A fan vote will determine what icon Nebraska uses to celebrate 125 seasons of Big Red Football.
Photo by Scott Bruhn/Nebraska Communications

Your Vote Decides 125-Year Celebration Icon

By NU Athletic Communications

Randy York’s N-Sider

Like every year in American history, 1890 had its moments. Wisconsin, a current Big Ten rival of Nebraska’s, opened the first U.S. college-level dairy school on January 3, 1890. New York City’s Ellis Island opened a U.S. immigration depot on New Year’s Eve before 1890 became 1891. In between those bookend milestones, John Owen became the first man to run 100 yards under 10 seconds, and the first Army-Navy football game was played at West Point, New York – two days after the state university of Nebraska played its first-ever football game on November 27 – a 10-0 win over the Omaha YMCA in a game that included a 35-minute first half and a 43-minute second-half.

So began the rich football history of Nebraska, which has won five national championships, 43 conference titles, played in 50 bowl games and set an NCAA record of 333 consecutive home-game sellouts. With 2014 marking the 125th season of Nebraska football, we thought it would be cool for the whole gang of Husker players, coaches and fans to sing Yahoo and celebrate the good times. We in Nebraska Athletics have decided that you, the most loyal fans in the history of college football, should determine the image that will be printed on our Homecoming Game tickets when we celebrate Season No. 125 this fall. We’ve made the process as easy as we can as we gear up for more than 90,000 Big Red faithful continuing to fill Memorial Stadium for the 52nd consecutive year – the standard by which all other sellout streaks are measured.

Huskers First Played Illinois 122 Years Ago

Determining the icon that best represents our 125th season isn’t easy, but we’re lucky enough to celebrate what we’ve become since we opened the 1890 inaugural season. So we are welcoming back for Homecoming 2014 the Fighting Illini of Illinois – a fellow Big Ten Conference school that helped us launch our third season in 1892. By then, Nebraska was in its second year of playing current Heroes Game opponent Iowa, and in 1892, we added former conference foes Kansas and Missouri to our schedule. NU beat the Illini, 6-0, on October 24th, 1892, 122 years ago.

So come on now and help us celebrate 125 college football seasons on September 27th when Nebraska hosts Illinois for Homecoming at Memorial Stadium. There will be a party goin’ on right here in Lincoln…a celebration to last throughout the years…so bring your good times and your laughter, too, because we’re going to celebrate this party with you. Yes, it’s time to come together, and it’s up to you to decide your pleasure, so everyone around Husker world, come on! With a party goin’ on right here, we want a dedication to last throughout the years.

Thanks to a collaborative effort among our Marketing, Ticketing and Media Relations Departments, we have seven images to consider before you select your favorite. The one that gets the most votes not only will grace our Homecoming Game tickets, but also be used to promote all the pomp, circumstance and special moments that will emerge from our 125-year celebration.

Vote for Your Favorite of Seven Iconic Images

Please note that the voting window is short, beginning Tuesday, March 18th, at noon and ending at noon on Friday, March 21st. The possibilities are:

1) First team photo in 1890 launched Nebraska football’s rich history with 2-0 record;

2) Stadium dedication in 1923 depicts Memorial Stadium, where Nebraska has won more than 75 percent of its home games over the last 91 years;

3) Five National Championships college football's pinnacle achievement;

4) Bob Devaney, the legendary Hall-of-Fame coach who resurrected NU's program with back-to-back national championship teams in 1970 and 1971 and compiled an overall record of 101-20-2 in 11 seasons at the Husker helm;

5) Tom Osborne, Devaney’s designated successor and fellow Hall-of-Famer whose teams won national championships in 1994, 1995 and 1997 and finished with an overall record of 255-49-3 in his 25 seasons as head coach;

6) Back-to-back legendary coaches Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne, who combined for 356 wins and five National Championships through 36 consecutive seasons; and

7) There Is No Place Like Nebraska and Memorial Stadium, home of college football’s most loyal fans, plus coaches and players who started filling the stadium in 1962, Devaney's first year, and have kept the sellout streak going for 51 years.

Send a comment to ryork@huskers.com (Include city, state)

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Voices from Husker Nation

My vote goes to 6) Back-to-back legendary coaches Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne, who combined for 356 wins and five National Championships through 36 consecutive seasons. The reason I chose this one is because these two coaches are responsible for building the fan base to what it is today, resulting in the continuous sellout crowds. Thank you. Sharon Whitney, Canon City, Colorado

Cannot go wrong with 1, 2, or 7, but voted 7. Jeff Burkink, Norfolk, Nebraska, currently in Arizona.

No question in my mind. I voted back-to-back legendary coaches. One built what we have, and the fans came. The other, who Devaney picked to follow him, perfected what he inherited and fans kept coming in record numbers as we expanded. Without Devaney, it never would have started and without Osborne, it never would have continued, let alone reached what we have today. Steve Wilson, Overland Park, Kansas

For sure, the five national championships...should be six but Osborne made the right call to go for two to win the game and the championship outright!! We need to celebrate this so that our new kids understand the heritage and excellence that Nebraska has enjoyed in the past!  Scott Nelson...Class of '80...now living in Conifer, Colorado

I can think of iconic pictures much better than these. The picture of the Bugeaters' team. The picture of Osborne on the sideline watching fireworks after the OU blowout. The picture of Scott Frost with the “We’re No. 1” sign after his TD vs Tennessee. The picture of Bob Devaney on the shoulders of his team after a National Championship. The picture of Jerry Tagge's stretch across the goal line to go ahead of LSU and win our first-ever National Championship. The picture of Ndamukong Suh annihilating a Texas quarterback, etc. Gary Fuller, Lincoln, Nebraska

Has to be There is no place like Nebraska, but number 6 (back-to-back legendary coaches) would be a sure second. What makes my memories special is what is so special about my home and university and their honor and respect for our team and our foes…nothing like it anywhere that I know. From the Class of 1974 and most proud. Charley Siefken, Houston, Texas

I vote for #7. After all, it’s the fans who have made Husker football what it is today over all those years. Other options are worthy, but I think the fans deserve credit. The first time I paid for a ticket, it was 50 cents to sit in the Knothole Section. I go clear back to the days when high school bands were invited to Lincoln to march in a parade down O Street and then play at halftime in the 1950s. Howard Larson, South Sioux City, Nebraska

I voted No. 7. Originally from the eastern side of Nebraska, I lived in Colorado Springs and missed Nebraska so much I moved to Ogallala just to be back in our beloved state! It's true. There is No Place Like Nebaska!! John Peters, Ogallala, Nebraska


Bob Devaney and Tom Osborne should definitely be the one chosen. Before Bob Devaney came to Nebraska people didn't even know where our state was. After Devaney came, everyone knew where Nebraska was located! Two such wonderful coaches we have truly been blessed! Because of them, there is no place like Nebraska! I have been attending games in Memorial Stadium since the knothole section days of the late forties. Joanie Ochsner, Kaanapali Beach, Maui (Madison, Nebraska)










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