1997 Michigan Wolverines vs 1997 Nebraska Cornhuskers

Discussion in 'Other Sports' started by Courtesy Flush, Jul 6, 2011.

  1. 1997 Michigan Wolverines

  2. 1997 Nebraska Cornhuskers

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  1. Courtesy Flush

    Courtesy Flush 49er fan

    We've been debating this on one of the Niners boards that I post at and I'd like to see what the Titans fanbase thinks. It could be interesting since a lot of you are likely Volunteer fans as well so you were likely aware of both teams due to the Heisman race and the bowl game.

    In 1997, Nebraska finished 13-0, and Michigan finished 12-0. Michigan finished first in the AP poll, while Nebraska finished first in the coaches poll. Michigan defeated Washington State in the Rose Bowl 21-16. Nebraska beat Tennessee in the Orange Bowl 42-17. The 1997 season ended with a split championship.

    At the time, I thought Michigan was the better team and they deserved to be crowned undisputed champions. Looking back now, I think it's possible I was just a homer. My family lived in Michigan and Charles Woodson was my favorite player at the time and I loved watching them play. I watched a lot of Michigan games that year since they were one of my favorite teams, and I watched a lot of Nebraska games that year because I lived in the Big 12 country. The problem, however, is that those games were 14 years ago so it is difficult to judge based on memory, plus I knew less about football when I was 12 years old, and I was more biased at the time. I realize, stats don't tell everything, but like I said, I don't completely trust my biased 12-year old kid memory of that season. So by looking at some of the stats, here are the arguments for each team:

    •Curb stomped Peyton Manning's Tennessee Volunteers in their bowl game.
    •Michigan's opponents were overrated and went 0-6 in bowl games (all losing by multiple scores). The only Big 10 team besides Michigan that won their bowl game was Purdue, who Michigan didn't play that year.
    •Nebraska outscored opponents by 30.7 PPG, where Michigan outscored opponents by 17 PPG.
    •Nebraska beat five teams that finished the season ranked in the top 25 by an average score of 45-22. Michigan beat three teams that finished the season ranked in the top 25 and beat them by an average score of 25-13.
    •Nebraska outscored its opponents with winning records by 23.6 points. Michigan outscored its opponents with winning records by 10.8 points.

    •One of the greatest defenses ever
    •Charles Woodson (Heisman winner)
    •Nebraska struggled against unranked (at the time, they ended at #23) Missouri and won on a lucky (and possibly illegal) kicked ball for a TD that took the game to OT. Nebraska struggled against Missouri and Colorado, which makes TWO performances that were worse than any of Michigan's games.
    •Colorado was a common opponent. Michigan beat Colorado 27-3 at home, Nebraska won 27-24 at Colorado. However, the home/away is a factor, plus it was a rivalry game for CU/NEB, which also makes a difference.
    •Michigan beat #1 Colarado, #2 Penn State, #4 Ohio State, #7 Washington State, #14 Michigan State, #15 Wisconsin, and Notre Dame. However, these teams all ended up lower in rankings by the end of the season, which is more important than their ranking at the time.

    Who do you think was better? Why?

    If only we could have watched them play.

    JCBRAVE 2017 Pick'em Champion Tip Jar Donor

    Any team that can go 12-0 with their leading receiver being Tai Streets gets my vote. That Michigan team also finished games as well as anyone ever has. They also produced a lot of NFL players from the 97 team.
  3. Deuce Wayne

    Deuce Wayne Crap the booze out.

    I'll play homer.

    But it would have taken a crazy off-day for that defense to lose.

    Frost turned the ball over often. UM would have probably rattled him.

    And Nebraska basically lost to Missouri.
  4. Courtesy Flush

    Courtesy Flush 49er fan

    That's pretty much my position. That defense was just nasty. Michigan's offense didn't have to put up an insane amount of points to win, and I don't think they would have had to against Nebraska either. Fast, athletic LBs and DL will stop the option in most instances. Michigan had both. Plus, Michigan had a secondary that was more than capable of covering man-to-man while the front 7 could focus on the QB/RB.

    The only way I could see Nebraska getting enough points is if Griese makes mistakes and gives them great field position.
  5. Courtesy Flush

    Courtesy Flush 49er fan

    Nebraska would have had a huge coaching advantage though. Loyd Carr vs Tom Osborne? :lol2:
  6. World Peace

    World Peace Let's Go Boys

    Hey.. how many points did UTjr get beat by that year?

    Honestly, why debate a championship that happened in the days 14.4 modems? Lets talk about stuff that happened this millennium.

    JCBRAVE 2017 Pick'em Champion Tip Jar Donor

    It's a good question in July during a lockout. Especially coming from a newer poster.
  8. Alex1939

    Alex1939 Space Invaders Champion

    Good thing there was no bcs championship game since everyone hates it and its made college football so awful. :sarcasm:
  9. Gunny

    Gunny Shoutbox Fuhrer

    What was the possibly illegal TD?
  10. CheeseheadTitan

    CheeseheadTitan Pro Bowler Tip Jar Donor

    As a former resident of Missouri, I was watching this when it happened....and sort of remember the details.

    In one of the OT periods, Missouri scored a TD on their possession, and Nebraska faced a 4th down on their ensuing possession. Pass into the end zone was low, and was (arguably) kicked by one of the Nebraska players. The ball went up in the air, was caught by another Nebraska player and ruled a TD. Score was tied, OT play continued, during which Nebraska later won the game.

    That was one of two games in the 90s that Missouri basically got hosed out of knocking off a #1 team (the other being the 5th down loss to Colorado in 1990....and yes, there was a 5th down allowed...watched it myself).
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