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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 14, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Of road wins and rankings

It might have escaped your notice, but it turned out that Nebraska is actually not the No. 10 team in the AP Poll — as the Huskers were when the poll was originally released on Sunday — but instead are No. 11.

HuskerExtra.com has the details on what happened. Nebraska remains No. 10 in the USA Today Coaches Poll.

That’s slightly relevant since UW uses the AP poll for its official records. So UW is deprived a chance to beat a non-conference Top 10 team on the road, something it hasn’t done since 1994 — and UW fans probably don’t need much reminding of what game that was, the famous “Whammy in Miami.” Miami was ranked No. 5 when UW traveled there and beat the Hurricanes 38-20.

I’d planned on a list reviewing how UW has done against Top 10 teams on the road. But since Nebraska is now No. 11, I’ll make this a list of games against teams rated 11th or high — yes, this list will go to 11.

So here’s every UW road game against a non-conference Top 11 AP ranked team since 1994:

1995, at No. 10 Ohio State —- The Buckeyes won 30-20 with future Heisman Trophy winner Eddie George leading a rushing attack that gained 259 yards.
1996, at No. 11 Notre Dame — The Huskies were simply manhandled in South Bend, allowing 650 yards and 397 on the ground in losing 54-20.
1998, at No. 2 Nebraska — Cornhuskers all over UW from the start in winning 55-7.
2001, at No. 1 Miami — Hurricanes got revenge for UW’s win in Seattle the previous year, 65-7.
2003, at No. 2 Ohio State — First game for Keith Gilberton was head coach was a struggle, the Buckeyes winning 28-9.
2006, at No. 10 Oklahoma — UW stuck around for a while before the Sooners pulled away for a 37-20 win.

The point of this list isn’t to dredge up a bunch of bad memories, but rather to illustrate the historic difficulty of going on the road and winning such games. But as the 1994 team showed — and before that, the 1991 team that beat a No. 9-ranked Nebraska team 36-21 — it can be done. That history indicates the home teams usually win these kinds of games, however, is among the main reasons the betting line is what it is.

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