Sunday, February 25, 2018
  • USF Sports Bulletin
  • Joey Knight

Florida Gators possible coaching candidate: Scott Frost

We're still days (probably weeks) away from the Florida Gators naming their next head coach. That gives us plenty of time to examine some potential candidates to replace Jim McElwain. Next up (ordered by Bovada's betting odds)…

Scott Frost

UCF head coach

Age: 42

Odds he's UF's next head coach (per Bovada): 5/1

Why he makes sense: Frost has done a remarkable job in two seasons in Orlando, which is why he's this year's Tom Herman. Frost took a winless team to a bowl game in his first season. In his second, he has the Knights undefeated (9-0) and in the top 20 nationally, with a good chance to be the Group of Five representative in a New Year's Six bowl game. Frost is doing it with offense; his Knights have put up at least 31 points in every game this season.

Frost has a pedigree beyond two seasons as a head coach. He was Oregon's offensive coordinator when the Ducks advanced to the first College Football Playoff title game and hung 59 on FSU in the Rose Bowl. He has coached under Chip Kelly and played under big-time coaches like Jon Gruden and Tom Osborne.

Gators AD Scott Stricklin wants UF to be fun again. Frost seems to fit that bill. He runs a version of the Oregon offense. Stricklin has to be wondering what that fast offense would look like with SEC speed. Think fans would be excited at seeing points again? Frost has recruiting ties in Florida, too, beyond UCF; he made some stops here when he was an assistant at Oregon.

Why he might not work: His two seasons as a head coach have been great … but it's two seasons. He's a riskier choice than, say, Dan Mullen, who is in his ninth season as a head coach. Or Justin Fuente, who has had success at two spots (Memphis and Virginia Tech). It's also fair to wonder how that offense would fare in the SEC, when the team speed is typically greater than the Pac-12 or AAC. This shouldn't be a deciding factor, but it matters: Because he's the hottest up-and-comer on the market, he will have plenty of suitors. Nebraska will be after the former Huskers quarterback, and it's easy to envision Tennessee and others coming after him, too. That will drive up the cost. Oh, and he just became a father last week. As the dad of a 9-month-old, I can't imagine moving with a newborn, even if it is only two hours north.

Final thoughts: Frost is risky, but he has the highest upside among the candidates. His offense is fun (there's that word again) and has worked in two different leagues. Frost has ties to the state – he even played for the Bucs – and has had success in his brief head coaching career. I think he's the guy.

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