Colorado Buffaloes football
|Colorado Buffaloes football|
|Athletic director||Rick George|
4th year, 20–29 (.408)
|Field surface||Natural Grass|
|NCAA division||Division I FBS|
Mountain States (1938–1947)
Big Eight (1948–1995)
Big 12 (1996–2010)
|All-time record||681–481–36 (.583)|
|Bowl record||12–16 (.429)|
|Claimed nat'l titles||1 (1990)|
5 (4 Big 12 North) |
(1 Pac-12 South)
|Consensus All-Americans||30 (5 unanimous)|
Black, Gold, and Silver|
|Fight song||Fight CU|
|Marching band||Golden Buffalo Marching Band|
Colorado State Rams|
The Colorado Buffaloes football program represents the University of Colorado Boulder in college football at the NCAA Division I FBS level. The team is currently a member of the Pac-12 Conference, having previously been a charter member of the Big 12 Conference. Before joining the Big 12, they were members of the Big Eight Conference. The CU football team has played at Folsom Field since 1924. The Buffs all-time record is 681–491–36 (.583 winning percentage) through the finish of the 2014 season. Colorado won a National Championship in 1990. The football program is 23rd on the all-time win list and 30th in all-time winning percentage. The football team also has the distinction of being the all-time NCAA leader in 4th down conversions. They are one of two NCAA Division I teams to complete a 5th down conversion (the other being Cornell). This was a result of a mistake by the officials and happened on a play displayed by chaincrew as the 4th down.
Beginning in 1890, Colorado football has enjoyed much success throughout its 125+ years of competitive play. The Buffaloes have won numerous bowl games (28 appearances in bowl games (12–16), 36th all-time), eight Colorado Football Association Championships (1894–97, 1901–1903, 1908), Colorado Faculty Athletic Conference (1909), eight RFMAC Championships (1910-11, 1913, 1923–24, 1934–35, 1937), four Mountain States Conference Championships (1939, 1942–44), five Big Eight conference championships (1961, 1976, 1989-91), one Big 12 conference championship (2001), four Big 12 North Division Championships (2001-02, 2004-05), and a National Championship (1990, Associated Press).
Folsom Field was built in 1924, and since then, Colorado has a 301–165–14 record at home through the 2014 season. The road game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers on November 24, 2006 was Colorado's 1,100th football game. The game on September 12, 2015 against Massachusetts was the school's 1,200th football game.
1990 national championship
Colorado won its first national championship in 1990 under the direction of head coach Bill McCartney, who helmed the team from 1982 to 1994. The national title was split with Georgia Tech who won the United Press International Coaches Poll, whereas Colorado won the Associated Press and Football Writers Association of America polls. The largest arguments against Colorado were that they had a loss and a tie, whereas Georgia Tech had a tie and no losses, and Colorado's "unfair" win in the Fifth Down Game against Missouri. Another major controversy was a Colorado's Orange Bowl win over Notre Dame, which Colorado won in part because of a controversial clipping call that brought back a Notre Dame touchdown. The major argument for Colorado was that they played a more difficult schedule than Georgia Tech. Colorado capped the season with a 10–9 win over Notre Dame in the Orange Bowl, a rematch of the 1989 season Orange Bowl Game which Notre Dame won 21–6. Colorado's tie came against Tennessee, who was ranked #8, the first week of the season when Colorado was ranked #5. The second week gave the Buffs a scare, scoring with 12 seconds left in the game on a 4th and Goal attempt. The next week gave Colorado its only loss of the season, losing 23–22 to Illinois and dropping Colorado to #20 in the polls. Colorado then went on to beat teams ranked (at the time) #22 Texas, #12 Washington, #22 Oklahoma, and #3 Nebraska. They ended the season 7–0 in the Big Eight Conference for the second straight season. They then capped the season with a win over Notre Dame who were number 1 until a loss in their second to last game of the regular season.
|2||Georgia Tech (20)||11–0–1||1,441|
|3||Miami (FL) (1)||10–2||1,388|
A traditional college football rivalry with the Nebraska Cornhuskers restarted in the 1980s (many historical documents show the importance of this game going back to 1898) when Bill McCartney declared the conference opponent to be their rival. His theory was since Nebraska was such a powerhouse team, if Colorado was able to beat them then they would be a good team. Colorado began to repeatedly threaten Nebraska in the late 1980s, following their win over the Huskers in 1986, and then surpassed the Huskers for the Big 8 crown in 1989.
In 1990, Colorado beat Nebraska 27–12 in Lincoln for the first time since 1967, en route to their first national title. From 1996–2000, the series was extremely competitive, with the margin of victory by NU in those five years being only 15 points combined. The rivalry was further buoyed by the introduction of the Big 12 Conference in 1996, which moved Oklahoma & Oklahoma State to the southern division with the four new schools from Texas, formerly in the Southwest Conference. Nebraska had traditionally finished the Big 8 conference schedule with a rivalry game with Oklahoma, but the two were now in different divisions, which meant they met every other year in the regular season. Colorado replaced Oklahoma as Nebraska's final conference game of the regular season, which further intensified the rivalry. In 2001 #1 Nebraska came to Folsom Field undefeated and left at the short end of a nationally televised 62–36 blowout. Both teams departed the Big 12 in 2011, as NU headed east to join the Big Ten and the future of the rivalry was in doubt. On February 7, 2013, Colorado and Nebraska agreed to renew the rivalry. Colorado will travel in 2018 to Lincoln, and then return to Boulder in 2019. After a 3-year break, Nebraska will go to Boulder in 2023 and then host CU again the next year to finish the series. Nebraska currently leads the series 49–18–2.
Colorado's in-state rival is the Colorado State Rams of the Mountain West Conference, located north of Boulder in Fort Collins. The two schools are separated by 45 miles (72 km) and both consider it important and noteworthy to beat the other for bragging rights for the next year. The two football teams annually compete in the Rocky Mountain Showdown for the Centennial Cup, played in Denver, Fort Collins, and Boulder. The trophy takes its name from the state of Colorado's nickname of "The Centennial State". Colorado currently leads the series 64–22–2.
The rivalry with Utah ran from 1903–62, in which Utah and Colorado played each other nearly every year; through 1962 they had met 57 times. At the time, it was the second-most played rivalry for both teams (Utah had played Utah State 62 times; Colorado had played Colorado State 61 times). The rivalry was dormant until 2011, when both teams joined the Pac-12, renewing the rivalry on an annual basis. The Colorado–Utah rivalry remains the fifth-most played rivalry in Utah's history, and eighth-most in Colorado's history.
Move to the Pac-12
On June 10, 2010, the Colorado Buffaloes accepted an invitation to become the 11th member of the Pac-12 Conference. The move represented the first expansion of the Pacific-10 Conference since it added Arizona and Arizona State in 1978. The Buffaloes began play in the Pac-12 in 2011. Moving from the Big 12 to the Pac-12 did not stop the Colorado vs Colorado State rivalry. This rivalry game will continue to be played through the 2020 season. The rivalry game with the Colorado State Rams will be played at Sports Authority Field in Denver until 2019.
All-time record vs. Pac-12
|Arizona State||1||7||.125||Won 1||2006||2016|
|Oregon State||4||5||.444||Won 2||1931||2016|
|Washington State||6||4||.600||Won 1||1981||2016|
|1977||Orange||Ohio State (N)||L||10||27||65,537||NBC|
|1988||Freedom||Brigham Young (N)||L||17||20||35,941||Raycom|
|1989||Orange||Notre Dame (N)||L||6||21||81,191||NBC|
|1990||Orange||Notre Dame (N)||W||10||9||77,062||NBC|
Current coaching staff
|Brian Lindgren||Co-Offensive Coordinator/Quarterbacks|
|Darrin Chiaverini||Co-Offensive Coordinator/Wide Receivers/Recruiting Coordinator|
|Jim Leavitt||Defensive Coordinator/Linebackers|
|Klayton Adams||Offensive Line|
|Gary Bernardi||Tight Ends/Fullbacks|
|Darian Hagan||Running Backs|
|Jim Jeffcoat||Defensive Lineman|
The Buffaloes have played in 1,109 games during their 125 seasons, through 2014. In those seasons, nine coaches have led Colorado to postseason bowl games: Bunny Oakes, Dallas Ward, Bud Davis, Eddie Crowder, Bill Mallory, Bill McCartney, Rick Neuheisel, Gary Barnett, and Dan Hawkins. Nine coaches have won conference championships with the Buffaloes: Fred Folsom, Myron Witham, William Saunders, Oakes, Jim Yeager, Sonny Grandelius, Mallory, McCartney, and Barnett.
McCartney is the all-time leader in games coached with 153, total wins with 93, and conference wins with 58. Folsom had the longest tenure as head coach, remaining in the position for 15 seasons. Harry Heller and Willis Keinholtz are tied for the highest overall winning percentage. Each served a single season and won eight of his nine games for a winning percentage of .889. Of coaches who served more than one season, Folsom leads with a .765 winning percentage. Davis, in terms of overall winning percentage, is the worst coach the Buffaloes have had with a .200 winning percentage. No Colorado coach has been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. McCartney is the only coach to have won national coach of the year honors, with all of them coming in 1989. Barnett won conference coach of the year honors in 2001 and 2004. The most recent coach, Mike MacIntyre, was hired on Dec. 10, 2012. MacIntyre has compiled a 20-29 record in four seasons at Colorado. In 2016, MacIntyre lead Colorado to a 10-2 regular season and a trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game. It was the first winning season for Colorado since 2005, ending a 10 year streak of finishing below .500. 2016 was also the best season for the Buffaloes since 2001. As well, it marked their first time playing in a conference championship game since the 2005 Big 12 Championship Game. The team also went 8-2 in the Pac-12 after having five conference wins in the previous five seasons.
|Year||Name||Position||Rank in Heisman voting||Points|
Other award winners
- 1989 Bill McCartney
College Football Hall of Fame
- Byron White (Inducted 1952) Hall-of-Fame Biography
- Joe Romig (Inducted 1984) Hall-of-Fame Biography
- Dick Anderson (Inducted 1993) Hall-of-Fame Biography
- Bobby Anderson (Inducted 2006) Reference
- Alfred Williams (Inducted 2010) Reference
- John Wooten (Inducted 2012) Reference
- Bill McCartney (Inducted 2013) Reference
- 2010 – Nate Solder, Colorado (AP, FWAA, TSN, WCFF, ESPN, PFW, SI)
- 2007 – Jordon Dizon, Colorado (Associated Press, Walter Camp, Sporting News, ESPN, College Football News, Rivals.com)
- 2006 – Mason Crosby, Colorado (Walter Camp Foundation, Pro Football Weekly)
- 2005 – Mason Crosby, Colorado (Associated Press, FWAA-Writers, Walter Camp, Sporting News, Sports Illustrated, Pro Football Weekly, ESPN, CBS Sports, College Football News, Rivals.com)
- 2004 – John Torp, Colorado (ESPN)
- 2002 – Chris Brown, Colorado (AFCA-Coaches)
- 2002 – Wayne Lucier, Colorado (TSN)
- 2002 – Mark Mariscal, Colorado (AP, AFCA-Coaches, Walter Camp, TSN, CNNSI, ESPN)
- 2001 – Daniel Graham, Colorado (Walter Camp, AFCA-Coaches, FWAA, AP, TSN, PFW, FN)
- 2001 – Andre Gurode, Colorado (AP, TSN, PFW, CNNSI)
- 2001 – Roman Hollowell, Colorado (TSN, CNNSI-PR)
- 1999 – Ben Kelly, Colorado (FN)
- 1999 – Ben Kelly, Colorado(CNNSI-KR)
- 1996 – Rae Carruth, Colorado, (TSN)
- 1996 – Chris Naeole, Colorado (AP, AFCA-Coaches, Walter Camp,FN)
- 1996 – Matt Russell, Colorado (AP, FWAA-Writers, Walter Camp, TSN)
- 1995 – Heath Irwin, Colorado (AP)
- 1995 – Bryan Stoltenberg, Colorado (UPI, Walter Camp, FN)
- 1994 – Rashaan Salaam, Colorado (Associated Press, Walter Camp, FWAA-Writers, AFCA-Coaches, Scripps-Howard, Sporting News, Football News)
- 1994 – Michael Westbrook, Colorado (Walter Camp, AFCA-Coaches, Sporting News)
- 1994 – Chris Hudson, Colorado (Associated Press, Walter Camp, FWAA-Writers, Scripps-Howard)
- 1992 – Michael Westbrook, Colorado (NEA)
- 1992 – Deon Figures, Colorado (AP, UPI, NEA, WC, FWAA, SH, TSN, FN)
- 1992 – Mitch Berger, Colorado (UPI)
- 1991 – Jay Leeuwenburg, Colorado (AP, UPI, NEA, WC, AFCA, FWAA, SH, TSN, FN)
- 1991 – Joel Steed, Colorado (WC)
- 1990 – Eric Bieniemy, Colorado (AP, UPI, NEA, WC, AFCA, FWAA, SH, TSN, FN)
- 1990 – Joe Garten, Colorado (AP, UPI, NEA, WC, AFCA, FWAA, SH, TSN, FN)
- 1990 – Alfred Williams, Colorado (AP, UPI, NEA, WC, AFCA, FWAA, SH, TSN, FN)
- 1989 – Joe Garten, Colorado (AP, UPI, AFCA, FWAA, TSN)
- 1989 – Darian Hagan, Colorado (TSN)
- 1989 – Alfred Williams, Colorado (UPI, AFCA, FWAA, FN)
- 1989 – Kanavis McGhee, Colorado (WC)
- 1989 – Tom Rouen, Colorado (AP, UPI, WC, FWAA)
- 1988 – Keith English, Colorado (AP)
- 1986 – Barry Helton, Colorado (AP, UPI, TSN)
- 1979 – Stan Brock, Colorado (TSN)
- 1979 – Mark Haynes, Colorado (AP)
- 1978 – Matt Miller, Colorado (UPI)
- 1976 – Don Hasselbeck, Colorado (TSN)
- 1975 – Mark Koncar, Colorado (AP)
- 1975 – Dave Logan, Colorado (TSN)
- 1975 – Pete Brock, Colorado (TSN, NEA, Time)
- 1975 – Troy Archer, Colorado (Time)
- 1973 – J.V. Cain, Colorado (TSN, Time)
- 1973 – Bo Matthews, Colorado (Time)
- 1972 – Bud Magrum, Colorado (FWAA)
- 1972 – Cullen Bryant, Colorado (UPI, NEA, AFCA, TSN, Time)
- 1971 – Cliff Branch, Colorado (FN)
- 1971 – Herb Orvis, Colorado (WC, AFCA, TSN)
- 1970 – Don Popplewell, Colorado (AP, UPI, NEA, FWAA, WC, CP, FN)
- 1970 – Pat Murphy, Colorado (WC)
- 1969 – Bobby Anderson, Colorado (AP, UPI, NEA, TSN)
- 1968 – Mike Montler, Colorado (AP, AFCA)
- 1967 – Dick Anderson, Colorado (AP, NEA)
- 1961 – Jerry Hillebrand, Colorado (FWAA)
- 1961 – Joe Romig, Colorado, (WC, TSN, FWAA)
- 1960 – Joe Romig, Colorado, (WC)
- 1956 – John Bayuk, Colorado (INS-2; CP-3)
- 1954 – Frank Bernardi, Colorado (AP-2)
- 1953 – Gary Knafelc, Colorado (AP-3)
- 1943 – Hall, Colorado (AP-2)
Colorado's All-Century Team 1890–1989
Taken from the 2005 Colorado Football Media Guide:
The University of Colorado selected an “All-Century Football Team,” as public balloting in 1989 tabbed 11 All-Americans among the top 25 selected to the 100-year squad. Over 6,200 ballots were received in the public selection process, with over 150,000 votes cast from those ballots. Former CU players pared a list of 881 lettermen down to 118, which were in turn presented to the public for the final team selection. Byron “Whizzer” White, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice who was CU’s first All-American (1937), received 5,812 of a possible 6,265 votes. Bobby Anderson, who starred at both quarterback and tailback between 1967 and 1969, was the second leading vote-getter with 5,636, and two-way-star Joe Romig, who led CU to its first outright Big Eight Championship in 1961, was third with 5,145. White (#24), Anderson (#11) and Romig (#67) are the only Buffs to ever have their numbers retired. One other player topped the 5,000 vote mark, as flashy Cliff Branch, whose name still frequently appears in the CU record book and who played a big part in the Buffs’ No. 3 national ranking of 1971, captured 5,111 votes. The player with the fifth most votes, 3,989, was the only active Buff at the time to make the top 25, tailback Eric Bieniemy (a junior in 1989).
Joining White, Anderson and Romig as All-Americans on the century squad were Dick Anderson (’67), Pete Brock (’75), Mark Haynes (’79), Dave Logan (’75), Herb Orvis (’71) and Bob Stransky (’57). Four players in the early years of CU football made the team, led by Walt Franklin, who played center and end between 1917 and 1921. Back Lee Willard (’21), Judge Hatfield Chilson (’25) and guard Bill McGlone (’26) round out the quartet which represents the formative seasons of CU football, when the team was known as the “Silver and Gold.” Other familiar names on the team include Hale Irwin, who starred at defensive back in the mid-1960s but gained his fame on the PGA Tour; John Stearns, another pivotal player of the 1971 team who went on to be a star catcher with the New York Mets; Dave Logan, a veteran of 10-plus NFL seasons and current sportstalk celebrity in Denver; Carroll Hardy, who played in the early 1950s and is the only man ever to pinch-hit for Ted Williams; and John Wooten, one of the first African-American players at CU who has spent several years in the scouting departments of the NFL Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles. Listed below are the 25 members of the University of Colorado All-Century (1890–1989) Football Team, selected by lettermen and the public over a three-month voting period.
- Bobby Anderson, QB/TB (1967-68-69)
- Dick Anderson, DB (1965-66-67)
- Eric Bieniemy, TB (1987-88-89-90)
- Cliff Branch, WR/KR (1970–71)
- Pete Brock, OC (1973-74-75)
- Hatfield Chilson, B (1923-24-25)
- Boyd Dowler, QB (1956-57-58)
- Walt Franklin, C/E (1917-19-20-21)
- Carroll Hardy, HB (1951-52-53-54)
- Mark Haynes, CB (1976-77-78-79)
- Hale Irwin, DB (1964-65-66)
- Zack Jordan, HB/P (1950-51-52)
- William "Kayo" Lam, B (1933-34-35)
- Dave Logan, WR (1972-73-74-75)
- Bill McGlone, G (1923-24-25-26)
- Herb Orvis, DE (1969-70-71)
- Mickey Pruitt, DB (1984-85-86-87)
- Joe Romig, OG/LB (1959-60-61)
- John Stearns, DB/P (1970–71-72)
- Bob Stransky, HB (1955-56-57)
- Billy Waddy, RB (1973-74-75-76)
- Gale Weidner, QB (1959-60-61)
- Byron "Whizzer" White, B (1935-36-37)
- Lee Willard, B (1918-19-20-21)
- John Wooten, G (1956-57-58)
No. 24 Byron "Whizzer" White
Colorado’s first All-American and one of the greatest students in the history of the school, Byron "Whizzer" White, retired as a justice of the Supreme Court in March 1993, after serving 31 years on the nation’s high court. White made all the All-America teams after a brilliant 1937 season in which he led CU to an 8–0 record and Cotton Bowl Classic bid as he set national records with 1,121 rushing yards and 122 points. Those marks, erased nationally only after colleges went to 10- and 11-game schedules, set CU records.
White was a Phi Beta Kappa, Rhodes Scholar, two-time All-Pro halfback with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, leading graduate of the Yale Law School in 1946, decorated naval intelligence officer in World War II, leading Denver attorney, and deputy attorney general for the United States. White is a member of the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall-of-Fame, the GTE Academic Hall-of-Fame, and was selected to CU’s All-Century Team. In 1998, he was the first inductee into CU’s Athletic Hall-of-Fame. He died at the age of 84 on April 15, 2002.
No. 67 Joe Romig
Romig was a two-time All-American selection, a member of the Big Eight Hall-of-Fame and the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall of Fame. As of 2004, a senior research associate in radio physics in Boulder, Romig was the Buffs’ 1961 team captain and the United Press International Lineman of the year. Romig had no peers as a linebacker, as he ranged far and fiercely from his middle linebacker position behind a four-man line. Fast and strong, he was consistently in on most of CU’s tackles. Offensively, Romig developed into an excellent straight-ahead and pulling blocker. Like White, he was an inspirational leader with extraordinary physical and mental abilities.
Romig was an excellent student, earning all A’s his last six semesters and a 3.9 grade-point average. As a Rhodes Scholar, Joe received his master's degree in physics at Oxford University and a doctorate in physics at Colorado in 1975.
No. 11 Bobby Anderson
Anderson set 18 single-game, single-season and career marks during his three-season career with the Buffs along with earning All-Big Eight and All-American honors. A professional player with the Denver Broncos (the team’s No. 1 draft choice), Washington Redskins and New England Patriots, Anderson started his CU career as a quarterback but switched to tailback for the third game during his senior season (1969). In his career, he rushed for 2,729 yards and had over 5,000 yards in total offense. Anderson concluded his Colorado career with a 254-yard rushing effort in the 1969 Liberty Bowl. As of 2004, he is a Denver-area businessman, and has worked over two decades for KOA-Radio handling pre- and postgame shows as well as sideline reporting on the CU Football Network. He is a member of CU’s All-Century Team. In 1999, he received the University Medal, awarded to those who have performed outstanding service to or for the University.
In 1992, Nu Skin International and CoSIDA started sponsorship of "The National Play-of-the-Year," honoring the most outstanding play annually in college football. Notre Dame won the inaugural honor in 1992, but the University of Colorado won for both the 1993 and 1994 seasons. Here’s a closer look at CU’s winning plays:
October 16: #20 Colorado 27, #9 Oklahoma 10
Lamont Warren throws a 34-yard touchdown pass to Charles Johnson on the halfback option play. What made it special? Warren slipped on the slick artificial surface as he threw the ball, and some 40 yards later in the end zone, Johnson made the catch on the ground after he was interfered with. The play defied imagination, and is truly appreciated when looked at in slow motion.
September 24: #7 Colorado 27, #4 Michigan 26
College football’s play of the decade, this effort also won an ESPY Award from ESPN for the play of the year for college football in 1995. As time expired, Kordell Stewart threw a 64-yard touchdown pass to Michael Westbrook, who made the catch after a Blake Anderson deflection. CU had trailed 26–14 with under four minutes left, and trailed by five with 15 seconds left on its own 15-yard line after stopping Michigan on defense.
Colorado Buffaloes Football Scout.com team recruiting rankings:
|Class||Scout.com Rank||Commits||Top Commit|
|75||19||Tim Lynott Jr.|
Future non-conference opponents
|Colorado State (at Denver, CO)||Colorado State (at Denver, CO)||Colorado State (at Denver, CO)||at Colorado State||vs Minnesota||at Minnesota||vs Nebraska||at Nebraska|
|vs Texas State||at Nebraska||vs Nebraska||at Texas A&M||vs UMass||vs. TCU||at TCU|
|vs Northern Colorado||vs New Hampshire||vs Air Force||vs Fresno State||vs. Texas A&M||at Air Force|
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