National Champions

At the beginning of the 1970 football season, Nebraska team was ranked ninth in the AP polls. By the end, they were unbeaten and crowned the 1970 football champions by receiving thirty-nine votes. This was the first national title Nebraska had ever won and came under the coaching of the legendary Robert “Bob” Devaney. There were three different “if” situations that needed to happen and they all did. Both Texas and Ohio State lost in their bowl games and Nebraska was able to pull off a victory by defeating LSU in the Orange Bowl. Nebraska trailed 10-12 at the half, but went on to win the game 17-12 and receive the title of National Champions. This also led to President Nixon coming to town (Huskers Win National Football Crown).

The Game of the Century

During the 1971 football season, the Nebraska Cornhuskers were looking for their second consecutive national title. To accomplish this, they needed to defeat the Oklahoma Sooners. The catch, however, was that Nebraska was number one and Oklahoma was number two in the rankings for the majority of the season. The regular season game the two would play would be more important than either of the bowl games they would go play in during the post-season. The hype before the game was intense; Devaney had to schedule closed practices because there were too many people attending the players practices leading up to the game. Both Nebraska (NU) and Oklahoma (OU) had regular season games with Colorado, another national title contender; and in each of those games NU and OU were able to come out with fairly easy wins, adding hype to the NU-OU match-up. There was also the “Snake Pit Jinx.” Up until 1969, the Nebraska Cornhusker team had only ever won one other time in Norman, Oklahoma; this curse was known as the Snake Pit Jinx. The 1971 Nebraska squad going into Norman, however, was undiscouraged by the supposed Jinx and felt that if there really was one, the 1969 team had broken it. The game was extremely intense with both teams having the lead at different points of the game. Nebraska’s last score, however, sealed the deal and the Huskers pulled off a win, 35-31 (Not Just Another Game…).