Scott Frost is officially coming back in 2022, and I’m a little surprised. Not at the timing, because I figured if Frost wasn’t going anywhere, there’d be some sort of announcement during the bye week to give him a little momentum on the recruiting trail.

I’m surprised Frost is coming back because I just don’t believe he’s a good coach, and I don’t believe he has done a good job. Nebraska keeps falling lower and lower in one of the most winnable divisions in college football. Nebraska keeps making the same mistakes over and over. Nebraska continually loses to programs it has no business losing to.

But at the same time, I get it.

The key part of this announcement is that athletic director Trev Alberts is restructuring Frost’s deal, just as Warde Manuel did with Jim Harbaugh last season at Michigan. If you’ll recall, Harbaugh basically cut his annual salary in half and lowered his buyout to just $4 million, with the opportunity to make all of it back with incentives. If Alberts is doing something similar to that, I kinda, sorta like it (but only a little). He probably didn’t want to pay Frost $20 million to go away. While the new terms haven’t yet been released, that number is likely far lower.

Whether Frost deserves the opportunity for a fifth season, though, is entirely different from the question of whether it makes sense. In my opinion, there’s just no way Frost deserves this. At the time of the deal, Harbaugh had won 69 percent of his games (nice) with 1 season below 8 wins. He doubled his win total in that first year. Frost has won 36 percent of his games (not nice), with no bowl game appearances. He hasn’t earned this at all.

If Frost were coaching at this level at any other Power 5 program, he wouldn’t be coming back for Year 5. And if Frost wasn’t born in Crete and hadn’t lived in O’Neill and Lincoln, McCook and Wood River (as he reminded everyone in his postgame press conference on Saturday), he wouldn’t be back for Year 5. It’s like the perfect storm that is keeping this marriage going. Apparently, the bar is incredibly lower at Nebraska than at other schools who care about football. LSU, for instance, just fired the coach that won a national title 2 years ago.

In general, I don’t like burning it down and starting all over if you don’t have to, but I just don’t see how this situation gets any better. What indication is there that Frost is suddenly going to build a winner in Year 5? The fact that Nebraska has been close this year? Sure, you can spin this and say that since all 7 losses have been by single digits, the Huskers could easily be more like 7-3 instead of 3-7. But the common thread in those losses is that there was always something Nebraska comically screwed up to lose. Usually, it involved special teams. And usually, it was an undisciplined mistake. Nebraska hasn’t lost any games because it doesn’t have enough talent. It’s always the little things, the details. You know, coaching.

Just how bad has Nebraska been in Frost’s 4 years? Of the 63 Power 5 programs, only 8 haven’t been to a bowl game the last 3 years (Nebraska, Rutgers, Maryland, Texas Tech, Kansas, Oregon State, UCLA and Arizona). After this season, that number will likely be down to 3-5 (Nebraska, Arizona and Kansas are locks, plus the loser of Rutgers and Maryland in Week 13, unless the loser can pull an upset before then). That’s the company Nebraska is in. Kansas. Arizona. This was a program that was supposed to be contending for Big Ten titles, and instead, it won’t be in a bowl game for a fifth straight season. It is 1-6 in the Big Ten and will likely finish 1-8. And the coach is being retained.

The best thing you can say about Nebraska under Frost is that it hasn’t quit. If you want to know what that looks like, see USC under Clay Helton or Florida under Dan Mullen. That’s quitting. Nebraska, generally speaking, fights. Those guys play hard, and there is some talent there, especially on defense. But they also play down to their competition, which is a sign of bad coaching. They also repeatedly make mental mistakes, which is another sign of bad coaching. They lose close games, which is yet another sign of … bad coaching.

Nebraska is 5-18 in 1-possession games under Frost and 0-12 against ranked opponents. Since Frost took over, Purdue has 3 wins over top-3 opponents. Three! Northwestern, far from a football juggernaut and not near as storied of a program as Nebraska, has won the West twice since Frost took over. Twice! Minnesota has been ranked in the top 20 of the College Football Playoff rankings in 2 seasons since Frost took over. Iowa and Wisconsin, well, need no explanation from me about how much better they are than Nebraska. Illinois, with Bret Bielema at the helm, will soon pass Nebraska. Wait, it already has.

Look, Alberts’ hands are kind of tied behind his back here. He didn’t hire Frost, and he didn’t randomly give him an extension during the middle of last season (thanks Bill Moos). But if he can negotiate the terms of the restructured deal down to something manageable where Nebraska can move on as early as the middle of next season, well, then that’s a win. If he can get the results from Frost the way Manuel did from Harbaugh, well, then that’s a win.

I just don’t think the latter is going to happen.

You may look at Nebraska’s schedule next year and think, that’s pretty manageable. There’s no Ohio State. Rutgers and Indiana are 2 of the weaker programs in the East. But, um, Nebraska can’t even beat the teams in its own division, so does it really matter? Under Frost, Nebraska has lost to Illinois the last 2 years, Minnesota the last 3 years, Purdue 3 of the last 4 years and it has yet to beat Wisconsin or Iowa. If only Nebraska played Northwestern every week, then it would be a .500 team. If only! Hey, .500 sounds pretty good if you’re a Nebraska fan.

You may look at Nebraska’s retooled coaching staff next year and think, they just need some new ideas. Maybe. But you trust Frost to find them? He just hired offensive coordinator Matt Lubick 2 years ago, and it’s not like he was taking a chance here; he knew him from Oregon. He brought offensive line coach/run game coordinator Greg Austin with him from UCF. Ditto for running backs coach Ryan Held and quarterbacks coach Mario Verduzco. Those are his guys. Those guys all were fired Monday. Frost is an offensive coach who just fired his offensive staff. He has a fourth-year starter at QB that hasn’t gotten any better under his watch. Why, exactly, should anyone believe this is going to get better?

Frost isn’t coming back because he earned another year. The only reason Frost survived is because it was too expensive to fire him. I’m guessing that thanks to this reworked contract, it won’t be too expensive at the end of next year.

This won’t end well.