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What Happened in the Big 8 in 1976?!?

Discussion in 'Football' started by MonagHusker, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. MonagHusker

    MonagHusker Recruit 2 Year Member

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    I was actually looking up something else, got a little sidetracked and will probably make a couple threads about it. Without spoiling my other thread, I was looking at the Big 8 standings and final AP rankings if applicable.

    While I was alive, I was only 1 during the '76 season so I don't know a lot about it and it wasn't one of those past years I have sought much info on. Now I'm curious --

    Seven of the eight teams finished with an above .500 record (Kansas State was 1-10)
    Five of the teams finished in the Top 20 (Oklahoma 5, Nebraska 9, Oklahoma State 14, Colorado 16, Iowa State 19)
    Three teams tied for 1st in the Conference at 5-2 (Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Colorado)
    Nebraska went 4-3 (only time Osborne had 3 conference losses in a season), losing to Missouri, Iowa State, and Oklahoma but beat co-champs Oklahoma State and Colorado.

    Sounds like a crazy season. Does anyone recall much -- either who experienced or who have done their due diligence and studied this season)?
     
  2. Greatest Fan of All

    Greatest Fan of All The Legend 10 Year Member

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    Huskers were rated by some as pre-season #1. The year started poorly in Baton Rouge and got worse. We ran out of Devaney stocked talent, TO hadn't developed his skills in recruiting just yet. We had Ferragamo and good receivers, but little else. Berns and Hipp were newbies who later excelled. Not long after, TO began changing the offense and bringing in better talent.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  3. Huskerthom

    Huskerthom Starter 2 Year Member

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  4. CrabHusker

    CrabHusker Travel Squad 2 Year Member

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    I remember defensive lapses against Missouri and Iowa State costing NU big time, an inconsistent offense that had some talent (Ferragamo, Malito, Curtis Craig, Berns, Anthony) and an overall feeling against better competition of just being close, not really dominant. The tie to start off the year was maddening, then the loss to Missouri when NU has a 4th quarter lead and gives it up on a 98 yard pass play, but the team didn't feel like it was a three loss, one tie team. The Iowa State game might have been the exception as it never felt like Nebraska was in that game. Dexter Green ran all over the Blackshirts that day. I think the only games Nebraska won I was able to watch on TV that year were the Colorado and Texas Tech bowl game. I listened to every other game on the radio, including an early morning broadcast of the Hawaii game. The tie against LSU, losses to Missouri and Oklahoma made that by far my worst viewing w/l record until Solich's 7-7 team.
     
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  5. the fountainhead

    the fountainhead Red Shirt 5 Year Member

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    I was at the OU game with my dad that year. It was my 10th birthday. If We win, we go to the Orange Bowl...we had control of the game but they ran the hook and lateral and won at the end.
     
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  6. KleinTxHusker

    KleinTxHusker Starter 10 Year Member

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    Great write up. The Missouri and ISU losses were painful. Kiffin blew the defensive call on third and long with a blitz and then our safety slipped in man coverage against one of the fastest WRs in Football.

    I agree with your assessment on ISU. I would add that ISU had two very good QBs in Wayne STanley and Buddy Hardeman. Earl Bruce used both effectively in the game. Stanley brainy andwas a good passer and respectable runner and went into coaching. Hardeman was A very good option and running QB and had a long NFL career with the Redskins as one of the NFLs best kick returners and he may have been a WR. Bruce was a very good coach.

    Berns emerged too late in the season. He had great games against OU and T Tech in the bowl game. If he’d have emerged earlier, we may have come close to our preseason ranking. I will say that I always felt our line was overrated, perhaps because we were a pass first team then. The next year was when we went back to the run and the new line really kicked rear.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  7. KTexUNLfan

    KTexUNLfan Red Shirt 5 Year Member

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    We were at the game opener at LSU; we were stationed in Alexandria with the AF at the time. Wild environment especially with Nebraska being so highly ranked! At the end of the game LSU fans were throwing oranges on the field. Only time I've been to Tiger Stadium & once was enough.
     
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  8. KTexUNLfan

    KTexUNLfan Red Shirt 5 Year Member

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  9. Huskerin2020

    Huskerin2020 Recruit 5 Year Member

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    I think this was the year that Oklahoma State had a chance to win the Big Eight outright if they beat Colorado. In the 4th quarter they lead the Buffs by 3 or 4 and Colorado drove down inside the 20, but threw an interception in the endzone which would have sealed it for OSU, but the poor kid decided to run it out and fumbled it back to CU. The Buffs ended up scoring a TD and winning to the game and a share of the Big Eight.

    That was a long time ago so I might not be remembering correctly, but it was a wild year in the Big Eight. Huskers lost to Sooners late on the hook and lateral in a really cold game in Lincoln.
     
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  10. CrabHusker

    CrabHusker Travel Squad 2 Year Member

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    Bruce is kind of a forgotten coach, but was a good football guy. He had ISU up and running before he headed to Ohio State. I don't know that that success was sustainable, but they'd have at minimum been a pain to deal with if Bruce had stayed. That Missouri loss was bad IMO. Typical Missouri team that beat a then top ten USC to open the season and Nebraska then lost to a mediocre Illinois and a Kansas team.

    Timing is everything and I've always wondered what '77 would have looked like had Ferragamo had one more year to play.
     
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  11. CornfieldCounty

    CornfieldCounty 5AC 4 LYFE! 10 Year Member

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    iirc, that is the year that a 'booster' pulled TO aside as they were boarding the plane heading out to Houston for the Blue Bonnet Bowl and was told that if he lost that game, to not bother getting on the plane home.

    I watched that game with my grandfather and I don't ever remember him being that involved with a game before.
     
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  12. Vinosker

    Vinosker Recruit 2 Year Member

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    Would love to know the name of that booster. But thought it was one of the Regents.
     
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  13. CornfieldCounty

    CornfieldCounty 5AC 4 LYFE! 10 Year Member

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    Could have been..
     
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  14. djlhuskerfan

    djlhuskerfan Scout Team 10 Year Member

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    TO tells that story himself, so it is true!
     
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  15. inthedeed

    inthedeed Recruit 5 Year Member

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    ia state also had a wr luther blue. the guy was a flat out player. bruce was good. nice guy on campus would stop and talk to anyone. feragamo was a great qb could throw anywhere. thought tom was too conservative in using that weapon. a lot of talent in the old big 8 at that time. numerous nfl players in all the rosters.
     
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