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Shatel: Tom Osborne says Mickey Joseph will 'do anything he can to be successful'

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2018

2018: Tom Osborne looks on from the sideline at as the Huskers take on Colorado at Memorial Stadium.

First downs and second guesses:

Scott Frost played for him. Trev Alberts played for him. Mickey Joseph played for him.

Tom Osborne's former players are in the news. On the day after Alberts fired Frost and replaced him with Mickey Joseph, I asked the legendary Nebraska coach to describe his emotions.

“Naturally, it’s sad to see things working out for Scott like they did,” Osborne said.

“He was a remarkably good coach, proved that at Oregon and again at UCF. Went through some difficult things, probably didn’t inherit a lot of great talent, the Covid year, and last year he was on the verge of winning five or six more games.

“Some of it has to do with coaching and some of it is just the bounce of the football. He didn’t have a lot of good bounces. I like him very much personally, very sorry to see it work out like it did.

“Mickey is a very energetic guy, and like Scott has a lot of good experience, coached at a lot of good places. I’m sure he’ll put his mark on the thing and do anything he can to be successful.

“And Trev has a tough job. He’s going to make decisions and get advice from all kinds of people. You can’t please everybody.”

Osborne hasn’t spoken to Frost recently but said they talked “fairly regularly.” Osborne would watch practice once or twice a week and they would speak after practice or in Frost’s office.

“I tried not to be intrusive,” Osborne said. “I tried to give advice if he asked for it.”

Is there anything specific Frost could have done differently the last five years?

“You could always do things differently,” Osborne said. “I could have kicked the extra point against Miami (laughing). If I had known I wasn’t going to make the two-point play, I should have kicked the point.”

Osborne on what type of coach he’d like to see Alberts hire

“I used to coach against people and see them in coaches’ meetings. I’ve been removed enough now, I don’t have any personal knowledge."

“There’s nobody right now that would jump out to me. It’s important to give Mickey every chance to do the best he can. It will be interesting _ get Oklahoma and then the Big Ten. There are quite a few good coaches in the Big Ten, don’t give you any cheap stuff.”

Osborne on rebuilding the offensive line tradition and getting physical again

“The best defense is to hang onto the football. As long as you have the ball, the other team can’t score.

“That worked against us at times in the Big Ten, the time of possession and we would let the defense get worn down a little bit.

“I don’t think Scott ignored the running game. Hopefully Trev can get someone where we can get back to controlling the game.”

Osborne is looking forward to meeting up with his old chum, Barry Switzer, on Friday night at an N Club dinner in Lincoln.

“We probably talk or email once every month or two,” Osborne said. “Whenever something comes up of importance or interest, we don’t hesitate to reach out.”

Several former Oklahoma players, including Brian Bosworth and Tony Casillas, are expected to be in Lincoln for the festivities, a players’ tailgate party on Saturday.

You don’t get that kind of camaraderie with every rivalry, even years later. Man, I’d love to hear all those stories.

On Monday I caught up with an old friend, Oklahoma athletic director Joe Castilgione.

I met Joe when he was director of marketing at Missouri in 1982. The former Maryland football player became Mizzou AD in 1993, then moved to Oklahoma in 1998.

He quickly became one of the top athletic directors in the country. And it started with his hiring of Bob Stoops as head OU coach in 1998.

No brainer, right? Stoops was a successful defensive coordinator at Kansas State and Florida. But nobody knew then he would become a Hall of Fame head coach.

Castilgione hired Lincoln Riley and Brent Venables. He said a successful search takes timing, a little luck and a lot of preparation.

“There’s nothing scientific to it,” Castiglione said. “And even if on the surface it would appear a job is better than a job a coach may have at the tie, it doesn’t guarantee they’re willing to leave.

“There’s a different dynamic today. Coaches understand where they are and their ability to be successful compared to another job that might open up.”

Castiglione said there was a lot of pressure on his Stoops hire. OU had gone through a losing drought. So he put extra time in.

“Bob Stoops was totally prepared for that moment,” Castiglione said. “I knew it. Everyone knew it.

“That doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed. I talked to people all the way back to Youngstown (Ohio, Stoops’ hometown), got bits and pieces of Bob’s personality, how people viewed him, how he interacted with people. I went through all the different steps. No one knew I was doing it.”

According to Stoops in his book “No Excuses,” the fact that Iowa delayed a decision on him to interview other candidates helped push him to OU.

So you never know.

— One more and I’m outta here: Heard from a friend who is an Iowa fan, wondering if Scott Frost would take over the offensive coordinator duties in Iowa City.

Now I’ve heard everything.

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