As No. 15 Central Florida begins its preparations for the American Athletics Conference championship game against No. 20 Memphis on Saturday in Orlando, head coach Scott Frost on Monday was peppered with questions about Nebraska’s now-open head coaching job.
In the first 24 hours after Mike Riley was fired from the head job here, dominoes fell on a wild day around the country that seemed to line up Frost's eventual move.
That trend only continued Monday as Frost answered questions about Nebraska directly and tried to deflect attention to his players, but also came off as though there’s writing on the wall.
“I’d be hurt if Nebraska wasn’t interested in me,” Frost said during a news conference. “We’re undefeated and I’m from there. When you win, a lot of people are interested in you. That doesn’t matter. What matters are these players and what they’ve accomplished and they deserve he focus to be on them and not me.”
Not surprisingly, though, much of the focus is on the 42-year-old from Wood River.
“I’m not going to say much,” he said. “I can’t tell you how much I care about these players and that’s been true of my past, it’s going to be true every year I’m coaching. Our entire staff is that way. These guys are special and they deserve my best -- I’ve said that all year, they deserve our coaching staff’s best.”
Asked earlier in the day on an AAC teleconference directly if he would be UCF’s head coach in 2018, Frost said, "All I want to talk about is this football team, I've said that multiple times. These guys have done everything I have asked of them and my focus is on this football team."
A win in the title game would likely put the Knights in the Jan. 1 Peach Bowl as the Group of Five representative in the New Years’ Six set of bowl games. Frost appears to have a decision to make before that.
“Every year in college football there’s tough decisions to make and those kind of things happen and when the time is right, we’ll make them,” Frost said. “I know it would be really hard to leave this team because of how much love I have for this group of guys and how much effort they’ve given us.
“All I’m going to do is go back to my office and watch more film. This shouldn’t be about me. I know the questions are going to come, but these guys have earned the right for the conversation to be about them and the game they won on Friday and the game they’re going to play on Saturday.”
Frost said he doesn’t address the speculation with his players.
“I’ve been doing my thing,” he said. “I’m a loyal guy and I’m loyal to my family and I’m loyal to people that care about me. I’m loyal to this coaching staff, I’m loyal to these kids. I’m loyal to my alma mater, but I’m more loyal the people that I’m going to battle with every day and that’s been at Kansas State and Northern Iowa and Oregon and here and, right now, my loyalties lie with these players.”