Just ahead of Matt Rhule’s first season for the Nebraska football program, one analyst believes people need to look harder at what he did at Baylor.
Joel Klatt is far from the first person to talk about the monumental task Matt Rhule as the new steward of the Nebraska football program. In fact, Klatt is probably closer to the 100th analyst to lay out how hard the job of turning the Huskers around is going to be.
However, when Klatt talked about why he believes that Rhule will succeed with Nebraska football where others have failed, its hard not to get hyped up. Klatt’s comments feel different because he’s coming at the situation from a different perspective.
The former Colorado Buffaloes’ quarterback turned football analyst made his case on his podcast earlier this week. It was indeed, a compelling case.
He started laying things out by offering up a bit of a mea culpa by admitting he did champion Scott Frost rather hard when he was hired away from UCF. However, he then laid out why the Rhule situation for Nebraska football is different.
"“When he went to Baylor, it wasn’t just that Baylor had fallen behind competitively. No no no no. Baylor was a disaster, culturally. A disaster. He went in there when no one else would touch it. No one would touch Baylor with a 10-foot pole, and you know what, I couldn’t argue with those people. I thought it was going to take Baylor forever to get back up.”"
Sound familiar? Nebraska football certainly didn’t have the kind of heinous acts that occurred in Waco during the Art Briles years, but when talking about the culture being a disaster, that sounds like the Huskers does it not?
When Klatt talks about people thinking a program is “going to take forever” to get back up, that sounds like the Cornhuskers doesn’t it? Certainly there are people in the sport who believe Nebraska football may never be better than an occasional seven or eight win team these days. It’s been six years since they went to a bowl game.
Nebraska football’s culture cleanser
I’ve talked before about how when Matt Rhule talks about changing the culture in Lincoln, it feels different than when Frost did it. It feels like he knows how to actually change the culture and not just complain about how bad it is.
Joel Klatt seems to feel the same way.
“I thought what had happened to them [Baylor] was analogous or similar to what happened to SMU,” the analyst continued, referencing the death penalty that was placed on the Mustangs that saw their program reach the lowest lows for decades.
Klatt went on to say that he didn’t think Baylor had the same punishment, but it was psychologically in the same place.
"“You look up in a couple of years and Matt Rhule had built them into a 10-game winner and eventual Big 12 champion. I know they didn’t win it under Matt Rhule but he built them to that point … so his DNA, his track record really fits what Nebraska is trying to do. Which is a total rebound, a total revamp.”"
Quite a bit has been made about what the new Nebraska football head coach did at both Temple and Baylor. But it feels like Klatt really did a deep dive into how momentous the job he did was.
Now we just have to hope he can repeat it.