Preview of this week’s game

Which Colorado team will show up in Ames, Iowa, this weekend? The one which defeated Oklahoma and controlled Texas Tech, or the one which fell apart against Kansas State and was dominated by Missouri? I’m usually a “glass is half empty” fan, but, for a change, I am full of optimism. Anyone up for a five game winning streak, starting this Saturday? …….

Read The Entire Preview!…

Review of this week’s game

For a college football program, like Colorado’s, which is attempting to regain its footing on the national stage, there can be such a thing as a “good loss” (the 19-14 loss to Kansas, now 10-0, is starting to look more and more like a “good loss”). There can also be “bad losses” (giving up 55 points to Missouri leaps to mind). Then there are the physically painful, throw the remote across the room, curl up in a ball and want to cry losses.

The Iowa State loss was worse than that.

Read The Entire Review!…

Trivia you’ll want to remember – Iowa StateIf the nickname of Iowa State is the Cyclones, then why is there an ISU mascot dressed up as a Cardinal on the sidelines?How many of the past 20 coaches at ISU have left the school with a winning record? * Bar Bet Winner – Either Kansas or Missouri will pick up their first Big 12 North title this season. When was the last time Iowa State won a conference title?

Read Trivia…

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend”

In this bye week edition, we take a look at all four games involving Big 12 teams. In addition, we look outside the conference to see which affect the Buffs, both for this season and for next.

Read On…

Going Down in History

Who may be passed on the all-time list this week – and why you should remember them.

One CU player just passed the legendary Bobby Anderson on one of the all-time Colorado lists. Another CU player can pass Anderson on another list this weekend. Check out which players and which categories below.

Also, this past weekend, senior linebacker Jordon Dizon moved into fourth place on the all-time tackles list at Colorado. The three names in front of him are legendary. Do you know who they are? ….

Read This Moment in History…

Archive Game of the Week

Mention the 2001 season to most CU fans, and you will get a smile in return. A 10-3 season, the epic 62-36 win over Nebraska, the Buffs’ first Big 12 title, a #3 ranking almost pushing the Buffs into the BCS title game – all noteworthy events well etched into our minds. While it is easy to remember the Nebraska game and the upset win over Texas in the title game, it is more difficult to recall the road the Buffs took to their return to national spotlight. After a 41-7 blowout loss to Texas in Austin, the Buffs were 5-2 on the season. Colorado had a good team – a team certainly better than the 3-8 squad of 2000 – but there were no predictions being made that October that this team would be special.

The three games leading up to the Nebraska game were against Oklahoma State, Missouri, and Iowa State, with only the contest with the Tigers to be played in Folsom Field. In all three games, the Buffs fell behind by double digits before rallying to victory. Colorado trailed Oklahoma State at halftime, 16-7, before rallying for a 22-19 road win. Against Missouri, the Buffs spotted the Tigers a 14-0 second quarter lead before roaring back for a 38-24 victory.

Heading to Ames to face the Cyclones, the Buffs were 7-2, 5-1 in the Big 12. A win over Iowa State would set up a showdown against undefeated Nebraska for the Big 12 North title. A loss would relegate the 21st-ranked Buffs to a minor bowl. For their part, the Cyclones (5-3, 3-3) were no pushovers, and were looking to make their own national statement.

The game against Iowa State would result in a first by a CU back – but not by the back you remember. Chris Brown would have to wait a few weeks for his turn at Buff lore.

The ISU game was all Cortlen Johnson. Read on ……

Go To The Archived Game of The Week…

Iowa State Preview

The Missouri game was ugly, and it would be easy to look at this loss as a harbinger of a CU slide back below mediocrity. The 55-10 blowout was one of the worst losses in Folsom Field history; it was the highest point total by an opponent in in Boulder in almost 25 years; and the Tigers put up almost 600 yards of total offense. So, why I am optimistic?

Two years ago, the 22nd-ranked Buffs went off to Ames. CU returned to Boulder 30-16 losers, dropping out of the polls (we haven’t returned since). Impossible to know at the time, but the ISU loss was just the first of a record-tying 10 losses in a row. Up next were humiliating losses to Nebraska and Texas, and the firing of the head coach. It has been a long two years – Colorado is just 7-18 since its last trip to Iowa State.

You know what? I don’t look forward to this weekend with dread. In fact, I see this game as the start of a new streak – a winning streak which could stretch to five games without too much difficulty. First up, of course, is Iowa State. Yes, the Cyclones have played well over the last few weeks, defeating a Kansas State team which thumped the Buffs, and hanging tough against Oklahoma and Missouri. I prefer to look at the Cyclones as a team which has won a grand total of one game since September 15th. If there was any danger of the Buffs looking past ISU (which is what I believe KSU did), that ended when the Cyclones won last weekend, and the Buffs were humbled. Look for a hungry CU team to take the field in Ames.

Up next is Nebraska. I can’t imagine any Buff team taking the Cornhuskers lightly. It appears that Tom Osborne is not going to can Bill Callahan until the season is over, and Callahan won’t resign. This is good news for Buff fans. A loss to KSU this weekend will end bowl speculation, and end any reason for the Nebraska players to play for this coaching staff. And talk about Iowa State only winning one game since September? Nebraska is 0-5 since September, and has been outscored by an average of 20 points per game.

If the Buffs hold serve against teams which have gone 1-9 since they played each other September 29th, then CU is off to a bowl game. A 7-5 Colorado team would likely square off against a team of equal caliber in a bowl, perhaps one which is not as happy to be there as the Buffs are (i.e., they were expecting a better record and a better bowl, and don’t get up for the game). Advantage: Colorado.

This leads us to 2008. Colorado starts with Colorado State, another team with one win since …. well, in CSU’s case, it’s one win since last Octobler. The Rams may pick up one or two more wins in their final three games, but look for a final record along the lines of 2-10 (and a new coach for next year). After the Rams, the Buffs play Eastern Washington. EWU is from the same conference (Big Sky) as Montana State, and is a decent (around .500) team. Do you think the Buffs will look past another 1-AA team? Me, neither.

So there you have it. One team in the next five games (excluding whatever record Eastern Washington ends up with) which will have anything close to a winning streak when the Buffs play them. Going 5-0 over the next five games is not totally out of the question. This is a young team, which makes mistakes young teams make. I was reassured by the players’ quotes from the locker room after the Missouri game (for examples, click on the Missouri review). These were not beaten down players. They were already looking forward to getting back to practice and correcting their mistakes. There is a swell of optimism with this team that I haven’t sensed in years. They know what they are capable of (OU, Texas Tech), and believe in the coaches and the program.

Plus, for whatever reason, the Buffs play their best football early in the day (4-0 with starts at 1:30 or earlier; 1-5 later in the day). Both the ISU and NU games kickoff before noon. Yea!

Then again, no one could have foreseen the depths to which the program sunk after the loss to ISU in ‘05. Two more losses to close out the season will sap much of the energy gained from the first part of the season. (No, No, No. Can’t think like that!!). This season is the dawn of something great at CU. The redemption of the Colorado football program begins where the downhill slide began!

Bring on Ames, Iowa!

(P. S. Be sure to check in during the bye week, when I will unveil my stat of the year – one which should Buff fans warm all winter!)

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Postgame Review

November 10th – @ Iowa State Iowa State 31, Colorado 28

Kevin Eberhart successfully kicked field goals of 50 and 55 yards in the final five seconds of the game, but neither score counted as Colorado fell to Iowa State, 31-28. The kicks came as the Buffs attempted to complete a rally from a 31-21 deficit in the final four minutes. Eberhart’s first kick was nullified by a penalty against the Buffs, while the second was ruled to have come after time had expired. The sudden ending to the game left startled and frustrated Buff players to mingle on the field with some of the 45,487 jubilant Cyclone fans who rushed the field to celebrate Iowa State’s second consecutive home win over Colorado.

The painful part of the failed comeback for the Buffs was that a comeback should never have been required. The Buffs’ furious rally was necessary as Colorado was outscored by three touchdowns in the third quarter for the second consecutive Saturday.

The first half went according to plan, as Colorado went to the locker room at halftime with a 21-0 lead. In their second drive of the game, the Buffs covered 49 yards in ten plays, with Cody Hawkins scoring from a yard out on the second play of the second quarter. After an exchange of punts, Iowa State drove to the Colorado 30 yard line, but a 47-yard field goal attempt by Cyclone Bret Culbertson was wide left. On the next ISU drive, senior safety Lionel Harris intercepted Cyclone quarterback Bret Meyer at the ISU 28-yard line. It took only two plays for the Buffs to raise the lead to 14-0, as Hugh Charles did the honors with an eight yard run.

A three-and-out by Iowa State late in the second quarter gave the ball back to the Buffs at their own eight yard line with 1:43 left before halftime. Colorado could have been content to sit on the 14-0 lead, but a nine yard run followed by a 47 yard run by freshman running back Brian Lockridge gave the Buffs new life at the ISU 36-yard line. Three more plays netted eight yards, leaving Colorado with a fourth-and-two at the Cyclone 28-yard line. Foregoing the 45-yard field goal attempt, the Buffs went for the first down, and were rewarded when Cody Hawkins hit senior tight end Riar Geer for a 28-yard touchdown pass.

The Buffs received the second half kickoff, with Hugh Charles, subbing as return man for the injured Terrence Wheatley, giving CU the ball at their own 34-yard line. Three plays later, Colorado faced a fourth-and-one at their own 43-yard line. Prudence may have suggested punting the ball. After all, Iowa State had no momentum. ISU had seen a 7-0 deficit mushroom to 21-0 just before halftime, and the Cyclones had only surpassed 100 yards of total offense on a meaningless ten yard run on the last play of the first half. Plus, this was an ISU team which generated only 18 points per game. Making the Cyclones drive 80 yards for a score may have been what “the book” would have mandated.

But CU head coach Dan Hawkins did not live by “the book”. The Buffs went for the first down, by Demetrius Sumler was stuffed for no gain, and the Cyclones took over at the CU 42 yard line. There was no way to know it for certain at the time, but it turned out that the Buffs’ failed attempt on fourth down would shift momentum for the remainder of the game over to the ISU sideline. The next time the Buffs’ offense made a first down, it was almost halfway through the fourth quarter, and the 21-0 lead had turned into a 24-21 deficit.

It took only three plays for Iowa State to pull to within 21-7 after the turnover on downs. After a three-and-out by the Buffs, the Cyclones required only seven plays to cover 68 yards to make the score 21-14. Another three-and-out by Colorado; a three play, 53 yard drive by Iowa State. What had been a comfortable 21-0 lead at halftime evaporated into a 21-21 tie in less than a quarter of playing time.

A 24-yard field goal by Culbertson gave the Cyclones their first lead of the day, 24-21, with 12:21 to play in the game. The teams traded punts before the Buffs got their first first down of the second half. The CU drive stalled, however, at the ISU 27-yard line, and a 43-yard field goal attempt by Kevin Eberhart was wide right with 8:32 to play. A fumble by Hugh Charles on the Buffs’ next possession set up the Cyclones at the CU 43 yard line. Six plays later, the Iowa State rally hit 31 unanswered points. The scoreboard read, ISU 31; Colorado, 21, at the 4:07 mark.

Down ten points, the CU offense finally showed signs of life. A Cody Hawkins to Scotty McKnight pass covered nine yards to cap a ten-play, 64-yard drive to pull the Buffs to within 31-28 with 2:33 to play. The Colorado defense forced an Iowa State punt, and the Buffs had one last chance with 46 seconds left to play. A pair of 15 yard completions from Hawkins to Josh Smith got the Buffs to the Iowa State 42 yard line. Two completions to tight end Tyson DeVree got the Buffs to the ISU 34.

Then all hell broke loose.

Out of time outs, and with the clock ticking towards zero, the CU kicking team rushed onto the field. Kevin Eberhart connected from 50 yards out, seemingly putting the game into overtime. The officials, however, deemed that the Buffs had snapped the ball before it had been called ready for play. The officials marked off five yards, and the teams lined up again. Eberhart was true again, this time for a career-best 55 yards. Overtime!

The officials, however, huddled once more. This time, they decided that the ball had been kicked after time had expired. No play. No field goal. No overtime.

31-28, Iowa State. Final score.

“I don’t know if I do have an understanding of what transpired at the end,” said Dan Hawkins after the game. “I will seek an explanation, but I don’t know right now. I’ve been in a lot of bizarre games, this might be close to the top.”

As for the officials, the party line was that the first kick was no good due to a delay of game penalty. “The foul is for the offense snapping the ball prior to the referee’s ready for playing,” said referee Clete Blakeman. As for the second kick being nullified? “I started the clock, and Colorado did not get the snap off prior to the clock expiring. Because they only had one second.”

Regardless of the confusion at the end of the game, it was still going down in the record books as a Colorado loss. The Buffs fell to 5-6 (3-4 in Big 12 play) on the season, CU’s first record below .500 since starting the season 1-2. Up next was Nebraska. When the day started, the Buffs looked to be in prime position for a bowl. Colorado, at 5-5, was playing at 2-8 Iowa State, while 4-6 Nebraska, reeling from five consecutive losses, was playing host to Kansas State. By mid-afternoon, the Buffs were supposed to be relishing their bowl eligibility, while Nebraska was supposed to be 4-7 and out of bowl contention. After the Colorado loss, and a surprising 73-31 thumping of Kansas State by Nebraska, both teams were 5-6. Both would be looking for the required sixth win to continue their seasons when the teams met in Boulder. Only now, the Buffs would be coming into the Thanksgiving weekend game with two bad losses, while Nebraska suddenly had some momentum and something to play for.

“We’ve got a lot to play for,” said Cody Hawkins. “We’ve got to bounce back.”

There were no other options available. The Buffs had to win, or face the reality of sitting at home during the holidays and watching what had been a beleaguered Nebraska program go bowling.

Extra Points

– Colorado has now scored in 233 consecutive games, tying for ninth on the all-time list. The Buffs are tied with, of all teams, Nebraska, and can break the tie with points against the Cornhuskers on November 23rd.

– The 21-point “come from ahead” loss marks the worst such defeat in at least 30 years.

– Colorado is now 1-5 when playing teams who won the week before playing the Buffs (Oklahoma the lone exception). Colorado is 4-1 this season when playing a team coming off a loss (KSU the only exception there). Nebraska, CU’s next opponent, had a five game losing streak before defeating Kansas State, 73-31.

– Wide receiver Dusty Sprague, with 102 receptions for 1,239 yards, has moved into the top ten at CU in both categories. Sprague totals rank him 9th in receptions; 10th in receiving yards.

– Linebacker Jordon Dizon continues to set records. His three third down stops give him 18 on the season; 47 for his career. Both marks tie school records, and will both likely fall in the Buffs’ finale against Nebraska.

– Running back Hugh Charles moved past Herchell Troutman into seventh place on the all-time Colorado rushing charts. Charles now has 2,490 career rushing yards, and his 3,295 career all-purpose yards are good enough for sixth all-time.

– Quarterback Cody Hawkins, who weeks ago passed the freshman record for passes, completions, and touchdowns, is making his way up other charts as well. His 2,452 passing yards rate as the sixth highest season total ever, and his 17 touchdown passes are the fifth highest single season total.

– Wide receivers Scotty McKnight and Josh Smith continue to jockey for the freshman season receiving record. Both have surpassed the old record of 337 yards. With 54 yards against ISU, McKnight retained the lead with 454 yards. Smith is right behind, however, with 431 yards.

Physically painful

For a college football program, like Colorado’s, which is attempting to regain its footing on the national stage, there can be such a thing as a “good loss” (the 19-14 loss to Kansas, now 10-0, is starting to look more and more like a “good loss”). There can also be “bad losses” (giving up 55 points to Missouri leaps to mind). Then there are the physically painful, throw the remote across the room, curl up in a ball and want to cry losses.

The Iowa State loss was worse than that.

For me, one who lives and breathes Colorado football, the 31-28 loss to Iowa State was more than just a loss for a young team placing its hopes for a bowl bid in jeopardy. It was more than a mind numbing come-from-ahead loss which will stay in the Iowa State record books forever. It was more than loss to a 2-8 team which the Buffs have historically owned (47-14-1 overall, including a school best 16 game winning streak between 1984 and 1999). No, for me the pain of the loss comes in the realization of what could have been, what should have been, the Buffs’ storyline for the next ten months heading into the 2008 season.

Compare these potential 2008 college football preseason magazine sound bites.

What we could have seen in the magazine racks next summer:

“A third place finish in the Big 12 North gives the Buffs renewed optimism for the future”;

“Eight returning starters on both sides of the ball and a more favorable non-conference schedule will give Colorado the opportunity for a fast start. With season openers against a struggling Colorado State squad and 1-AA Eastern Washington, the Buffs should be 2-0 heading into a matchup against Florida State in Tallahassee”;

“After enduring the pain of a 2-10 first season, head coach Dan Hawkins now has his players and his system in place, as the program looks to rejoin the upper echelon of college football”; and

“These maturing Buffs will be a factor in the wide open Big 12 North race”.

vs. what Buff fans will likely now be forced to read in July, 2008:

“The Buffs stumbled to a 1-5 finish after a promising 4-2 start to the 2007 season”;

“Colorado is coming off back-to-back losing seasons for the first time since enduring six consecutive losing seasons between 1979-84, and breaking that trend may be difficult for these Buffs. With Kansas and Missouri looking to build on their surprisingly successful 2007 campaigns, with renewed hope for success in Lincoln under new Nebraska head coach ——————, and with the strong finish by Iowa State under their new head coach Gene Chizik, it may be difficult for CU to become bowl eligible in 2008? ;

“Dan Hawkins, who compiled 50 wins in five seasons at Boise State, is just 7-17 as a BCS head coach at Colorado. Hawkins is discovering his ‘you play to win the game’ approach doesn’t always work against the big boys of college football”; and

“Once again, a tough schedule (non-conference games against Florida State and West Virginia, followed by tough conference openers against Texas and Kansas), will relegate the 2008 Buffs to playing November games in search of a bowl bid, not a championship”.

The ramifications go beyond just the preseason hype. There is the matter of recruiting (”will Dan Hawkins even make it through your five years in Boulder?”), finances (despite a home slate including Florida State, Oklahoma, and Nebraska, Colorado did not have a single sellout in 2007), and national perception (Kansas had to run its record to 6-0 before garnering a national ranking. The Buffs will now be relegated to afterthought status until or unless Colorado puts together a string of victories).

What will keep me up at night, though, is the knowledge that it didn’t have to be that way.

It’s all because of one loss. A loss in a game the Buffs had won. Forget the controversy at the end of the game. It should never have come close to that. The argument over going for a fourth-and-one at the start of the third quarter, giving Iowa State renewed life, is a valid one but is now moot. The fact is that the Buffs are now 5-6, and have a bowl elimination game against a Nebraska team which had been left for dead only a week ago. How will these Buffs, who couldn’t hold a 21-point lead against a team which was only averaging 18 points a game, have confidence against a team which just put up 73 points and over 700 yards of offense (against a Kansas State team which dominated CU)?

I don’t know.

I do know that I will, after a few days of mourning, crawl out from underneath the covers, and start to look forward again. I will get on the plane, find my way to Folsom, and cheer for the Buffs against the hated Cornhuskers. A win will all but guarantee Colorado a bowl bid, and the chance to finish with a 7-6 record.

If you read the preview of the Iowa State game, you read about my optimism of a five game winning streak for the Buffs, starting in Ames. I usually don’t predict wins, much less winning streaks. I had a feeling, though, that despite the humbling loss to Missouri, these Buffs were primed to take their game to the next level. And they did – for a half.

Whether the Iowa State game will be a catalyst for renewed dedication by this young team, and a springboard for a strong finish, or will be the beginnings of a downward spiral which will lead in two seasons to a search for a new coach, only time will tell.

A win over Nebraska would salve many wounds.

What makes these wounds more painful, though, is the head shaking realization that these wounds didn’t have be endured.

These wounds were self-inflicted.

It’s going to be a tough two weeks.

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Trivia you’ll want to remember – Iowa State

– The Buffs have dominated the rivalry with the Cyclones more than against any other Big 12 rival. CU leads the all-time series, 47-13-1, including a run of 16 consecutive wins between 1985 and 2000, which ranks 21st on the all-time list of consecutive wins over an opponent.

– The Cyclones are not known, like Miami (Ohio), as the “cradle of coaches”. At ISU, it is more like the “weigh station” of coaches. A number of famous names have spent a short time in Ames before moving on, starting with Glenn “Pop” Warner, who came to Iowa State in 1895, but that was only until Georgia offered more money. Other head coaches who went on to bigger and better results include Johnny Majors (four years at Ames) and Earle Bruce (six seasons). Assistants with ties to the Cyclones include Mack Brown, Pete Carroll, Jimmy Johnson, and Jackie Sherill.

– A measure of what Dan McCarney’s success in his 12 years at Ames (1995-2006) was his taking Iowa State to five of the nine bowl games the Cyclones have ever played. Still, McCarney’s overall record of 56-85 is indicative of how hard it is to win in Ames. Earl Bruce, with a 36-32 record (1973-78), is the only coach to leave ISU with a winning record since 1919 (out of 20 coaches during that span).

– How to dress up a Cyclone mascot? That was the Iowa State dilemma. Unable to come up with a suitable mascot, Iowa State in 1954 reverted to the original team nickname, and dressed a Cardinal on the sidelines, nicknaming the bird “Cy”.

– The only conference championships won by Iowa State came in 1911 and 1912, when the Cyclones won the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association titles. In those seasons, ISU posted wins over such luminaries as Coe, Grinnell, Simpson, and Cornell College.

– To be fair, the Cyclones were a decent kicker away from winning the Big 12 North in 2004 and 2005. In each season, Iowa State lost their final regular season game. Both losses came in overtime; both losses the result of missed field goals. The benefactor both times? Colorado.

– Famous alumni – football – With a lack of history of success, it is not surprising that there are few famous former players. Iowa State has produced only three consensus All-Americans (CU has had 25), and only one first-round NFL draft pick (CU has had 22). On both short lists for ISU is running back Troy Davis, who is the only player in Division 1-A to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season twice (1995 and 1996).

– Famous alumni – other – George Washington Carver (inventor), Henry A. Wallace (U.S. Vice-President.

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The Enemy of my Enemy is my Friend …

November 17, 2007

The Obvious:

Missouri over Kansas State; Kansas over Iowa State. The argument can be made that if the Buffs are going to be looking for a Big 12 North title anytime in the near future, it is about time that Missouri and Kansas, a/k/a this season’s Top 10 interlopers, be brought down a notch. Losses by Kansas and Missouri on the weekend before their showdown for the Big 12 North really won’t help CU’s ranking much for ‘08, however. It is safe to say at this point that both teams will be expected to do well next year, regardless of how the rest of this season plays out. The best bet for Colorado being giving a higher ranking in the Big 12 pecking order for ‘08, therefore, is to have both Iowa State and Kansas State finish below the Buffs in ‘07. KSU is 3-4 in Big 12 play; ISU is 2-5. Losses by both this weekend will guarantee the Buffs will finish in no worse than a tie for 3rd in the North, while a loss by K-State and a win by the Buffs over Nebraska will give CU 3rd alone (on the flip side, if Iowa State upsets Kansas, KSU loses to Missouri, and CU loses to Nebraska, there will be a four way tie for 3rd – and last – as all four teams will end up with 3-5 conference records).

The Understandable:

Baylor over Oklahoma State; Oklahoma over Texas Tech. Yes, it would be nice for Baylor to upset OSU, and not just because CU plays the Cowboys the next two seasons, and will not play Baylor again until 2010. The main reason to cheer for the Bears is that Oklahoma State is 5-5 overall, and plays Oklahoma next week. There is still the chance that OSU could finish 5-7, which would guarantee a 6-6 Colorado squad a bowl berth, as then there would be a maximum of 8 Big 12 bowl eligible teams, with eight slots to fill. On a related note, Oklahoma needs to head into the Big 12 title game with only one loss. An 11-1 Sooner team against a one loss Missouri or an undefeated Kansas would all but guarantee the Big 12 an at large BCS bowl team (not even mentioning Texas, which could also sneak into a BCS bowl). If such were the case, a 6-6 CU team would be guaranteed a bowl as the conference would have a maximum of nine bowl eligible teams (even if KSU and OSU qualify) and nine teams to fill those slots.

The Obscure:

I was really hoping to have fun with these picks, but the loss to Iowa State puts CU’s bowl chances in jeopardy. Now requiring a win over Nebraska to become bowl eligible, the Buffs have made what would have been an enjoyable weekend a tense weekend, as we wait impatiently for the tilt against the Cornhuskers on the 23rd.

Still, there are a number of games which CU fans can have a rooting interest in:

Maryland over Florida State. After the Seminoles defeated then 2nd-ranked Boston College two weeks ago to pick up win #6, a win at home over Maryland seemed the easy way to win #7 and a better bowl. Then FSU fell to Virginia Tech last weekend, 40-21, while Maryland was shocking Boston College, 42-35. Now this looks like a game, and, with 6-4 FSU playing Florida in its final game, there remains the chance that the Seminoles can finish 6-7 and on a four game losing streak heading into ‘08.

Cincinnati over West Virginia. Last weekend, the Bearcats knocked off Connecticut, ranked #16, by a convincing score of 27-3. Now Cincinnati gets 5th-ranked West Virginia, at home, this weekend. If the Buffs are to get any love from the preseason magazines in ‘08, it won’t help if we have a Top 5 team coming to town as our last non-conference game. Another loss or two by the Mountaineers down the stretch will help the Buffs’ non-conference slate look less daunting.

Ohio State over Michigan. Work with me here. A rumor has been circulating all season that this is Lloyd Carr’s last year at Michigan. This seemed like a certainty after UM started the season 0-2. An eight game winning streak calmed the seas, but with the Wolverines loss to Wisconsin last weekend, the stories have returned. Tops on the list to replace Carr at Ann Arbor, should Carr step down, is LSU head coach, Les Miles. Miles has ties to Michigan (he also coached at CU).

What has this got to do with the Buffs? I’ll tell you. The defensive coordinator at LSU is Bo Pelini. Pelini is considered the top choice as the replacement for Bill Callahan at Nebraska, having served on the staff there. If Les Miles leaves LSU for Michigan, though, Pelini would likely be a top candidate for the LSU job. See how this works for the Buffs? OSU defeats Michigan; Carr decides to call it a career at Ann Arbor; Miles packs up for UM; and Pelini stays home at Baton Rouge. The net result for Colorado? Their chief rival, Nebraska, is denied their first choice as their new head coach. Go Buckeyes!

Weber State over Eastern Washington; Georgia Southern over Colorado State. The Buffs’ first two opponents for 2008, CSU and Eastern Washington, both play 1-AA teams this weekend. This is not an unusual occurrence for EWU, as they are also in 1-AA. It is a stretch for the Rams, however. Eastern Washington is 7-3, and a win over 5-5 Weber State would likely give the Eagles a berth in the 1-AA playoffs (which means more practices for a team which the Buffs play next year). After the loss to Montana State last year, anyone want to take that game for granted? As for Georgia Southern, they are also looking for a playoff berth with a win over Colorado State. Here’s wishing them luck (though I really am not that big on kicking the Rams while they are down. After losing to the Buffs to open the 2008 season, I hope that they begin a slow recovery to mediocrity).

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Going Down in History

Cody Hawkins – freshman quarterback – 2,190 passing yards – 15th

#17 – Bill Solomon (1977-79) 2,115

#16 – Ken Johnson (1971-73) 2,175

#14 – Bobby Anderson (1967-69)* 2,198

*Bobby Anderson is perhaps best remembered for his efforts as a CU running back (Anderson ranks 8th all-time in rushing yards), but Anderson was also the Buffs’ leading passer in 1967 and 1968. As a passer, Anderson had nine touchdowns to his credit, and earned first team All-Big Eight honors as a quarterback in ‘68. Anderson is one of only three CU players who have had their jerseys retired (#11), and is a member of the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, the Big Eight Hall of Fame, the CU Athletic Hall of Fame, and, most recently, the College Football Hall of Fame. Anderson continues his association with the Buffs, being a broadcaster for CU since 1977.

Hugh Charles – senior running back – 2,408 rushing yards – 8th

#9 – Bobby Anderson (1967-69) 2,367

#7 – Herchell Troutman (1994-97)* 2,487

#6 – James Mayberry (1975-78) 2,544

*Herchell Troutman was the little man who could. Listed (generously) at 5′ 7?, Troutman led the Buffs in rushing three straight years, 1995-‘97, the sixth CU back to do so. A versatile back, Troutman also had 725 yards receiving (good enough to be in the top 30 all-time) and 331 return yards. His 3,543 all-purpose yards rank him 3rd on the CU charts, behind only Eric Bieniemy and Bryon White.

Jordon Dizon – senior linebacker – 413 total tackles – 4th

#3 – Greg Biekert (1989-92) 441

#2 – Matt Russell (1993-96) 446

#1 – Barry Remington* (1982-86) 493

*Barry Remington did not receive the national acclaim of other Buffs on this list of total tackles. Remington was an All-Big Eight performer his senior year, and did receive honorable mention All-American honors that season, but Remington toiled in anonymity for much of his career. His three consecutive seasons of over 100 tackles was a first in Colorado history, but the Buffs posted only one winning season in his tenure, so there was little fanfare to go with the achievement. What makes Remington special to me are two memories. First, he was a home town kid (Boulder Fairview) who stayed home to play for a team which showed no immediate prospects for success. Without Remington and those like him (Jon Embree was another who could have gone to more successful programs, but chose to stay in Colorado), all of the national success of the subsequent years may not have occurred. Second, Remington only had two interceptions in his career, but one came in the game against Nebraska in 1986. The Buffs were holding a 20-10 lead late, but Nebraska was driving. Remington’s interception with 3:14 remaining sealed the win, and that pick remains as one of my most cherished memories as a Buff fan.

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