Top 10 CU Wins In Past 40 Years

In the wake of Saturday's win over Oklahoma, here's a look back at 10 significant Colorado victories over the past 40 years.

Two days later, the Buffs' upset win over Oklahoma still has the feel of something special. Of course, only time will tell is the win propels Colorado on to more special victories.

Until then, here's one writer's list of the top 10 most significant CU wins of the past 40 years, in chronological order.

• Sept. 30, 2007: Colorado 27, Oklahoma 24
The Buffs were just 4-12 under Dan Hawkins when No. 3 and 22.5-point favorite Oklahoma came calling. In the era of endless hype on TV and the Internet, OU seemed unbeatable. But Colorado's win was no fluke. The Buffs outplayed and outcoached OU (and that's according to OU coach Bob Stoops). Most importantly, even when they fell behind 24-7, Colorado never quit, and mounted a big second-half comeback. It was the first win over a ranked opponent in 14 tries for the CU program.

• Dec. 1, 2001: Colorado 39, Texas 37
The Buffs marched into Longhorn country and hung on for a win over Texas (ranked No. 3) in the Big 12 Championship game, a contest most everyone thought Texas would win. The Colorado victory gave the program its first Big 12 Conference title, and first conference championship since 1991.

• Nov. 23, 2001: Colorado 62, Nebraska 36
No one outside the CU locker room saw this one coming. The Colorado offensive line dominated No. 2 Nebraska like no team had before. (A search and rescue effort for the 2001 Nebraska linebackers is still on in some counties in our neighboring state.) The Buffs hadn't beaten Nebraska for nine years. CU had come heartbreakingly close in 1998, ‘99 and 2000. The 2001 butt-kicking exorcized red demons from Buff Nation's collective soul. And sent Colorado to the Big 12 title game.

• Sept. 24, 1994: Colorado 27, Michigan 26
Still considered one of the great all-time finishes in football, CU's "Miracle at Michigan" win in The Big House can still be seen every few months somewhere in the media. When Michael Westbrook came down with Kordell Stewart's Hail Mary, it hushed a crowd of over 100,000 Wolverine fans, and gave CU a win over No. 4 Michigan.

• Jan. 1, 1991: Colorado 10, Notre Dame 9
After a 1-1-1 start to the season, the Buffaloes slowly climbed up the AP Poll week after week and entered the Orange Bowl ranked No. 1 in the country. It was thought only Notre Dame (ranked fifth) stood in the way of the Buffs and the mythical national championship. CU held up its end of the bargain, defeating the Irish 10-9 in Miami. They won the AP title, but thanks in part to NU coach Tom Osborne's vote days later, the coaches poll tipped in favor of Georgia Tech. Still, Colorado shares a national title.

• Oct. 25, 1986: Colorado 20, Nebraska 10
CU beat the Cornhuskers for the first time since 1967. Then-coach Bill McCartney had earmarked Nebraska as the team to beat in the Big Eight, and the 1986 team finally lived up to the challenge. It's regarded as the turning point in the Bill McCartney era.

• Oct. 21, 1972: Colorado 20, Oklahoma 14
The Sooners made their way into Folsom Stadium ranked No. 2 in the country. A very talented Buffs team sent them home with a loss, avenging a setback the season before when CU lost by a failed extra point in Norman.

• Sept. 11, 1971: Colorado 31, LSU 21
The Buffs were unranked and unfavored when they traveled to Baton Rouge to battle No. 9 Louisiana State to kick off the 1971 season. Quarterback Ken Johnson led the Buffs to victory in the Bayou, and set the course for the team's first-ever 10-win season. The 1971 squad finished third in the country.

• Sept. 26, 1970: Colorado 41, Penn State 13
Sports Illustrated sent a writer to this game, and the upset victory over the No. 4 Nittany Lions ended up featured on SI's cover. (It was a photo of CU linebacker Phil Irwin tackling PSU running back Lydell Mitchell).

• Oct. 25, 1969: Colorado 31, Missouri 24
The Tigers were hot in 1969, and sported a No. 5 ranking when they met the Buffs in Boulder. But Bobby Anderson and Company held off Mizzou. Fans in the Show Me state are still waiting for the Tigers to show them a conference title in football in the modern era.

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