ATLANTA — Once the confetti settled Monday and the Peach Bowl trophy was handed to Scott Frost, Nebraska’s next head coach was remarkably composed for a guy who’d just created considerable college football history.
His Central Florida team had just defied odds once again — beating No. 7-ranked Auburn of the mighty Southeastern Conference to finish the season as the NCAA’s only undefeated Division I team just two seasons after the former Husker quarterback took over an 0-12 team — and he was as cool as they come.
After Mighty Mouse beat the Tigers, Frost came off colossally committed not only to the program that he’s leaving, but also to his alma mater. That was no small feat, but then again neither has been running two college programs at once, as Frost has for nearly a month.
In the wake of UCF’s 34-27 win over Auburn (10-4) in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, he spoke lovingly of the Knights (13-0) and the Huskers (4-8).
Since being tabbed Nebraska’s next coach on Dec. 2, he’s overseen recruiting for his next team while coaching his current squad leading up to its biggest-ever game.
“Yeah, it makes it all worth it. I hold my head high because through this whole process ... I tried to do everything the right way, the best that I knew how,” he said. “It was the right thing to do to coach these guys ...
“I expect to turn on the TV and watch them keep getting better and keep winning, and I look forward to going and hopefully turning another group of guys into the same type of family that has love for each other like these guys do.”
Frost and his entire coaching staff will soon be in Lincoln for good, in time to line up more recruits before the Feb. 7 signing day.
He’s been there plenty of times in the past month.
Beyond growing up in Nebraska and playing quarterback for the Huskers from 1995-97 after transferring home from Stanford, Frost has been back and forth between Orlando, Florida, and Nebraska numerous times since being hired to replace Mike Riley.
Frost burned the candle at both ends for quite a while early in December while being so sick that he vomited while at UCF practices.
That didn’t stop him from doing what he thought right. By day, he and his staff coached the Knights, and at night they worked the phones to recruit Huskers.
His now-former players appreciate the chemistry and effort that Frost and his staff created in Orlando.
“When I leave, that’s what I’m going to miss the most,” said UCF senior linebacker Shaquem Griffin, who was the Peach Bowl’s defensive MVP after Frost moved him from backup safety to linebacker before his senior season.
“Not just winning, but being around guys like that and having that family vibe all the time and being able to not talk about just football, but just life itself.”
Frost’s life must now feature him being tired. But he didn’t sound that way Monday afternoon.
The man sounded like a guy ready to move on from crafting the nation’s highest-scoring offense in the American Athletic Conference and get back home to the Big Ten — even though that will be a new conference for him.
“Listen, I’ll get heat for saying this, but if I’m a recruit out there, I want to come play at UCF. It’s an incredible campus, it’s an incredible opportunity ..." Frost said. “And if I’m a recruit out there, I want to come to Nebraska.
"I'm going to be a fan of both, do everything I can for the guys at UCF and do everything I can at Nebraska, and I can't wait to watch what both programs can accomplish."