Nebraska Football: Bo Pelini to blame for Scott Frost’s failure?

Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports /

When it comes to former Nebraska football head coach Scott Frost, there are all kinds of reasons why his tenure with the Huskers didn’t work out. However, one analyst who focuses on the Cornhuskers recently came up with a rather odd theory for one of the biggest reason that Frost didn’t work out. It’s Bo Pelini.

This theory played out from Husker Extra’s Sam McKewon is that Frost didn’t get the kind of chance to succeed that Jim Leonhard is getting at Wisconsin. Basically, Leonhard was able to prepare for eventually becoming the head coach for the Badgers by first working as its defensive coordinator. McKewon believes that Frost should have gotten the same opportunity, from Pelini.

If that already sounds a little out there, it actually gets worse.

"There is a way, in an alternate universe, Frost might have experienced Leonhard’s path to the role. Where it might have worked with Frost. Might have. And that’s if, in 2011, Frost had been hired by then-Nebraska coach Bo Pelini to run NU’s offense. Maybe Frost would’ve rejected the offer, but Pelini preferred to keep the job in house, and give it to Tim Beck. That wasn’t a terrible choice — Beck went on to coordinate offenses at Ohio State, Texas and now North Carolina State — but Frost, who did boffo work at Oregon, would have been the better choice."

There are likely some people who agree with this argument. After all, Tim Beck was pretty close to reviled by Husker fans after he was named the offensive coordinator. There’s a rather large problem with McKewon’s idea that Frost “would have been the better choice.”

In 2011, when Bo Pelini was looking to find someone who would run the offense for Nebraska football, Scott Frost was a wide receivers coach. He didn’t become an offensive coordinator two years later, in 2013.

Yes, it’s entirely possible that if Frost was given the job earlier he could just risen to the ranks of one of the most respected OC’s earlier too. There’s also a chance that Chip Kelly, who has had quite a bit of success in the college ranks, knew that Frost wasn’t ready.

There’s another reason to think McKewon’s assertion is quite out there. There were plenty of people who believed that Frost was a slam dunk when he took over the reigns for the Nebraska football team. He didn’t. He had historical failure.

It feels far more likely to say that if Husker fans wanted to see Frost succeed as a head coach, it wasn’t Bo Pelini who made the misstep, it was Bill Moos. Where the former UCF head coach really needed seasoning was running a program. Rather than bringing Frost back to Lincoln much earlier than when it eventually happened, it probably would have been better to wait a bit and make him prove his one big year for the Golden Knights wasn’t a fluke.