Colorado has been like a thorn in the side of most Aggies since the Big XII was formed. From Mark Farris’ fumble on a potential winning drive to the dropped passes in RC Slocum’s famous fall flat game in Boulder, the Buffs have been screwing the Aggies like a tied up goat.
Colorado is a fascinating team. They have the most liberal student body in the Big XII by far. The Horns and Tigers are bastions of conservatism compared to the Buffs. They play in a small stadium and have moderate fan support. Unlike most of the conference, they usually play real non-conference schedules. In fact, like Baylor, they really don’t seem to fit in this conference at all.
This year, they start off with their annual clash in Denver with their in-state rivals before playing the likes of Florida State and West Virginia. They could go 1-3 in non-conference games and still compete for the north title.
Historically, Colorado has not been a football powerhouse. However, between 1989 and 1996, they finished in the top 20 every year, including five finishes in the top 10 and one national championship. Since then, they’ve been mired in controversy. First, Bill McCartney unexpectedly quit as head coach to work for a religious cult. He probably saw the writing on the wall as he was assembling a team of thugs as bad as any squad in the country. Slick Rick took over and had moderate success but managed to enhance the thug mentality even more. After four seasons, he abruptly left for Washington. The Buffs made a huge hire in one year wonder Gary Barnett. The team took the thug level up a few notches with team building rape exercises that included recruits and nice little sorority girls, not to mention a former player chopping up his girlfriend and driving around with her in the trunk of his car. Now, Dan Hawkins is coaching the team, and they seem to be on the upswing once again.
One thing about Colorado is that they have some success recruiting areas like Los Angeles that are foreign to the rest of the Big XII. Their uniforms are cool when they have the Buffalo on their helmet, and the black and gold carries some of the same stigma as the Oakland Raiders. Therefore, they have marketed themselves to be a recruiting force in major urban areas out west. Like I mentioned earlier, they can successfully recruit kids that don’t want to even look at Texas A&M, Nebraska, or the Kansas schools.
The outlook for next season is brighter than it’s been in years. They have a freshman stud running back coming in, and they have addressed their defensive problems. This team is not consistent. They can beat anyone in the Big XII but can also lose to anyone. They beat the best team last year and lost to the worst team in the conference. They are traditionally a tough team and like to beat up their opponents. They seem to have as much talent as Kansas and Missouri, but can they hurdle one of those teams in the north pecking order?
Deathburger predicts they will, and this is my surprise pick to win the north. The problem is that this will make the conference look weaker at the end of the season when a four loss Colorado team is playing in the Big XII championship.
Colorado Notes – Robert Redford and Nancy Spungen, girlfriend of Sid Vicious, attended the University of Colorado. Colorado’s last second victory over Michigan was one of the greatest football games in recent memory. A “Smoke-Out” drew a crowd of 10,000 pot smokers to the Boulder campus last month, but police issued no tickets. Dan Hawkins lost his first game at Colorado to Montana State.