I think the 1997 team is the weakest of the six teams being compared. They had the Missouri game, but it is also worth noting that the 1997 Washington team that was ranked#2 would go on to lose three more games that season, including a loss to 7-5 Oregon. So it is not like they played the second best team in the nation over the course of the season. Washington was not even the second best team in the Pac 10 that year as they finished behind Washington State and UCLA. Nebraska's best win outside of the Orange bowl were wins over 4 loss teams. Clearly the 1997 team was the weakest of the Nebraska Dynasty. All that said it is tough to argue against the 1994 and 1995 teams because they absolutely drilled everything they faced. Each of the Nebraska teams went undefeated, something only one of the Bama teams did.
However, the weakest Bama team, despite its loss to Texas A&M, was a stronger team than the 1997 Nebraska team (who played a very weak schedule). You are never going to win an agreement over who was the best between Bama 2009, 2011 and Nebraska 1994, 1995. I think what separates Bama in terms of "dynasty" was that there was a change in the core players of the teams in each of the championships. Nebraska's strongest teams were essentially the same team. Players did not leave early for the NFL in the same way because the rookie scale was not in place yet. This means that for Alabama to accomplish the feat in this era is more challenging because of the turnover of players, making Bama the moe impressive Dynasty.
Here are links to the 1997 Michigan and Nebraska seasons on wiki:
It would not even be close if not for Doctor Tom's pharmacy. Nebraska was damned lucky that none of those roided up freaks didn't kill anyone.
"I'm just a simple plowhand from Arkansas, but I've learned over the years how to hold a team together, how to lift some men up, how to calm others down, until finally they've got one heartbeat, together, a team."
2009 Bama: Undefeated, beat 4 top ten teams, 6 top 25 teams, escaped against Tennessee
2012 Bama: One loss, beat 4 top ten teams, 5 top 25 teams, escaped against LSU
In my opinion the one loss at home to a non top-10 A&M and the close call against Georgia makes the 2012 team the weakest of the teams. I also think the 2011 team was the strongest despite their one loss. They absolutely rolled everyone (a weaker schedule than 09 or 12) except LSU the first time, but destroyed them the second time. I rank them 2011, 2012, 2009. However, we are talking degrees of greatness here and this is very debatable stuff. Would not be hard to make a case any which way you want.
Lets look back and compare the programs in 20 years. I think the best run is still to come for the Tide.
No matter which dynasty you think he is better, Nebraska has my gratitude for handing Peyton his hat in the title game.
Which Dynasty is/was better? I have no idea. If you could line the two teams up against each other though, the Husker O-lines were dominant, but I don't think a one dimensional team, no matter how good that one dimension is, will have much success against these CNS coached Alabama teams.
"This is not the end. This is the beginning." - Nick Saban, at the 2009 NC celebration at B-D.