team won its second consecutive national championship (as part of a 26-game winning
streak) by blowing through a schedule that included three Top 10 teams, and then whipped
No. 2 Florida in the Fiesta Bowl with an unbelievable 62-24 statemen
1995 National Champions Tom Osborne's 23rd
Nebraska team was his best. The 1995 Cornhuskers were maybe the best in college football
history, and they definately the best in 1995 without exception,and they proved it.
Computer analyst Jeff Sagarin, whose rankings are regularly published in USA Today
published a list of the top college football teams since 1956, and Nebraska's 1995
National Championship team was No. 1 on that list.The 1971 Huskers were No. 2. The list of
25 teams included the 1972 and 1970 Nebraska squads also.
Nebraska built on a school-record winning streak started the season before and pushed it
to 25 games,and repeated as national champion as only eight other teams had done since the
Associated Press began its rankings in1936.
The Huskers dominated opponents,never having their streak or,quest for another title
threatened in 1995. The closest an opponent came to the Cornhuskers was 14 points. But
even that was deceptive. Washington State trailed Nebraska 28-7 after three quarters, in
the fifth game of the season. The Cornhuskers scored 20 points in the second quarter to
overcome a 7-0 first quarter deficit.The outcome was never in question.
Nebraska, which began the season ranked No. 2 by the Associated
Press, didn't move to No. 1 until back-to-back victories against No. 8 Kansas State
(49-25) and No. 7 Colorado (44-21). After completing a third consecutive undefeated and
untied regular season and winning a fifth consecutive Big Eight championship, including
four in a row outright.
The Cornhuskers eliminated any doubt about their claim to a
second consecutive national title by overwhelming No. 2 Florida 62-24 in the Fiesta
Bowl.Under "touchdown" Tommy Frazier's leadership, Nebraska's offense was even
more productive than that of the "Scoring Explosion" team in 1983. The
Cornhuskers ranked No. 1 in the nation in both rushing (399.8) and scoring (52.4) and No.
2 in total offense (556.3). The 1983 team was slightly better rushing the ball, averaging
a school-record 401.7 yards, but it averaged slightly fewer points (52.0) and total yards
Frazier broke the Cornhusker career record for total offense (5,476) and touchdowns
produced (79). He earned All-America recognition, finished second to Ohio State's Eddie
George in balloting for the Heisman Trophy and received the most valuable player award in
the Fiesta Bowl game.Frazier, whose record in four years as a starter was 33-3,
established himself among the best quarterbacks in Cornhusker history. "I would say
if I were to choose one player who has had the most impact on the outcome of the greatest
number of games over the longest period of time since I've been at Nebraska, it would be
Tommie Frazier," said Osborne, who began as a graduate assistant in 1962.
In addition to Frazier, center Aaron Graham and outside
linebacker Jared Tomich also earned first-team All-America honors. Graham also was a
Cornhusker co-captain, along with tight end Mark Gilman, defensive tackle Christian Peter,
safety Tony Veland and linebacker Phil Ellis.
Ahman Green, who began fall camp down the list on the depth chart, became the starting
I-back and broke the school rushing record for a freshman. He gained 1,086 yards and
scored 12 touchdowns. Green would have broken the school scoring record for a freshman
were it not for Kris Brown, the place-kicker. Brown, like Green a true freshman, scored 97
points, a school record for kicking.Tomich, a junior who originally walked on, was among
five Blackshirts who received first-team all-conference recognition. The other defensive
players were Peter, linebacker Terrell Farley, rush end Grant Wistrom and cornerback
Tyrone Williams. Frazier and Graham were joined on All-Big Eight first team offenses by
Green, tackle Eric Anderson and guards Chris Dishman and Aaron Taylor.
Despite the Cornhuskers' success, the 1995 season was one of mixed emotions, resulting
from much publicized off-the-field problems. "It was a terrible year, and it was a
great year," Osborne said after the Fiesta Bowl. "It was taxing. On the other
hand, it was very gratifying to work with a group of players who had the kind of focus and
drive to carry them through." That was the redeeming factor. "There were times I
was running on empty. I take my spiritual life very seriously. I relied on my
faith more than I ever have. I was grateful for the sustaining strength that was
The star-crossed nature of the 1995 team was further underscored in the spring, when Brook
Berringer, a quarterback who had just completed his eligibility, died in the crash of a
light plane.Osborne again had to turn to his faith to handle the tragedy. "The Brook
I knew, there was nothing he could have done better," said Osborne. "The length
(of his life) was not what you would have liked. But the quality couldn't have been
better. "Berringer, who had stepped in for an injured Tommie Frazier during the 1994
national championship season, accepted his role without complaint and contributed as a
proven back-up in 1995.
The Huskers had left nothing but devastation in their path on the way to Tempe, Arizona
and the Tostito's Fiesta Bowl for the National Championship game against the number 2
Florida Gators.In the face of diversity this team had shown an un-wavering and deeply
rooted devotion to Tom Osbourne and the University of Nebraska during a season marred with
with off the field problems.
The Fiesta Bowl would be the stage where possibly the most dedicated and driven men ever
to were the Husker uniform would finally earn the respect of everyone in college
football,most notably the media (espn). After 25 victory's in a row ,most of them brutal
reminders of the Cornhuskers power and depth,they stil were not considered the number 1
team in the country.Lee Corso of ESPN picked Florida and their fun - n - gun offense to
pass over Nebraska big time for all the marbles How wrong he was as the Cornhuskers
embarrassed the number 2 team in the second most lopsided victory ever in a bowl game.
The 62-24 thrashing of second-ranked Florida more than made a statement for the Huskers.
That 38-point margin of victory was the second highest ever in a No. 1 versus
No. 2 matchup, and gave Nebraska back-to-back national titles.The Huskers beat Miami in
the Orange Bowl the previous year.NU trailed 10-6 after the first quarter against Florida,
but scored 29 un-answered points and rolled on for the victory.
The Huskers rushed for a NCAA bowl-record 524 yards in that game,
including 199 yards rushing by quarterback Tommie Frazier.Defensively, the Blackshirts
dominated the Gators' famed "Fun 'N' Gun" offense with a brutality and
aggression that put fear in the eyes of Florida's QB Danny Wullford. The Huskers recorded
seven sacks, forced four turnovers, had a safety and returned an interception for a
touchdown.Nebraska left no doubt in anyones eyes who the best team of 1995,but in doing so
created a whole new ball of fire.Was this the best college football team ever
assembled.Many know it's true but the debate will last as long as the memory of the 1995
Huskers will in the eyes of all Nebraskan's.
More about the 1995 Huskers.GO
More about N.U. championship teams.GO
More about Tom Osbourn.Go