Happy Tuesday, folks. Welcome to Morning Brews. This morning I’m talking about Scott Frost and his new job coaching the Nebraska Cornhuskers. I guess ol’ Scotty liked getting whooped by Michigan during the 2016 season so much that he took a job in the Big Ten just to get more 51-14 beatdowns in his life. More seriously, I hope Frost finds success over in Lincoln, because it would be good for Nebraska and good for the conference. Also this morning, we check in with Michigan’s wrestling and hockey teams.
Let’s get to it:
Scott Frost changes the B1G West? I sure hope so
Our colleague, Ian Boyd, over at the SB Nation mothership wrote a column this week about how Scott Frost will change Nebraska and the B1G West - and boy do I hope he’s right. He starts off his article by recapping Nebraska’s first seven years in the conference:
When Nebraska left the Big 12 for the Big Ten, it looked like a no-brainer, even beyond the increase in income and stature. Their eventual landing spot in the Big Ten West seemed rich with easy marks like Northwestern and Iowa, making the Huskers a near-permanent fixture in the Big Ten title game. While they were leaving the fertile recruiting grounds of Texas, Nebraska had thrived for years in the Big 8 without recruiting the Lone Star State.
Things have not gone as planned. The Huskers’ only appearance in the Big Ten Championship saw them lose 70-31 to a 7-5 Wisconsin. Nebraska has gone 4-3 against Northwestern in this time, 3-4 against Iowa, and just 1-6 against Wisconsin. Nebraska’s averaging multiple-score losses against Iowa and Wisconsin.
Ouch. Boyd gets a lot right here. I, too, thought that Nebraska coming over to the B1G from the Big XII was going to be great. Putting Nebraska together with blue blood Big Ten programs like Wisconsin and Michigan sounded like a match made in heaven. They weren’t a rehab project, they were an established program with oodles of history and a track record of success.
Well, as Ian points out, things didn’t turn out quite as planned. Instead of being perennial contenders, the Huskers have been perennial also-rans. Bo Pelini had been cranking out respectable seasons, but he couldn’t get from ‘respectable’ to ‘good,’ so he was fired after his seventh season—Nebraska’s fourth in the conference. Sure they lost four games in every single season he coached, but these were nine and ten win seasons capped by a not awful 4-5 record in bowl games, so I—and I think many—were a little surprised to see him get the axe.
The Mike Riley era of Nebraska football was a 19-19 exercise in not just what the doctor ordered. Instead of breaking through, Nebraska broke down - finding a little bit of life in the form of a 9-4 sophomore campaign from Riley, but ultimately collapsing into 4-8 this past season. The Huskers had seen enough, and Riley’s tenure came to an end after three seasons - leaving the program in a worst state than it was in after Pelini was run out of town.
Now, Scott Frost returns. He’s likely to bring a lot of the run-pass option that was so successful for him at UCF. Boyd says:
Frost has a clear preference for using hybrids on offense. The 2017 national championship-claiming Knights often played with two tight ends and two “Percy Harvin types” in Anderson and Adrian Killins Jr., who could flex out as slot receivers or take hand offs from the backfield.
Will he be as successful running this sort of offense in the B1G West against traditional, smash mouth teams like Wisconsin and Iowa? Nebraska needs him to be successful. The B1G Conference needs him to be successful. For the sake of competitive balance, I hope he is successful. They say that steel sharpens steel, and the B1G West desperately needs some more steel over there.
What do you think? Will Scott Frost find success at Nebraska? Is that a good thing? Weigh in with the poll below and down in the comments.
Will Scott Frost win at Nebraska?
This poll is closed
Yes, and that’s good
Yes, but that’s bad
No, and that’s good
No, and that’s bad
Michigan wrestling notched another win in conference action this past weekend. The No. 4 Wolverines topped No. 15 Nebraska, winning seven of ten bouts in the match. Michigan lost only one bout in which their wrestler was ranked higher than the wrestler from Nebraska. The win moves Michigan to 9-2 (6-1) on the season. There are three matches left before the Big Ten Tournament, those against Michigan State, Ohio State, and Central Michigan. Penn State and Ohio State are currently ahead of the Wolverines in the conference standings. Michigan’s next match will be this Friday.
Michigan hockey split their weekend series with Wisconsin. In the first game, the Wolverines jumped out to a 4-1 lead through two periods before holding off Wisconsin in the third. Michigan sealed the game with an empty netter, clip above. On Saturday, it was Wisconsin’s turn to jump out to a 4-1 lead through two periods. Unfortunately, Michigan could only muster one goal in the third, leading to a 4-2 loss. The split puts Mel Pearson’s club at 13-13-2 (8-10-2) on the season. They’ll be back in action this Friday against Michigan State. The Wolverines have series against Michigan State, conference leaders Notre Dame, and Arizona State left this season. The Big Ten Tournament starts March 2nd.