Nebraska coach Scott Frost has been good for the sale of Husker gear.
NU Athletic Director Bill Moos said Friday on “The Bottom Line” that apparel sales are up “30 to 35 percent” since the hiring of Frost in December 2017.
“But it’s always been very, very good,” Moos said of apparel sales, praising Husker fans for their loyalty within the borders and also in major cities like Denver and New York. “Once you cross that border into Nebraska, it’s all red. That red has to come from somewhere.”
- An eight-team playoff model — featuring the Power Five conference champions — would be better, Moos said, than the current four-team model. Moos said those five champs, plus wild cards, would guarantee all deserving teams make it. Moos said he didn’t care whether the Power Five champ was 12-0 or 7-5.
- Moos said NU’s basketball team played hard in a 70-64 loss to Michigan State but struggled to hit shots.
- The Nebraska baseball team won a Big Ten regular-season conference title in 2017, then struggled in 2018, failing to make the league tournament. Moos wasn’t overly concerned about coach Darin Erstad’s team bouncing back, though, with the return of four pitchers who had been injured.
“That’s like losing your quarterback or your point guard,” Moos said. “Darin and his staff were trying to piece it together and get through the year.”
Moos said Erstad is “very excited” about the 2019 season.
On the Michigan State game:
"I thought we played hard, had a little trouble with our shooting... But that's a good team we were playing, and we played right with them and had our chances to win. I thought the atmosphere was superb, and I think we're playing pretty well by and large."
On what he's looking for in terms of progress for Nebraska:
"Tim and I, when we talked at the end of the season, and I thought we had a good season... I felt it was important to follow that with another solid season this year, and I think we're in the course/process of doing this. I don't have any particular goals or objectives in regards to benchmarks that we have to hit. I will say this, I think we're playing very hard, I think we're well-coached, extremely competitive, and I think we're playing with a lot of enthusiasm and confidence, and we're fun to watch.
For the time he's been there... If Moos thinks Tim Miles has everything he needs to compete at a high level in the Big Ten: "Absolutely. We've got resources here that are second to no one. You look at our facilities... men's basketball, it's about as good as it is. You look at a sold-out arena that we sold 15,000 season tickets within three or four weeks, so with a passionate fan base, is super."
On making the atmosphere of a live football game better to compete with live TV and capture a younger audience:
"The buzz was tremendous at the beginning of the Scott Frost era, and that resonated really well with the established fans... The younger "millennials" and such, that's a challenge for all of us in the industry, is how to capture them, and keep them involved... That's a goal of my staff and I, making sure the game is a complete event, and that the traditions that have been so strong through the years can continue. We've been doing things to attract that younger generation. We had an early scrimmage, not even a scrimmage, more of a light practice before the season that the students were invited to. We had over 3000 of them there, and I had the chance to address them and tell them that there will be times this season and seasons going forward, that they're going to be the difference-makers... We need to continue to have people in place/on-staff in our marketing areas and our promotion areas that are young and understand that generation, and continue to work towards finding ways to have an attractive event for them."
On the current playoff system:
"I think it's much improved. I was not a big fan of the BCS model, and I've been around for a long time, I've seen this thing evolve through this years from just having an Associated Press and UPI back in the day, sometimes they (the champion) weren't the same, primarily I'm talking about the Coach's Poll. And then on into the BCS, which I think had many flaws, but it was an improvement. And now into the College Football Playoff, which I think has been good, but I don't think we're quite there yet... I do believe, a conference that's as strong as the Big Ten should be in that playoff every year. If that means going to eight participants, then I think that's good. I think there's a lot of merit, when asked what my thoughts are, to develop a model where truly every Power Five champion is in that playoff picture. Whether you're 7-5 or you're 12-0, if you've won a Power Five conference, then you deserve to be competing for a national championship. Then maybe factor in the highest ranked group-of-five that are the mid-majors. This would be your Boise States, your Central Floridas, it would be your Western Michigans... Then have two at-large teams as well. Play those first two rounds on college campuses, and then by the time that is over, you're down to four, and you take the model from where it is there... Including the New Year's Six bowl games."
On whether he'd be willing to play an early non-conference football game at a neutral location against a Power Five school:
"I'd be willing to look at them as long as it didn't take from our seven home games... Every day I'm amazed by our fans, and how loyal and passionate they are, and they deserve seven home games..."
On the importance of the Black Friday game:
"That's the thing I like about our Black Friday games, and that's why I've been so adamant that we keep those-- it's an exclusive window, there's very few games that day, and most people aren't working, and so they're watching Nebraska and major college football across the country. You can't put a price tag on that, especially in the recruiting process that time of year."
On Nebraska baseball bouncing back after last year, getting back into contention for a Big Ten Title:
"I think we have a very good chance to. We're just two years away from winning the regular season title, and I know people were frustrated that we didn't have a good postseason, but last year, I know it's no secret, we lost four pitchers... And our good pitchers, this is our top guys. That's like losing your quarterback or your point guard. And Darrin and his staff were able to try to piece it together, and get through the year. He's a solid, competitive, compassionate coach, who wears it on his sleeve. He's not one to run around and toot the horn, certainly not his, and be overly optimistic. But what I'm hearing, and in our discussions, he's very excited about this season and the prospects that are hopefully going to be in the mix."
On what he's doing for vacation:
"No. We've got too much going on right now, and we've got this final signing date in football, and all the events that revolve around that. We've got both men's and women's basketball in full gear. We've got wrestling going, we've got gymnastics, my goodness. We've got baseball starting, track and field is going. I went to a rifle competition this morning, it was fabulous, and it was the first one I've actually had the chance to observe, and it was very very cool... This is where I'm at. If the job takes me somewhere, hey, that's where it takes me, and since you asked, the NCAA convention next week will be in Orlando. So, I'll thaw out for a couple of days, and just get right back here to our roots here in Lincoln."