Quinn's Corner: NU's championship dynasty

The one you may not even know about
Quinn's Corner: NU's championship dynasty
Posted at 10:43 AM, Apr 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-13 11:50:42-04

Saturday afternoon in Lincoln promises to be quite the spectacle.

70,000 red-clad Husker fans will pack into Memorial Stadium to watch what essentially amounts to a glorified practice, all with the hope of gleaning some new tidbit of information about the 2017 Nebraska football team. 

Who has the edge in the quarterback race? How will the 2017 offensive line look? Is Bob Diaco's new 3-4 defense the answer? All reasonable queries. 

As they say, hope springs eternal, and you can bet there will be at least a handful of fans that based on what they've seen, walk out of the stadium convinced this is finally the year where Nebraska returns to the top.

For them, it'll be national championship or bust, and in all likelihood, they'll be sorely disappointed this fall. 

But by the time the spring football game wraps up Saturday afternoon, there could be another Husker program within hours of winning a national championship. A program, that by almost any definition, has become every bit the dynasty that Husker football was in the 1990's. 

That program, of course, is the Nebraska bowling team. 

Depending on the outcome of matches over the next few days, Nebraska could find themselves in the NCAA championship contest at 5:30 p.m. Saturday night. It would be NU's fifth consecutive championship match appearance. 

Now, I fully grasp that ladies bowling doesn't have the mass appeal that college football does, but take a moment to appreciate just how impressive this program really is. 

Since bowling became a NCAA sanctioned sport in 2003-04, Nebraska is the only program to make the NCAA championships every season (14 years), an event that takes just the top eight teams. For some reference, there are 71 college bowling programs in the country. The Huskers are the top seed for the third consecutive season. 

The Huskers have won the title five times, most recently in 2015. That means the Huskers have won 35 percent of the available national championships. In that same time span, mighty Alabama, the gold standard for college football, has only won four titles (better not tell Nick Saban he's getting out-gunned by someone). 

If that's not enough, Nebraska actually claims 10 national championships dating back to 1991, with five won under the IBC banner before the NCAA sanctioned the sport. 

How about individual accolades? Glad to asked! 

Nebraska has had nine bowlers named National Collegiate Bowler of the Year, and 29 different bowlers collect 61 NTCA (National Tenpin Coaches Association) All-American honors. 14 Nebraska bowlers have qualified for their respective national teams. 

This year, junior Julia Bond was named first team All-American for the second consecutive season, while Gazmine Mason, Kelly Belzeski, and Meghan Straub all collected All-America honors. 

Oh, and Head Coach Bill Straub was named NTCA national coach of the year for the third time. When you add it all up, its not too shabby. 

So, for those keeping track at home, let's add up the score: 

National titles: Check

Championship appearances: Check

Consistent top rankings: Check 

Top coach in America: Check

Outstanding individual performances: Check

In almost ever way, Nebraska bowling is exactly what Nebraska football wishes it was, but hasn't been in a long time.

And you know what? I think that's pretty awesome. 

Good luck to the NU bowlers this weekend. Bring one home for the state. 


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Twitter: @JoeESPN590