The 1971 NCAA University Division football season saw Coach Bob Devaney’s Nebraska Cornhuskers repeat as national champions. Ranked a close second behind Notre Dame in the preseason poll, Nebraska moved up to first place the following week, remained there for the rest of 1971, and convincingly won the Orange Bowl 38–6 in a #1 vs. #2 game against Alabama.
The consensus #1 team going into the bowl season was undefeated Michigan, ranked #1 in both the AP and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll. Led by the coach of the year Lloyd Carr and Heisman Trophy winner Charles Woodson, Michigan went into the 1998 Rose Bowl against #8 Washington State. Michigan defeated Washington State 21–16.
Meanwhile, undefeated #2 Nebraska squared off in the 1998 Orange Bowl versus the #3 ranked Tennessee Volunteers. The Cornhuskers made a point of smacking down Tennessee as they defeated the Volunteers 42-17. Unusually for the low-key Osborne and his straight-ahead team, after the game, he campaigned openly for Nebraska to be named the consensus national champion (Grant Wistrom stated that if “they wanted to give it to Michigan because they haven’t won one in 50 years, we don’t want it anyway.”).
After the bowl games, the AP poll awarded the national championship to Michigan, and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll awarded the national championship to Nebraska, giving Tom Osborne his third national title in four seasons to cap his career. This also marked the last time that a Big 10 (or Pac-10) team would be bound to play in the Rose Bowl instead of heading to a #1-#2 title game, due to the 1998 BCS realignment.
Nebraska has produced more total and football academic All-Americans than any other school . Through the 2016 – 2017 academic year, the school has had 330 academic All-Americans across all sports. Memorial Stadium is sometimes referred to as The Sea of Red due to the home crowd’s propensity to wear a certain color. Nebraska has sold out every home football game since November 3, 1962, 368 in a row, the longest sellout streak in college athletics.
College Sports Established
University of Nebraska
1973 – Present / NCAA Division 1
1921 – 1973 / University Division of the NCAA
1907 – 1921 / Athletic Association of the United States
2011 – Present / Big 10 Conference
1994 – 2011 / Big 12 Conference
1907 – 1918, 1921 – 1994 / Big 8 Conference
Cornhuskers – Before 1900, Nebraska football teams were known by such names as the Old Gold Knights, Antelopes, Rattlesnake Boys and the Bugeaters. In its first two seasons (1890-91), Nebraska competed as the Old Gold Knights, but beginning in 1892, Nebraska adopted Scarlet and Cream as its colors and accepted the Bugeaters as its most popular nickname until the turn of the century. Named after the insect-devouring bull bats that hovered over the plains, the Bugeaters also found their prey in the Midwest, enjoying winning campaigns in every year of the 1890s until a disappointing season in 1899.
After its first losing season in a decade, it must have seemed only fitting that Nebraska move in a new direction, and Lincoln sportswriter Charles S. (Cy) Sherman, who was to gain national renown as the sports editor of the Lincoln Star and help originate The Associated Press Poll, provided the nickname that has gained fame for a century. Sherman tired of referring to the Nebraska teams with such an unglamorous term as Bugeaters. Iowa had, from time to time, been called the Cornhuskers, and the name appealed to Sherman.
Iowa partisans seemed to prefer Hawkeyes, so Sherman started referring to the Nebraska team as Cornhuskers, and the 1900 team was first to bear that label.
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1997, 1995, 1994, 1971, 1970