Marshall and Appalachian State stepped up in class and recorded road upsets at Notre Dame and Texas A&M, Tennessee topped Pittsburgh in a classic, and top-ranked Alabama survived a scare at unranked Texas.
The fallout from all that, and more, created a continental shift in the rankings that came out Sunday.
Still, the big story wasn’t about a game, or even the rankings. It was about an ouster. An ouster that comes with a $15 million price tag.
Not for nothing, Scott Frost earned his heave-ho Sunday from the University of Nebraska, where he quarterbacked the Cornhuskers to their last national title in 1997. Hired away in 2017 from Central Florida, before the ink even finished penning the Knights’ perfect, self-proclaimed national-title season, the favorite son returned to Lincoln, Neb., immediately got buried in the cornfield-sized hole between those living in Nebraska football’s past and the reality of what it actually is anymore.
Word to the wise, including the dopes who keep listing frontline guys as possibilities to fill the opening: It’s a mediocre FBS program at best, a Power-5 outlet in name only.
Which, frankly, makes the timing of this firing all the more absurd.
On paper, sure, it was time for Frost to go. That 16-31 record he posted at the ol’ alma mater was as pathetic as it sounds, and capped ever so poetically by a school – Georgia Southern – less than a decade invested in FBS-level football handling the ‘Huskers, 45-42, at Memorial Stadium. The Eagles racked up more than 640 yards of offense in the process, which had Frost admitting he had no answers in how to stop them.
But on the paper that really matters, though – the green kind – this was an irresponsible move by athletic director Trev Alberts. Now, frankly, Alberts may have been a greater player for the Huskers in his day than Frost was. He was brilliant on the field, seemingly always making the smart play en route to being an All-American and a first-round NFL draft choice (No. 5 overall) by the Indianapolis Colts in 1994. But this was just dumb, or arrogant.
Alberts needs to realize that Nebraska is not the Nebraska that he and Frost played at. It’s not big time anymore. Oh, it’s in the Big Ten … only that serves as a teaching ground for all to see that the Huskers are no longer an elite program – and it might be wise for Nebraska to start pinching a few pennies. Or at least that it needs to be smarter in where it throws its money around.
Alberts, like most of Husker Nation, continues to skip the lesson, though. With an Oct. 1 date set for Frost’s buyout to drop in half, to $7.5 million, it was incumbent upon Alberts to adhere to that date and be fiscally sensible. Once he opted to allow Frost to get another crack at turning things around in 2022, that had to be the deal.
He didn’t fire Frost in the off-season, which made the most sense if you were gonna burn $15 mil from the budget, since that would’ve given the program a chance to reboot with a new coach. Instead, he held onto the guy and put everyone in the program through several unnecessary months of this ongoing nightmare … only to jump the gun mid-season anyway and have Nebraska still on the hook for the same $15M.
His reasoning is that he felt that he owed it to all the players and everyone else in the program to make a move now.
Huh? The reality is, Alberts owed it to all of them to fire Frost at the end of last season in order to start fresh, instead of band-aiding things by making Frost fire his offensive staff in some sort of sad-sack faux reboot. Or, OR, to commit, and ADHERE, to an expiration date for Frost no earlier than Oct. 1
He did neither.
Which begs the question: Why isn’t he headed out the door right along with Frost?
BIZARRO LOU HOLTZ
Remember back in the day when Holtz would drone on ad nauseam about how good the opposition was that his Notre Dame would be facing? How they were – gasp – almost unbeatable?
Well, fast-forward to today, and we got Nick Saban doing the exact opposite. If his team has a tough game, as it did in a 20-19 nailbiter against the Longhorns, or, yikes, the Tide actually loses, the guy just can’t shut up with griping about how his team sucked, how inept it was, and the mistakes it made were the most any team could possibly make.
Never, ever, does he give credit – legit credit, not some BS throw-away speak – to the opposing squad.
Enough, coach. It’s beyond old, and tired, and annoying as hell. Have some grace for once.
BY THE WAY
If freshman QB Quinn Ewers doesn’t get hurt in the first half of that game, Saban wouldn’t have been bitching about a close win. It would’ve been about a blowout loss. Kid was carving up the Tide secondary, connecting on 9 of 12 passes for 134 yards – in the first quarter.
AND ANOTHER THING
Alabama got away with a delay of game to start its game-winning drive. Anyone watching the game could see that Tide QB Bryce Young, the reigning Heisman winner, got the snap a full count after the play clock hit :00. Earlier in the game, FOX broadcasters Joel Klatt and Gus Johnson were spot-on with ripping officials for letting ‘Bama DBs get away with pass interference on so many balls. But they were too busy yapping with each other and missed this egregious error.
Somehow it seems just that ‘Bama fell from its No. 1 perch in Sunday’s latest poll, which saw defending national champ Georgia jump into that spot.
BACK TO EARTH
Following a thrilling, three-point win against then-No. 7 Utah, which also served as a national coming-out party for Anthony Richardson, Florida and its sophomore QB got dealt a cold slap in the face of reality from SEC East rival Kentucky. The 20th-ranked Wildcats were too physical for the Gators, who went from unranked to No. 12 after beating the Utes, and just grinded out a 26-16 victory. It was almost a carbon copy of Kentucky’s 20-13 win over Florida last year.
A few weeks ago, Sam Hartman’s return to action was up in question, with Wake Forest officials unable to give anyone an answer as to what his physical, “non-football-related” issue was, why it had him leave summer camp, and when would he return, or if he would. Turns out the guy had surgery to take care of a blood clot, causing him to miss last week’s opener against VMI. But he was back Saturday, throwing for 300 yards and four TDs in the Deacons’ 45-25 win at Vanderbilt. Don’t be surprised if he’s in the Heisman discussion late into the season, just like he was in 2021.
STAT OF THE WEEK
Thanks to App State’s change in offensive philosophy from Week 1’s shootout with North Carolina to a control-the-clock effort in Week 1 at A&M, the Aggies only were able to get off 38 plays. The Mountaineers, conversely, got off 82 of ’em, including 52 rushing attempts, while holding the ball for 41:29 of the game’s 60 minutes.