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Old School Realignment Question: CU Moving to what became the Big 8

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Sammy11, Jul 19, 2011.

  1. Sammy11

    Sammy11 New Member

    Oct 15, 2010
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    What prompted the move? CU was in a league with Utah, BYU, USU, Wyoming, CSU, and Denver prior to joining the then-Big6. Was it prestige? Academics? Competition? Why did CU go east instead of inquire with the Pac8 or others?

    Good luck this season. Pulling for you guys to do well in the Pac.
  2. CVilleBuff

    CVilleBuff Club Member Club Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    Not that I was around, but it had to be prestige. Denver dropped football soon after, and the MSC with teams such as Utah State must have just not had the overall depth that could be offered by joining a Big7. Geographical isolation has always presented its challenges to CU. I doubt the Pac8 would have been realistic at that point -- with the transportation available in that era going to places such as Corvallis or Pullman on a regular basis would have been tough ****. Hell, even getting across the Rockies to Utah or BYU for MSC games in late fall must have been tough in an era before interstates. This was also a time where the state of CO seemed much more "midwestern" in a sense compared to now, the cultural shifts that make CU seem like a natural fit for the PAC had not yet occurred..

    Edit: Also worth mentioning that BYU was absolutely terrible in this era.

    I'd be fascinated to hear about it from anyone old/man enough to admit they remember it!!
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2011
  3. Buffsoldier

    Buffsoldier Well-Known Member

    Nov 3, 2009
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    DBT should chime in on this one. He was the team carriage driver from what I hear,
  4. tante

    tante Club Member Club Member

    Jul 21, 2009
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    so who is older DBT or Mr Burns?
  5. ScottyBuff

    ScottyBuff Well-Known Member

    Mar 28, 2008
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    Absolutely it was prestige.

    While I wasn't around and have no real knowledge of the situation, it seems very obvious that a conference in 1947 that consisted of:

    Kansas State
    Iowa State

    was far superior to BYU, Utah, CSU, Wyoming, Utah State, and Denver.

    This was back when the demographics of Colorado were dramatically different than they are now. Migration into the state had just taken off with the "western push" of the Pacific theatre of WW2. A lot of these were Midwestern folks moving out west. Utah was the only solid "power" in the conference along with the Buffs so it really was being a medium sized fish in a small pond. Joining with the storied programs of Oklahoma and Nebraska along with Kansas and Missouri was really a no-brainer in hindsight.

    I would guess that attendance in the MSC or Skyline conference was in the 10-20k range, while the Big Six were more likely to be in the 20-40k range at that time. The Big 6 also had the Orange Bowl pretty much in their back pocket, while I don't think the MSC had any bowl bids guaranteed back then.
  6. FlaBuff

    FlaBuff I drive a Dodge Stratus! Club Member

    Jul 13, 2005
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    Big time Cholly...
  7. boulder77

    boulder77 Certified Organic Club Member

    Jun 14, 2010
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    I'll bet Montana knows ....
  8. OKCBuff

    OKCBuff Well-Known Member

    Sep 16, 2009
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    CVill hammered it. The move was all about prestige and geography - just like the Pac move was. It made much more sense being with NU, KU and OU back at that point like it makes sense to move west now. Think about driving to Lawrence in the 1950s vs. driving to, oh, Pullman. Pre-interstates? OUCH!
  9. MontanaBuff

    MontanaBuff Club Member Club Member

    Apr 8, 2008
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    I'm not that old, but I would agree with what is being posted. Based upon the demographics of the college football world in the late 1940's, it made sense for Colorado to look to the east.
    Even before joining the Big Six to make it the Big Seven, Colorado was playing Missouri and Iowa State on a regular basis as non-conference games.

    It was time for Colorado to move up in stature, and playing three Utah schools in addition to three front range schools was not going to attract national attention - or national talent.
  10. BlackNGold

    BlackNGold Club Member Club Member

    Jul 8, 2005
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    Everything was changing post WWII. College enrollments were growing rapidly because of the GI Bill - America was changing rapidly from a rural society to an urban society - CU's enrollment doubled in the few years after the War to reach almost 10,000 students. Because of these dynamics CU was no longer a good fit in the old conference.

    You cannot really compare the college football world today with that era...the money and the pressures were all different (I was not around then but the study of post WWII US changes is fascinating). I believe what was happening outside of athletics had a much greater impact on the change of conferences then anything going on within athletics.

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