Bennett's miss cost NU more than a national title
Mike Babcock (Huskers Illustrated) recently wrote a piece about Nebraska's record of consecutive football games without a loss (34) that began October 26, 1912, with head coach Ewald "Jumbo" Stiehm's Husker team beating Adrian 41-0 at home and ended with E.J. "Doc" Stewart's Husker team losing to Kansas 7-3 in Lincoln on November 16, 1916. Only a 0-0 tie with South Dakota in 1914 kept the record from being 34 consecutive wins.
So I wondered how Tom Osborne's 1990s teams measured up to the Stiehm-Stewart record. Most Husker fans remember the amazing 60-3 record set by Tom Osborne's '93-'97 teams. That string included playing for an amazing four national championships in five years, winning three ('94, '95 and '97).
And most fans remember that at the end of the '93 season, Nebraska faced heavily favored Florida State in the Orange Bowl, losing 18-16 on a missed field goal by Byron Bennett as time expired. Obviously, had Bennett's kick been good, Tom Osborne would have had his first national championship and the Huskers would have notched their third NC in school history.
But no one could have known at the time that Bennett's miss also prevented Osborne's teams from breaking the record for consecutive games without a loss. Starting with the Huskers' '93 season-opening 76-14 win over North Texas State on September 4th, the Huskers would not lose another game until September 21, 1996, with a 19-0 loss at Arizona State.
Had Bennett's kick been good, Osborne's '93-'96 teams would have shattered the Stiehm-Stewart record with 38 wins. Unfortunately, Bennett's miss was a kick in the pants for all Husker fans.
HUNT WITH THE HUSKERS
Last week, I wrote about the annual "Hunt With The Huskers" event, Saturday, March 31st at the Oak Creek Sporting Club near Brainard, Nebraska.
This year's "Hunt" will give Husker fans a rare opportunity to hunt with former Husker head coach and current Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne. Joining Osborne will be about a dozen former Husker football greats. So if your Bucket List includes meeting Tom Osborne and hanging with former Husker greats, don't miss out on this great opportunity. And by attending, you can help Osborne's TeamMates mentoring program.
For more about "Hunt," contact Gerry Gray at 402-393-0492 (office) or on his cell phone at 402-917-2219. Or for more information, go to www.greatplainsmktg.com.
Tell him Groucho sent you.
You may email me at HuskerDan@cox.net