I'VE HAD JUST ABOUT ENOUGH OF YOU SONNY
Now that Nebraska's officially in the Big Ten, thought I'd offer a fairly comprehensive guide to Nebraska football tradition, lore, and history all in one post. Sorry if it's a bit long, but at least you have it all in one place.
You can pretty much summarize Nebraska football and fans this way: Long term excellence, devotion to team, knowledge and respect for opponents and the game. We love smashmouth football on both sides of the ball, a pounding rushing attack and hard hitting defense.
On gameday, Memorial Stadium becomes the 3rd largest population in Nebraska.
Since November 1962, the Huskers have had 304 consecutive sellouts, easily an NCAA record. EVERYONE wears red, giving our fans and stadium the "Sea of Red" moniker You'll soon learn that we release red balloons after the first score and play "Hail Varsity" after every TD.
Our fans are also famous for traveling well, there's the famous picture of the 2000 NU-ND game that shows the Sea of Red taking over Notre Dame's stadium, of all places.
Jim Delaney mentioned Nebraska's sportsmanship during the presser on one of the intangibles Nebraska brought to the Big Ten. Applauding the opponent--win or lose--is an end of the game tradition in Lincoln.
That's why when you enter Memorial Stadium, over every entrance you'll read, "Through these gates pass the greatest fans in college football."
Nebraska doesn't have the "little copper spittoon" trophy type rivalries traditional in the Big Ten. Although many think of Oklahoma as our rival from the old Big 8 "Game of the Century" days, that ended with the BXII formed. Nebraska and Kansas, though not considered a big rivalry, have the nation's longest uninterrupted series west of the Mississippi, playing each other every year since 1906.
Most Husker fans agree with our legendary coach Bob Devaney, who said about rivalries: “We have no rival. We are Nebraska.”
Another example of Nebraskans passion and devotion to the Big Red is the Walk-On program. Many non-scholarship players native to Nebraska have become starters this way, even giving up scholarships from competing programs for the chance to play for their home team. Notre Dame only had one Rudy but Nebraska gets a new crop of Rudys every season.
Some statistics and facts:
Winningest college football program over the last 50 years, both by winning percentage (77.98%) and number of wins (468). 8th all time inning % and 4th in number of wins
Five National Championships, 43 conference championships, three Heisman Trophy winners, nine Outland Trophy winners, five Lombardi Award winners, 107 All-American selections and nation-leading 64 First-Team Academic All-American football selections.
1994 and 1995 national championships are the only consensus back-to-back titles by a Division 1-A school since Oklahoma in 1956-57.
Nebraska holds the record for longest streak of bowl game appearances at 35 straight (1968–2003). Nebraska's 40-year streak of winning seasons, started in 1961, ended 2002.
This was accomplished running a clean program with no significant NCAA violations and a relatively high graduation rate for a top tier football program.
We've benefitted from a very loyal and stabile coaching staff, including two of the top 5 all time modern college coaches.
Bob Devaney (1962-1972, 101-20-2, 82.9%, 2 NC's) Devaney played at Alma College in Michigan, coached at 4 Michigan high schools, and was an assistant with Duffy Daugherty at Michigan State. Known as "The Bobfather".
Tom Osborne (1973-1997, 255-49-3, 83.6%, 3 NC's) never won less than 9 games in a season.
Frank Solich (1998-2003, 58-19, 0.753), fired after a 9-3 2003 team by Athletic Director Steve Pederson, because he would not "let Nebraska gravitate into mediocrity" and then hired Bill Callahan to "turn around" the program. Does that sound familiar?
Although known officially as the Nebraska Cornhuskers, we also go by 'Huskers, Big Red, or just NU (with all due respect to our more senior BT brothers at Wisconsin and Northwestern). We were once known as the Bugeaters. Official colors are Scarlet and Cream, the team traditionally wears red jerseys/white pants at home and white/red on the road. Main mascot is Herbie Husker, a big blonde farmboy in bib overalls, wearing a cowboy hat and carrying some ears of corn.
I mentioned our love of defense. So sometimes The Sea of Red is sprinkled with fans in black, honoring "The Blackshirts" the name for our 1st string defense. This tradition developed when Bob Devaney wanted separate practice jerseys to offset the red jerseys worn by the offense. Eventually the coaches referred to the top defensive unit by this name. The Blackshirts also have a black circle on the back of their helmet (we don't do helmet stickers). These players will often cross their arms in an "X" across their chests, representing the skull and crossbones, a longtime logo for the Blackshirts. This is called "Throwing the Bones".
Best fan sites: HuskerMax.com, BigRedNetwork.com
Oh, and last but not least:
GO BIG RED!
How about this for a rivaly trophy (well, two actually):
Michigan and Nebraska play for the other's '97 trophy each year. Who ever wins gets to hold on to both the AP and the Coaches' trophy for the year. I love the idea personally...
Nebraska, according to USN&WR are ranked as the 96th best school academically, replacing Iowa, MSU and Indiana for worst in the Big Ten (all tied at 71). Does anyone think the Big Ten may have lowered their standards a bit to allow them? Or think it shows what the Big Ten is willing to accept in schools that may be added in the future?
This guy is going to make a difference for the Huskers. Hardrick along with Lavonte are both from Ft. Scott. I had a dream where Dorsey comes to A2 as a Husker. Did I say dream...nightmare. Note their starting QB is a JC transfer.
Admissions has their standards - but Football has very tangible standards of its own. These JC students are not below Nebraska standards. Note Indiana, Minnesota and Purdue are restocking their CBs with JC athletes. Rashad White (NT JC transfer with 3 years eligibility) for MSU is going to make waves. Trulon Henry (who has his own past issues) is a full grown body at SS (contrast to Kovacs - whom I love BTW and root on to take it to the next level this year).
Sorry not to put more links in here...but PSU and OSU can afford to let underclass students grow and jell into bowl talent...we could too for many years...but not now (Misopogon has shown us all.) The issue with JC and marginal academic athletes is whether or not they can succeed in the classroom. It's not like we don't have the systems and coach to give these guys every opportunity to succeed. Cissoko didn't get very far from the study table before he was shown the door. APR aside - we are a textbook case where gifted Athletes - who would otherwise be turned away - can get a great education and opportunity to play.
I think we need to listen to the coaches when they are willing to put in the work to make it work. This is not about DD, but rather the precedent Witty and DD set for RR. RR did the right thing looking at marginal athletes who have compelling life stories. That is what coaches feed on. Hard work and turnarounds are what coaches offer athletes. Pelini is doing that with Yoshi. Expecting all students to compete in the classroom at the same level has never been the issue. It's about opportunity to turn disadvantage into success.
I know this rant is apples to oranges in many respects...my fear is that it is more like roses to pizza. Of course I haven't smelled or tasted either for a few years.
huskerextra.com is running a Cover it Live for the UNL Board of Regents meeting this afternoon. At the moment they are speculating on what they are having for lunch.
Can the CiL jinx come into play here? What does that look like? Does Nebraska decide to join the Colonial Athletic Association?
Corn Nation (Nebraska sports blog) has a primer on major Nebraska sports for Big Ten fans.