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bsn BSN: Understanding the significance of Colorado’s return to the polls

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Oct 3, 2016.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    BOULDER – Imagine for a moment, if you will, the world as it was on November 6, 2005.

    George W. Bush was less than a year into his second term as president. Barack Obama was in his first year as an Illinois Senator. The housing bubble was still years away from collapsing. Same-sex marriage was legal in exactly one state. It would be more than a year before anyone would know what an iPhone was. The Colbert Report had been on the air for less than three weeks. YouTube was under a year old, and Facebook wasn’t open to the public.

    On that day, the Colorado Buffaloes were ranked No. 22 in the AP poll after a 41-12 win over Missouri improved their record on the season to 7-2. This was fairly unremarkable at the time. Yes, the Buffs were having their best season in three years, but they were used to being the best team in the abysmal Big 12 North division, and they were no strangers to the Top 25; having been ranked at some point in 17 of the previous 18 seasons.

    On that day, no one could have predicted that it would be the last time they would appear in that poll for over a decade. The depths to which the program would sink over the next several years would have seemed unfathomable.

    On that day, Colorado had won seven games, including five in conference play. They have not achieved either of those marks since. During their first five seasons in the Pac-12, they won five conference games in total.

    In case that statistic didn’t make you feel bad enough, this is an incomplete list of the “lasts” for the program entering the 2016 season:

    The last time CU defeated a ranked opponent: 2009

    Last time receiving votes in a poll: 2008

    Last time winning more than two conference games: 2007

    Last bowl bid: 2007

    Last winning season: 2005

    Last Top 25 ranking: 2005

    Last bowl victory: 2004

    And those are just the basic benchmarks that indicate a reasonably competent program. It’s unnecessary to even get into loftier things like finishing the season in the Top 25, defeating a ranked team on the road or winning ten games.

    After five weeks of the 2016 season, two of those “lasts” have already been erased, and CU has an excellent chance to wipe the rest of them off the board as well before 2016 is over. Looking at that list in August, nobody would have guessed that the two relating to AP voting would be the first to fall by the wayside.

    The Buffs, without beating a ranked opponent or winning more than two Pac-12 games, have vaulted themselves into the AP Top 25. They have done it because they’ve done things that haven’t been seen at this university in a long time.

    Here are a few more “lasts”, but these are designed to make you feel good.

    The last time CU defeated Oregon: 1998

    Last time they won a conference game by more than 41 points: 1992

    Last time they defeated Colorado State by more than 37 points: 1956

    Last time they scored more than 49 points in a half: Never

    Yes, the last time CU destroyed a conference opponent more thoroughly than what they did to Oregon State on Saturday, they played in the Big 8 conference. The last time they beat CSU that badly, Dwight Eisenhower was president. And no Colorado team, no matter the level of competition they were facing, has ever scored more points in a half than they did against Idaho State in week two.

    Simply put, the Buffs have been too good to ignore; even in their one loss. They led No. 4 Michigan by 14 points in Ann Arbor, and they also held a lead in the second half. Michigan hasn’t trailed in any other game this season, including against then No. 8 Wisconsin.

    That’s not to say that CU is an unstoppable juggernaut, or that they’re going to make the College Football Playoff. But are they one of the Top 25 teams in the country after five weeks? Absolutely.

    The voters in both polls recognized this, and on October 2, 2016, the Colorado Buffaloes re-entered the Top 25 for the first time in almost eleven years, at No. 21 in the AP Poll and No. 23 in the Coaches’ Poll.

    I am now a senior in college. I was in elementary school the last time CU was ranked. I was 10 years and 10 months old on November 6, 2005, and it’s been 10 years and 11 months since that day. More than half my life happened between Colorado’s most recent two Top 25 rankings.

    There are many more demons to be exorcised, and much more history to be rewritten, but I think every CU fan who has stuck with the program for the last ten years needs to take a second to appreciate what this means.

    It means that the Buffs are relevant. There is no more tangible evidence of relevancy than having that little number to the left of your name. All week, when ESPN runs through the Top 25 games on their bottom line, CU vs. USC will be there, and it won’t be because of USC.

    It means that the score of this weekend’s game will appear in virtually every newspaper in the country on Sunday, and even your grandfather who has no idea what #TheRiseIsReal is about will know that the Buffs are a good football team once again.

    And it means that there’s one fewer painful reminder of futility for Colorado fans to reckon with. Ten years of misery aren’t going to be erased overnight, but this is a damn good start. I don’t know how October 2, 2016 will be remembered by fans eleven years from now, but it’s exciting to think about.

    Ted Chalfen
    Continue reading...
    Heywood likes this.
  2. StormTrooper

    StormTrooper Millennial Liason Club Member

    Aug 6, 2015
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    I stayed up way too late last night working on this.
    Buffalo Brad likes this.

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