The Weekender: Fred Hoiberg Gets the Scott Frost Treatment, Kevin Warren Wants Playoff Expansion (Eventually) and Joint Practices Are Already Off the Table

By Dan Hope on February 27, 2022 at 2:35 pm
Fred Hoiberg
Steven Branscombe – USA TODAY Sports

Own the group chat with The Weekender, highlighting the biggest stories in college sports, standout writing from Eleven Warriors and a glance at what's next.

Déjà vu in Lincoln

Even though the Cornhuskers have won only six total Big Ten games in three seasons under his leadership, Nebraska announced Thursday that it will retain Fred Hoiberg for a fourth season as its men’s basketball coach, albeit with a restructured contract that will reduce his salary from $3.5 million to $3.25 million.

If those statements from Alberts and Hoiberg look familiar, that’s because they’re pretty close to identical to the statements that Alberts and Scott Frost released after Nebraska announced in November it would retain Frost as football coach with a restructured contract of his own.

It’s rarely a good sign when the decision to retain a coach requires a public vote of confidence, but the Cornhuskers have decided to give both Frost and Hoiberg at least one more year to try to turn things around even though both have fallen well short of expectations so far.

Warren, Alliance want playoff expansion (eventually)

Even though the Big Ten, ACC and Pac-12 were the only three conferences that voted against expanding the College Football Playoff before 2026, their commissioners don’t want to be seen as opponents of expansion.

In an interview with ESPN on Friday, Big Ten commissioner Kevin Warren and Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff both said they are in favor of eventual playoff expansion, but not until more of the issues surrounding playoff expansion have been resolved.

“There can't be, ‘Well, we'll answer that after we agree that we're going to expand currently, we will answer that down the road,’” Warren told ESPN. “And so I know from where I sit, where the Big Ten sits, I said it very clearly: We are 100 percent supportive of expansion. We think it's the right thing to do. But it has to be at the right time, in the right format, for the right reasons.”

The Alliance commissioners also pushed back on the notion that they are working together to stop playoff expansion. While ACC commissioner Jim Phillips has said “now is not the right time to expand the playoff,” he said the Alliance “isn’t a voting bloc,” so the Big Ten and Pac-12 could vote in favor of future playoff expansion even if the ACC continues to resist expansion.

Joint practices already off the table

Just four days after it was reported that joint practices could be coming to college football, that proposal has already been taken off the table.

The Athletic’s Nicole Auerbach reported Saturday that the Mid-American Conference, which initially proposed the legislation that would have allowed teams to practice against each other during the preseason, had already withdrawn that proposal.

While joint practices could have effectively served as preseason scrimmages for college football teams, coaches likely would have been concerned about giving up intel about their teams that could have potentially been shared with opponents.


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What’s Next

  • Wednesday-Sunday: Big Ten women’s basketball tournament (Ohio State begins play Friday, 11:30 a.m. on Big Ten Network)
  • Thursday-Sunday: NFL Scouting Combine workouts (4 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, NFL Network)
  • Thursday: Ohio State men’s basketball vs. Michigan State (7 p.m., ESPN)
  • Friday-Sunday: Big Ten men’s hockey quarterfinals (No. 4 Ohio State vs. No. 5 Penn State, BTN+; 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 8 p.m. Sunday)
  • Saturday-Sunday: Ohio State women’s hockey plays in WCHA Final Faceoff (Semifinal at 5 p.m. Saturday, championship game at 2 p.m. Sunday)
  • Saturday-Sunday: Big Ten wrestling championships (10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Big Ten Network)
  • Sunday: Ohio State men’s basketball vs. Michigan (12:30 p.m., FOX)
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