The Nebraska Cornhuskers were shooting for an unprecedented three-peat in 1996. The ‘Huskers had won Tom Osborne’s first national championship in 1994 and followed it up with a dominating title run in 1995, culminating with a 62-24 win over Florida in the Fiesta Bowl.
But Nebraska’s quest for another unbeaten season ended on that same field — Sun Devil Stadium — in September when the ‘Huskers were stunned 19-0 by Arizona State. Nebraska rebounded to win all eight conference games in the new Big 12 but then fell to Texas in the Big 12 Championship Game. The ‘Huskers finished 11-2 after beating Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
Three ‘Huskers earned All-America honors (Aaron Taylor, Jared Tomich, Grant Wistrom) and Wistrom was Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year.