1997 National Champs

This is in reference to the posts below about the 1997 National Championship.  It was written before NUs bowl game by a writer who got it right

With one more win, Nebraska deserves national title

(c) 1998 Copyright
1998 Scripps Howard

MIAMI (Jan 2, 1998 - 05:12 EST) -- If Nebraska beats Tennessee in the Orange Bowl by the margin the odds makers say it should, then the Cornhuskers should win the national championship. They wont, but they should.

Too many voters are too reluctant to drop a winning team. And that's unfortunate for Nebraska.

In voting unbeaten Michigan over unbeaten Nebraska for the last third of the season, I based that first-place vote, in part, on Michigan's tougher schedule. The bowl games have changed my perspective.

The Big Ten was overrated. That became more evident with every bowl game: Michigan State lost to Washington 51-23. Iowa lost to Arizona State 17-7. Wisconsin lost to Georgia 33-6. Penn State lost to Florida 21-6. Ohio State lost to Florida 31-14. Purdue, which Michigan didn't play, was the only other Big Ten winner (33-20 over Oklahoma State in the Alamo Bowl).

Michigan's opponents, five Big Ten teams and Notre Dame, went 0-6 in the bowls.

Nebraska's opponents went 2-2 in the bowls. Washington and Kansas State won; Missouri and Texas A&M lost.

Here's what I jotted down on a notepad after Michigan's 21-16 Rose Bowl victory over Washington State: Records: If Nebraska beats UT in the Orange Bowl, it will be 13-0. Michigan is 12-0.

Opponents: If Nebraska beats UT, its opponents record will be 76-74; Michigan's opponents are 74-67.

Dominance: Nebraska outscored its opponents by 30.7 points per game; Michigan outscored its opponents by 17 points per

More dominance: Nebraska outscored its opponents with winning records by 23.6. Michigan outscored its opponents with winning records by 10.8 points.

It's too easy to say Michigan was No. 1 and won its game, so it should stay No. 1. That's not the way the system is supposed to work. Our archaic method of choosing a college football champion is based on style points. Nebraska lost style points because it beat Missouri in overtime and beat Colorado by three after leading by 17 late in the game.

However, against good teams, Nebraska, not Michigan, has been more stylish. The Cornhuskers beat 11-1 Kansas State by30 points. They beat Washington by 13. They beat Texas A&M by 39 points just three weeks ago.

In Thursday's Cotton Bowl, those same Aggies almost upset a UCLA team that had won nine consecutive games. Don't forget that Michigan only beat Notre Dame by seven points, Iowa by four and Wisconsin by 10. Its most-convincing victory was
against Penn State, which for much of the year was the most-overrated team in the country.

Michigan deserves tremendous credit for an unbeaten season. But if Nebraska plays well in beating Tennessee, it deserves the national championship.

                          By JOHN ADAMS, Scripps Howard News Service

This FanPost created by a registered user of Corn Nation.

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