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Big Ten Countdown: 37 - Tom Osborne And Nebraska Football Pulls A Huge Upset Over Minnesota

In 1937, Tom Osborne was born. There were other interesting things that happened in 1937 as well. That was the year Nebraska opened it's unicameral state government. Waldo Waterman successfully tested his flying car the Aerobile. Jack Benny and Fred Allen had their comedic "Battle of the Century". The first blood bank was established (Chicago) and the first contraceptive clinic opened (Raleigh).

Some other notes about 1937:

Daffy Duck, Elmer Fudd, and Petunia Pig were introduced.

The first commercial flight across the Pacific is made.

The United States declares that they will be neutral, specifically targeting the events in Europe.

The Golden Gate Bridge opened.

Joe Louis wins the heavyweight title against James J Braddock.

Amelia Earhart's plane disappears over the Pacific.

Spam was introduced, and not the internet kind.

Japan invades China.

Bonneville Dam was opened on the Columbia River.

Toyota motors was spun off as an independent company.  Primarily to make trucks for the war with China.

J. R. R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit" is published.

Germany pulls out of the Treaty of Versailles and starts to prepare for war. Italy withdraws from the League of Nations.

Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again.

When you think of Tom Osborne, football immediately comes to mind. It should. He has accomplished great things in the sport, but he has also contributed to his community in other ways besides football.

In 1991, Tom and his wife, Nancy, founded the "Teammates" mentoring program. It is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping youth to achieve their full potential.

Tom also served as a Congressman from Nebraska in the 3rd district for three terms from 2000 to 2006. Politically he is quite conservative and you can view his voting record here. He also ran for governor of Nebraska in 2006, but wasn't elected.

If you want to learn more about Tom Osborne, there is a great book entitled "More Than Winning" written by Tom Osborne that will give you plenty more insight on the man.

"I'm not really good at retiring. I tried that one time and Nancy kicked me out of the house." - Tom Osborne

Jon Johnston - Nebraska Pulls the Upset 

We've mentioned Minnesota in this series before, but we're heading into old timey era of college football (as opposed to the "Golden Era", which is considered the 1920s) so we'll probably be bringing Minnesota into the conversation a few more times before we're done. 

1937 could have been a down year. Head coach Dana X Bible had just left (for Texas) after compiling a 50-15-7 record (.743) and winning six Big Six titles in his eight seasons. Enter Biff Jones, who arrived at Nebraska after coaching at Oklahoma the previous two seasons. Jones' 1937 team didn't miss a beat, winning the Big Six title again after going 6-1 overall and 3-0-2 in conference. The Cornhuskers would finish ranked #11. 

Nebraska played two Big Ten teams... er, Western Conference teams that season - Minnesota and Indiana. Indiana was decent enough, finishing the season 5-3, but Minnesota was once again a juggernaut, having won the national title the previous two seasons. 

The Golden Gophers came into the Nebraska game having lost only one game in their previous 33, having gone undefeated in 1935, 1934, and 1933 (although they had four ties in 1933). The Gophers were heavy favorites, but were doomed by two turnovers that cost them the game 14-9.