Bruce Feldman: Panthers HC Matt Rhule a ‘wild-card’ candidate for Nebraska job
from Andrew Kulha, with YardBarker.com/www.yardbarker.com
Matt Rhule is currently the head coach of the NFL’s Carolina Panthers, but there is a very realistic scenario that could see him heading back to the college football ranks, where he once became a rising star in the coaching world.
Rhule went 28-23 while making Temple football relevant and then scored the job at Baylor in the wake of the Art Briles scandal. He led the Bears to a respectable 19-20 record that included an 11-3 record in his final season.
Like many successful college coaches before him, the NFL hasn’t necessarily been kind to Rhule since he skipped away from the college ranks and into the pros. He won only five games in each of his first two seasons and has started 2022 at 0-2. Including last season, he’s on a nine-game losing streak.
There’s a real chance Rhule is fired before this NFL season is over. At the very least, if he can’t turn things around in Carolina he’s likely looking at a pink slip at the end of the year.
While that’s bad news for Rhule, according to college football insider Bruce Feldman, his misfortune could end up working out for the Nebraska Cornhuskers — who recently fired Scott Frost after he went 16-31 over 47 games.
In a piece on The Athletic detailing the coaches Nebraska could call on in order to replace Frost, Rhule was brought up as a “wild card” option.
“Rhule still has an NFL job, but there’s definitely some heat under his seat after going 10-23 in his first two seasons and starting this season 0-2. Rhule was fantastic at Baylor, taking over a program that desperately needed a big lift after the Art Briles scandal. Rhule did that; he made a ton of smart evaluations and transformed that program into a big winner again,” Feldman wrote. “He also left behind a lot of talent for Dave Aranda in what became a top-5 team. If he does get fired, Rhule should be high on every AD’s list for any job vacancies. He was that good at Baylor — and he was terrific at Temple, turning a 2-10 team into one that [was] 20-7 in his last two seasons there. If Nebraska and Auburn prove to be the two best college jobs, might the Penn State product be more tempted by the Big Ten vacancy?”
There are, of course, still a few very real hurdles to the Huskers ending up with Rhule, but he would be a very intriguing option if he does indeed get canned by the Panthers this season.