Sep 29, 2012; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers fans hold up a poster of athletic director Tom Osborne during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers in the second half at Memorial Stadium. Osborne announced he is retiring January 1, 2013. Nebraska won 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Alabama '09-'12 vs. Nebraska '94-'97

Jan 8, 2013; Fort Lauderdale FL, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban poses with four of the national championship trophies after addressing the media during the winning coach press conference at Harbor Beach Marriott Resort

Alabama officially claims the dynasty moniker with its third BCS championship in four seasons. College football has rarely seen such dominance, though it did happen recently: Tom Osborne’s Nebraska Cornhuskers, from 1994 to 1997.

Nebraska claimed a trifecta of championships over four seasons, without losing a game any of those three seasons. The 1995 Huskers are widely regarded as one of, if not the best college football team of all-time.

Quarterback Tommie Frazier captained the option offense with brilliant efficiency. The Huskers put up 50 or more five times, including 62 in the de facto national championship beatdown of Florida. His 75-yard touchdown rush against the Gators in the 1996 Fiesta Bowl is the stuff of legends.

Not that the Crimson Tide is without a signature touchdown moment from its own Heisman Trophy finalist, running back Trent Richardson. His scoring rush slammed the door on LSU in Alabama’s 2011 season championship.

Both programs executed their offensive game plans with frightening efficiency, the perfect complement to some of the most talented and imposing defenses ever assembled.

Nebraska’s Black Shirts allowed opponents an average of 13.4 points per game in 1994, including no more than 17 in Big 8 Conference play. Among the teams Nebraska manhandled in the league was Colorado, which featured Heisman winner Rashaan Salaam. The 1995 squad allowed 14.5 points per game — a slight increase, though attributable to its high powered offense allowing more possessions. The ’97 team gave up 16.5 points per, but scored a shade below 50.

In Alabama’s run of dominance under Nick Saban, the Tide has routinely ranked atop the FBS in scoring defense. Last year’s team gave up just over 8 points a contest. This season’s wasn’t far off, at 10.9 points allowed per. The ’09 team had the highest yield at 11.9 points per game, but among its efforts was shutting down Tim Tebow and defending BCS champion Florida in the SEC title game.

Championship formats were different in each era — Nebraska’s 1997 championship was the final title claimed before the inception of the Bowl Championship Series, and split with Michigan. Alabama’s run hasn’t been controversy free, either. The Tide’s selection to play LSU in 2011 allowed it to become the first BCS champion to not win its own division, let alone its own conference.

Each faced a challenge in the first of its title game wins. Nebraska outlasted Miami in the 1995 Orange Bowl, 24-17, but would win its bowl games going away to cap both the ’95 and ’97 seasons. The same was true for Alabama, which led a Texas team playing its back-up quarterback by just a field goal in the fourth quarter in the 2010 BCS championship. But each of the last two Tide title victories, Alabama rolled.


2009 14-0 32.1 11.9 @ Ole Miss, 22-3; @ Auburn, 26-21; vs. Florida, 32-13; vs. Texas, 37-21
2011 12-1 34.9 8.2 @ Ole Miss, 22-3; @ Auburn, 26-21; vs. Florida, 32-13; vs. Texas, 37-21
2012 13-1 38.7 10.9 vs. Michigan, 41-14; @ LSU, 21-17; vs. Georgia, 32-28; vs. Notre Dame, 42-14


1994 13-0 35.3 11.9 @ Kansas State, 17-6; vs. Colorado, 24-7; vs. Miami, 24-17
1995 12-0 53.2 14.5 vs. Kansas State, 49-25; @ Colorado, 44-21; vs. Florida, 62-24
1997 13-0 49.9 16.5 @ Washington, 27-14; vs. Kansas State, 56-26; vs. Texas A&M, 54-15; vs. Tennessee, 42-17

Which run is more impressive: Alabama 2009 to 2012, or Nebraska 1994 to 1997?

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Tags: Alabama Crimson Tide Football Nebraska Cornhuskers

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