Let's be honest. This one was marked in the loss column in most minds before the season started. Such is the state of Colorado football.
When coach Dan Hawkins challenged his team to win 10 games this season back in December, everyone assumed this weekend's trip to face the Longhorns in front of more than 100,000 fans clad in burnt orange was the biggest reason why he didn't set the bar at an undefeated run. He might be an optimist and all, but he's no dummy. Only six teams have come to Royal Memorial Stadium and won in the past 12 years since Texas coach Mack Brown took over the program.
The Buffs would have to play the best game they've played in several years today just to give themselves a chance to win it at the end against a team ranked No. 2 in the nation with a Heisman Trophy runner-up at quarterback leading the highest scoring offense in the land. The best the Buffs can hope for is flawless execution from themselves and letdown from the Longhorns that upholds this state's great tradition of doing everything bigger.
CU hasn't won on the road since October 2007 at Texas Tech, including two road games at Toledo and West Virginia in the past month. The Buffs haven't won on the road against a ranked opponent since beating UCLA in 2002. The last time the Buffs were here under former coach Gary Barnett in 2005, they left town 42-17 losers to the eventual national champions that year.
These Longhorns have similar aspirations, though they probably aren't as talented top to bottom as that 2005 team led by former quarterback Vince Young. Colt McCoy will likely eclipse the 11,000 yard mark in career passing today, Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins is looking to make a little history, too.
Hawkins needs one touchdown pass to tie former Buff Joel Klatt for the program's all-time lead in touchdown passes. He is also hoping to avoid throwing the 33rd interception of his career which would also tie him with Klatt atop that career list.
More importantly, Hawkins hopes to become the first CU quarterback to lead the Buffs to a win over a top-10 team on the road since ??? He might have to play the game of his life to make it happen.