Over the coming weeks and months, the Maryland football program will search for a new head coach to replace the departed Randy Edsall. We know who the candidates are, but who should Maryland pick? We'll state every coach's case, whether he wants the job or not, in 500 words or less.
Scott Frost, Oregon offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach
Possibility scale: 4/10
Even before he became a coach, Frost's record and place in college football history was already impressive. In 1997 he was a Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award finalist, and became only the 10th quarterback in college football history to throw and rush for over 1,000 yards as he led Nebraska to a share of the national championship and a perfect 12-0 season.
Frost became a graduate assistant at Nebraska in 2002, and was also a graduate assistant at Kansas State in 2006. He moved on to Northern Iowa in 2007, coaching linebackers, and was promoted to co-defensive coordinator in 2008. Chip Kelly hired him at Oregon in 2009, and for four seasons Frost coached wide receivers. After Mark Helfrich was promoted from offensive coordinator to head coach in 2013, Frost filled the former's position and has held that role ever since.
In 2013 and 2014, Oregon's offense ranked top-five in the nation in points per game. His Ducks were No. 7 in offensive S&P+ in 2013, and second in 2014. Frost's offenses were equally effective running and throwing the football, featuring in the top five of both rushing and passing S&P+ over the last two seasons.
He also helped lead Marcus Mariota to one of the all-time great college careers. Over Frost's two years as Mariota's coordinator, Mariota threw for over 8,000 yards, and rushed for nearly 1,500. In 2014, he coached Mariota to the Heisman Trophy, as the Ducks QB threw for 4,454 yards, 42 touchdowns to just 4 interceptions and led the nation in yards per pass attempt, adjusted yards per pass attempt, and pass efficiency rating at 181.7. The best years of Mariota's college career came with Frost leading the Ducks offense.
How much did Frost have to do with those Mariota numbers, and how much was that just Mariota himself? Oregon's two main QBs this season, Vernon Adams and Jeff Lockie, have looked very shaky, throwing 7 interceptions, and the Ducks have averaged just 231 passing yards per game. Marcus Mariota was one of the greatest college QBs ever, and it's worth asking if Frost really had that much to do with it.
Experience, or lack thereof, is also a potential knock against Frost. This is only his third year as a coordinator, and you can argue that for such an important hire for the program, Maryland needs a coach that's had experience and, even more than that, success at running a team.
In one sentence
Frost has had success as a coordinator before and could bring a great offense to College Park, but his lack of experience and results without Marcus Mariota make him an unlikely hire.