The Nebraska Cornhuskers have their new head coach and college football fans aren’t exactly sure what to make of him.
The Huskers have been on the search for a new coach ever since they paid Scott Front a ton of money to disappear back in September. Frost, a Nebraska alum, was hired from Central Florida in 2018, but proved to be an abject disaster at his alma mater. He went 16-31 in just over four seasons at the helm of the Huskers and never won more than five games in a season.
Assistant coach Mickey Joseph then took up the mantle of interim head coach. But it was always likely that Nebraska would look outside the program to find its new head man.
A number of names came up in the process, including current Kansas head coach Lance Leipold as well as Deion Sanders and then Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule.
The Panthers then parted ways with Rhule, who had his own struggles in the NFL. But that didn’t seem to turn off the Cornhuskers.
College Football Fans Are Torn Over Nebraska Hiring Matt Rhule As Head Coach
Rhule’s pedigree in the college game is pretty impressive. He took over a struggling Temple program in 2013 and led them to back-to-back 10-win seasons in 2015 and 2016.
That landed Rhule a job with Baylor in the wake of the Art Briles scandal. After a 1-11 season in 2017, Rhule led the Bears to a bowl game in 2018 and then an 11-3 season and Sugar Bowl appearance in 2019.
On paper, Rhule seems like the perfect fit to turn around a Nebraska program that hasn’t beaten an AP Top 25 program in years.
A note that seems impossible: Matt Rhule beat an AP-ranked opponent at Temple more recently than Nebraska beat a ranked opponent
— Matt Brown (@MattBrownCFB) November 26, 2022
Which is what the Huskers thought when they gave him an eight-year contract on Saturday.
The future is bright in Lincoln.
— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) November 26, 2022
Nebraska fans seemed fired up about the hire.
Welcome coach!! Let’s turn this shit around!!!!!!! https://t.co/DYv452Px5o
— Josh Mitchell (@J_Mitch05) November 26, 2022
— National Communist Against Athletes (@pearly_d_26) November 26, 2022
But not everyone was sold.
It’s sad to see them get their hopes up like this over and over again https://t.co/tt3SYz817Q
— Joel D. Anderson (@byjoelanderson) November 26, 2022
— Alex Drake (@Drakeycakes) November 26, 2022
Gonna miss the Mickey Joseph era, the man steadied a program in crisis and brought so much honor, conviction and heart to his job.
The way players and this state responded shows the respect and trust Mickey had built in a short time.
— Kevin Forch (@WHWKevin) November 26, 2022
Nebraska is a looooooong way from the glory days of the 90s. But hiring Rhule feels like a nice step back in the right direction.