Now that UM-Nebraska are division rivals

Submitted by ChicagoB1GRed on September 1st, 2010 at 10:16 PM

Thought I'd repost an earlier Guide to Nebraska. Look forward to the intense competiton from Michigan and the rest of the BT, glad our entry to the BT didn't end The Game!

"Now that Nebraska's officially in the Big Ten, here's the basics 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, play "Hail Varsity" after every TD, and shout "Go Big Red!".

Our fans are known for traveling well, there's a 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 as 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. Texas Ricky Williams got a standing O and shouts of "Heisman" from Husker fans after upsetting the Huskers in Lincoln in 1998 and killing our NC chances.

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 trophy 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 when the BXII formed. Most Husker fans agree with our legendary coach Bob Devaney, who said about rivalries: “We have no rival. We are Nebraska.” But Michigan should become a terrific division rival.

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:

Winningest college football program over the last 50 years, both by winning percentage (78%) and number of wins (468). 8th all time winning % and 4th in total wins

Five National Championships, 43 conference championships, three Heisman Trophy winners, nine Outland Trophy winners, five Lombardi Award winners, 107 All-American 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, done before the days of 6 win bowl teams (1968–2003). Nebraska's 40-year streak of winning seasons, started in 1961, ended 2002.

This was accomplished running a clean program that does things the right way with no significant NCAA violations and a high graduation rate for a top tier football program and a nation-leading 64 First-Team Academic All-American football selections.

We've benefitted from a very loyal and stabile coaching staff, including two of the top 5 all time most winning modern college coaches.

Bob Devaney (1962-1972, 101-20-2, 83% WP, 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, 84% WP, 3 NC's) never won less than 9 games in a season, won 3 NC's and 13 conference titles.

Frank Solich (1998-2003, 58-19, 75 WP%),  Cleveland Ohio native was a starting fullback for the Huskers in the 1960s, All-B8 and co-Captain.  After 19 seasons as an assistant coach he was fired after a 9-3 2003 season because the AD would not "let Nebraska gravitate into mediocrity" and then succeeded by 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 wears red jerseys/white pants at home and white/red on the road. Uniforms are basically unchanged since the late 60's. 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."

Best fan sites:



September 1st, 2010 at 10:29 PM ^

Look forward to the intense competiton from Michigan and the rest of the BT


not to burst your bubble, but i see Iowa as the real rival here.


Edit: Do not get me wrong. If a rivalry develops, i will welcome it. I was just saying as it stands now.


September 1st, 2010 at 10:22 PM ^

Great post, thanks!

I would love it if our game became a rivalry, and as someone suggested a while ago, we played for the 1997 National Championship Trophy. It'd be awesome to see that battle go back and forth over the years. (Even though we clearly won it outright the first time...)


September 1st, 2010 at 10:36 PM ^

when we start playing nebraska in b10 play they should have the 97 NC become a traveling trophy, who ever wins it is recognized for the year as the 97 unanimous NC


September 1st, 2010 at 10:53 PM ^

i already don't like how this "rival" thing is getting thrown around.  Iowa is clearly positioned to be Nebraska's big rival.  We have OSU and MSU (and even Minny + ND ooc) Northwestern going to be a rival now too?  the word needs to actually *mean* something doesn't it?  It may happen, but I don't want to see the league forcing these things....they need to develop over time - because the foundation of a true rivalry is emotion and a history of competition - if not sheer hatred!  You can't just call a team a rival because they are in your conference all of a sudden.  They have to earn it.


September 1st, 2010 at 11:51 PM ^

Because now this team will be in our division, and a direct impediment to going to the Title game. It almost instantly becomes more important than PSU. With their higher level of play, it will become a bigger deal than ND (heck, the rate ND has been going, getting passed up by Texas, Nebraska and OSU might not be behind for long, unless they really turn it around under Kelly). And since the Cornhuskers will be battling us for the division far more than MSU, I don't imagine it will take long for those rivalries to even up.


September 1st, 2010 at 10:56 PM ^

I was searching for the original post this morning and got sidetracked.  Thanks for reposting.  I found this very informative and enjoyable.  I for one welcome Nebraska and hope we truly become long-term rivals.

Welcome to the BT.


September 1st, 2010 at 11:10 PM ^

Maybe it is my age, but I was always aware of Nebraska from afar because there was always a very interesting war going on out West, and we played for the first time while I was still at Michigan.  Certainly the 1997 season adds to it, but as soon as Nebraska joined the Big Ten, I wanted them in Michigan's division or as a protected rival if Michigan and OSU were in the same division.  Again, maybe it is an age thing, but I see Nebraska as a natural rival.  I am surprised that some others do not.

South Bend Wolverine

September 1st, 2010 at 11:25 PM ^

I think you made a typo here: "Five National Championships." :)

Seriously, though, as mentioned above, making the 97 trophies the travelling trophy between us is a great idea, even though everyone knows that we actually won it in the first place.  Still, we're willing to be sporting about the matter!


September 1st, 2010 at 11:26 PM ^

"Winningest college football program over the last 50 years, both by winning percentage (78%) and number of wins (468)"

Clearly you have taken a page out of Buckonomics: The Key to Make Your Stats Look Better Than Your Rival.

Word of caution: do not randomly select criteria (last 50 years in your case) to make you look good.  Bucknuts try it all the time, you should not follow their lead.




September 2nd, 2010 at 1:13 PM ^

and by the time it was changed to University of Nebraska everybody was used to NU.


The Lincoln campus became University of Nebraska-Lincoln after merging with Omaha University and Nebraska State -Kearney in the 60's, so we sometimes use "UNL" which is perfectly acceptable. No one says "UN" though.


Since Northwestern has seniority in the BT and it can be confusing (especially being in the same division), I have no problem with UNL, its just more force of habit for Nebraskans to use NU.


But there was a rumor that getting the rights to NU was part of the deal struck with the BT when we joined. Or maybe we could play them every year for "The NU Trophy".  :)


September 1st, 2010 at 11:37 PM ^

and therefore I have a hard time seeing this as an intense rivalry game.  With Michigan State, the fans' inferiority complex  compels them to make fools of themselves, win or lose.  The Notre Dame fans are self righteous  whiners.    The Ohio State fans are thuggish hicks.  Nebraska fans in general seem classy so I will have a hard time hating them.   


September 2nd, 2010 at 1:10 AM ^

other than "happy to be here and glad to leave the BXII clusterfuck".

Pretty funny how we got handed the best of the BT on the 2011-2012 schedule, but expected no less.

Speaking for Big Red fans, I think most wanted UM for playing the best along with some recent history (vs OSU, haven't played in 50 years) and IA for the border war with a good team. PSU cross rivalry is more for the TV people than the fans, not that we don't respect their program. Minnesota we've played a ton in the distant past  (51 times) and share some cultural ties but just a nice game with fellow polite Great Plains people. NW & MSU no opinion.


September 2nd, 2010 at 9:18 AM ^

Only disagreement is that I'm actually more excited about the PSU matchup than the Iowa matchup, but I get the feeling I'm in the minority. The rivals will come naturally - Colorado forced themselves on us, and it never really seemed to feel right - but I think the biggest one will come from that group of UM, PSU, and Iowa. (Really going out on a limb there, I recognize.)


September 2nd, 2010 at 12:42 AM ^

Thanks for the post, I have always been aware of the history and lore of Nebraska and have always had nothing but the utmost respect for the program as a whole as well as their fans. In a word, class.

Texas and Nebraska were sort of tied in terms of who I wanted to add, but for many of the same reasons.

I definitely look forward to developing a rivalry with NU and for once having one where there isn't legions of mouth-breather fans rooting for the other team.

Some advice, beware of any roadtrips to Columbus, you will be introduced to an entirely different level of 'fandom' than you are used to.

Stick around.


September 2nd, 2010 at 12:42 AM ^

Nebraska is an "instant rival."  They have already earned it by their status in the football world.  I might go so far as to say that Michigan/Nebraska may be the most anticipated of all the Big Ten's games next year, especially if neither team has more than one loss going in.  It won't be Michigan/OSU, but it will be a big game because of the relative rarity of the matchup.

Because it is "new," it will take on a "man bites dog" newsworthiness that the Michigan/OSU game doesn't have.  That won't make it a better game, but it will be enough to make a young rivalry relevant while it matures properly. 

Blue Durham

September 2nd, 2010 at 8:46 AM ^

change your name from the bugeaters?


And welcome to the conference.  I thought I would be happy only if Notre Dame was admitted to the conference.  I was wrong.


September 2nd, 2010 at 9:13 PM ^

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. 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,  Lincoln sportswriter Cy Sherman, who  helped 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.

Of course, the name caught on and became a Nebraska byword, eventually becoming the official nickname for the state.


September 2nd, 2010 at 3:13 PM ^

I am excited that a team with such prestige like Nebraska has joined the Big Ten.  Now that they are in our division within the conference, a rivalry is born.  We'll see you next year Huskers.