Nebraska will open a home-and-home series against old Big 12 (and Big 8) rival Colorado this fall in Lincoln. The Huskers will renew their rivalry with Oklahoma beginning in 2021. Could there be more former Big 12 opponents popping up on future Nebraska football schedules in the years to come? It appears to at least be a discussion ongoing in Lincoln.
Nebraska Athletics Director Bill Moos mentioned the possibility of adding Kansas and Kansas State back on the schedule for non-conference play while speaking to the media at a summer Nebraska football tour stop.
How far those discussions have gone was not confirmed, but it is enough to get the imagination wondering just when Nebraska may step on the same field as either Kansas or Kansas State again. A look at the future schedules suggests it won’t be any time soon.
Nebraska, Kansas, and Kansas State all play nine-conference schedules in the Big Ten and Big 12, leaving just three non-conference dates to fill each season. Nebraska already has its non-conference slate booked through 2022 and has just one vacancy to fill in 2023 and 2024 before having some more openings available in 2025. The catch is Nebraska already has a power conference opponent lined up on the schedule through 2031, which suggests Nebraska may not want to add another power conference opponent that may require booking a road game as part of the deal (even if that power conference opponent happens to be Kansas).
Kansas State’s non-conference schedule is booked as well with all vacancies filled through the 2022 season and power conference opponents lined up through 2031. Kansas is booked through 2021 but already has a power conference opponent on the schedule annually through 2024 and again in 2027 and 2028.
Schedules can be modified, of course, but unless any schedules are changed to accommodate any potential games between Nebraska and Kansas or Kansas State, we’ll be waiting quite some time for the Huskers to meet either of these particular former conference foes in non-conference play again.
One of the eight football players who have left since Scott Frost took over in Lincoln has found a new college football home.
Patrick O’Brien took to his personal Twitter account Friday to announce that he has committed to Colorado State and will continue his collegiate playing career with the Rams. O’Brien had reportedly visited Florida International and considered San Jose State before opting for this Mountain West Conference school.
The decision to transfer from Nebraska was made public by the quarterback on social media in mid-April.
A four-star member of the Cornhuskers’ 2016 recruiting class, O’Brien was rated as the No. 10 pro-style quarterback that year. It’s that style of play that led him to transfer away from Frost and Nebraska after the new regime’s first spring practice earlier this offseason.
As the primary backup to Tanner Lee last season, and after redshirting his true freshman season, O’Brien completed 18-of-30 passes for 192 yards and an interception. He also ran for four yards on 14 carries.
Because of NCAA transfer rules, the 6-4, 230-pound O’Brien will be forced to sit out the 2018 season. However, beginning with the 2019 season, he will have two years of eligibility that he can use moving forward.
Scott Frost has his quarterback commit, and he comes armed with a familiar pedigree. Luke McCaffrey, hailing from Highlands Ranch, Colo., has pledged to join Nebraska’s 2019 recruiting class.
Yes, that Luke McCaffrey. Son of Ed. Grandson of Olympic sprinter Dave Sime. Brother of Christian. And Max. And Dylan.
The youngest of the four McCaffrey boys is listed as a 4-star recruit by both Rivals and 247Sports. And, interestingly, both services list McCaffrey as an “athlete,” though Nebraska plans to play him at quarterback.
This means that the same offense that catapulted McKenzie Milton to the No. 2 national ranking in passing efficiency (trailing only Baker Mayfield‘s record-smashing campaign) while also rushing for 613 yards and eight touchdowns will soon by piloted by a quarterback whose bloodlines include one Olympic sprinter, three NFL skill players and another high-level quarterback recruit.
As a junior in 2017, McCaffrey completed 76 percent of his 71 passes for 12.4 yards per attempt with six touchdowns, rushed for 548 yards and nine touchdowns on 80 carries and caught 19 passes for 147 yards and another touchdown, according to Huskers Illustrated.
McCaffrey is the seventh commitment of Nebraska’s 2019 class.
Life is good for Scott Frost this week.
Not only did news surface that the Nebraska head coach signed his $35 million contract, but the Cornhuskers found success on the recruiting trail by landing a huge — quite literally — graduate transfer in former Utah Ute Vaha Vainuku.
Vainuku isn’t just any graduate transfer, he may very well be older than a handful of assistants in the program. He originally signed with the Utes as a defensive tackle out of high school as part of the class of 2012 but left for two years shortly afterwards as part of a mission. After returning to the program in 2015, he redshirted his first season back and then appeared in just two games as a redshirt freshman… as an offensive guard.
However, Vainuku reportedly stepped away from football prior to last season as a result of injuries but remained on scholarship at the school to finish out his degree. It seems he still wanted to play the game again and it appears he’ll do so at his original position along the defensive line.
It’s not often that you can add depth to your team in June but that’s just what the Cornhuskers have done in landing Vainuku out of nowhere on Friday.
Scott Frost has been the head coach at Nebraska for months now but he just put pen to paper on his massive new contract.
According to documents from the school sent to the Omaha World-Herald, Frost’s contract was made official on May 22 after he was previously working under a memorandum of understanding since being hired in early December.
The terms of the original seven-year, $35 million contract remain in place but there were a handful of details about the deal with his alma mater that were finally made public, including bonus structure, perks and the Cornhuskers’ assistant salary pool being put in writing. Among the details:
- The contract calls for a whopping $5 million salary pool for his 10 assistant coaches plus the head strength and conditioning coach of the program.
- Should Frost take another job, his buyout is for $2.5 million per year for the remainder of the contract.
- Nebraska’s buyout if they fire him is “$5 million per year for the remainder of the contract prior to and through Dec. 31, 2022, and $2.5 million after Dec. 31, 2022.”
- Frost will receive 20 hours of private plane usage.
- He will receive $150,000 in bonus money for appearing in any bowl game and, among other incentives, will earn $650,000 for winning the national title at his alma mater.
- The school also covered the $3 million buyout UCF required.
That’s certainly a lot of dough for the Cornhuskers to lure their head coach back home but Frost was definitely negotiating from a position of strength given the work he did in Orlando and the open jobs interested in him at the time. It’s not unusual for months to go by before a coach signs his actual contract but the long wait is probably no big deal to either Frost or the legion of Big Red fans who are hoping that he can bring his turnaround touch to Lincoln this season and beyond.