Is Scott Frost A Good Head Coach?

May 4, 2021
3
5
3
Many on this board have said HCSF is a bad coach. This seems more an article of faith, repeated like a catechism, rather than a matter of fact, or even reasoned opinion. To answer this question we must first decide what is a good coach. There are several components to this determination. At its most basic, a good football coach is one who wins the games he supposed to win and wins some he's not supposed to win. In other words, the good football coach wins the games where he has superior talent and steals some when he has inferior talent. So, how do we decide whether a coach has inferior or superior talent?

Although not perfect, all-conference teams offer a measure of the respective talent levels for the teams in that conference. In short, these teams are comprised of the difference makers in that conference and difference makers go a long way towards deciding the outcome of a game. Of course, all-conference players are not the only measure of a team's talent level. The NFL draft also says something about the talent level of a team. But, in terms of an independent analysis of a team's talent level, this is a good pace to start. I say "independent" because I'm trying to avoid a subjective determination of a team's talent. I would also emphasize that this a good relative measure of any coach's performance because it addresses the talent on his peers' teams.

With these thoughts in mind, I analyzed the three-deep all-conference teams during HCSF's tenure at DONU. I decided, and this is admittedly a bit arbitrary, to use a 4-3-2 scoring system with 4 points for a first team all-conference performer, 3 points for a second teamer, and 2 for third string. To get this information, I used Wikipedia's summary of the media and coaches' polls. If the media and coaches' and media disagreed on a player, I chose the higher rank for each player. I did not assign points for honorable mention nor did I factor in the NFL draft. While this omission means I may not have completely captured each team's talent level, it should not have a material effect on the teams' overall rankings relative to one another. The win-loss records for the various Big 10 teams bears this out for the most part.

Name 2018 2019 2020

IU 3 10 33

IL 11 16 14

Iowa 29 21 40

Mary. 10 3 2

Michigan 49 40 6

MSU 21 13 6

Minn 10 22 10

NE 9 5 7

NW 11 3 19

OSU 35 56 53

PSU 19 24 30

PUR 17 10 12

Rutgers 0 3 7

WI 26 17 16

As you can see, DONU ranks near the bottom in each year and for the three years combined. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the NFL draft. How did HCSF do?

2018--NU went 3-6 in conference with all games against superior teams.

2019—NU went 3-6 in conference; 2-0 against teams with inferior talent and 1-6 against superior teams.

2020—NU went 3-5 in conference; 2-5 against teams with superior talent and 1-0 against an evenly matched Rutgers team.

How do HCSF's 6 wins against teams with superior talent compare to other coaches? Fitzgerald also had 6 quality wins over the same period with 1 bad loss. N.B. HCSF did not have any bad losses by this definition. How about Ferentz? This was really eye-opening as far as I was concerned. He had 0 quality wins over the same time and 7(!) bad losses. 4 of the bad losses came in 2018--which had to be one of the worst underperforming teams in the BIG over this time. I did not analyze every BIG coach's record, but I"m pretty sure based on the above 2 examples that HCSF compares favorably to every one else and may be at the top of the conference. I leave it to somebody else to perform this analysis for all BIG coaches.

Some posters have complained about HCSF's play calling. The short answer here is that none of us has analyzed opposing teams' game film to determine where DONU may have an advantage and none of us is privy to the practices to see which plays the team seems able to best execute given what the coach's want to do. Notably, many of HCSF's BIG losses have been close. Given the obvious talent disparity, it's a tribute to the play calling that the games were close in the first place.

A further note. I only analyzed BIG games so I had some confidence that I was comparing apples to apples. I had no way to objectively compare out-of-conference teams' talent levels to DONU's. By limiting the analysis to BIG games I was comparing performances in roughly the same talent pool. Also, the all-conference team is based on actual performance, rather than projections based on somebody's feelings.

Of course, this isn't the only metric for measuring a coach's performance. It addresses primarily a coach's game preparation and coaching during a game. Another important metric is recruiting. In some ways it's the most important. The problem here is that rather than measuring on-field performance, recruiting rankings are a projection of possible future performance. This means there is no reliable way to measure the success of a coach's recruiting until 4-5 years down the road. The all-American teams bear this out as the vast majority (more than 75%) are juniors and seniors. We will have a much better handle on HCSF's recruiting in his first two years after the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Another unquantifiable metric is player development. Each player has a range to his talent within which he can be "developed." Simply put, this means you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. "Player development" is unquantifiable because we have no way to gauge a player's talent range when he comes into a program. For that reason we can't gauge whether he was developed to the maximum by the staff. This also assumes that it's up to the staff alone and not the player to get this done.

To sum up, HCSF is a good coach, performing at a high level. If recruiting has been what we all hope, the future is bright.
 

PeliniTheCrutch

All-American
Jul 4, 2016
4,431
5,950
113
Many on this board have said HCSF is a bad coach. This seems more an article of faith, repeated like a catechism, rather than a matter of fact, or even reasoned opinion. To answer this question we must first decide what is a good coach. There are several components to this determination. At its most basic, a good football coach is one who wins the games he supposed to win and wins some he's not supposed to win. In other words, the good football coach wins the games where he has superior talent and steals some when he has inferior talent. So, how do we decide whether a coach has inferior or superior talent?

Although not perfect, all-conference teams offer a measure of the respective talent levels for the teams in that conference. In short, these teams are comprised of the difference makers in that conference and difference makers go a long way towards deciding the outcome of a game. Of course, all-conference players are not the only measure of a team's talent level. The NFL draft also says something about the talent level of a team. But, in terms of an independent analysis of a team's talent level, this is a good pace to start. I say "independent" because I'm trying to avoid a subjective determination of a team's talent. I would also emphasize that this a good relative measure of any coach's performance because it addresses the talent on his peers' teams.

With these thoughts in mind, I analyzed the three-deep all-conference teams during HCSF's tenure at DONU. I decided, and this is admittedly a bit arbitrary, to use a 4-3-2 scoring system with 4 points for a first team all-conference performer, 3 points for a second teamer, and 2 for third string. To get this information, I used Wikipedia's summary of the media and coaches' polls. If the media and coaches' and media disagreed on a player, I chose the higher rank for each player. I did not assign points for honorable mention nor did I factor in the NFL draft. While this omission means I may not have completely captured each team's talent level, it should not have a material effect on the teams' overall rankings relative to one another. The win-loss records for the various Big 10 teams bears this out for the most part.

Name 2018 2019 2020

IU 3 10 33

IL 11 16 14

Iowa 29 21 40

Mary. 10 3 2

Michigan 49 40 6

MSU 21 13 6

Minn 10 22 10

NE 9 5 7

NW 11 3 19

OSU 35 56 53

PSU 19 24 30

PUR 17 10 12

Rutgers 0 3 7

WI 26 17 16

As you can see, DONU ranks near the bottom in each year and for the three years combined. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the NFL draft. How did HCSF do?

2018--NU went 3-6 in conference with all games against superior teams.

2019—NU went 3-6 in conference; 2-0 against teams with inferior talent and 1-6 against superior teams.

2020—NU went 3-5 in conference; 2-5 against teams with superior talent and 1-0 against an evenly matched Rutgers team.

How do HCSF's 6 wins against teams with superior talent compare to other coaches? Fitzgerald also had 6 quality wins over the same period with 1 bad loss. N.B. HCSF did not have any bad losses by this definition. How about Ferentz? This was really eye-opening as far as I was concerned. He had 0 quality wins over the same time and 7(!) bad losses. 4 of the bad losses came in 2018--which had to be one of the worst underperforming teams in the BIG over this time. I did not analyze every BIG coach's record, but I"m pretty sure based on the above 2 examples that HCSF compares favorably to every one else and may be at the top of the conference. I leave it to somebody else to perform this analysis for all BIG coaches.

Some posters have complained about HCSF's play calling. The short answer here is that none of us has analyzed opposing teams' game film to determine where DONU may have an advantage and none of us is privy to the practices to see which plays the team seems able to best execute given what the coach's want to do. Notably, many of HCSF's BIG losses have been close. Given the obvious talent disparity, it's a tribute to the play calling that the games were close in the first place.

A further note. I only analyzed BIG games so I had some confidence that I was comparing apples to apples. I had no way to objectively compare out-of-conference teams' talent levels to DONU's. By limiting the analysis to BIG games I was comparing performances in roughly the same talent pool. Also, the all-conference team is based on actual performance, rather than projections based on somebody's feelings.

Of course, this isn't the only metric for measuring a coach's performance. It addresses primarily a coach's game preparation and coaching during a game. Another important metric is recruiting. In some ways it's the most important. The problem here is that rather than measuring on-field performance, recruiting rankings are a projection of possible future performance. This means there is no reliable way to measure the success of a coach's recruiting until 4-5 years down the road. The all-American teams bear this out as the vast majority (more than 75%) are juniors and seniors. We will have a much better handle on HCSF's recruiting in his first two years after the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Another unquantifiable metric is player development. Each player has a range to his talent within which he can be "developed." Simply put, this means you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. "Player development" is unquantifiable because we have no way to gauge a player's talent range when he comes into a program. For that reason we can't gauge whether he was developed to the maximum by the staff. This also assumes that it's up to the staff alone and not the player to get this done.

To sum up, HCSF is a good coach, performing at a high level. If recruiting has been what we all hope, the future is bright.
TL; DR
 

Spectrumalaska

Redshirt Freshman
Oct 6, 2012
914
849
93
It took you lots of words to prove a negative.
Read the first several sentences, then quit.

He is what his record says he is.

The MNC at UCF, is certainly the most mythical ever.

Discipline is poor, game decisions poor, personel choices highly suspect. Both players and assistant coaches.

So far his grade cannot be above a D at best, which in my academic career was considered poor.
 

RedLegion

Newbie
Mar 7, 2021
37
61
18
I still believe Frost is a good coach. The talent the S&C and the culture are all improved. Its time for them to show improvement on the field and that includes play calling, clock management, and adjustments. If they havent learned anything from the games that were lost because of bad coaching decisions then something is wrong.
 
Oct 12, 2016
2,495
2,096
113
Surrounding yourself with quality assistant coaches could make a world of difference to a head coaches success. As of right now, I am not so sure that Frost has done this.
This. Frost has been a disaster at Nebraska so far, has never beaten a team while at Nebraska that had superior talent to Nebraska. Moreover, he has lost numerous games to inferior teams. Year 4 now, still no serviceable QB nor RB for an above average P5 team.

Hope this dramatically and suddenly reverse.
 

schuele

Athletic Director
Apr 17, 2005
15,116
11,347
113
A truly brilliant coaching move would be to never nominate any of your players for postseason honors. That way you could win one or two games per season and the most convoluted "analytics" ever invented would peg you as a huge overachiever.
 

TheNewNU

First Team All-Big Ten
Dec 27, 2014
3,656
4,411
113
Surrounding yourself with quality assistant coaches could make a world of difference to a head coaches success. As of right now, I am not so sure that Frost has done this.
Scott has pulled a Bo and gone for the buddy system when it comes to assistant coaches. Unfortunately I think Bo's buddies were better coaches than Scott's buddies.
 

auski

Graduate Assistant
Gold Member
May 29, 2001
5,051
5,163
113
Many on this board have said HCSF is a bad coach. This seems more an article of faith, repeated like a catechism, rather than a matter of fact, or even reasoned opinion. To answer this question we must first decide what is a good coach. There are several components to this determination. At its most basic, a good football coach is one who wins the games he supposed to win and wins some he's not supposed to win. In other words, the good football coach wins the games where he has superior talent and steals some when he has inferior talent. So, how do we decide whether a coach has inferior or superior talent?

Although not perfect, all-conference teams offer a measure of the respective talent levels for the teams in that conference. In short, these teams are comprised of the difference makers in that conference and difference makers go a long way towards deciding the outcome of a game. Of course, all-conference players are not the only measure of a team's talent level. The NFL draft also says something about the talent level of a team. But, in terms of an independent analysis of a team's talent level, this is a good pace to start. I say "independent" because I'm trying to avoid a subjective determination of a team's talent. I would also emphasize that this a good relative measure of any coach's performance because it addresses the talent on his peers' teams.

With these thoughts in mind, I analyzed the three-deep all-conference teams during HCSF's tenure at DONU. I decided, and this is admittedly a bit arbitrary, to use a 4-3-2 scoring system with 4 points for a first team all-conference performer, 3 points for a second teamer, and 2 for third string. To get this information, I used Wikipedia's summary of the media and coaches' polls. If the media and coaches' and media disagreed on a player, I chose the higher rank for each player. I did not assign points for honorable mention nor did I factor in the NFL draft. While this omission means I may not have completely captured each team's talent level, it should not have a material effect on the teams' overall rankings relative to one another. The win-loss records for the various Big 10 teams bears this out for the most part.

Name 2018 2019 2020

IU 3 10 33

IL 11 16 14

Iowa 29 21 40

Mary. 10 3 2

Michigan 49 40 6

MSU 21 13 6

Minn 10 22 10

NE 9 5 7

NW 11 3 19

OSU 35 56 53

PSU 19 24 30

PUR 17 10 12

Rutgers 0 3 7

WI 26 17 16

As you can see, DONU ranks near the bottom in each year and for the three years combined. This should come as no surprise to anyone who has followed the NFL draft. How did HCSF do?

2018--NU went 3-6 in conference with all games against superior teams.

2019—NU went 3-6 in conference; 2-0 against teams with inferior talent and 1-6 against superior teams.

2020—NU went 3-5 in conference; 2-5 against teams with superior talent and 1-0 against an evenly matched Rutgers team.

How do HCSF's 6 wins against teams with superior talent compare to other coaches? Fitzgerald also had 6 quality wins over the same period with 1 bad loss. N.B. HCSF did not have any bad losses by this definition. How about Ferentz? This was really eye-opening as far as I was concerned. He had 0 quality wins over the same time and 7(!) bad losses. 4 of the bad losses came in 2018--which had to be one of the worst underperforming teams in the BIG over this time. I did not analyze every BIG coach's record, but I"m pretty sure based on the above 2 examples that HCSF compares favorably to every one else and may be at the top of the conference. I leave it to somebody else to perform this analysis for all BIG coaches.

Some posters have complained about HCSF's play calling. The short answer here is that none of us has analyzed opposing teams' game film to determine where DONU may have an advantage and none of us is privy to the practices to see which plays the team seems able to best execute given what the coach's want to do. Notably, many of HCSF's BIG losses have been close. Given the obvious talent disparity, it's a tribute to the play calling that the games were close in the first place.

A further note. I only analyzed BIG games so I had some confidence that I was comparing apples to apples. I had no way to objectively compare out-of-conference teams' talent levels to DONU's. By limiting the analysis to BIG games I was comparing performances in roughly the same talent pool. Also, the all-conference team is based on actual performance, rather than projections based on somebody's feelings.

Of course, this isn't the only metric for measuring a coach's performance. It addresses primarily a coach's game preparation and coaching during a game. Another important metric is recruiting. In some ways it's the most important. The problem here is that rather than measuring on-field performance, recruiting rankings are a projection of possible future performance. This means there is no reliable way to measure the success of a coach's recruiting until 4-5 years down the road. The all-American teams bear this out as the vast majority (more than 75%) are juniors and seniors. We will have a much better handle on HCSF's recruiting in his first two years after the 2021 and 2022 seasons.

Another unquantifiable metric is player development. Each player has a range to his talent within which he can be "developed." Simply put, this means you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. "Player development" is unquantifiable because we have no way to gauge a player's talent range when he comes into a program. For that reason we can't gauge whether he was developed to the maximum by the staff. This also assumes that it's up to the staff alone and not the player to get this done.

To sum up, HCSF is a good coach, performing at a high level. If recruiting has been what we all hope, the future is bright.
 

auski

Graduate Assistant
Gold Member
May 29, 2001
5,051
5,163
113
It-Seems-The-Only-Person-That-Doesnt.jpg
 

Husker.Wed.

Athletic Director
Feb 13, 2004
14,905
4,447
113
Omaha Metro
Didn't a really smart person say there are lies, damn lies, and even worse are statistics? Maybe because of poor player attitudes (coaching), inferior conditioning (coaching), poor player development (coaching), players not used in the right places (coaching), bad play calling (coaching), bad game planning (coaching), not letting the best players play (coaching), poor in-game and halftime adjustments (coaching), and general disorganization (coaching), Nebraska has very few players selected to all-conference. It isn't necessarily the talent of the players, but the environment they are forced to work in. If so, then using all-conference awards to judge the head coach's performance is like trying to pick yourself up by your bootstraps. Or to be more technical, I suspect even though you put a lot of work into this and I appreciate you posting it, your analysis suffers from selection bias and possibly survivorship bias.
 

dinglefritz

Nebraska Legend
Jan 14, 2011
26,863
22,282
113
I still believe Frost is a good coach. The talent the S&C and the culture are all improved. Its time for them to show improvement on the field and that includes play calling, clock management, and adjustments. If they havent learned anything from the games that were lost because of bad coaching decisions then something is wrong.
In my worthless opinion, the coaching decisions have been VASTLY magnified by the mistakes individual players have made on the field. IF you don't turn the ball over and you don't commit stupid penalties, it's amazing how easy it is to score points and win games with the kind of offensive production we had these past 2 years.
 

John_J_Rambo

Graduate Assistant
Jan 10, 2020
5,889
10,205
113
In my worthless opinion, the coaching decisions have been VASTLY magnified by the mistakes individual players have made on the field. IF you don't turn the ball over and you don't commit stupid penalties, it's amazing how easy it is to score points and win games with the kind of offensive production we had these past 2 years.
the red zone/short yardage stuff is... less than encouraging

it's always something when it matters most. always
 

dinglefritz

Nebraska Legend
Jan 14, 2011
26,863
22,282
113
the red zone/short yardage stuff is... less than encouraging

it's always something when it matters most. always
We've turned the ball over WAY too much in the red zone AND also taken ourselves out of the redzone with penalties on multiple occasions. We have to get points. No more pounding Wandale up the middle 3 times in a row inside the 10 please.
 

Spectrumalaska

Redshirt Freshman
Oct 6, 2012
914
849
93
One would have expected a championship QB, that played for Osborne to have a bit better grasp on discipline.
I was so glad when hired, not so much now.

The basics are not there. You may have 4* athletes, but poor personel choices doom your team, if you cannot develop them.
Scott has proved unable beyond press conferences
 

dinglefritz

Nebraska Legend
Jan 14, 2011
26,863
22,282
113
One would have expected a championship QB, that played for Osborne to have a bit better grasp on discipline.
I was so glad when hired, not so much now.

The basics are not there. You may have 4* athletes, but poor personel choices doom your team, if you cannot develop them.
Scott has proved unable beyond press conferences
I hope you may have given up on Frost too quickly. I think he's got a better team this year and with his recruiting has set the stage for sustained winning. We'll see. He needs to win this year.
 

TruHusker

Offensive Coordinator
Sep 21, 2001
9,261
4,021
113
I hope you may have given up on Frost too quickly. I think he's got a better team this year and with his recruiting has set the stage for sustained winning. We'll see. He needs to win this year.
It seems to go back and forth between recruiting and coaching. Can anyone say we honestly have had less talent that many of the teams who have beaten us in the last 3-4 years? Throw out the tOSU and maybe in Wisconsin but Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, take your pick from many more. To me, that is the measure, when you don't seem to have the collective stars but you still manage to find a way to win, good coaches can do that. If
 

dinglefritz

Nebraska Legend
Jan 14, 2011
26,863
22,282
113
It seems to go back and forth between recruiting and coaching. Can anyone say we honestly have had less talent that many of the teams who have beaten us in the last 3-4 years? Throw out the tOSU and maybe in Wisconsin but Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, take your pick from many more. To me, that is the measure, when you don't seem to have the collective stars but you still manage to find a way to win, good coaches can do that. If
I don't think we've had the O line talent and at times QB play that some teams who have beaten us have had. You have to remember, you can only play 11 guys at a time. I think it was the Illinois game where somebody did the analysis and the starters for them were actually on average more highly ranked recruits than the guys we started. Remember we've had multiple unranked walk ons play for us these past couple of years. So while the whole roster might look better from a star average perspective, the other team can often put as many or more 4 star guys on the field at one time as us. Look at the number of guys drafted out of those schools and in what round then ask the question again. Minnesota, Iowa and Northwestern have all had guys taken pretty early in the draft the past couple of years.

Special teams blunders and a lack of kickers. That's probably my biggest bitch other than the tunovers and penalties. Special teams have been our biggest coaching failure IMO. Hopefully that is fixed.
 
Last edited:

Spectrumalaska

Redshirt Freshman
Oct 6, 2012
914
849
93
I hope you may have given up on Frost too quickly. I think he's got a better team this year and with his recruiting has set the stage for sustained winning. We'll see. He needs to win this year.

We cannot keep going on and on and on because was a champion.

It seems he learned little from Osborne. His playing for him is in part why we were so agaga getting him.

Results suggest he is not a trancendent coach, regardless Tom Osborne

I am really not believing a staff with a cigar smoking QB fool will find success.
 

RedLegion

Newbie
Mar 7, 2021
37
61
18
It seems to go back and forth between recruiting and coaching. Can anyone say we honestly have had less talent that many of the teams who have beaten us in the last 3-4 years? Throw out the tOSU and maybe in Wisconsin but Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota, Colorado, take your pick from many more. To me, that is the measure, when you don't seem to have the collective stars but you still manage to find a way to win, good coaches can do that. If
I would say we have more talent on paper. I would say the teams you mention here have more talent and discipline on the field. I hope the talent brought in the last 2 classes that looks good on paper can bring it along with much needed discipline to the field this year.
 

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