The Nebraska football team will face off against the Michigan Wolverines on Saturday and the two teams simply haven’t played all that often. And B1G expansion might further limit those matchups.
Considering just how storied these two programs are, it really does seem odd that Nebraska football and Michigan haven’t faced off more. Even since both teams have been in the same conference, they haven’t played a ton.
Interestingly enough, the time the two teams weren’t able to face off is the imaginary game most people talk about the most.
The 1997 National Championship was a split ticket between Nebraska football and Michigan and both programs have claimed ever since that if the two programs played each other, their own team would win.
This was of course before there were playoffs, or even the BCS and Michigan’s requirement to play in the Rose Bowl as the Big Ten Champions meant that both teams played other schools to end their seasons.
Nebraska football vs Michigan matchup history
Despite both schools being around for more than 100 years, Michigan and Nebraska have only faced off 12 times. Husker fans will no undoubtedly be annoyed to be reminded that the Huskers are just 4-7-1 against the Wolverines all-time.
The two schools first faced each other three times before 1920 with UM absolutely dominating two the three games, 31-0 in 1905 and 20-0 in 1917. Interestingly enough there’s a 6-6 tie in 1911.
Nebraska was the victors when they next met on the field of battle in 1962, with a 25-13 advantage.
In 1986, Michigan beat Nebraska football 27-23 in the Fiesta Bowl and then the Huskers returned the favor by winning 32-28 in the 2005 Alamo Bowl. Coincidently, that was quarterback Zac Taylor’s last game as a Husker quarterback.
In 2011, the two teams met for the first time as conference rivals. That game was a 45-17 Wolverine win, but the Cornhuskers took the next two matchups, 23-9 and 17-13 in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
In 2018 they renewed the rivalry after a weird, five-year hiatus and Michigan throttled their opponent 56-10. In 2021, Nebraska football held a lead late, but couldn’t cash in and eventually lost 32-29.
In 2022, Michigan once again blew out the Huskers, 34-3.
One hopes Nebraska football can have a better showing in 2023.