Nebraska Cornhuskers cornerback Braxton Clark (11) breaks up a pass intended for Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Mario Williams (4) during the fourth quarter at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

Nebraska football old-school rivalries that should come back

In the history of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football program, there have been many different rivalries throughout its history. Many of these rivalries date back back before World War I and some of them should come back. For the Huskers, the rivalries that should come back are from the time when regional conferences were the thing across college football. Specifically in the Big Eight and Big 12 conferences. Here are four of Nebraska’s old-school rivalries that should come back or happen more often.

4 Nebraska football old-school rivalries that should come back

Oklahoma Sooners

The Nebraska-Oklahoma football rivalry is considered by many as one of the best rivalries in college football history. The rivalry dates back to 1912, when Nebraska won 13-9 in Lincoln. The Huskers and Sooners played 85 times up until before the 2011 season when Nebraska joined the Big Ten. The two did not play again until 2021 when Nebraska and Oklahoma renewed their rivalry with a home-and-home series, where the Sooners took both games 23-16 in 2021 and 49-14 in 2022. Oklahoma leads the series 47-38-3.

The rivalry has featured some of the best teams and moments in college football history. Out of the 87 games, the teams have played 18 times when both teams were ranked in the AP Top 10 and nine times when both were in the top five. Of those nine games, one stands out. That would be the 1971 “Game of the Century“, where the Huskers and Sooners faced off as No. 1 and No. 2 in Norman, Oklahoma. Nebraska defeated Oklahoma 35-31 and went on to win the National Championship. The two teams combined to win 74 of 89 Big Eight championships, with the Huskers winning 41 to the Sooners 33. This old-school rivalry is set to be renewed once again for future non-conference games in 2029 and 2030, but this rivalry should be played more often. Both teams have iconic history and when both teams are good, it makes for excellent football.

Miami Hurricanes

Despite Nebraska and the Miami Hurricanes rarely meeting in the regular season, they had a bitter rivalry due to their many postseason meetings. The Huskers and Hurricanes faced off several times for the college football national championship, many times in the Orange Bowl. For 20 years, these two teams ran college football and both now are in the rebuilding stage to get back to that place they both want to be.

Nebraska and Miami had a home-and-home series back in 2014 and 2015, where both games were close and entertaining. The 2014 matchup was in Lincoln, where the Hurricanes were “welcomed to their worst nightmare“. That nightmare was over 91,000 Nebraska fans filling up Memorial Stadium, thus creating the “Sea of Red“. The crowd played a huge factor in the Huskers’ 41-31 win over the Hurricanes. Things did not go Nebraska’s way in 2015, falling short to Miami 36 to 33 in overtime at Hard Rock Stadium. With both teams rebuilding their respective programs, it would create the potential for some fantastic games, if the series is brought back. Also with the series being tied at six games a piece, that should be changed soon.

Missouri Tigers

The Victory Bell also known as the Missouri-Nebraska Bell served as Nebraska’s only annual trophy game up until Nebraska left the Big 12 Conference before the 2011 season. The Tigers and Huskers rivalry dates back to November 5, 1892, which was the second oldest in the Big 12 and the third oldest west of the Mississippi River. Nebraska dominates the overall rivalry record, with a record of 65-36-3 (104 meetings) all-time against Missouri. There are plenty of moments from this rivalry, with the most notable coming in the 1997 season when the two teams’ matchup came down to the wire. The Huskers struggled for most of the game but managed to stay in the 1997 title race after a miracle catch my wide receiver Matt Davidson on a play now known as the “Flea Kicker“. 

Nebraska won the last meeting on October 30, 2010, when the No. 14 Huskers upset the No. 6 Tigers 31-17 in Lincoln. A home-and-home series between Nebraska and Missouri could be fun. With both teams potentially returning to the forefront of college football, it could bring back some tenseness of the two teams’ rivalry for a small period and even potentially bring the Missouri-Nebraska Victory Bell back into play. 

Kansas State Wildcats

The final old Nebraska football rivalry that should come back is the Huskers rivalry with the Kansas State Wildcats. Nebraska and the Wildcats’ rivalry served as the nearest cross-border schools in both of their times in the Big Eight and Big 12 conferences. With only 2.5 hours between each other could bring some interesting environments at both teams’ respected home stadiums and bring back some of the parts of the old Big Eight conference times. The matchup has been a part of history as well. The 1939 meeting between the two served as the second-ever televised college football game, which was played in Manhattan, Kansas. For the 1992 meeting, both teams played each other in the Coca-Cola Classic at the Tokyo Dome in Tokyo, Japan, where the Huskers defeated Kansas State 38-24 to clinch the Big Eight championship.

Nebraska dominates the all-time series 78-15-2, with the Huskers defeating the Wildcats in 29 consecutive matchups from 1969 to 1997. Nebraska defeated Kansas State in their last matchup 48-13 on October 7, 2010, in Manhattan, Kansas. 

 Main Image: © Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

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