SRS believes the 1980 season was much messier than it appeared, with one undefeated SEC team, Georgia, standing above the rest in the traditional polls. Nebraska finished first in SRS despite going 10-2, as national champion Georgia finished only ninth with several close wins and a mediocre schedule. Led by All-American running back Jarvis Redwine, the Huskers notched several impressive victories, including a 21-7 win at Penn State, a 57-0 win over Iowa and a 31-17 win over Mississippi State in the Sun Bowl. However, their national title hopes took an early hit, as they lost at home to Florida State during the Noles' early rise under Bobby Bowden. They climbed back to fourth before losing to No. 9 Oklahoma 21-17 in the regular-season finale.
51. Nebraska 1973
As we continue to see, 1973 was one of the most convoluted seasons in college football history. While the AP poll claimed Nebraska was the No. 7 team that season, SRS claims it was the 51st-best team in the history of the sport (this marks two straight all-time great Nebraska teams that finished seventh). Nebraska went just 9-2-1, but it did so against the 19th-toughest schedule ever, boasting an all-time great defense led by All-American John Dutton. Seven of the Huskers' 12 opponents were ranked at the time they played them, but they lost 13-12 at No. 12 Missouri, tied unranked Oklahoma State and got smoked 27-0 by Oklahoma, which finished third in the AP poll. The Missouri loss was particularly notable. Just like the 1984 Orange Bowl, Osborne went for two and the win late in the game instead of settling for the tie, but the Huskers missed and lost by one. Nebraska rose as high as No. 2, but it was ranked 12th entering the Cotton Bowl, which it won 19-3 against Texas. No, this probably is not the 51st-best team ever, but the takeaway is that the Huskers may have underperformed, in terms of record.