Alabama gets all of the national publicity as of late, but there's no program with a richer tradition or more consistent run of dominance over the past five decades or so than the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
National experts may haved kicked the Huskers while they were "down" in 2015, but it's time to reeducate the masses on just what makes Husker football so great. Here's our list of 7 Little-Known Facts About Nebraska Football That 99% Of America Doesn't Know.
1. They Were Once Known As The Bugeaters
The eight-year-old geek inside of us does a little happy dance every time we think of people donning jerseys with the word "Bugeaters" on them. Maybe, it's because we ate bugs when we were eight, but we digress.
Nebraska's football team was also known as the Old Gold Knights, Rattlesnake Boys and Antelopes before settling on the Cornhuskers moniker. If another team doesn't change its name to the Rattlesnake Boys in the next decade, it'll be a disservice.
2. Lincoln Rivals Omaha As Nebraska's Biggest City On Gamedays
The sheer influx of red-clad Nebraska loyalists into the City of Lincoln on gamedays is like something out of a war epic. You can see Huskers fans approaching from all sides, filling an already Big Red-loyal city with even more Huskers cheer.
Per local estimates, the city's population can rise up from 258,000 to nearly 400,000 when there's a big game slated at Memorial Stadium. That's just a few thousand less than Omaha's population of 408,958.
3. The 1993-97 Huskers Are One Of College Football's Underrated Dynasties
Three national championships in four years. A 60-3 record in Tom Osborne's final five years as the head coach in Lincoln (an NCAA record for a half-decade stretch). Five straight years of allowing no more than 16.5 points per game.
If you want to draw a comparison to Alabama's current run of success under Nick Saban, consider this -- the best five-year record for Saban over Alabama's current eight-year run of SEC terror was 61-7 (2008-12). It may be comparing apples and oranges due to the different eras, but that gives you a reference point about just how dominant those Huskers teams were.
4. Nebraska Handed Nick Saban The Worst Loss Of His Career
Speaking of Saban, before he became the scowling face of the Alabama football program (or LSU, for that matter), he spent 1995-99 as the head coach of the Michigan State Spartans. That's where he suffered the biggest butt-kicking of his entire career, when the 1995 Huskers squad outrushed the Spartans by an eye-popping 552-45 margin in a 50-10 drubbing.
You should have seen Saban's face. Wait...it's always like that.
5. They Once Allowed Only 5 Punt Returns In A Season
How's this for playing the field position game? During the 1995 national championship season, the Huskers set an NCAA record by rushing for over seven yards per carry. That made Nebraska sophomore punter Jesse Kosch's job extremely easy, as he was rarely used throughout the course of season.
How rarely? Opposing teams returned just FIVE punts against the Huskers for 12 yards -- the fewest punt returns allowed in a season in CFB history.
6. Their Dominance Has Spanned Generations
Over a 50-season period from 1961-2010, no program that was an active Division I participant for that entire five-decade stretch had a better winning percentage than the Cornhuskers. Nebraska won over 77% of its games during that span, a couple percentage points better than the likes of Ohio State, Penn State and Alabama. They also added five national titles to the trophy case.
Head coach Tom Osborne was a HUGE part of that, posting a win percentage of .836 over his 25 years in Lincoln -- the best mark for any coach in NCAA history over such a span.
So, yeah. One down year in Nebraska can be forgiven, dontcha think?
7. Need A Gift Before Christmas?
They're sold out on pretty much every site we've perused (!!), but you can buy your very own Nebraska Corncob Hat for $29.99 on Amazon BEFORE VALENTINE'S DAY. Love, true love.
I know it's a weird note to leave off on, but CORN HAT.Back to the Nebraska Cornhuskers Newsfeed