Tom Osborne Was The Top Coach in College Football History
by Les Lanier
In 1973, Tom Osborne was handed the reigns to the successful Nebraska Football team. Just a year prior, his mentor and former boss Bob Devaney had won two consecutive National Championships at Nebraska, something unheard of in a time when Oklahoma and Notre Dame ruled the land. Osborne had two goals: Beat Oklahoma and Win the National Championship.
For a long time, he wasn't able to do either. Nebraska fans aren't a patient bunch, but Osborne got his breakthrough win over Oklahoma in 1978, and from there, the success began to really flow.
He got his most talented players in a decade in the form of the "Scoring Explosion": Turner Gill, Irving Fryar, and Mike Rozier. This trio got him to the "big game" in 1983, but he came just one point shy of a National Championship. With the Miami Hurricanes ahead by 1 point, he opted for a 2 point conversion, even though he knew a tie would probably get him enough votes for the National Championship; this type of tough "go for the win" mentality, along with hard work, would become known as the "Nebraska Way."
It took Coach Osborne a few more years to get to his second goal, but by the mid 1990s, he had finally put together a team that could not be beat. In 1993 he was a field goal away from the National Championship, again. In 1994 and 1995, he rebounded with back to back championships that finally immortalized him in the coaching game along with his mentor, Bob Devaney.
In 1996, Nebraska took a step back with two losses. A year later, Osborne's Nebraska team delivered again with a fantastic team and another National Championship. He retired that year on top of his game, having only lost 3 of his previous 63 games. He is truly one of the best to ever put on a headset, and lead a group of young men onto a football field to do their best.
Tom Osborne was the best NCAA football coach ever.