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The roster flip

HuskerWeatherman

Husker Fan
15 Year Member
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.
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. :)

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.
 
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N2FL

Varsity
10 Year Member
People jumped on me when I said that Frost formerly had a good team in a crappy conference and now he has a crappy team in a really elite conference. But I stand by that sentiment.

It's not that the AAC is some bush league, NAIA-level conference. But it's not exactly the Big Ten or SEC, either. I keep saying it's the same logic as to why Boise State could whip up on a bunch of MTW/WAC teams and then beat Oklahoma in the one tough game they played all year. It really does hold true for UCF as well.

The other piece of this argument is the rank-and-file members of the Power 5 conferences. It's hard enough playing a team like Ohio State. It's even harder playing them after you've gotten beaten around by Iowa, Michigan State or Purdue for umpteen weeks. That's just the nature of Big Ten football. The AAC has some good teams, sure, but it's a lot easier to look good against teams like Houston when you fill the gaps with UConn or Temple. Harder to look like champs against Michigan after you've just knocked skulls with a bunch of 365 lb linemen at Minnesota or Wisconsin.
Absolutely. That 2017 UCF squad was probably capable of beating any team in the country that year on any given day. But if you put them in the SEC or Big Ten, they're going 8-4, not 12-0 during the regular season.
 

SdRed

just a guy
The turnaround mid-season last year happened (at least in part) after some senior leaders really took hold and started leading. Does this year's team have those leaders? I'm not sure sure the answer to that although DD seems to be a good one. Some of the younger guys have the qualities but might be harder for them to be in that position this soon.

Related to that, did those UCF teams have strong leaders?
 

CO4NU

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
My opinion....

I thinks it's tough when the "Leaders/Captains" themselves aren't having their best year personally.

Tough to credibly get on other players in that situation.

Look at Jason Peter....Grant Wistrom....etc. Completely different situation/dynamic.

I believe this to be a major contributor to the lack of player leadership.
 

NUinID

Scout Team
2 Year Member
The turnaround mid-season last year happened (at least in part) after some senior leaders really took hold and started leading. Does this year's team have those leaders? I'm not sure sure the answer to that although DD seems to be a good one. Some of the younger guys have the qualities but might be harder for them to be in that position this soon.

Related to that, did those UCF teams have strong leaders?
The fact the Daniels, a grad transfer that was at Nebraska for only a few months can get elected captain, is indicative of the lack of senior leadership on this team.
 

Huskerpilk

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
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.
Finally a voice of reason in an otherwise full on panic in year two of a new staff. And from some of those I consider more level headed when it comes to this sort of stuff. I think we had, to some degree, convinced ourselves that SF 2019-2012 was going to be TO 1994-1997 because of the miracle in Orlando.
 

NUinID

Scout Team
2 Year Member
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.
Everything you say is very true. This team still should be sitting at no worse than 6-3 right now. Giving up leads in 3 of your loses is not a good look. Losing to Colorado and Purdue is not a good look. Those teams aren't good. Winning those games was as much about wanting to get the job done, almost willing yourself to a win, as much as anything.

So in the bolded paragraph are you saying they aren't ready to play in the B1G or is Frost playing the long term success game? Rahmir Johnson has been wasted this year IMO. I think their RB rotation has been terrible. I get real tired of them saying he is really close and we want to get him in the game. I think they may have wanted to play him and maybe not even RS him, but they got to about the sixth game of the season and went Oh Rahmir has only played in 1 game so far. I guess we will RS him then.
 

Bigger Ed

Red Shirt
2 Year Member
The fact the Daniels, a grad transfer that was at Nebraska for only a few months can get elected captain, is indicative of the lack of senior leadership on this team.
Did they vote for captains for their leadership or their popularity?
 

CO4NU

Junior Varsity
5 Year Member
Also possible that they don't want to get Rahmir killed with our O line?

I know...I know....why do they want Wandale killed then?

Coin flip?

Don't know?
 

ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
I'm far from a recruiting expert, but I'm concerned that we are struggling more than a bit -- not only for our own expectations -- but in relation to the rest of the conference.
I'd agree there. I'm not going to panic or anything until signing day, but I can assure you our staff thought we would be in a different spot. Both on the field and with number of commits.
 

ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
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.
So for me.... why are we not starting true freshman Bryce Benhart and moving Matt Farniok down to guard since we are doing that with Cam Jurgens? Minnesota played 20 true freshman last year, but now are 9-0. I suppose we are going about our foundation a little differently, but I think while we are on the brink of sub .500 again we could be taking our lumps from guys we are going to be relying on in the next few years to get them ready.
 

ShortSideOption

All American
10 Year Member
The turnaround mid-season last year happened (at least in part) after some senior leaders really took hold and started leading. Does this year's team have those leaders? I'm not sure sure the answer to that although DD seems to be a good one. Some of the younger guys have the qualities but might be harder for them to be in that position this soon.

Related to that, did those UCF teams have strong leaders?
Great question. So what did our staff do in 2018 to let our leaders take hold of the team and turn it around? Why did we not have anyone that was able to continue that leadership? Why has no one emerged for 2019?

I think you are right that we had guys that were able to help us get there, but i'm a little frustrated we couldn't build on that. We basically gained nothing and went backwards.
 
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