Year in Review: CU at the Game Polls of 2014

About a week ago, I received an email from CU at the Gamer Andy H., who asked if I had ever taken a look back at the polls posted at CU at the Game. Well, I have never done a retrospective on the polls at CU at the Game, and it seemed like the start of 2015 was a good time to do just that.

Thanks, Andy, for the idea!

For those of you who are regulars at CU at the Game, you know that I add a new poll about once every 24 hours. Sometimes work, travel, or life in general gets in the way, and a poll stays up a little longer, but I do try to offer something new every day. As it turns out, there were 352 new polls posted last year, so it was pretty close a new poll every day.

Trying to come up with a new poll every 24 hours is often not an easy task (especially in May and June, when there is little CU activity to talk about), so, not surprisingly, many of the polls involve predictions of upcoming events, and reactions to those events which have just been taken place.

Let’s take a look at how we have done at predicting …


– January 6th … With Colorado riding high at No. 15 in the polls after a dominating win over Oregon, (and right before the loss of Spencer Dinwiddie) Buff fans had great hopes for the 2013-14 CU men’s basketball team … 74% predicted a top-15 finish, with 14% seeing a top ten finish.

– January 20th … Even with the loss of Dinwiddie, there was still some optimism in the Buff Nation … 52% felt the Buffs would be unranked at season’s end, while 48% felt the Buffs would be able to stay ranked, even without Dinwiddie.

– March 17th … CU receives a (surprisingly high) No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament. Buff fans were looking for at least one victory that first weekend … 68% saw a win over Pittsburgh, but a loss to Florida in the round of 32 … Still, 25% did predict the one-and-done loss to the Panthers.

– March 23rd … Despite the blowout loss to Pitt in the NCAA tournament, CU fans were optimistic about 2014-15 … 78% foresaw Colorado being a top-three team in the Pac-12, and a regular in the top 25 … Only 6% thought that CU might struggle to even make the 2015 NCAA tournament.

– April 15th … With spring practices concluded, optimism was riding high for the CU football team. When asked to predict CU’s win total for 2014, 45% predicted six wins and a bowl bid. There were almost as many votes cast for “Seven wins or more” (8%) as there was for “Four wins or fewer” (12%).

– May 14th … Pac-12 announces deal to play title game in new San Francisco 49ers stadium. How long before the Buffs make it there? … 25% see it in 1-3 years; 61% see it in 4-6 years; with only 14% believing it will take CU 7-10 years to make it to a title game.

– May 22nd … A month after spring practices, and 100 days from the season opener, CU fans are getting a little more nervous about the upcoming season. The plurality of voters (47%) now see five wins as a good goal, with 38% still predicting six wins and a bowl.

– July 27th … With fall practices opening, confidence continues to wane. Now 73% of those responding to the poll question state that they are confident in improvement from the 2014 Buffs, but only “hopeful” for a bowl game.

– August 27th …. Predictions for the 2014 Rocky Mountain Showdown …. The Buff Nation was very optimistic … 63% predicted a CU win by over 14 points … 31% foresaw a close CU victory … with 1.3% accurately predicting a double-digit win for the Rams.

– September 9th … A 41-38 win over UMass did little to appease the Buff Nation. Predictions for the remainder of the season … 65% (correctly) predicted Colorado would win three games or less … with only 2.1% still predicting a six-win season and a bowl bid.

– September 14th … A “better-than-expected” 38-24 loss to No. 16 Arizona State gave CU fans some reason for optimism … 45% foresaw a four-win season like 2013, with “three wins or less” down to 26%.

– October 11th … CU reaches a bye week with a 2-4 record. Predictions for the remainder of the season … Almost half (47%) thought the Buffs would pull out two more victories, with 31% figuring the Buffs would find a way to win at least one game. Only 9% (correctly) predicted an 0-6 second half.

– December 29th … With the CU men’s basketball team struggling in non-conference play, the optimism from the previous spring has evaporated. Only 24% (down from 78%) see it as “likely” or “very likely” that CU will make it to the NCAA tournament, with 76% seeing it as “somewhat unlikely” (50%) or “very unlikely” (24%) that CU would be a part of “March Madness, 2015”.

Reactions polls often reflect the emotion of the moment, and are usually skewed high or low, depending on how the Buffs fared …

– Reactions

– March 21st … Despite the blowout loss to Pittsburgh in the NCAA tournament, Buff fans still saw the 2013-14 basketball season as a success … 67% gave Tad Boyle and the Buffs a “B” for another 20-win season and another tournament berth … Only 8% gave CU a grade of “C” or lower.

– April 13th … Asked about a “breakout” player for the 2014 football season, the two stars of the Spring game, wide receiver Bryce Bobo (48%) and defensive back Ahkello Witherspoon (35%) were the clear favorites. Interestingly enough, quarterback Jordan Gehrke received more votes than running back Phillip Lindsay and linebacker Kenneth Olugbode combined.

– August 29th … The 31-17 season-opening loss to Colorado State hit the Buff Nation hard. A plurality, 43%, were in the “abandon all hope” category, with 39% with the Buffs “for now”. Only 18% cautioned Buff fans to “take the blue pill” and calm down.

– September 27th … The 59-56 double overtime loss to Cal on the road left CU with a 2-3 record, and started an eight game losing streak to end the season. At the time, however, Buff fans were willing to write off the loss as a tough learning experience. A full two-thirds (67%) of those responding to the poll were optimistic about the rest of the 2014 campaign, with only 16% (correctly) predicting that the loss to the Bears would be the first loss of an 0-9 Pac-12 season.

– October 6th … Coach MacIntyre chased after game officials after a controversial ending to the 36-31 loss to Oregon State. A majority, 54%, were in favor of Coach Mac showing his passion, while 40% liked the passion … but could have done without the visual of CU’s coach running after officials.

– October 25th … A 40-37 double-overtime loss to No. 25 UCLA drops CU to 2-6, but Buff fans are still with their team … 52% say that they are still “very pleased with this team”, with 36% countering that the final score is all that really matters.

– November 9th … A 38-20 loss to Arizona drops CU to 2-8, still winless in Pac-12 play. Starting quarterback Sefo Liufau’s four turnovers contribute greatly to the loss. Still, 76% believe Liufau should remain at starter, with only 24% believing he should be replaced.

– November 29th … A disheartening 38-34 loss to Utah ends a 2-10, 0-9 season for Colorado. Buff fans, though, remain upbeat. 47% give the Buffs a “C” grade for the game, but 36% give the Buffs a “B”.

– December 5th … Buff fans give CU head coach Mike MacIntyre a similar grade for the 2014 season as a whole. Almost half (49%) give Coach Mac a “C” for the 2014 season, with 37% giving him a “B”. Only 12%, despite CU’s first winless conference campaign in 99 years, give MacIntyre a “D” or an “F” grade.

Throughout the year, there were news events which prompted polls on the website. Here’s a sampling of your reactions to some of the new stories affecting Colorado in 2014 …

– News of the Day

– January 29th … This just in – CU is not a basketball school. When asked to choose between news events of that particular Wednesday (a week before Signing Day) Buff fans were all about football … 67% saw the commitment of wide receiver Shay Fields as the most important news of the day, easily trumping the announcement that ESPN GameDay was coming to Boulder (20%) and the news that Northwestern players were forming a union (17%).

– February 5th … The CU Recruiting Class of 2014 receives mixed reviews … 38% gave the Class of 2014 a grade of “B”, while 34% gave the Class a grade of “C”. Only 7% gave Coach MacIntyre and staff an “A” for the day.

– March 26th … The National Labor Relations Board rules that Northwestern players could form a union. Poll results suggested a mixed review, with a plurality (38%) believing the ruling was “much ado about nothing”, with 29% considering the ruling to be “big news”.

– May 3rd … Rick George completes his first year as the athletic director at the University of Colorado, and Buff fans are appreciative … 48% give George an “A” for his first season, with 44% giving him a “B”. Only 8% felt George deserved a “C”, with no votes for a “D” or an “F”.

– May 12th … With graduation over, actual ground-breaking begins on CU’s new athletic facilities … 36% consider it to be a “huge day”, on par with a conference title; 44% rate it a “big day”, on par with a winning season, while 20% consider it an “isn’t this what you are supposed to be doing anyway?” kind of a day.

– May 23rd … Naming rights for Folsom Field is once again in the news, and Buff fans are all for it … 58% say “show me the money!”, while only 23% are opposed under any circumstances.

– June 6th … A parking garage is added to the new athletic facilities … 60% think it’s a great idea, with a full 35% wondering why it wasn’t a part of the plan in the first place.

– December 22nd … Colorado coaches Kent Baer and Andy LaRussa leave Colorado for UNLV. Reactions are mixed, with a majority (53%) not knowing what to make of the move, with 39% seeing a shakeup amongst the defensive coaching staff as a positive for Colorado.

As polls go, CU at the Game polls are about as “unscientific” as they come. Still, they often do reflect the attitudes of the Buff Nation. What they show to me is that, while Buff fans are often frustrated with the results on the field or on the court, they remain committed to their school and its programs.

Here’s hoping that in 2015 there are plenty of occasions for Buff fans to be rewarded for their support!

Go Buffs!


Note … If you are ever interested in checking out the results of past polls, they are always available to you. At the bottom of the poll section on the front page of the website, click on “See Past Polls”. Every poll I’ve run – all 1,340 of them – is available for your review!


One Reply to “Year in Review: Polls of 2014”

  1. Stuart…. a good read. I didn’t realize how some of us “bit into” or gulped the Kool-aid, especially for FB…. but, we’re equally prone to do the same for our BB team.

    I just think that illustrates how much the Buff faithful want to see winning teams.

    (Not having anything to do with polls), but kudos for covering the highlights of the other sports also. We have done really well in other sports and are gaining ground on the PAC-12.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *