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Best Husker Team to Not Win a National Title Game 5: 1983 Nebraska vs. 1996 Nebraska

Best Husker Team to Not Win the National Title Game 5:  

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Alright, it's time to get serious. The first matchup in the semifinals of the BHTtNWaNT Tournament pits the 1983 Cornhuskers vs. the 1996 Huskers. In their first round matchups, '83 demolished 2009 Nebraska 30-1, and 1996 Nebraska squeaked by 1999 Nebraska, 25-24. Time for the Tale of the Tape! Go here to see the bracket: https://challonge.com/v1yter3q

 

#1: 1983 Nebraska:

  • Record: 12-1 

  • Rank: 2nd (AP), 2nd (Coaches)

  • Conference Record: 7-0

  • Coach: Tom Osborne (12-1)

  • Points For: 654

  • Points/G: 50.3 (1st of 112)

  • Points Against: 217

  • Opp Pts/G: 16.7 (26th of 112)

  • SRS: 22.61 (2nd of 112)

  • SOS: 3.84 (37th of 112)

  • Bowl Game: Lost Orange Bowl 31-30 versus Miami, FL

  • Notable Players: Mike Rozier, Turner Gill, Irving Fryar

  • Notable Games: vs. #4 PSU (W, 44-6), vs. #5 Miami, FL (L, 31-30), 2009 Nebraska (W, 30-1)

 

 

#5: 1996 Nebraska: 

  • Record: 11-2
  • Rank: 6th (AP), 6th (Coaches)
  • Conference Record: 8-0
  • Coach: Tom Osborne (11-2)
  • Points For: 553
  • Points/G: 42.5 (3rd of 111)
  • Points Against: 174
  • Opp Pts/G: 13.4 (4th of 111)
  • SRS: 22.22 (3rd of 111)
  • SOS: 6.53 (5th of 111)
  • Bowl Game: Won Orange Bowl 41-21 versus Virginia Tech
  • Notable Players: Grant Wistrom, Jason Peter, Ahman Green
  • Notable Games: vs. Arizona State (L, 19-0), vs. #5 Colorado (W, 17-12), vs. Texas (L, 37-27), 1999 Nebraska (W, 25-24)

 

On paper, this is an incredible offense vs. a very stout defense; '83 Nebraska had the best offense in the country (and some would say in school history), but the '96 defense was no joke, only giving up 13 points per game against the 5th best schedule in the country; the SRS has them virtually neck and neck, with '96 only .4 tenths of a point behind '83.

 

(A note on statistics: all stats are taken from sports-reference.com. SRS refers to a Simple Rating System, described here: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/about/glossary.html#srs. SOS refers to Strength of Schedule, described here: https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/about/glossary.html#sos)

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