clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Fire Everybody: Scott Frost’s decision to kick the onside was even worse than it seemed at the time

Your jaw will hit the floor

NCAA FOOTBALL: JAN 10 College Football Playoff National Championship - Media Day
The most clever man in the room
Photo by Matthew Visinsky/Icon Sportswire/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

I’ve been on this here dot com site for 15 years now — I started as an intrepid poster when I had just got out of law school and was clerking. Trapped 1100 miles from home, snowed in the top floor of the Iowa Supreme Court Building, and jonesing for some foozball, I found a place to fully vent my spleen about the state of the ole’ alma mater. I found it.

And, from that day to this, now going on a decade-and-a-half, I have always had a complicated relationship with offensive coordinators. I understand that points have to be scored, but it’s all so...distasteful, so antithetical to the sport’s rugby roots. The rules may say that at the end of sixty minutes, the team with the highest score wins; but the unwritten rules are really about violence: at the end of sixty minutes, the team that has imposed its will upon the other, that has unleashed controlled fury — that has made someone’s ass quit — that is the usual winner.

Scoring is just the ends; violence is the means to achieve that end.

That prejudice fully out there, I think as a group that offensive coordinators are the most narcissistic clown bros that you will find on collegiate sidelines.

They are prima donna on par with an NFL star wideout. For a group that has to be aware of their own tendencies, they are remarkably unwilling or unable to do so. They are reflexively hyper-defensive; they are accountability-averse; too many are unaware of the game tempo and momentum; and even the dumbest SOB out there with a headset swears that the issue is always one of execution, never of scheming or planning or adjustment or plain ole’ coaching.

If the most dangerous place in America is between an ambulance chaser and a camera, the second most dangerous has to be turning your back on offensive coordinator. That tingle you feel between your shoulder blades is the space where you are about to be dirked...assuming you survive being thrown under the bus first. The most clever man in the room — the millionaire grownup crybully — is never going to own up to his failures; instead, that burden shall forever fall on college students.

That brings us to today’s subject: a man who exemplifies all these odious traits, moral failings, professional malfeasance, and intellectual failings.

Scott Frost. The smack-talking, alleged offensive wunderkind straight off the Chip Kelly arrogance tree. And what we saw on Saturday we may never see again in our life, because it was that stupid.

By now, you realize that this is a make-or-break season for Frost, owner of the best damned 3-9 team you ever saw last year. Eight of those games were decided late, by one score, and Nebraska could have legitimately been an 8- or 9-win team. Thus, after five years of failure, a big season was incumbent upon him. Almost every game is a must-win, especially the season-opener in Ireland against a simply dreadful Northwestern team.

That did not happen, however. No, up by 11 points in the game, with all the momentum on the side of the Huskers, Frost opted to make one of the stupidest coaching calls you’ll ever see: going for the onside attempt. Which failed.

And you’ve heard announcers baffled by poor decisions before, but the ESPN crew were gobsmacked by this one.

How dumb was the call? Watch the play again — the entire cadre of up-men for Northwestern were staring at that ball the entire time. Not a single Purple Person was fooled. In fact, as the kicker goes through his motion, they actually shift to the direction of the kick before contact is even made with the ball.

As piss-poor as the decision was, the lack of recognition and adjustment on the sideline was worse. No one was fooled, absolutely no one.

Northwestern would go ahead and score on the shortfield. A deflated Nebraska had difficulty moving the ball thereafter, and then immediately committed another turnover. Within the space of mere moments, UNL went from an 11-point lead in a must-win Big 10 game, to trailing by 3. And that would be the difference in the game too. Northwestern won by that field goal difference.

But, do you know how bad that kick was even before it happened? Before Scott Frost even got on the plane?

It was professional malpractice that should have left him stranded in Dublin. Because, dear reader, an insightful YouTube creator (JaguarGator8) actually went back and watched every single onside kick that Scott Frost has called in his head coaching career.

And in Frost’s entire coaching career, six times he’s attempted an onside. Not once have his teams succeeded in getting the ball. In all six failed attempts, the other team got at least a field goal attempt. In five of them, the opponent would score. Four of those games his team was trailing, and his team would go on to lose the game. The other two surprise attempts? They would also lose the game.

To recap: Exactly 0% of those OSK attempts worked; 100% of them allowed a scoring opportunity; 83% of them actually allowed a score; and 100% of the time his team lost.

Stupid, arrogant, ignorant tendencies and trends, lack of adjustment, swearing he’s the most clever man in the room, failure ending in disaster — all of the worst tendencies of the Offensive Coordinator Mindset were on display Saturday. And whether you’re the head man or not, that buffoonishness just never leaves you.

His ass should have been fired Saturday.

And on October 1st, when Scott Frost’s buyout drops from $15 million to $7.5 million, he will be.


Stupidest onside kick ever?

This poll is closed

  • 76%
    Yes, it’s up there.
    (767 votes)
  • 13%
    No, I’ve seen worse
    (135 votes)
  • 10%
    (102 votes)
1004 votes total Vote Now