Week 3 college football preview: Scott Frost’s costly mistake in Nebraska

Buyout season came early this year.

Scott Frost became the latest example of why a fired football coach is one of the most enjoyable gigs around – beyond the whole “losing his job in a very public way” part – when the Nebraska ended his tenure three games into his fifth season.

Frost will receive a buyout of more than $15 million for not coaching the Cornhuskers after Saturday’s 45-42 loss to Georgia Southern dropped the former Nebraska star to 16-31 at his alma mater. Had Nebraska waited until October to make a change, the buyout would have been cut in half under a contract amendment Frost signed late last year.

Sporting director Trev Alberts told reporters the school owes fans and current players something else to explain the extra cost, although there are strong arguments to be made that at least for the fans, the few $8 million would be better spent next. rather than trying to extract value from a team that is 1-2, has No. 6 Oklahoma coming to town on Saturday and has a packed Big Ten schedule.

Two lovable underdogs just overthrew college football royalty. What a blast.

It’s worth remembering that nearly every AD has someone to answer to in a university hierarchy, and hiring and firing one of the most visible and highest-paid personalities on any campus will likely require the contribution of people at the top of the organizational chart. And sometimes these people offer their contribution before it is solicited.

Either way, Nebraska is in eight figures and looks set for a sixth straight losing season. In a weird way, that should make the Cornhuskers concert particularly appealing. Get the once proud program back on track, and a coach is a hero. Produce more of the same, and chances are those pesky buyout terms won’t stop Nebraska from giving another unsuccessful coach a windfall to walk away.

The only power conference team with a longer bowl drought than Nebraska is Kansas, which hasn’t made the playoffs since 2008. The Jayhawks have been a frequent punching bag (for opponents and the media) over the decade and more since, and for good cause.

So when Kansas does something right — and that goes beyond the hilarity of the Jayhawks beating Texas, like they did last year — it’s worth mentioning. Lance Leipold’s side got off to a 2-0 start after toppling West Virginia, 55-42, in overtime and won their Big 12 opener for the first time since 2009.

(How does a team win by 13 in overtime? Returning an interception for a touchdown like Cobee Bryant did on the last play of the game. Bryant could have sealed the victory simply by taking a knee, but his exuberance is completely understandable).

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Coupled with a 56-10 thrashing of Tennessee Tech in their opener, it was the first time Kansas had hung a half-cent on back-to-back opponents since 2007, when they went 12-1 and won the Orange. Bowl.

A single game guarantees nothing, but does suggest progress under Leipold, who won six Division III titles at Wisconsin-Whitewater, then guided Buffalo to three consecutive bowl berths before replacing the fired Miles at Lawrence in the spring of 2021. Saturday’s win at Houston would put Kansas halfway to bowl eligibility.

The Jayhawks have some work to do, but they legitimately seem to be on the right track. To finish.

Five teams with the most stakes

1.Texas A&M. Offseason champion Jimbo Fisher and the No. 24 Aggies are coming off a 17-14 loss at home to Appalachian State in a game that raised a lot of questions. Some won’t get satisfactory answers, like why did Texas A&M pay App State $1.5 million to come to College Station when it could have gotten a worse program for a similar amount. Others — as if there’s juice to the Aggies’ sluggish offense — will be posed again if A&M loses at home to No. 13 Miami.

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2. Auburn. The dysfunction surrounding the Tigers program is legendary in the worst possible way and was on full display when various people connected to Auburn attempted to oust coach Bryan Harsin after one season. He managed to survive, so it seems that if there is going to be any change on the Plains, it will come the old way: by losing too much. Last week’s 24-16 loss to San Jose State wasn’t too impressive, and a loss to No. 22 Penn State at home would only encourage more backstage shenanigans.

3. Miami. The Hurricanes (2-0) tore Bethune-Cookman apart, then slowly began to manage South Mississippi, meaning their trip to Texas A&M is a showpiece game. It could have had more cachet if the Aggies had started 2-0, but whatever. This is Miami’s first major test under Mario Cristobal.

4a. BYU and 4b. Oregon. A curious game in the west might just be among the best of the week. The No. 12 Cougars beat Baylor in two overtimes and will look to take out another Power Five foe on this trip to Eugene. For No. 25 Oregon, it’s a chance to redeem themselves for being torn down by Georgia in their opener. A loss effectively knocks the Ducks out of playoff pursuit before the fall equinox, which is early even by Pac-12 standards.

5. North Carolina State. The No. 16 Wolfpack survived a trip to Eastern Carolina, then beat Charleston Southern like he was supposed to, and now quarterback Devin Leary and Co. gets a visit from a group of Texas Tech feeling good after defeating Houston. Hopes were high in Raleigh heading into the season, and the trip to Clemson in two weeks looks like an exhibition game. It won’t matter as much if NC State doesn’t hold home service against the Red Raiders.

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1. QB Bryce Young, Alabama (408 yards, 6 TDs, 0 passing INTs; 138 yards, 1 rushing TD). Wasn’t super effective in a narrow win over Texas, but pushed the Crimson Tide from range to make a late field goal to escape Austin with an unblemished record. (Last week: 1)

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2. QB CJ Stroud, Ohio State (574 yards, 6 TDs, 0 passing INTs). It was a Week 2 as expected for Stroud, who threw for 351 yards and four touchdowns against Arkansas State as the Buckeyes cruised. (OL: 2)

3. QB Caleb Williams, Southern California (590 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INTs passing; 72 rushing yards). The second has completed 79.6% of his passes in comfortable losses to Rice and Stanford. Good enough. (OL: 3)

4. RB Chase Brown, Illinois (496 yards, 2 rushing touchdowns; 5 receptions, 25 yards, 1 touchdown reception). Brown averaged 25 carries in the Illini’s 2-1 start and leads the nation in rushing yards. Its use coupled with an early threat to flirt with 2,000 yards on the ground warrants a nod at this point. (LW: Unrated)

5. QB Stetson Bennett IV, Georgia (668 yards, 3 TDs, 0 passing INTs). Posted a 300-yard day while scoring two touchdowns (one rushing, one passing) against Samford. It’s fair to say that this game wasn’t going to make or break Bennett’s Heisman campaign. (OL: 5)

6. WR Jordan Addison, Southern California (12 catches, 226 yards, 4 touchdowns received). A Biletnikoff Award winner last year at Pitt, Addison has settled in well with the Trojans and is clearly new teammate Caleb Williams’ favorite early target. (LW:NR)

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