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History of the Nebraska Cornhusker Football Team

Nebraska football started on November 27th, 1890 (Thanksgiving Day). Historic Nebraska Bugeaters Football TeamThe Huskers beat Omaha YMCA 10-0. Before Nebraska's nickname became the Cornhuskers, there were other ones used. These were "Bugeaters", "Tree Planters", "Nebraskans", "The Rattlesnake Boys", "Antelopes", and the "Old Gold Knights". The nickname "Cornhuskers" finally stuck and was in regular usage from around 1900.

Over the years Nebraska has achieved forty-six conference championships and part or all of five national championships. The six conferences that Nebraska has been affiliated with are as follows: Big 8 Football Logo
  • 1890-1891: Independent
  • 1892-1897: Western Inter-State University Football Association
  • 1898-1906: Independent
  • 1907-1927: Missouri Valley Conference
  • 1928-1995: Big Eight Conference
  • 1996-Current: Big XII Conference

The 46 conference championships are as follows:

  • 1894 Western Inter-State Univ. Assoc. Co-Champions
  • 1895 Western Inter-State Univ. Assoc. Co-Champions
  • 1897 Western Inter-State Univ. Assoc. Champions
  • 1907 Missouri Valley Conference Co-Champions
  • 1910 Missouri Valley Conference Champions
  • 1911 Missouri Valley Conference Co-Champions
  • 1912 Missouri Valley Conference Co-Champions
  • 1913 Missouri Valley Conference Co-Champions
  • 1914 Missouri Valley Conference Champions
  • 1915 Missouri Valley Conference Champions
  • 1916 Missouri Valley Conference Champions
  • 1917 Missouri Valley Conference Champions
  • 1921 Missouri Valley Conference Champions
  • 1922 Missouri Valley Conference Champions
  • 1923 Missouri Valley Conference Champions
  • 1928 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1929 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1931 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1932 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1933 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1935 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1936 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1937 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1940 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1963 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1964 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1965 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1966 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1969 Big Eight Conference Co-Champions
  • 1970 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1971 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1972 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1975 Big Eight Conference Co-Champions
  • 1978 Big Eight Conference Co-Champions
  • 1981 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1982 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1983 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1984 Big Eight Conference Co-Champions
  • 1988 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1991 Big Eight Conference Co-Champions
  • 1992 Big Eight Conference ChampionsBIg 12 Football Conference Logo
  • 1993 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1994 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1995 Big Eight Conference Champions
  • 1997 Big XII Conference Champions
  • 1999 Big XII Conference Champions
The five national championships of 1970, 1971, 1994, 1995, and 1997 marked the first time since Notre Dame (1946-49) when three national championships were won in four seasons. One record that no other college football team has come close to breaking is the 60-3-0 record from 1993 to 1997.

Famous Cornhuskers include Heisman Trophy winners Johnny "The Jet" Rodgers, Mike Rozier, and Eric Crouch. Of these Heisman winners, Johnny Rodgers and Mike Rozier have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. Other Husker players and coaches of note to be in the College Football Hall of Fame are as follows.

Nebraska Coaches:

  • Fielding Yost
  • Eddie "Robbie" Robinson
  • Tom Osborne
  • Biff Jones
  • Bob Devaney
  • Dana X. Bible
Collegiate football hall of fame logo

Nebraska Players:

  • Dave Noble
  • Ed Weir
  • Clarence Swanson
  • George Sauer
  • Dave Rimington
  • Bobby Reynolds
  • Wayne Merlan
  • Ken Hunter
  • Rich Glover
  • Sam Francis
  • Guy Chamberlin
  • Bob Brown
  • Forrest Behm

Husker Nation can attest Herbie Husker - Nebraska mascotto the known rivals, the Oklahoma Sooners and the Colorado Buffaloes. Oklahoma and Nebraska were consistent contendors for the Big 8 Conference Title up until 1995. In 1995 the Big 8 Conference became the Big 12 Conference. Of the entire duration of the Big 8 Conference existence, Nebraska or Oklahoma won or shared a piece of the conference title 71 times. Quite an amazing feat! To add to this rivalry, the Huskers and Sooners played several games in the 70s and 80s that determined the Division I-A national champion.

The Nebraska defense has been known as the "Blackshirts" since the early 1960s.Nebraska Blackshirts This nicknames references the black practice jerseys worn by the first string defense during practice. Common images associated with the Blackshirts are skulls and crossbones. The reason for the defense wearing black shirts was when head coach Bob Devaney had assistant coach MIke Corgan find a contrasting color (to the offenseive players' red jersey). Credit is also give to Devaney's defensive line coach, George Kelly. Kelly, who coached with Devaney until 1968, often referred to the starting defensive players by the "Blackshirts". Soon everyone caught on and called the Nebraska defensive squad the "Blackshirts". The first time that this nickname can be documented in print was in 1969 Nebraska football media guide.

Now, Nebraska defensive players receive their Blackshirts the week of the season opener. Recently, the black jerseys were left hanging in a player's locker before the start of that week's practice. A team ceremony is now held to distribute the coveted Blackshirts to the first-unit players. Special honorary Blackshirts are also given to senior defensive players to wear for Bowl game preparations.

In 1994, the tradition of the Huskers emerging onto the field with the Tunnel Walk began.Cornhusker tunnel walk entrance The song "Sirius" by The Alan Parsons Project is played while a video is shown on HuskerVision. This is quite an experience for everyone in Memorial Stadium, as the the crowd roars to uncontrollable decibel levels during this entrance.

During Nebraska home football games, Memorial Stadium becomes the third largest city in Nebraska. This, coupled with the record for most consecutive sold out home games, contributes to why Nebraska fans are called the best fans in the nation. The record for consecutive sold out games reached a milestone on September 22, 2007 when they competed against the Ball State Cardinals. The sellout streak began on November 3, 1962 during Coach Bob Devaney's inagural season. Ironically, Nebraska lost the first game in this sell-out streak. They lost to Missouri in a Homecoming game, 16-7. 35,501 fans attended this game in Memorial Stadium.

Mike Rozier Highlight Video

Turner Gill, Mike Rozier, and Irving Fryar
The Scoring Explosion