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Moos sets clear expectations in firing Mike Riley as Huskers head coach

The inevitable happened on Saturday morning, as new Nebraska Cornhuskers athletics director Bill Moos talked with and fired Mike Riley and all but one of his staff.

While the writing may have been on the wall for a long time, Moos’ rational and his talk to the media was just as important as the action he took. That’s because Moos laid everything out on the table — from his disappointment in what took place to his expectations for the program and fanbase.

Those expectations include being disappointed in having a team go 8-4, let alone what happened this year.

Moos was also very candid about names that may be in the mix for the head coaching position. The biggest name on the board for the national media has been former Husker quarterback Scott Frost.

For Moos, there is interest there, but he also made it very clear that Frost has a job going on and he wants to respect the season that is still going on for the UCF Knights.

Moos was also very clear that Frost wasn’t option A or at the top of the list. He also stated he wasn’t going directly after Frost.

We all know that Frost is the obvious name in the mix, but Moos very clearly has put together a list over the last few weeks and that means his hiring process has been able to play out very close to the vest so far. Frost seems to be the name he wants, but he noted six names were on his list and has been doing the leg work on those names he’s most interested in.

Moos did let us all know that the expectations for his new head coach included having a great moral compass and also someone who has had previous FBS head coaching experience.

That last part means names like Joe Moorehead, the offensive coordinator at Penn State, are likely not in the mix. He’s led a high-powered offense in Happy Valley, but has only been a head coach at the FCS level.

Chip Kelly is also off the list, having been hired by UCLA earlier on Saturday. Moos did say that Kelly was a coach he had reached out to leading up to this decision, but obviously had moved on to other options.

Outside of those two names, no others were mentioned directly.

However, the most important pieces of information came as Moos spoke about the expectations he is laying out for the program and his care for how the Huskers fanbase is yearning to get back to championship football once again.

Others have talked the same kind of talk, but the difference with Moos seems to be that he’s got a plan, is willing to be very upfront about what that plan is and how it is unfolding, and he’s also listening to the needs of the players and fans alike.

We’ll see where this search takes Moos and the program, but after today’s press conference Huskers fans should feel good in having Moos leading this search for a new head coach. If ever there was a blueprint for handling these difficult kinds of press conferences, Moos put on a master class in how to do it right.

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball


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