Nebraska Trivia –

– Barring a win over Texas in the Big 12 title game, and depending on the opponent and outcome of the Cornhuskers’ bowl, Nebraska is in danger of going eight full seasons without defeating a team ranked in the Top 20 – a streak which reached 25 games when Nebraska lost to No. 12 Virginia Tech earlier this season. What was the first game in the ignoble series of setbacks? The 62-36 loss to No. 14 Colorado in 2001, of course.

National Championships – five – 1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, and 1997 (the ‘97 title being shared with Michigan)

Heisman trophy winners – three – Johnny Rodgers (1972); Mike Rozier (1983); and Eric Crouch (2001).

– Despite being in the top five in all-time wins, Nebraska has only three entries into the NFL Hall-of-Fame (offensive tackle Bob Brown, 1964-73; end Guy Chamberlain, 1919-28; and tackle William Roy (Link) Lyman, 1922-34)

– Hard to believe, but there was a time when the Cornhuskers were amongst the mortals in college football. In the 1940’s, Nebraska went through six coaches and an overall .374 winning percentage.

– When Nebraska fell to a 7-7 record in 2002, a number of NCAA record streaks came to an end. Put to an end (but still records) were streaks of winning seasons, ended at 40, nine-win seasons (33), and consecutive weeks in the Associates Press poll (348).

– In 2007, Nebraska finished tied for last in the Big 12 Conference North Division, tying Iowa State with a 2-6 conference record.  The last time the Cornhuskers finished in the basement?  Try 1957, when Nebraska finished alone in the cellar with a 1-5 conference record (1-9 overall). In the history of the Big Seven, Big Eight and Big 12, only two teams which have played in those leagues have avoided sole possession of the conference basement – Oklahoma and Colorado.

– Nebraska holds the second and fourth longest win streaks over an opponent in NCAA history. The 36 straight wins over Kansas (1969-2004) ranks as the second longest winning streak of all-time (behind only Notre Dame over Navy, which ended at 43 games in 2007). The fourth longest streak ever is Nebraska over Kansas State, with 29 consecutive wins (1969-1997). Nebraska’s longest win streak over Colorado was 18 games (1968-1985).

– The most famous (or infamous) nickname for the Cornhuskers, before their current name was adopted in 1900, is the “Bugeaters”. There were others, though, which are equally forgettable, including the Treeplanters, Rattlesnake Boys, Antelopes, and the Old Gold Knights.

– For all of Nebraska’s success on the field, and the large number of award winners who have played for the scarlet and cream, you would think that the Cornhuskers would have a large lead on the Buffs for first round NFL draft picks. Comparably, though, the 30 picked in the first round out of Lincoln is not a great deal higher than the 22 picked in the first round out of Boulder.

– The “Blackshirts” tradition started humbly enough, when, in the 1960’s, head coach Bob Devaney began assigning black practice jerseys to the defensive starters. The tradition, though, has grown into one of great pride and tradition in Huskerland.

– Herbie, the Cornhusker mascot, was not seen on the Nebraska sidelines for a number of years, as the inflatable rubber character was the butt of many jokes. Then, in 2003, the university announced that after “a rigorous exercise routine, resulting in the loss of 70 pounds of fat and an increase in 50 pounds of muscle mass”, Herbie was prepared to make a comeback. The new “Herbie” began patrolling the sidelines in 2003.

– Famous alumni – football – In addition to the three Heisman trophy winners noted above, there have been numerous national award winners and consensus All-Americans who have played for Nebraska, including Irving Fryar, Broderick Thomas, Will Shields, Tommie Frazier, and Grant Wistrom. At the head of this list, though, may be Dave Rimington, two-time All-American center. In 2000, the Rimington Award was created, given each year to the nation’s top center (in 2003, the award was expanded to give out awards in Division 1-AA and Division II). Other Cornhusker greats include guard Will Shields, running back Roger Craig, cornerback Pat Fischer and center Mick Tingelhoff.

– Famous alumni – other – Johnny Carson (entertainer), Warren Buffet (financier), and Gen. John J. “Black Jack” Pershing (general).

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