season opener to a Wake Forest team that would finish 3-8. The Wildcats would finish the regular season 9-2 and claims share of the B1G title anyway.

Regardless, for UW, the ‘98 Rose Bowl team (11-1, #6) trailed San Diego State in the 4th quarter of the season opener and looked awful before pulling it out. And the 2003 team (7-6, and 1-5 down the stretch) opened with a win @West Virginia, a team fresh off a 9-4 season. Two weeks later, the Badgers were absolutely miserable in a 23-5 home loss to UNLV, and the team’s uneven identity was set.

Thumpasaurus: Illinois has won every single home opener played before October since 1997 (see how i’m working around last year?). We’re pretty used to the home opener not telling us much, because in 5 of those seasons that game accounted for half our wins and in 2003 it was our only win. But as far as OPENER openers go?

The only ones that weren’t fairly predictive of our season since ‘98 were 2005 and 2012, the first game of the Ron Zook and Tim Beckman eras. Each was a win, and each was the prelude to a 2-10 season. Rutgers was a bad Big East team coming into this game (although 2005 would be Schiano’s first winning season), but Illinois had no expectations, so a thrilling come-from-behind win over a BCS conference team suggested the Illini had a pulse. They’d lose various games that year by scores like 63-10, 40-2, 37-3 and 61-14. All the Rutgers win was was a fun reprieve in the midst of a truly awful four year stretch, even for Illinois.

2012 came on the heels of the Late Zook Era, which saw Illinois routinely play well below its talent and routinely get outcoached, even as they put up the occasional inspired beatdown. The opponent was Bill Cubit’s Western Michigan, a notable thorn in the side of the Illini that had kept them from bowling in 2008 (at Ford Field) and nearly did it again in 2011. The Illini controlled the game and won comfortably 24-7.

As it turned out, Bill Cubit had lost control of the ship and our coaches actually had no idea what they were doing and half of Ron Zook’s recruits hated said coaches, but for a while there, it really felt like we exorcised some demons. Nope. Just created a whole host more.

WSR: So much negativity! Let’s take this the other direction. 2019 may have ended with the Gophers beating Auburn, but it started with a 28-21 win over South Dakota State. Friends, that is not how you inspire confidence. Highlights included a missed PAT on Rashod Bateman’s circus catch right before halftime, losing 21-20 going into the 4th quarter, needing to force a turnover to get the ball back to get the go-ahead score with 5 minutes left in the game, averaging 3.1 YPC against a D1-AA team, and just the general angst of watching the Gophers struggle (AGAIN!?!) with a school from the Dakota Territory. But we survived that (and the 2 other non-conf games) and went on to have a very nice season.