Trev Alberts has 1 job: Make Nebraska football great again
Trev Alberts said all the right things in his introductory press conference last week.
Alberts, a former Butkus Award winner and First-Team All-American linebacker in 1993 for the Cornhuskers, spoke about working hard, working together and serving the student-athletes at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (that includes helping them with opportunities to monetize their Name, Image and Likeness).
It was a wonderful speech and it should make Nebraska fans feel like their athletic programs are in the right hands.
But nothing Alberts said will matter if the football program can’t get turned around. Whether it’s fair or not, Alberts’ tenure as an athletic director will be judged by his ability to bring Nebraska football back to the place fans have known it to be for most, if not all, of their lifetimes.
“Certainly we haven’t achieved at the level that we all hoped to attain, right?” Alberts said. “But I believe strongly in Scott Frost’s leadership and the coaches that we have on the staff.”
Alberts’ endorsement of Frost is a nice start. But Alberts’ endorsement won’t mean much if Frost’s teams can’t produce on the field in 2021.
— Nebraska Football (@HuskerFBNation) July 14, 2021
The 4th-year coach is 12-20 since taking over the Cornhuskers program in 2018. He arrived with excitement and optimism after going 19-7, with a 13-0 season, in 2 years at UCF. Nebraskans finally believed that they had the guy — their guy, no less — to steer them through the next period of prosperity for Cornhusker football.
Instead he’s been the first Nebraska football coach to have 3 consecutive losing seasons since Bill Jennings had 5 straight from 1957-1961. The three coaches who followed Jennings — Bob Devaney, Tom Osborne and Frank Solich — did not have a single losing season between them over the next 42 years. They had only 1 .500 season, which happened in 2002 when Nebraska went 7-7 under Solich.
Even Bill Callahan and Mike Riley, widely considered disaster hires by Cornhusker faithful, didn’t have consecutive losing seasons. Bo Pelini, who basically was fired because fans thought he was a jerk, never won less than 9 games in any season during his 6-year run. So when Nebraska fans tell you they’ve never experienced this sort of disappointment in football, they aren’t lying.
Many Husker football greats have been loud in their criticism of the on-field product at various times over the past decade. Alberts, however, stayed quiet and chose to focus on his previous job as athletic director at Nebraska-Omaha.
But Alberts can’t stay silent anymore. The Nebraska football program is on his watch now and he wasn’t hired for the job to sit back and let things happen.
Alberts wants to help Frost and earn his trust. I think he respects Frost’s history at the program as a championship-winning quarterback. He would much rather Frost be part of the turnaround.
But Alberts was known for sacking quarterbacks in his day and don’t think for a second he won’t hesitate to do it one more time if he has to.