No one wants to be in the record books for the wrong reasons.
Quick question: Anyone know anything about Cumberland University, other than the fact that the Cumberland Bulldogs were on the wrong end of a 222-0 loss to Georgia Tech in 1916?
Remember when Northwestern’s most noteworthy football “achievement” was its 34-game losing streak between 1979-82? Do you remember the Columbia Lions for anything other than their 44-game losing streak?
I have to admit, all I know about Prairie View A&M, other than it was the school of my all-time favorite NFL player, Otis Taylor, is that the Panthers endured an 80-game losing streak in the 1990’s.
Still, records are records, and are there to be, well, recorded.
CU at the Game, at its heart, is about Colorado football history. Many Buff fans are only interested in the present, and I totally respect that point of view. For me, though, if you live through the bad, the good is sooo much sweeter, and I’m here to record the good, the bad, and the ugly.
There is no way, in my opinion, that a CU freshman in the stands in 1986, when the Buffs beat Nebraska for the first time in 17 years, could have enjoyed that game as much as I did, having watched the Cornhuskers pummel my team year in and year out.
Could a freshman in in 1989 or 1990 possibly have enjoyed the national championship runs in the same way as those of us who endured those 1-10 seasons?
Could a freshman in 2001 have savored – make that relished – the 62-36 Nebraska game the same way a long-time Buff sufferer did?
Not a chance.
You can’t enjoy the view from the mountain top unless you have spent some time in the valley.
So, here’s some news … the 2012 season sucked.
Colorado was not just bad, it was record-setting bad.
As a result, I feel compelled to record for posterity as many of these records as I can find. Perhaps in a few years, we will be able to look back at these records and say, “Yes, I was a fan, even then. I didn’t quit on my team. I was – and am – a Forever Buff. I stayed with my team. And now I can look back at laugh at what we endured”.
We can only hope …
Records set in 2012
Let’s start with four positive records (congratulations, Will Pericak, on a fine Buff career!):
Most Starts, Career: 49, Will Pericak – (Previous record, 47, Ryan Miller, 2007-11)
Most Consecutive Starts: 49, Will Pericak – (Previous record, 44, Bryan Stoltenberg, 1992-95)
Most Starts, Career, Defensive Player: 49, Will Pericak – (Previous record, 45, Jordon Dizon, 2004-07)
Most Games, Defensive player: 49, Will Pericak – (Previous record, 48, by several players, including Pericak)
Now, on with the rest …
Most losses, season – 11 – (Previous record, 10, set in 1980, and tied in 1984, 2006, and 2011)
Most Points Allowed, Season – 552 (Previous record, 475, 1980)
Most Yards Allowed, Season – 5,862 (Previous record, 5,711, 2011)
Most Yards Allowed per play, Season – 7.11 – 824 plays for 5,862 yards (Previous record, 6.59, in 1980 – 775 plays for 5,108 yards)
Highest Total Average Yards per game, Season – 488.5 in 12 games (Previous record, 464.4 – 5,108 yards in 11 games in 1980)
Most consecutive losing seasons – 7 – 2006-12 (current) (Previous record, 6, 1979-84)
Most points Allowed, First half – 56 – (v. Oregon; tied previous record – UCLA, 1980)
Most Touchdowns Allowed, Half – 8 (v. Oregon; tield previous record – UCLA, 1980, first half; Nebraska, 1983, second half)
Most touchdowns Allowed, Season – 69 (Previous record, 63, 2011)
Most touchdown Passes Allowed, Game – 7 (v. Oregon; previous record, 6, USC, 2011, 2012)
Most average points Allowed, Season – 46.0, 552 points in 12 games (Previous record, 41.0, 451 in 11 games, 1980)
Fewest Victories at Home, Season – 0 – (Tied previous record, 1890 – 0-2; 1891 – 0-2)
Most Yards Rushing, single game, opponent – 366, Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona – (Previous record, 268, David Winbush, Kansas, 10/24/98)
Most Touchdowns Rushing, single game, opponent – 5, Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona – (Previous record, 4, on five occasions)
Most Points against, single game, opponent – 30, Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona – (Previous record, 4, on five occasions)
Longest rush against, opponent – 94 yards, Robbie Rouse, Fresno State – (Previous record, 90 yards, Walter Mack, Kansas, 1980)
Most games without a shutout at home – 150 (Streak ended with 48-0 loss to Stanford. First shutout loss at home since 28-0 loss to No. 1 Oklahoma in 1986)
Longest pass against, opponent – 97 yards, Derek Carr to Isaiah Bruce, Fresno State – (Record, 98 yards, Kelly Donahue to Willie Vaughn, Kansas, 1987)
Time of Possession, game – 41:48, v. Arizona – (Record, 42:17, Indiana, 1980) (Ironically, both games were blow out losses – 56-31 and 49-7)
Other ignoble feats from the 2012 season
In 2012, Colorado finished last alone in conference play for the first time since 1915, when the Buffs, as members of the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference, went 0-5 in conference play.
Fewest points in consecutive home games – 3 (0 v. Stanford; 3 v. Washington) – (Worst two game effort since 1938 – 13-0 loss to George Washington followed by a 0-0 tie with Utah)
Fresno State had two touchdowns of over 90 yards (97 yard pass; 94-yard run). Never before in school history had a team had two plays of over 80 yards in the same game.
Colorado had only 36 “explosion” plays on the season (plays of over 20 yards). The total was the lowest since the 2006 team went for 35 explosion plays. Only in the 2012, 2006, and 2000 (38) seasons have the Buffs posted fewer than 40 such plays since 1984.
CU losing margin for the season was 28.1 points per game. Since 1999, just one Pac-10/12 team has been worse. Washington State was out-scored by 31.1 points per game in 2008.
Since Louisiana-Lafayette set an NCAA Division 1 record by allowing 50.3 points per game in 1997, only one Division I team has been worse than CU has been this year. North Texas gave up an average of 47.6 points per game in 2008.
Jon Embree finished his second season as head coach with a 4-21 record. The .160 winning percentage is the lowest of any head coach in Colorado history. The second-worst record, for any coach with at least two seasons in Boulder, was Chuck Fairbanks (7-26, three seasons, 1979-81, .212). No other CU coach in history posted a winning percentage below .400.
Eight freshman started against Fresno State (6 true; 2 red-shirt), tied for the most in any one game in school history.
Just ten years ago, at the end of the 2002 season, Colorado was ranked 15th on the all-time NCAA win list, and 22nd all-time in winning percentage. A decade later, Colorado is 21st on the all-time win list, and 28th in all-time winning percentage.
At the end of the 2002 season, Colorado had 29 former players in the NFL. At the end of the 2012 season, Colorado had 13 former players in the NFL.
Colorado, as late as 2010, still had a conference game record in the top 15 in the nation (.624, 1989-2009). The Buffs, 3-15 in conference play in the past two seasons, have disappeared from that chart.
As late as 2004, Colorado had one of the top ten records overall over the previous 15 years (125-53-4, .698, 1989-2004). Since then, the Buffs have been removed from that calculation as well.
As late as 2004, Colorado had one of the top ten road records over the previous 15 seasons (52-25-1, .673, 1989-2004). Since then, well, you know about the 23-game road losing streak, don’t you?
Between 1989-2004, Colorado was ranked in 182 of the previous 247 polls, or 74% of the time. Colorado has not been ranked since November, 2005.
Colorado started three different players at quarterback in 2012: Jordan Webb, Nick Hirschman, and Connor Wood. The last time the Buffs had to resort to three starting quarterbacks in one season was in 2000, when Bobby Pesavento, Craig Ochs, and Zac Colvin took turns leading a 3-8 team.
Colorado had only eight seniors on the roster, the lowest total since 1995 (7).
Colorado is only 44-41 at home in the past 13 years, since the Buffs returned to a natural grass field.
Between 1988-2003, Colorado defeated at least one ranked team in 15 out of those 16 seasons. Since then, Colorado has defeated at least one ranked team in only three of the past nine seasons.
Got your favorites? Or, most correctly, least favorites?
For me, it’s the truly historical records … losing the home shutout streak, finishing last in conference play, not winning a home game … that really hurt.
But it’s also the recognition of what this program was, but is no longer – slipping from 15th to 22nd in all-time wins in just ten years, and falling from 21st to 28th in all-time winning percentage over that same time span. That’s not just a bad season, friends, it’s an awful decade.
One of the worst in CU history.
Yes, someday, we will look back at all these records and laugh.
We will look back at all these records and say, “Yes, I stuck with my team in its darkest days. The team made it through, and I made it through with them.”
Problem is, in November, 2012, it’s hard to believe that those days are coming any time soon.
Anyone got a time machine?