15 Year Member
Yes, I've probably brought that up a dozen times over the past couple of years. Granted, when I do, people encourage me to suck on a tailpipe, which is actually rather common.People love to bring up the "0-12 to 13-0 in two years" narrative because, hell, it's never been done before, and I'm not trying to throw water on that accomplishment at all. But some people fail to keep in mind that roster was made up of players who went 10-4 (2012), 12-1 (2013) and 9-4 (2014). A roster that had won two conference championships and the Fiesta Bowl. We're not talking about a team that was a proverbial bottom feeder in its conference like a Kansas for example.
So you're talking about the best team in that conference and probably the most talented when Frost got there. That 0-12 season was an outlier and there were extenuating circumstances that led to that season. That roster had a culture of winning already. A roster that was used to winning and knew the work it took to win. That roster had players on it who had waited their turn and benefited from S&C and the gradual process of growing through the roster.
Frost didn't have to rebuild that program from the ground-up like he is now. At Nebraska, he's sitting and redshirting/developing guys who'll be the foundation going forward. At UCF, that core foundation and culture was already in place. He was able to plug and play some players that he otherwise would have redshirted and groomed (and saved in some ways) for when the team was better built.
I firmly believe that guys like Rahmir Johnson and Darien Chase (and probably others) would have played as true freshmen for Frosts 2017 UCF team. That team was in a much better position in every way when Frost took over in 2016 than Nebraska was when he took over.
Someone referred to Frost as the Devaney of UCF -- no, that was George O'Leary. He is the one who put UCF on the map -- for a much longer period than Frost.
And you probably know what happened ... O'Leary wanted to retire the offseason prior to 0-12. He was begged by the AD to coach another year. An old coach not really wanting to coach is not a winning solution. Then O'Leary did quit mid-season. And the AD quit. And that was a team left floating aimlessly. But it was NOT indicative of UCF football.
I also downplayed the win over Auburn more than most. Bowl games are mostly about what team is more motivated. Auburn had just lost the SEC Championship game -- a game, had they won, would have had them in the playoff. As I said at the time, UCF had every reason to play hard to win. Auburn couldn't care less. Everything fell into place that season. Yes, Frost deserves plenty of credit. But he really did inherit an ideal situation.
As I've also said more recently, 13-0 for Frost and UCF may very well have been a curse. It came too easily. Too fast. Frost was on top of the world in only two years as a head coach. No doubt Frost himself became a bit overconfident. And he came to Nebraska certain the Big Ten would have to adjust to his winning formula. Oops. There really was nowhere for Frost to go but down. At least initially. Now, he'll have to adjust.
Frost still has the ability to be a very good coach. But 13-0 at UCF really isn't as "miracle worker" as is commonly applied by Nebraska fans.