Remember the good old days when the goal of every Nebraska season was to get to the Orange Bowl?
Well... honestly I don’t think you were missing much. I don’t mean in terms of football and fun and excitement and success. I specifically mean the Orange Bowl. From my understanding, it was a rather run down kind of place. That’s the advantage you get when you have a stadium in a warm weather place - you get to host big games regardless of whether or not it’s nice or a complete hell hole.
The good news is that Nebraska played great games in the Orange Bowl. Two of them featured our beloved head coach and future savior Scott Frost. Frost played in the 1997 and 1998 Orange Bowls as quarterback.
Nebraska came into the 97 Orange Bowl (96 season) with a 10-2 record, losing early in the season 19-0 to Arizona State (known as “The Debacle in the Desert), and then losing the Big 12 championship to evil Texas (known as “Roll Left” as Longhorn quarterback James Brown completed a 61-yard pass on 4th and 2 from the Texas 28-yard line to seal the game). The loss killed any shot at another national title.
Our beloved Huskers made up for it (somewhat) by smashing Virginia Tech 41-21 in the Orange Bowl.
That’s really not the “Scott Frost Orange Bowl Game Everyone Remembers”.
The one everyone remembers is the game that culminated the 97 National Title season. The one were our beloved #2-ranked Huskers met up with #3 Peyton Manning-led Tennessee. The one where Nebraska rolled over the Volunteers where they were something like road kill while you were driving to get to the beer store before it closed on a Saturday night.
It was a thing of beauty. The Nebraska offensive line pummeled the Vol defense into the ground. I remember a Vol player complaining later that we executed so well it was like they were playing against robots. Probably killer robots. Killer robots that did not care one iota for your feelings.
Oh, those were the days.
From the athletic department press release:
Frost will be the 10th Nebraska player to be inducted into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame. He joins Tommie Frazier, Irving Fryar, Turner Gill, Rich Glover, Ahman Green, Dave Rimington, Johnny Rodgers, Mike Rozier and Jerry Tagge. The 10 players are joined by coaches Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne, who each captured a pair of national championships with Orange Bowl victories.
Frost is joined in the 2018 Orange Bowl Hall of Fame Class by Florida State defensive end Derrick Alexander, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops, Alabama running back Shaun Alexander and Virginia Tech coach Frank Beamer. The five new inductees are part of a group of 119 inductees into the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame.
That’s a whole lot of great Nebraska players and some other people from other schools who might be decent enough to get in there because if you had a Hall of Fame full of Nebraska and Oklahoma players only it might upset some people.
I suppose there are a number of Miami players in the Orange Bowl Hall of Fame. Funny how bowl games work. You work your tale off all season, then you get to go play warm weather teams in their environment and frequently in their own stadiums.
College football is so incredibly dumb.