And the Buffs shall Rise Again!

Despite the three non-offensive scores given up against Texas (the most given up by any team in FBS in one game this season – and the Buffs pulled off the trifecta in less than a quarter of playing time), there was more to the 38-14 loss to the Longhorns than the casual observer would assume. After reading the inscription at a memorial on the statehouse grounds in Austin, I am pleased to report to the Buff Nation that victory would have/could have/ and, by rights, should have – been ours.

The Longhorns didn’t just fight fair.

Let me explain …

But for about a quarter and a half of football Saturday, Brad, Randy, and I had a good time this weekend in Austin. We checked out a high school game between two top 5-A schools in Austin (a full report on our adventurous excursion to witness “Friday Night Lights” for ourselves will be posted Monday night). We toured the UT campus, 6th street, and the state capitol. It was on the grounds of the state house where we encountered several memorials. There was one for the Texas Rangers, one for the Alamo defenders … and one for the honored dead from the Civil War.

And it is there where our story begins.

On the monument, on three sides, is a list of all of the battles of the Civil War in which a regiment from Texas participated. On the fourth side, there is the following (and no, I didn’t make this up):


The people of the South, animated by the spirit of 1776, to preserve their rights, withdrew from the Federal Compact in 1861. The North resorted to coercion. The South, against overwhelming numbers and resources, fought until exhausted.

During the war, there were 2,257 engagements. In 1,882 of these, at least one (Texas) regiment took part.

Number of men enlisted: Confederate Armies, 800,000; Federal Armies, 2,859,132.

Losses from all causes: Confederate, 437,000; Federal, 485,216.

Mind you, this memorial was erected over 35 years after the Civil War had ended. It’s clear from the language, though, that many in Texas did not see conflict as having been properly resolved. The boys from the South inflicted more casualties, despite being out-numbered almost four-to-one. If it were not for the “overwhelming numbers and resources”, the monument implies, the coercive hordes from the North surely would have been defeated.

The South didn’t lose the Civil War – the North just didn’t fight fair.

Which brings us back to the Colorado/Texas game.

Want to talk about “overwhelming numbers and resources”?

There were 101,152 in attendance at the game Saturday, with about 1,152 Colorado fans offset by an even 100,000 decked out in head-to-toe burnt orange.

The entire CU athletic department budget hovers around $45 million. Revenue from football alone brings in $70 million to the Longhorn coffers.

Texas already has 19 commitments for the 2010 class (ranked #1 by Rivals), including 16 four-star recruits. Colorado hasn’t had 16 four-star recruits this decade.

Each ticket to Darrell Royal Stadium is sold out, with a jumbo-tron surrounded by multiple high-paying sponsors. At Colorado, even when there is a sell-out (on average, about once a season), Folsom Field holds roughly half the number of fans in attendance. The Buffs could play every game at home, every season, and still not match the attendance numbers (and dollars) generated at Texas.

Want to talk about “fought until exhausted”?

The Buffs committed a school-record 20 penalties Saturday, on the road, against the #2 team in the nation. Still, the Colorado defense held the Longhorns to 313 yards of total offense. In the third quarter, when the wheels fell off the Colorado bus, it wasn’t because of the defense. The offensive possessions for Texas in the third quarter went as follows: three-and-out; three-and-out; two plays and an interception; six plays and a punt. It wasn’t until there were only six minutes remaining in the game, with the Buffs already down 31-14, that the defense surrendered its first points of the second half.

Truly, the Buffs’ defense “fought until exhausted”.

So, if the Texas rationale about the Civil War holds true, there are a few changes which need to be made in the Big 12:

1) Teams will evenly divide all revenues from ticket sales, advertising and licensing. Want a 100,000 seat stadium? Fine. But you have to share the revenue with every other conference team;

2) Players will be recruited to the “Big 12” as a whole, not individual teams. A lottery of five-star and four-star players will be implemented, ensuring that every team has an equal number of quality players;

3) Coaches will be rotated, just to make sure that no one team has the advantage of a better coach; and

4) Teams with a worse record coming into a game will be allocated an extra touchdown for each extra loss, and another extra touchdown if the team with the worse record is playing on the road (Final score Saturday: Colorado 42; Texas 38). Or, if you like, we can go with the fact that Colorado held the lead for over half the game. From 11:26 in the first quarter, until 8:49 of the third quarter, the Buffs were in the lead. That Colorado, a 31.5 point underdog, held the lead for over half the game, should count for at least half a win, shouldn’t it?

See? It’s simple. It’s not just that the Buffs imploded when they had the chance to defeat the #2 team. It’s not just that Colorado gave up three scores with the defense on the sidelines. It’s not just that the offensive line (when they were not committing penalties) could not create holes for the running backs, nor time for the quarterbacks to throw.

Texas just didn’t fight fair.

If Texas believes that the Civil War turned out the way it did due to an uneven playing field, there should be no objection to leveling the college football playing field.


That’s okay – The Buffs shall Rise Again! (We’ll just hope that it’s not a century or more in coming) …

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