Nebraska Football: Mickey Joseph for head coach campaign gaining steam

Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Mickey Joseph reacts ( Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Mickey Joseph reacts ( Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

For the Nebraska football team, every day is an endless swirl of rumors and prognostications about who will be the next head coach. Matt Rhule, Lance Leipold, Matt Campbell, even Lane Kiffin has come up more than once. But what if the Huskers already have the next man for the job? And he’s the one currently occupying that position?

There was a time, not that long ago, when Husker fans didn’t look at Mickey Joseph as much more than a placeholder. The argument was that he was being put into an impossible situation. He was being asked to take over a Nebraska football program that had been brought low by former head coach Scott Frost. Then, in his first game on the new job, Joseph was handed a 49-14 loss to Oklahoma.

Cornhusker fans started talking about the possibility of a 1-11 record in 2022. The focus on Joseph was more on whether or not the next head coach would keep him on staff.

Then the Nebraska football team won two Big Ten games in a row for the first time since 2018. They broke a 10-game losing streak in one score games. And now, the support for naming Mickey the head coach is growing, especially on social media.

To be sure, the Husker fan base can be fickle at times, especially after being burned by Scott Frost. Mickey’s squad has two very tough games next on its agenda. If it should lose to both Purdue and Illinois, the tide could turn back the other way.

However, if he wins either of those games (and Husker fans are dreaming on winning both) then things get very, very interesting at One Memorial Stadium Drive.

Nebraska football might have seen this coming

It’s worth pointing out that Trev Alberts appears to be a very big Mickey Joseph fan. There were lots of questions about just who was steering the ship when it came to the assistant coach hires Frost made over the winter. Considering that he’d never worked with Joseph, naming the former LSU wide receivers’ coach the associate head coach was one heck of a big signal of trust.

What if it was never Frost that had that level of trust in Mickey? What if it was really Alberts? Seems more likely by the day, doesn’t it? Looking back on everything, we know, it feels more and more like the Nebraska AD was positioning things for exactly what happened earlier this season. Frost goes, Mickey takes over, Erik Chinander goes, Bill Busch (another hire from outside the Frost circle of friends) rises to DC. Huskers win two games against lesser opponents. Support for Mickey Joseph starts to really take off, especially on social media.

If Alberts wasn’t steering the ship in this direction when the “never been a coordinator” assistant was hired, he had to know if might work out this way eventually. That’s another reason to think that Joseph might have more support than people realize.

Fans of the Nebraska football team are making their opinion on Mickey Joseph known more and more. It only took a couple of weeks, but the tide is definitely turning from “he’d be great as an assistant on the new staff,” to “he should be leading the new staff.”

For myself? I’m not sold on whether he can do the job from start to finish. He was indeed put in an impossible situation, but to some degree, it was also easier. He hasn’t had to show that he can do all of the job. All he’s had to do is a coach and play a stopgap in recruiting.

On the other hand, that he’s managed to help turn around a defense that was near the bottom of the country is something. That his players seem to genuinely buy into what he’s preaching is big.

In a perfect world, I’d much rather see the Nebraska football team hire someone with a longer resume, who would in turn, keep Mickey Joseph on the staff. Husker fans in general, seem more willing just to see him get the permanent job right now. Whether that changes in the next few weeks is still an open question.