Nebraska Cornhuskers Over Virginia Tech and Michael Vick? What If, 1999 Version

Revolting FanContributor IDecember 7, 2010

Does Eric Crouch amend a regular season loss to Texas with a run through the post-season in 1999?
Does Eric Crouch amend a regular season loss to Texas with a run through the post-season in 1999?Elsa/Getty Images

The late season drama in 1999 was whether or not a one-loss Nebraska, led by future Heisman winner Eric Crouch, could overtake an undefeated Virginia Tech, led by future PETA spokesman Michael Vick, for the No. 2 BCS spot in the national championship game versus Florida State.  

Tech’s schedule was largely perceived to be weak, but Nebraska’s final weekend domination of Texas in the Big 12 title game (avenging their only loss of the season) did not change the minds of the voters or computers.

After the bowls, most outside of Tallahassee and Blacksburg were convinced neither Florida State nor Virginia Tech wanted anything to do with Nebraska.

seed     team (conference/BCS ranking/overall record, pre-bowl)

  1. Florida State (ACC, 1st, 12-0)
  2. Virginia Tech (Big East, 2nd, 11-0)
  3. Nebraska (Big 12, 3rd, 11-1)
  4. Alabama (SEC, 4th, 10-2)
  5. Wisconsin (Big 10, 7th, 9-2)
  6. Marshall (MAC, 12th, 12-0)

Top conference champ left out: Southern Miss (CUSA, unranked in final BCS Top 15, 8-3)


Revolting Fan prediction

Nebraska over Marshall.  Wisconsin over Alabama.  Nebraska over Virginia Tech.  Florida State over Wisconsin.  Nebraska over Florida State.


Other observations

What we now call the “non-AQ” teams are represented a second year in a row by MAC champion Marshall—in only their third year of 1-A competition—led by O’Brien and Heisman finalist QB Chad Pennington.  Imagine the progress of the non-BCS teams had potential money from the championship series been distributed equitably an entire decade earlier…

Nebraska literally fumbles away their first round bye earlier in the season against Texas, but ultimately makes up for it during their tear through the postseason.  Utilizing what was possibly the last truly dominant, punishing ground game in college football and winning their fourth national championship in six years, the Cornhuskers bookend what would have been the greatest dynasty in college football history.

Rules recap:

  • All FBS conference champions are eligible, top six qualify
  • Top six conference champs seeded in order by the final BCS rankings
  • Conferences determine their representative as they see fit
  • Top two conference champs receive a first round bye
  • Five championship series games are played at the current four BCS bowl sites  
  • Remainder of bowls operate as is, independent of the championship playoff

How would 1998 have played out?  Click here.

Click here for 2000.

2010?  Click here.