Friday Fast Facts – TCU Week

Leading off …

— “T.I.P.S” … Our weekly preview postings are available for your review and comment. My weekly written preview, along with my predictions for the CU/TCU game can be found here. The CU at the Game Podcast Preview for the game can be found here;


Big Picture … 

— Season-openers … Don’t tell anyone, but CU has actually won its six of it’s last seven season-openers (the last four Rocky Mountain Showdowns in Denver v. CSU; v. UCLA in 2020; and against Northern Colorado in 2021. The lone loss, of course, was to TCU in the 2022 lid lifter). Overall, Colorado is 83-45-5 all time in the first game of the season (18-19-3 all-time in true road game openers);

— The ESPN Power Index … doesn’t like CU – again. The ESPN Index gives TCU a 91.8% chance of winning the game Saturday; CU only an 8.2% chance. (In case you are wondering, ESPN’s Power Index, as the 2023 season opens, has CU favored in only one game – against CSU. The Buffs are underdogs even against Stanford at home, by a 58.2-41.8 margin).

Last season, the ESPN Power Index gave TCU a 68.5% chance of winning in Boulder. Full disclosure for ESPN Power Index haters … The FPI last year was correct in predicting CU’s 1-11 record, as the Buffs at the outset of the season were favored in only one game … against Cal … which proved to be CU’s only win of the season.

Bring on the heat … Will the TCU game be a record-setter for game-time temperature? The record for a CU game is 102-degrees, set on September 8, 2007, in a game at Arizona State (a 33-14 loss), a record which was tied on September 15, 2012, at Fresno State (a memorable for-all-the-wrong-reasons 69-14 loss). The warmest kickoff temperature for a game played in Boulder? 92-degrees at kickoff for a game against Kansas played at Folsom on September 24, 1949 (a 13-12 victory);

— September 2nd – Good news or bad?  … CU has only played five games all-time on September 2nd, with a 2-3 record. The wins have been huge: a 43-7 domination of No. 21 Wisconsin in 1995, which was Rick Neuheisel’s debut as CU’s head coach; and a 44-7 thumping of Colorado State in 2016, a precursor of what was to come in CU’s 10-4 campaign. The losses, meanwhile, have hurt. The first was an embarrassing 28-24 loss to CSU in 2000 (when the Buffs were ranked No. 23 to open the season), with the second being the infamous 19-10 loss to Montana State in Dan Hawkins’ debut as head coach in 2006. The third loss on September 2nd? Umm … It was last year, when the Buffs fell to TCU, 38-13, on a Friday night in Boulder;

— The game will be telecast nationally on Fox (Saturday, 10:05 a.m., MT), with Gus Johnson on the play-by-play, and former Buff Joel Klatt with the commentary. The sideline reporter will be Jenny Taft.  KOA radio will have Mark Johnson, in his 20th year, with the play-by-play, and former CU head coach Gary Barnett in his eighth year as the full-time analyst.


CU Notes … 

Head coaching experience … Seven of CU’s 18 assistant coach and quality control analysts have served as a head coach at the college or professional level;

Highs and Lows … The players who are returning to the roster from last year have a combined 195 games played (with 36 starts), easily the lowest totals in school history. Conversely, the 2023 roster as a whole has a total of 1,245 games played with 461 starts … easily the highest totals in school history;

National television coverage … Buff fans well know that CU will be part of the Big Noon Saturday on Fox in both Week One and Week Two of the 2023 season. What you might not know … This will be the first time in school history that CU will appear on network television in its first two games;

— Depth Chart … Well, there isn’t one. All we know for certain right now is that CU has a roster with 113 total players (77 scholarship players; 36 walk-ons), with 68 scholarship newcomers and nine returning scholarship players;

— Injury list … Well, there isn’t one of those, either.


TCU Notes … 

Trivia question winners … Last season, TCU became the first team from the state of Texas to make it to the College Football Playoff, and the first Big 12 team to reach the CFP National Championship game. With its 51-45 win over Michigan in the semi-finals, TCU became just the seventh team to win a playoff game;

Home sweet home … TCU brings an eight-game home winning streak into the game against CU, currently the sixth-longest such streak among FBS schools;

Frequent stay-at-home flyers … TCU will play nine of its 12 regular season games this fall in the state of Texas, and doesn’t leave the state until an October 7th game at Iowa State;

Honorary Pac-12 member … Dating back to 2003, TCU has a nine-game winning streak against Pac-12 opponents, including 2-0 at home; 3-0 on the road (including against CU last season), and 4-0 at neutral sites games;


Prime Numbers … 

At Jackson State … Coach Prime is 27-6 as a collegiate coach, including a 23-3 record after going 4-3 in his first season at Jackson State (the 2020 JSU was played in the spring of 2021);

CU, well, everywhere … Colorado has added over one million new followers to its social media accounts since Coach Prime was hired, going from 226,000 to 1.24 million followers this off-season. Merchandise sales have increased 525%, and CU has already sold out two of its six home games (Nebraska; Stanford);

Tickets, please … CU had a 97 percent ticket renewal rate, and sold out its season ticket allotment on April 17th … not bad for a program which hadn’t sold out its season tickets before August before Coach Prime came to Boulder … and for just the ninth time ever in school history;

In case anyone asks … Coach Prime is the only collegiate head coach who is also a member of the NFL Hall of Fame (Coach Prime is also a member of the College Football Hall of Fame) … Coach Prime was an first-team All-Pro six times, and was the NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 1994 … A Jim Thorpe Award winner for Florida State in 1988, Sanders was also a two-time unanimous All-American.


Game Day Notes – Rules Changes for 2023 … FBS games have been averaging close to three hours and 30 minutes, while the NFL average is 3:10. In order to shorten the games, the NCAA is reducing the number of commercial time outs allowed during a game.

Just kidding!

No, in order to shorten games, the NCAA rules committee has implemented the following rules changes:

  • 1. The game clock will run after first downs (as it does in the NFL), except for the last two minutes of each half (be ready to be the smart guy in your group when someone complains that the clock is running after a first down is made);
  • 2. A team cannot call consecutive timeouts; and
  • 3. Untimed downs will only occur, as needed, in the second and fourth quarters. If there is a foul at the end of the first or third quarter, it will carry over into the next quarter.

Plan your restroom breaks accordingly …


Colorado and TCU … historical

— In the 12 statistical categories tracked by Winsipedia, TCU leads Colorado in only three of 12 categories. The first may come as a surprise … national championships. TCU claims two national titles, with the “claimed” part owing to the fact that the first title, in 1935, was before the Associated Press starting voting for champions. The other title came in 1938, with the undefeated Horned Frogs taking out Carnegie Tech, 15-7, to finish off an 11-0 season;

— The other two categories in which TCU leads CU are in bowl appearances (36-30) and bowl winning percentage (.514 – .400);

— In one category, the teams are tied: Heisman Trophy winners. CU’s winner, of course, was Rashaan Salaam in 1994; TCU’s winner was quarterback Davey O’Brien, who won the trophy in 1938, the fourth year for the award (CU’s Bryon White came in second in the 1937 voting);

Otherwise, however, Colorado has significant advantages over TCU, including:

— Weeks in the Associated Press poll: CU, 305 … TCU, 254;

— Consensus All-Americans: CU, 31 … TCU, 19;

— NFL draft picks: CU, 276 … TCU, 212; and

— Conference championships: CU, 26 … TCU, 18 (CU has a Big 12 championship game victory to its credit, while TCU does not. The Horned Frogs tied with Baylor for the 2014 title, but there was no championship game in the Big 12 between 2011-16. Last season, TCU lost to Kansas State in the Big 12 title game)


CU & TCU and the Big 12 … Head-to-head

— Colorado is 211-149-9 all-time versus current members of the Big 12, including Texas and Oklahoma. If you take out the Longhorns and Sooners, who are moving on to the SEC next season, and add in the three other four corner schools, CU’s record against the other 13 teams in the new Big 12 is 238-150-10 (a .611 winning percentage);

— TCU, meanwhile, is 18-16 all-time against current members of the Pac-12 … with a nine-game winning streak;

— Of the 13 rivals who are currently signed on to be members of the newly configured Big 12 in 2024, CU has a losing record against only three. The Buffs are 0-1 against TCU, 3-10 against Arizona State, and 32-34-3 against Utah.


Pac-12 Notes … 

Total 4/5 Stars on Each Pac-12 Roster for 2023: 1. Oregon – 53 2. USC – 45 3. Washington – 27 4. UCLA – 24 5. Utah – 20 6. Cal – 16 7. Colorado – 15 7. Stanford – 15 7. Arizona – 15 10. ASU – 13 11. OSU – 8 12. WSU – 0

Note to Rick George about future non-conference scheduling … The Pac-12 is looking for a fast and easy start to the 2023 season. Other than Colorado and Utah, none of the other Pac-12 teams are playing Power Five conference opponents. Six Pac-12 schools are playing such poor quality opponents that they are favored by double digits, with three Pac-12 schools playing FCS opponents;


Week One Pac-12 lines … (Pac-12 underdogs in bold) … 

Thursday, August 31st  

  • Florida at No. 14 Utah … 6:00 p.m., MT, ESPN … Utah favored by 6.5 points
  • Nebraska at Minnesota … 6:00 p.m., MT, Fox … Minnesota favored by 7.0 points
  • Southern Utah at Arizona State … 8:00 p.m., MT … no line

Friday, September 1st 

  • Stanford at Hawai’i … 9:00 p.m., MT, CBSSports … Stanford favored by 3.5 points

Saturday, September 2nd

  • Colorado at No. 17 TCU … 10:00 a.m., MT, Fox … TCU favored by 20.5 points
  • Portland State at No. 15 Oregon … 1:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … no line
  • Boise State at No. 10 Washington … 1:30 p.m., MT, ABC … Washington favored by 14.5 points
  • Cal at North Texas … 2:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU … Cal favored by 7.0 points
  • Nevada at No. 6 USC … 4:30 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … USC favored by 38.0 points
  • Washington State at Colorado State … 5:00 p.m., CBSSports … Washington State favored by 11.0 points
  • Northern Arizona at Arizona … 8:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks … no line
  • Coastal Carolina at UCLA … 8:30 p.m., MT, ESPN … UCLA favored by 14.5 point

Sunday, September 3rd 

  • No. 18 Oregon State at San Jose State … 1:30 p.m., MT, CBS Sports … Oregon State is a 16.5 point favored


3 Replies to “Friday Fast Facts”

    1. be nice if they could just limit the number of pharma, attorney vultures and insurance companies and get rid of Liberty Mutual altogether

Leave a Reply

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