Nebraska has reportedly zeroed in on Matt Rhule as its next head football coach. The two sides are currently working to finalize a deal. Rhule was fired by the Carolina Panthers in October after two-plus terrible seasons. The longer he stayed in the NFL, the clearer it became that Rhule should have never left college football. Nebraska would be an excellent place to get his career back on track.
Rhule spent four seasons as the head coach at Temple before leaving to take the Baylor job in 2017. At both stops he took over struggling programs and turned things around in short order. He went 2-10 in his first season at Temple in 2013, improved to 6-6 in 2014, then won 10 games in each of his final two seasons. At Baylor, he went 1-11 in 2017, 7-6 in 2018 and 11-3 in 2019 with a Sugar Bowl appearance. That’s when the Panthers came calling.
Nebraska desperately needs that kind of turnaround. Since hiring Scott Frost in December of 2017, the Huskers have gone 18-37. They haven’t been to a bowl game since 2016 and haven’t reached a conference title game since 2012. This is a burn-it-down and start over moment for Nebraska football and Rhule is a guy who has done huge rebuilding projects before.
Yes, Rhule’s star has dimmed thanks to a few disjointed seasons in Carolina that saw the team failing to improve in any aspect. There were some odd things going on there, including Rhule’s firing of Joe Brady, which felt like a snap decision to save his own job. That said, there are few coaches available who would be a better fit for what Nebraska needs.
Rhule needs a college job to rehabilitate his image. Nebraska needs a coach to rebuild its program. This is an excellent fit for both parties.