Nebraska wins the national championship in the 1994 season.
1994 was Osborne’s 22nd year as the head coach of Nebraska football. After a handful of narrow misses previously, the 1994 campaign was dubbed “Unfinished Business” internally. With quarterback Tommie Frazier back for his junior year, nobody had any chance of slowing down Osborne’s patented triple-option attack.
Nebraska went 13-0 en route to its third national championship in school history. They cleaned up in Big Eight play as usually, beating five teams ranked in the top-25 during the campaign. The year started with a neutral-site shutout of the No. 24 West Virginia Mountaineers at Giants Stadium. They then beat No. 13 UCLA in Lincoln at No. 16 Kansas State before things got really interesting.
In a huge rivalry game vs. No. 2 Colorado, No. 3 Nebraska upended the Buffaloes 24-7 to stay perfect at 9-0. That win catapulted the Huskers to No. 1 in the land. After beating Kansas at home and then Iowa State and Oklahoma on the road, it was all gearing up for an Orange Bowl date on New Year’s Day with the hometown Miami Hurricanes.
Miami was the No. 3 team in the country, but didn’t do enough to keep pace with Frazier and the vaunted triple-option. The Cornhuskers won 24-17 to secure national title No. 3 in school history and the first in Osborne’s legendary coaching career. While he had three more great years after this, winning this first national title got the proverbial monkey off his back.