Here is a link/article to a story by Beano Cook, talking about great college football teams from past years. I think the guy is way off on saying Nebraska could not throw the ball very well in the early 70s and again in the mid 90s. I don't have a membership to email the guy, if anyone does feel free to send this link or copy anything from here to send to him.
"Southern California's surprising 55-19 domination of Oklahoma is raising questions about the best two-year run in college football history. USC definitely belongs in the conversation.
There was Oklahoma, led by Bud Wilkinson, in 1954-56. Each of those great Sooners' teams finished with a perfect record, but the '54 team wound up No. 3 in the country. Alabama, coached by Bear Bryant and quarterbacked by Joe Namath in 1964, won the national title in 1964 and '65. But neither of those Crimson Tide teams went unbeaten.
The Sooners came back with consecutive titles in '74-75, and Alabama shared it with USC in '78 and won it in '79. Nebraska, in 1970-71, was very good, especially in 1971, but the Cornhuskers lacked a strong passing attack.
Keith Jackson feels the 1972 USC team is the best since the end of World War II.
The Nebraska teams, led by Tom Osborne, of 1994-95 were powerful ground forces, but could not throw the ball very well.
Ohio State came close to being No. 1 three years in a row. The Buckeyes were 28-2, but after winning the national title in 1968, they lost to Michigan in '69 and to Stanford in the Rose Bowl in '70.
Texas won the old United Press International poll in '68-69, thanks to then-president Richard Nixon, whose support for the Longhorns prompted Penn State coach Joe Paterno, snubbed by consecutive No. 2 finishes, to ask during his 1973 commencement address how Nixon could know so much about college football and so little about Watergate.None of those teams, however, threw the ball as well as this year's Trojans. That's the main difference in comparing eras and why I put USC of 2003-04 near the top – second to be exact".
Beano, you're full of beans.
I know this is written well after your article (Leinart and Co. join elite class-Jan. 2005) but I just came across it the other day.
The article was about some great college football teams of past years. In it you mention 1970-71 Nebraska, saying “especially in 1971, but the Cornhuskers lacked a strong passing attack”.
I really don’t know what you base that on and would like to point out the following -
The NCAA ranked passers back then by completions per game. Brian Sipe led with 17.8 per game. His totals were. - (11 games)
% - .531
Yds - 2,532
While Jerry Tagge NU’s QB had - (12 games) This does not include Orange Bowl vs. Alabama for the NC.
Att. - 239
Comp. - 143 (11.92 per game)
% - .598
Yds. - 2,019
Int. - 4
TDs - 17
Tagge is listed in the NCAA record book as having the top pass efficiency rating that year for QB’s (with at least 15 attempts per game) with a rating of 150.9 (he also led in 1970 with 149.0) he was the # 16 ranked passer that year based on completions per game. (major college - before Division 1A, 2A split)
I’m not able to look it up, but I would be willing to bet you could almost count the # of passes Tagge threw in the 4th quarter on your fingers, as Nebraska was usually well ahead by then and Van Brownson played quite a bit as his backup
With over 2,000 yards passing and 17 tds, almost 60% comp. rate, with only 4 int. That was not to bad for the early 70s, especially the amount of time he played. He was 1st team All American (Football News), he also had Johnny Rodgers to throw the ball to. I think that was a pretty good passing attack for its day.
"The Nebraska teams, led by Tom Osborne, of 1994-95 were powerful ground forces, but could not throw the ball very well"
1995 Nebraska with Tommie Frazier
Tommie Frazier completed .564% of his passes, for 1362 yds., with 17 TDs and only 4 int. (regular season) . If he had a few more pass attempts to qualify he would have been in the top 10 for QB ratings that season. Again like Tagge he played little in the fourth quarter of games.
Source - 1972 NCAA record book -review of 1971
- newer NCAA record books
- NU Media guides