While Scott Frost spent part of Monday in Orlando sidestepping questions about his long-term future, other dominoes fell that continue to point to Central Florida’s second-year coach as the favorite to take over at Nebraska.
The day began with news that Florida hire and former Mississippi State coach Dan Mullen would get a contract worth $6 million per year for six years after only five coaches earned that amount this season, according to a USA Today report. By late afternoon, Iowa State and second-year coach Matt Campbell — a popular name as a possible Nebraska candidate — had agreed upon a new six-season pact increasing his annual pay from $2.1 million to $3.5 million
By comparison, former Nebraska coach Mike Riley ranked 41st nationally at $2.9 million this season. Frost is receiving $2 million per year at UCF.
Though no other major hires became official Monday, the coaching carousel continued to move at a feverish pace. After Arizona State fired Todd Graham on Sunday and Texas A&M terminated Kevin Sumlin — both after six seasons — various reports continued Monday that Sumlin remains a leading target for the Sun Devils. ASU also pursued Sumlin in its previous coaching search before he chose A&M in December 2011.
Arizona State has been considered a potential suitor for Frost in part because his wife, Ashley, is from the state. The couple celebrated the birth of their first child earlier this month.
Mullen and Sumlin both came up by name during Nebraska Athletic Director Bill Moos’ press conference Saturday. NU’s new A.D. called Sumlin “a real good coach and an excellent recruiter,” and said Mullen was a “real good coach” and came away impressed working with him on an NCAA workforce.
Other schools could get in late on the Frost frenzy if rumors turn into reality this week. Florida State eighth-year coach Jimbo Fisher — with an 83-23 record during that span, including the 2013 national title — is reportedly considering making a move to Texas A&M, which would leave a coaching vacancy at another major Florida school 260 miles northwest of UCF’s campus.
One name linked to a possible FSU opening is Willie Taggart, the first-year Oregon coach and Tampa Bay area native who just completed a 7-5 regular season with the Ducks. That would open up the top job at Oregon, where Frost served as an assistant from 2009-15. Frost made a public statement in December 2016 that he wasn’t interested in being considered as the school searched for a coach.
Two other schools and their former-star-quarterbacks-turned-coaches were also making news Monday. One day after hiring and then backing out of a deal with Greg Schiano, Tennessee turned its attention to USC offensive coordinator Tee Martin. The seventh-year assistant and former quarterback led the Vols to the 1998 national title.
Meanwhile, BYU fired offensive coordinator Ty Detmer, the former Cougar QB who won a Heisman Trophy in 1990. The second-year assistant ran a unit that ranks 124th of 130 teams in points per game (17.1), well behind Central Florida’s nation-leading 48.3.