August 4, 2006

Top 10 Husker losses of all time - #7



Top 10 Husker losses of all time - #7




November 8th, 1997

#1 Nebraska 14 7 7 3 31
Missouri 7 17 7 7 38
@ Columbia
A- 66846



Our #7 Husker loss of all time is going to be a controversial one for sure. Let me explain to those who don't get it. If a team loses..and nobody acknowledges it...is it a loss? Fuckin A right it's a loss. If a team is #1 in the country, and they drop out of the top spot the next morning..is it a loss? People often ask me, "Hey asshole, that game in 97 must have killed you. I'll bet you went on a killing spree or something. That must have been funny to see" Uhhhhh, not really, for reasons I'll get to in a second.

I could go on and on for hours about how the ball hit the ground. (which it may not have..it was awfully close). I could go on and on about how it's a blatant illegal to kick a ball while in play. (which it is...especially if you later get convicted of fondling a 14 year old girl in a trailer with your cousin...but again, I'm not here to judge "student" athletes like Shevin "Grass on the field" Wiggins). The problem is...this game isn't mine to decide whether it was a win or a loss for the mighty Huskers....who went on to whine and cry their way to a partial "National Championship".

What matters is what happened later on in the years to follow. Ironic that 1997 was NU's last "title" run? Ironic that the wheels fell off of the Husker football machine right about 1998? Ironic that losses to Big 12 schools started to pile up like socks in a corner hamper? Ironic that the "smooth transition of power" to Franck Solich ended up being a giant clusterfuck, that you people are still trying to clean up to this day? Ironic that after losing to Nebraska for 24 years, Missouri has now beaten NU 2 out of the last 3 seasons?

That's not irony. That's karma.

In a side note, you can believe me or not on this...but I've actually sat down and talked briefly about this to Matt Davison a few years ago. We discussed how his life changed after that play, and they cheated to win it. After a few beers and some meaningful dialogue, we settled our differences, and to this day...I am free to talk about it openly and candidly. He apologized. I forgave him. He gets to keep his ring, and I get to call that game a Missouri victory. (Don't tell anybody this..but he's actually a pretty nice guy) Again, believe this if you want....but it actually happened.

Anyhow, back to 97.....ANYBODY who watched that game knows two things. 1) It was probably the best college football game you will ever see. And 2) No fucking way on God's green earth did Nebraska deserve to "win" that game. You know they didn't win. I know they didn't win. God knows they didn't win. Even if Wiggins catches that ball...he's down at the 1. Looking back, that Missouri team didn't have much business even being on the same field as NU that day. Corby Jones played the game of his life, throwing for 233 yards and hitting as many wide open receivers as you will ever see in a regulation game. Human Bowling Ball Brock Olivo finished the game with only 42 yards on 11 carries.

"National Champions" don't allow longtime doormats like Mizzou to march up and down the field on them like that. "National Champions" don't need "miracles" to beat a team that hadn't gone to a bowl game in 13 years. "National Champions" don't turn the ball over 4 times against teams like Mizzou. "National Champions" don't sell their souls in order win a late season game.

So is it really a loss? Was it God's way of giving Nebraska one final fleeting moment in the sun, before cursing them with underachieving players, Steve Pederson and Bill Callahan? Was it God's way of rewarding Tom Osborne for never using the word "fistfuck"? You be the judge. All I know is, had it not been for the plucky Mizzou Tigers on that faithful night in Columbia, the Hicksters most likely would have won an actual National title instead of a piece of one. (One they even barely won anyway). Plays like that don't happen because of flukes. There is a purpose for plays like that that change lives. (How do you think I got this way in the first place?). That play happened for a reason.

So for the loss that was never recognized outside me....for the loss that cost a program 1/2 a "National Title"...for a loss that started the ball rolling down the hill of mediocrity....The scrappy Missouri Tigers are credited with All-Time Husker loss #7. Even if nobody but me gives them credit but me.

Tomorrow - "Boy am I tired"

23 Comments:

Blogger Adam said...

I'll never forget where I was that day...celebrating my birthday at the Metrodome watching Ohio State stomp the Gophers...during a timeout, they showed the replay of the catch on the jumbotron and the 40,000 or so who were there were booing rather loudly...and me, along with some buddies, three rows behind the Buckeye bench, going ape shit.

9:35 AM  
Blogger Husker Mike said...

I was in the far end zone from the play, so all I saw was ball being thrown into a mass of players, and then the ref signalling "touchdown". There were no replays shown on the big screen, and every Husker fan who stayed was busy cheering, hugging, and celebrating.

Many missed the play. When Nebraska punted with 3 minutes left, many started to head for the exits. I even packed my binoculars away in order to make the "quick exit" while the Mizzou fans celebrated. When Frost started that final drive, I start repeating to everybody around me "you've gotta believe, you've gotta believe".

Anyway, all the drive back to Omaha, we hear references on the radio to that amazing play that tied the game, but nobody says what exactly happens. No replays in the stadium, so we assume that it was just a great catch. I get home at 1 am, just in time for the late SportsCenter and finally get to see the play close-up.

I understand why you're bitter and call it a loss. Heck, Nebraska's had a couple of these go the other way: 94 Orange Bowl and 82 at Penn State that cost them trophies. But the fact they pulled a rabbit out of their hat in Columbia doesn't change the fact that Nebraska was the Best Team in 1997.

9:39 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Ok...you crossed the line. "Pulling a rabit out of a hat" is a great drive or some incredible play. Using 3 PI penalties on the final drive (2 of which were complete bullshit) and then illegally kicking a ball, only to have it picked up 1 millimeter off the ground...is a bit more than that.

Brad Smith killed this ghost, so I'm not nearly as bitter as you might think. However, I do sympathize with the fact that you left early and missed it.

10:35 AM  
Blogger Husker Mike said...

Oh no, I didn't leave early. I watched others leave early. I missed it because I was at the opposite end of the stadium...

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah...that game really cost them in the next 2 yrs. 1999 they went 12-1 won the conference and finished #2 in the nation after whipping Tenn in Tempe. Sorry, but the 97 Mizzou game wasnt the start of the decline. It was the 01 Colorado game, which im sure is in your top 5. Saying otherwise would be giving WAY too much credit to an average football program in Columbia.

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mangino was right - the conference won't wreck it's national title contenders:

1. 3 pass interferences final drive
2. down at the one
3. kicked ball

God knows I hate the hawks, but Mangino was COMPLETELY spot on when he called out the refs after Texas' 04 victory over KU. That's why 97 MU-NU wasn't a loss.

It just comes down to a sound bottom line, dollars and cents call.

12:16 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Mike, you are forgiven.

;)

PS - This top 10 was not meant to be scientific.

12:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Using 3 PI penalties on the final drive"

HUH? Check the stat book genuis. Mizzou was only flagged twice the entire game. As for the drive to tie the game, there were NO PI penalites.

Here is the drive chart:

N 1-10 N33 NEBRASKA CORNHUSKERS drive start at 01:02 (4th).

N 1-10 N33 K.Cheatham sideline pass from S.Frost for 27 yards to the MISSOURI40, 1ST
DOWN NU.

N 1-10 M40 S.Frost HO pass incomplete to L.Brown.

N 2-10 M40 S.Frost sideline pass incomplete (Sterling, A.).

N 3-10 M40 E.Warfield HO pass from S.Frost for 13 yards to the MISSOURI27, 1ST DOWN
NU.

N 1-10 M27 K.Cheatham sideline pass from S.Frost for 8 yards to the MISSOURI19.

N 2-2 M19 S.Frost crossing pass incomplete.

N 3-2 M19 K.Cheatham sideline pass from S.Frost for 7 yards to the MISSOURI12, 1ST
DOWN NU.

N 1-10 M12 S.Frost crossing pass incomplete.

N 2-10 M12 S.Frost sideline pass incomplete to E.Warfield (Criss, S.).

N 3-10 M12 M.Davison crossing pass from S.Frost for 12 yards to the MISSOURI0, 1ST
DOWN NU, TOUCHDOWN, clock 00:00.
K.Brown kick attempt good.

12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NU MU
Penalties: Number-Yards....... 5-45 2-10

Facts can be fun.

http://www.huskerpedia.com/stats/1997/missouri.htm#GAME.PLY

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please re-watch that drive. There were NO FLAGS ON MIZZOU..


"It was a sequence that will be replayed many times in the minds of many fans and players.

1:12 left with the ball at the MU 33 yard line. Frost completes a 27 yard pass to Kenny Cheatham. First and ten Nebraska at the Missouri 40. Then an incomplete pass intended for Lance Brown followed by another incomplete pass. Nebraska was facing third down and 10 with :45 left.

Frost then completed a 13 yard pass to Matt Davison for a first down. First and ten at the Missouri 27.

An eight yard pass to Cheatham takes the Huskers to the 19 yard line. Frost spikes the ball on the next snap to stop the clock with :21 left.

Then a seven yard pass to Cheatham and another spike set the Huskers up at the 12 yard line with :12 remaining.

Frost tries a pass to the end zone for Davison but it falls incomplete with 7 seconds left. Then the magic pass."

12:33 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Alright...you guys win. I could have swore I was pissing and moaning about PI calls late in the game. That's what I get for not doing my research.

Please strike those remarks from teh record until I can better figure out what the hell I was thinking.

AJ

2:57 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

Oh, and by the way....you fucking clowns on ESPN Sports Nation who found your way here....you really need to get laid or something.

Jesus, and they call me uptight. You guys are down right hostile. Yes, BOO HOO..somebody who lives in your state hates your team...call the fucking National Gaurd.

Shut the fuck up..pay attention, and you just might learn that not everybody here is a brainwashed hayseed with an ear of corn hanging out of his pocket, while wearing a stupid piece of yellow foam rubber on his head.

PS - Your grammar is horrible.

10:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They might learn something? You are the king of mis-information. They might learn that there were 7 PI penalties on NEB during the final drive? You failed to mention the 7th down and the fact Frost and Co had 14 players on the field during the second to last play.

Bottom line: NEB was ranked 100th and what in the nation in passing? And they drove 60 yards on your ass in just over a minute...all via the forward pass. Mizzou choked. End of story.

9:30 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Wait a second....Mizzou "choked" in a game where the winning team needed a ball that (follow me here)....deflected off a receiver's hands (who wasn't in the end zone)...he FELL DOWN...(keep following me)...KICKED THE BALL into the air between two defenders...and then (keep following...a guy came out of nowhere to swoop it up off the top blades of grass in the end zone.

And Mizzou choked?

That's the most horseshit, weak ass argument I've ever heard. Mizzou was only 7-4 that year. Nebraska won the National championship, averaging like 5000 yards a game rushing. And you point out some weak ass stat on passing offense being 107th or something?

Well no fucking shit captain obvious. Nebraska sucked at passing during the season, because you only have to throw so many passes when you're beating Troy 70-0.

How you can spin that is beyond me.

11:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a sad life you lead. Devoting this much time to something you hate? Get a fucking hobby you enjoy. I've lived in Nebraska all my life and I agree the state sucks ass. Nebraska football is about the only source of pride for the residents here. If you don't like it just ignore it instead of pretending you are some how better than everyone who enjoys it. It is not the Nebraska Cornhuskers fault that you are fat and ugly and can't get laid.

11:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Nebraska sucked at passing during the season"

You prove my point. And yet, sucking as they did through the air, they moved the ball 60 yrds in 60 seconds all through the air WITHOUT the benefit of a penalty. Yes, the final play was very lucky. But, Mizzou allowed the worst passing team in the conference walk right down the field like they were coached by Steve Spurrier. How can you let that happen?

12:00 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

The reply before this is by far the weakest hate mail I've ever gotten. Seriously...get better.

As for the passing down the field argument...OH don't get me wrong...Mizzou played soft on that last drive. But if I recall (and I'm pretty sure I'm right this time), weren't there at least 2 tipped balls that were inches away from being picked? Go check that one.

Either way..doesn't matter. Piercy stopped Wiggins at the one, even if he catches it...and it wouldn't have been a first down....game over.

12:53 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

PS - I'm not "better than everybody who enjoys it."

I just think your livelyhood of warshiping this team and this program is based on fraud. Seriously...if you were the "greatest fans in college football", would you REALLY need a sign over the door as you walk in to tell you so?

I'm not kidding...improve the hate mail. Very very weak.

12:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

actually u are wrong. Wiggins fell into the end zone. Check the pics...#14 is Lance Bronwn..u can clearly see the Wiggins was on his back across the goal line

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/features/1997/weekly/971117/cf1117/a.html

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a link to the video. Wiggins clearly wouldve scored a TD had he held on.


http://net.unl.edu/~swi/sports/movies/mo.mov

1:40 PM  
Blogger AJ said...

No freaking way. If the ball isn't flopping around, Piercy puts a helmet into him, and he goes the other direction.

That video clarifies nothing.

3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at the photo on your own freakin post. Wiggins left shoulder is 3 yrds deep in the end zone. Shevin fell straight back towards the end zone when the pass hit him. It was this momentum that helped him kick the ball directly behind him.

12:46 AM  
Blogger AJ said...

Sure, they fell back once the ball went into the air. Besides, if the spot was THAT close...in THAT environment in THAT hostile of a crowd, do you think the refs would have given NU the spot?

Uhhhhh no.

Doesn't matter anyway. I'm most pissed that Piercey didn't knock the ball down. It floated right by his head for about 2 full seconds.

9:44 AM  

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