June 27, 2020
Note: Unlike the two previous threads of the 70s and the 80s, this thread will rank the top 25 rather than just the top 20. Teams in the bottom five will be annotated with ranking to see whether the final ranking is generous or not.
Beginning with January 2, 1989 and ending January 1, 1993 (four years almost to the day), Nebraska compiled a record of 2-8-1 against ranked teams and lost games to four different national champions, all by double digits. Nebraska either won the title or lost to every single national champion but two between 1988-1997 (1992 Alabama and 1996 Florida; and note Nebraska DID lose to a team that probably would have won the title had they won the Rose Bowl, 1996 Arizona State).
This pretty much summarizes Nebraska – they were around the periphery of greatness for decades, but more often than not they came up short. They do deserve immense credit for the 1993-2001 run, but it’s likely that with the passing of time and the fading of memories, Florida State’s two titles will rank higher than Nebraska’s three, although one particular Husker team (1995) is remembered as better than they probably were.