Colorado Pac-10 history

It's impossible not to associate scandal with University of Colorado football. (And losing, too, when it comes to their Pac-10 history. Read on!)

Long before embarrassing headlines plagued the tenure of head coach Gary Barnett, transgressions ran rampant in the '80s under Bill McCartney. Campus police in Boulder once made such a habit of arresting Buffalo football players, they carried around copies of game programs to aid the ID process.

The Buffaloes clearly bring some serious baggage into the Pac-10. And when they've packed their bags and ventured into Pac-10 country, they haven't fared well. Coming into September's meeting in Berkeley, CU is a miserable 1-9-1 all-time in California. The first victory didn't come until 2002 at UCLA. The streak spanned visits to USC, Cal and Stanford. Another three non-wins occurred at old Anaheim Stadium, with two losses in the Freedom Bowl and a tie in the Pigskin Classic.

Here's a rundown of Colorado's more compelling games through the years against their soon-to-be brethren.

1990, Stanford at Colorado
Did the only disputed touchdown in Colorado's co-national championship season occur on fifth down at Missouri? Was Stanford, with all of six wins in two years, ready to roll over against the sixth-ranked Buffaloes? No and no.

The Cardinal lost a 21-17 decision on Eric Bienemy's 1-yard plunge with 12 seconds remaining, a score that came on fourth-and-goal. Stanford came that close to an upset of staggering proportions. The Buffaloes were nearly stonewalled after having a first-and-goal at the 1 with 33 seconds left. Two runs for no gain followed by an incomplete pass set up the deciding play. Bienemy was met head on at the goal line by Stanford linebacker Jono Tunney. "I don't believe (Bienemy) was in," head coach Denny Green after the Thursday night ESPN game. "I don't buy it."

1993, Colorado at Stanford
Poor old Mizzou had to wait eight years to exact revenge against the Buffaloes. The Cardinal got its share in a 41-37 shootout against No. 8 Colorado.

With eight seconds remaining, Stanford trailed by three points at the four. Tony Cline caught Steve Stenstrom's pass in the end zone. His feet landed just as safety Dwayne Davis arrived with a crushing hit and jarred the ball loose. The officials signaled touchdown. Stenstrom threw four touchdowns, rallying the Cardinal from a 37-27 deficit in the final five minutes.

1996 Holiday Bowl vs. Washington
Koy Detmer and the Buffaloes outclassed the Huskies 33-21 in a history-turning outcome. Washington lost bowl games in back-to-back years for the first time, and the grumbling to replace Jim Lambright in Seattle began in earnest with this outcome. The Huskies' downfall began when Rick Neuheisel defeated the coach he'd replace two years later in Seattle.

No. 8 Colorado never trailed against the No. 13 Huskies. Detmer's 371 yards and three touchdowns overcame two early scoring runs by Washington's Corey Dillon. Pac-10 teams fell to 0-3 in the Holiday Bowl and are still just 5-10 there all-time.

2002 Fiesta Bowl vs. Oregon
The Buffaloes haven't quite been the same since entering Sun Devil Stadium as a major factor in the 2001 national title race. It was Colorado's 62-36 stunner over unbeaten and No. 1 Nebraska that sent the BCS computers into a tizzy.

But out of the ensuing chaos, the once-beaten Ducks (11-1) and the Big XII champion Buffs (11-1) were left out of the title game. Both teams had legit arguments for taking the Cornhuskers' place in the Rose Bowl. Oregon, however, brought Colorado down from its high-altitude perch, winning 38-16. In an effort that in no way foreshadowed his NFL career, Joey Harrington threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns.

2002 Colorado at UCLA
On a 99-degree day at the Rose Bowl, it was the Bruin defense that melted down. Chris Brown led a Colorado rushing attack that produced 325 yards in a 31-17 victory against No. 20 UCLA. The visitors imposed their will just a week after gaining just four first downs in a 40-3 home loss to USC.

(HONORABLE MENTION: Darrin Nelson debuts, Stanford falls 27-21 at Colorado, 1977. Neuheisel returns to Colorado, Washington wins 17-14 in 2000).


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