A year after being the focal point of Big Ten Media Days, it took a minor miracle for Scott Frost and Nebraska to make it to Chicago.
Frost, along with senior linebacker Mohamed Barry, senior defensive lineman Khalil Davis, sophomore quarterback Adrian Martinez and several members of the university’s communication staff, had their morning flight to Chicago diverted to Peoria, Illinois. From there, they flew on a small plane amidst heavy turbulence to Gary, Indiana, where they drove into Chicago from.
In an inadvertent tribute to the hometown Blues Brothers, the Huskers made it to downtown Chicago with minutes to spare, albeit with no police presence.
15 minutes after arriving Frost was standing at the podium, talking about the high expectations for his upcoming team.
“I think everybody in the state and in our building were happy with the progress that we made and kind of the results at the end of the season,” Frost said. “And it was a long, hard road through that time. There was a lot of things that had to get changed, fixed, adjusted. We're still working on it.”
The Huskers have been a trendy pick to win the Big Ten West division this year, but Frost squashed that excitement quickly on Thursday afternoon.
“We're concerned about this team,” Frost said. “I love the progress this team has made. But you guys get to make all the predictions and prognostications. I get to coach the team, so I don't know about any results.”
Later in the afternoon, both Frost and athletic director Bill Moos addressed expectations for the upcoming year. Moos said that he wants at least six wins so that the team can make a bowl game. Shortly after, Frost said he would be disappointed if Nebraska only won six games.
In Frost’s first head coaching job at Central Florida, he finished with a 13-0 record after going 6-7 in his first year. Improvement was a popular theme for Frost this year after the team finished 4-8 in his first season.
“We made a lot of strides to catch up, and I think that will show up on the field,” he said.
Martinez was also a popular topic for Frost. Throughout the afternoon, he spoke about his growing relationship with his young quarterback.
“I played the position, not as well as he plays it, but I played the position,” Frost said. “And from personal experience and coaching experience, I think particularly at that position, your biggest jump comes from your first year of playing to your second year of playing, and I've seen that happen with some of the guys that I've coached, as well.”
Along with Frost, head coaches Lovie Smith (Illinois), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), Tom Allen (Indiana), P.J. Fleck (Minnesota), Michael Locksley (Maryland) and Ryan Day (Ohio State) also spoke on Thursday. The other seven coaches are scheduled to speak Friday morning.