Tom Osborne’s defense of Frost, citing external factors and unfavorable luck as major contributors to his challenges at Nebraska football misses the point.
A lot of people have offered up a lot of theories as to why Scott Frost was such an abject failure as the head of the Nebraska football program. What is the common thread in most of those theories is that the former Huskers quarterback turned head coach simply wasn’t cut out for the job.
However, at least one person who isn’t a part of Frost’s immediate family believes Nebraska football’s struggles were more bad luck and a lack of patience than anything the now-fired head coach did. Once again, coming to the defense of his former protege, Tom Osborne demonstrated he’s unable or unwilling to see the real problem.
Osborne appeared on another former Nebraska football star’s podcast and discussed Frost’s tenure with Adam Carriker last week. In doing so, the Hall of Fame coach still managed to blame Mike Riley for Frost’s problems.
"“I think he went through a very difficult time. He came in on the tail end of a not very successful recruiting regime from the coach previously.”"
Ok? But he also was at the helm for four full years. He had the time to turn that around. And it’s worth noting that Matt Rhule is now coming to Lincoln on the tail end of a “not very successful recruiting regime” put together by Frost.
"“It’s not like he was dealt a really good deck. Then you had COVID and the thing that was a little puzzling was that if you looked at the score at the end of three quarters, Scott would have had a really good record.”"
Two things here. Every single program in the country had to play through COVID. Not everyone was blaming the pandemic three years later for failures. Secondly, it needs to be pointed out that the idea that Frost would have won a ton more games if they ended after three quarters is simply not true.
In 2021, the season where Frost had all those close losses? Two games would have turned out differently if they’d ended in the 3rd quarter. So Nebraska football posts a 5-7 record instead of 3-9.
In 2020, he wouldn’t have been guaranteed a single extra win. The Iowa game would have gone to OT. And we all know how well Frost’s teams did in OT.
In 2019, he would have improved by one game. And in 2018 he would have one extra win. That means Scott Frost would have posted a record of 19-28 instead of 16-31 over the course of his Huskers’ head coaching career.
It’s also worth pointing out that Osborne essentially admitted that the Nebraska football team couldn’t close. I’m not sure how strong an argument “the head coach was bad in the fourth quarter” actually is.
Nebraska football fans were not unfair to Scott Frost
Finally, while admitting that even a 19-28 record wouldn’t have been enough, Osborne blamed “social media” for the ex-coaches failings.
"It’s really hard to stay employed if you have four losing seasons. I think Scott did a lot of good things. I know social media is brutal, but a lot of the stuff you hear is over the top. I wish Scott the best.”"
Quite frankly, considering that quite a few of the claims were substantiated by assistant coaches, I’m not sure Osborne can claim most of the stuff was over the top. The entire interview appears to demonstrate that T.O. will defend Frost to the end, even if he doesn’t deserve it.