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Composing a Nebraska Cornhuskers Mount Rushmore

Starting December 1st, BTN and SB Nation are partnering to help determine who each Big Ten School's Mount Rushmore should include. Through fan ranking, analysis, and deeper insight via team sites, the BTN Live crew will amass and introduce the winners. Since Off Tackle Empire is your source for Big Ten Football in general, we thought we would give some of our unique insights on our favorite teams, position groups, and other Mt. Rushmore moments. Expect pieces from our writing team over the next couple of weeks and don't forget to tune in to BTN Live starting on December 11th. Look for even deeper insight from the Team Sites and click here for more information.

Jody Gomez-USA TODAY Sports

I always found the task of creating a "Greatest Hits" or a "Best of" one of the most difficult things to do. Part of this stems from my undying belief that I should go out and find the deep cuts that makes me a real fan. For example, when asked what my favorite Ben E. King track is, I wouldn't instantly go to, "Stand By Me" (although I should because that song is outrageously good) but would rather jump to, "It's All Over," which is a little more nuanced and has such a neat set of layers that I just can't help but dig on it a little more than everyone else.

The problem with this approach - as one might generally be aware of - is that not only is this a horribly hipster way at looking at things, it's also a really good way to ignore the obvious. In the case of the Nebraska Cornhuskers Mount Rushmore, the obvious is that while I could regale you with stories of the great Calvin Jones - and seriously, let's talk about those some time soon - or discuss the beauty that was Barron Miles blocking kicks, the reality is that the names you can vote for are a group of elite individuals who we should be talking about. That's not just because it will make casual fans feel good about the candidates either. The truth of the matter is that these men represent some of the finest individuals to ever play college football. The obvious answers can sometimes just be the right answers.

So when we were tasked with coming up with an angle for this project, I figued I would eschew my tendency to do something super weird for doing something pretty obvious. The list for Nebraska'a Mount Rushmore is pretty good and so I wanted to give you my two cents on who I would pick. I'm sure we will have more alt-coverage in the near future on this project, but I am a conformist, so here goes. We have the voting below so you can go and make your choices individually, and you will be able to pick for each of the fourteen teams in the B1G.

Nebraska's nominees for the BTN Mount Rushmore were as follows:

  • Eric Crouch - QB 1998-2001
  • Tommie Frazier - QB 1992-1995
  • Richie Glover - DT 1970-1972
  • Dave Rimington - OL 1979-1982
  • Johnny Rodgers - WB 1970-1972
  • Mike Rozier - RB 1981-1983
  • Will Shields - OL 1989-1992
  • Ndamukong Suh - DT 2006-2009
  • Aaron Taylor - OL 1994-1997
  • Grant Wistrom - 1994-1997
That's a pretty formidable group with almost every different major trophy accounted for, All American statuses galore, Hall of Fame careers, and soon-to-be Hall of Fame careers. When I started trying to cull my list down to four, I realized quickly that this was less about who was most deserving and more about who I felt ties to more. Was I more partial to Tommie Frazier because he won National Championships or Mike Rozier because he really was that dominant? How about the Offensive Linemen? Did you know Dave Rimington won an offensive Player of the Year award as a Center? Perhaps I honor history with the great Johnny Rodgers? Are Heisman Awards more prestigious than Outlands?

I don't have a great answer to all of these questions, but here's who I went with anyways.

George Washington - Johnny Rodgers

It's hard to not give Johnny Rodgers the prime spot on the left. While I was obviously not alive for his return during the Game of the Century against Oklahoma in 71, I have watched that highlight more than almost any other Nebraska moment. It was one of those things that helped cement Nebraska as a power team and would provide a standard that Nebraska teams would have to meet for many years after. Not only was Johnny Rodgers incredible by Nebraska standards, he was also a force nationally. Oh yeah, he's also in the College Football Hall of Fame. He deserves it.

Thomas Jefferson - Dave Rimington

For me, Rimington sort of sets the gold standard as to what the Nebraska offense was all about. Tough nosed offensive linemen who were smart, athletic, and just plain better than anybody else on the field. Not only was he the best Center Nebraska ever had, there is a legitimate argument that he was the best Center to ever play College Football. I know it's talked about a lot, but I want to put his awards in context. He received the AP Big 8 Offensive Player of the Year award as an Offensive Lineman. That's just unheard of, and when he later received the Big 8 Athlete of the Year, it was no surprise. He was dominant and I think any one of these great faces type exercises has to have him on there.

Abraham Lincoln - Ndamukong Suh

This name is probably one that many older fans will look down on me for, but I have a thought process. Suh represents everything about the modern era for Nebraska as he was recruited by Callahan and played for Bo. His dominance on defense coincided with the best opportunity for a return to prominence for the Cornhuskers, and his literal rampage through offensive lines in the Big XII was a show of force that the college game has rarely seen. While he does not have the championships that others on this list have, he does have hardware and his name on buildings at Nebraska. I will never forget his pick-6 against Colorado. I will never forget him throwing Colt McCoy around like a rag doll. For that, he gets Abe's spot on my Mount Rushmore.

Teddy Roosevelt - Tommie Frazier

I am going to go ahead and predict that almost every Nebraska fan will have Tommie Frazier on their list. He was the best QB to play for the Big Red, and has more highlight tapes than anyone else. His understanding of the option game was the best I have ever seen and if we're being super honest with ourselves, he probably should have won the Heisman. Outside of being dynamic, he also was a winner from the time he played as a True Freshman. Tommie was never the nicest guy, but he was a leader on the field and he was electric with the ball in his hands. Tommie made me love football and so he has to be on the list.


So, that's my list. Let's take a look at yours. Did I get some right? Did I get some wrong? Can we at least appreciate that none of these guys played in the Big Ten? Let me know what you think and don't forget to vote below! BTN will be announcing the winners on Tuesday, Dec. 16th at 6 PM Eastern on BTN Live.