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Malcolm Emmons/US Presswire

Breaking Through

It sounds funny to say now, but Tom Osborne used to be criticized for not winning the big game. He had the unenviable task of following Nebraska legend Bob Devaney, who won two national titles before retiring in 1973. Osborne never had a season with fewer than nine wins, but he suffered some high-profile losses against Oklahoma early in his career and fell short in the 1984 and 1994 Orange Bowls with national titles on the line. When he finally broke through, he did so in a huge way, leading the Cornhuskers to three national championships in four seasons, going 49-2 from 1994 to 1997. -- Brian Bennett