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Nebraska's payback for TCU could come Saturday

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Nebraska has a unique chance to pay back TCU for helping the Cornhuskers make their way to the 2001 national championship game.

In that season, the Horned Frogs played Nebraska early in the season. But their late charge with victories over Louisville and Southern Mississippi to bowl eligibility helped the Cornhuskers improve their BCS numbers enough to nose into the national title game against Miami in the Rose Bowl despite losing their Big 12 finale to Colorado.

The Cornhuskers could repay that debt Saturday with an upset over Texas, which could boost the Horned Frogs into the BCS title game.

Nebraska coach Bo Pelini said that opportunity to help the Horned Frogs won't change his approach to the game.

"I know Coach Patterson and what they've accomplished," Pelini said. "They've got to be proud of sitting their undefeated. I can say this, we're not playing the game for them. But I'll gladly shake his hand if we were able to help him out."

Pelini was a linebackers coach on the Green Bay Packers when the previous Nebraska-TCU game took place.

"What happened in 2001, I wasn't even in college football at the time," Pelini said. "But obviously, TCU deserves a lot of respect for what they've been able to accomplish this year."