Colorado evened its season record at 6-6, and its Big 12 mark at 4-4, with a record-setting 65-51 win over Nebraska. The Buffs put up the third highest point total ever against the Cornhuskers over the course of almost four hours before a frigid Folsom Field crowd of 51,403.

With the win (combined with a loss by Kansas State to Fresno State), the Buffs earned a bowl berth in the second season of the Dan Hawkins’ era, while simultaneously helping to seal the fate of Nebraska head coach Bill Callahan, who was dismissed by interim athletic director Tom Osborne the day after the game.

Given that the Nebraska defense came into the game ranked near the bottom nationally in most defensive categories, including rushing defense (114th out of 120 teams), total defense (111th), and scoring defense (105th), combined with a Colorado defensive unit which had surrendered 31 points to Iowa State in the second half of the Buffs’ previous game, predicting a shootout for the season finale was not difficult. The 116 points and 1,128 yards of combined offense, however, was more than anyone could have reasonably foreseen.


Confession time.

At halftime of the Nebraska game, the Buffs were down 35-24, and I confess I wasn’t thinking of ways the Buffs could make their comeback. Rather, I was trying to think of ways to put a positive spin on a season which was 30 minutes from its conclusion.

After all, the CU defense had given up touchdowns in three consecutive drives to close out the first half, and there was little reason to believe that there were miracles coming after the break. Colorado had been out-scored by an unbelievable tally of 123-59 in the third quarter over the course of the season, and had been out-scored 31-7 by Iowa State in the second half of their last game. The reality of a 5-7 finish to the season was setting in, along with the equally sour thoughts of Nebraska (and perhaps Kansas State as well) playing in a bowl. Yuck!

I was not a happy camper.


— Nebraska Preview — As the Colorado Buffaloes were taking the field against the Iowa State Cyclones on November 10th, a few hundred miles away, in Lincoln, Nebraska, the Cornhusker faithful were saluting their seniors as Nebraska took the field against Kansas State. There were four different scenarios for the outcomes of those two games – three of which were acceptable for Buff fans. Had both teams won, the CU/Nebraska matchup the Friday after Thanksgiving would feature an already bowl-eligible Buff team. Had both teams lost, the Buffs would still …