A new report suggests that Tom Osborne tried to plan a Penn State vs. Nebraska bowl matchup in 1994, when both the Nittany Lions and the Cornhuskers were undefeated, but Joe Paterno stopped Osborne in his tracks.â†µ
During the period leading to the bowl season, Tom Osborne wondered if there was any way NU and PSU could square off at a neutral site to determine the nation's (unofficial) best team.â†µ
So, he called up Joe Paterno, the Nittany Lions' wily and influential head coach.â†µ
"I thought, 'Well, if Joe kicked up a fuss and said, 'We deserve to play Nebraska,' somebody would've relented," Osborne recalled Tuesday during his radio show on the Husker Sports Network. "But (Paterno) said we were bound to this (Bowl Coalition) contract, and that's the way it was."â†µ
Instead, the Cornhuskers headed to the Orange Bowl to play Miami in the Hurricanes' backyard. Penn State, meanwhile, went to the Rose Bowl and played an inferior Oregon team that had already lost to Hawaii, Utah and Washington State. Nebraska and Penn State both won their bowl games, and finished No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in the final AP Poll.â†µ
If Paterno had tried to make the matchup happen, he might have been able to lead Penn State to a national championship. Instead, he stuck to the rules, and came in second.â†µ
For more on the Nittany Lions, check out Black Shoe Diaries.