It was Week 0 and game 1 but Scott Frost looked worn and battered. It's a look the former UCF coach has had since his arrival in Nebraska when he lost his first two games in 2018 by five points to Colorado and five to...Troy! It was a sign of things to come.
Frost's record as Nebraska coach fell to 15-30 after the Cornhuskers blew an 11-point lead to Northwestern and lost 31-28 in Ireland. His record in one-score games since his arrival in Lincoln is now 5-21.
His team was in control midway in the third quarter with a 28-17 lead when Frost opted for an on-side kick. Northwestern recovered and appeared to get new life. Five plays later, Northwestern scored and the Wildcats began to take over. They ran over Nebraska's "Blackshirt" defense and their defense stifled the Cornhuskers offense and picked off two Casey Thompson passes that should have been caught by Cornhusker receivers.
After the game, Frost admitted the on-side kick call was a mistake but thought they could have put the game away. Instead, everything unraveled and Frost was left with another one possession frustrating loss where he may have the better team but not the better team at executing late in the game.
A win and Frost's team likely was looking at a 6-0 or 5-1 start, with a possible loss against Oklahoma. The path to eight wins looked fairly easy and a feel good season awaited Frost, who saw his salary reduced by $1M and his buyout get cut in half to $7.5M if fired after this season.
Frost said all the things you would expect a coach feeling the heat would say about staying the course and focused on the next game and how tight the team is and how there is a lot of football still to play.
But while wins over North Dakota(not North Dakota State) and Georgia Southern are likely, games with Oklahoma, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa are challenges and matchups with Purdue, Minnesota and Illinois are no guarantees.
One would think Frost needs to get to a bowl and there may be six wins out there. But he finds himself under the microscope every week and in a social media world analyzing him every possession.
Frost was asked about stepping down during his post-game press conference. He said he had no plans to do so and stated how much he loves Nebraska and will coach his players as long as he can. He is in year five of his run at his alma mater. He has aged more than five years when you look at him. He knows the overall record. He knows the record in one possession games. He knows the critics are chirping. He knows he needs to win. But can he win enough is a question Scott Frost knows he can't answer...
The only reason Florida A&M played a college football game against North Carolina is because the Rattlers were being paid $450,000. There was no reason this game should have been played. But, this is college football. FAMU needs the money and Mack Brown's team needed the tuneup with a new quarterback before a sneaky game at Appalachian State this week.
FAMU was down 25 players after it was determined they had eligibility issues, including some who may miss several games. The list of players not able to play reportedly included the Rattlers starting quarterback and top defensive player. The team's flight was delayed for over six hours and FAMU was left with 7 eligible offensive lineman. At some point the adults in the room should have determined the game unsafe to play. Any team missing more than a third of its roster and leaving a position like offensive line with so few should not be playing a game. But this is college football and the show must go on, right?
FAMU was invited to play the game as part of a celebration of Historically Black Colleges and Universities on the North Carolina campus in Chapel Hill. And FAMU really can't afford to not play the game because that $450,000(minus expenses) pays a lot of bills for programs at the Tallahassee campus. If they didn't play and forfeited the game, that would mean no money. Yes, the Rattlers held their own for a while before falling 56-24 and everyone is saying the right things about their effort, the optics matter- but so does the money. FAMU got paid. Mack Brown's team got a game under their belt and UNC announced over 46,000 attended the game and the ACC Network aired a scheduled football game...so everyone is happy, right?...
Nuggets: FSU beat Duquesne 47-7 after a lengthy rain and lightning delay. The Noles had three running backs go over 100 yards and the team totaled 638 yards of offense. The takeaway from the game is it's a win and FSU got to play before LSU did and that's who FSU faces in New Orleans this week...Vandy is the best the team in the SEC this week after their 63-10 win at Hawai'i. No one else in the conference played in Week 0 but that is not Vandy's fault...I predict Week 0 will become a bigger week with the NCAA adjusting rules on how you can play during this kickoff to the season...There are some huge games this week and Utah at Florida is one of the great matchups. This series was announced in September of 2019 and now the Utes come to Gainesville as a top 10 team. They will meet in Salt Lake City in 2023. Who knows if Utah will be in the Pac 12 by that one...Orlando Magic guard Gary Harris has a torn meniscus. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported the injury first on Friday. Harris signed a 2-year $26M contract extension in June- the second year is not guaranteed. But does anyone else find it odd that there is no report of how Harris suffered the injury? A couple of days after news that Chet Holmgren will miss the season after injuring his foot in a pro-am game the debate on whether players should play in these games has become a big topic. But NBA players often play games during the off-season and you and I never know about them. Did Harris get hurt in one of these games or did he get hurt doing something non-basketball? Or was this something that has been bothering him since the season ended just now got an MRI?...Finally, was part of a fantasy football draft Saturday morning. It was classic and had everything from someone who brought a fantasy football magazine(a magazine!), the league commissioner not being able to find the pause button to the draft, the guy not ready for his time to pick, the person doing the draft remotely from his phone who can't log in and the guy on his phone the entire draft who kept asking if "this player" or "that player" has been drafted yet. In typical fashion my total time to make a pick for 15 rounds was :54...
Final note: In 2021, over 40 million people played fantasy football. That number is expected to increase 2-5% this year.