The 1940 team was the first Nebraska squad to play in a bowl game. The Huskers lost the 1941 Rose Bowl to Stanford.

Jan. 1, 1941

For most of the past 45 years, Husker fans have taken bowl trips for granted.

But back in 1940, getting a bowl bid was a big thing. In fact, it had never happened before at NU. The 8-1 Huskers, who tied for the Big Six Conference title and whose only loss was to Minnesota in the opener, were invited to play Stanford in the Rose Bowl.

According to newspaper reports, celebration of NU’s bowl bid lasted 24 hours and the university canceled classes.

Coach Lawrence “Biff” Jones’ team featured All-Americans Warren Alfson and Forrest Behm, but came up short 21-13 against Stanford and its T-formation offense. The crowd of 92,000 at the Rose Bowl was the largest to watch the Huskers until the 2001 Orange Bowl.

— Julie Koch

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