Game Week: Colorado Facts and Factors

Oct. 27 -- The Buffs are trying desperately to pull themselves out of the worst period in their football history, but it's an uphill battle...

• UCLA hosts the Colorado Buffaloes Saturday, Oct. 31st, at the Rose Bowl, with the game kicking off at 12:00 PST and televised on the Pac-12 Networks. 

• UCLA is at 5-2, 2-2, and Colorado is 4-4, 1-3.

• The Bruins climbed back into the polls this week after routing Cal, 40-24.  They are now ranked #24/#25.

• UCLA and Colorado have only played 10 times in their history, with UCLA leading the series, 8-2.

• Last year, in Boulder, UCLA needed to go to two overtimes to put away the stubborn Buffs, 40-37.

• This is the first time that Colorado is 4-4 or better after 8 games since 2007 when they finished the season 6-7.  That was also the last year they went to a bowl game, the PetroSun Independence Bowl, against a down Alabama program. 

• Colorado is currently going through the worst period in its football history.  Colorado’s last winning season was 10 years ago in 2005 when they finished 7-6.   It’s the longest streak of losing seasons since the program began in 1890. 

• That year, 2005, the Buffs finished the season 0-4, punctuated by a 70-3 loss to Texas in the Big 12 title game.  It was what lead to the firing of then coach Gary Barnett (along with some off-the-field issues).   

  That loss to Texas wasn’t the worst loss in Colorado history, having lost to the School of Mines in Colorado's inaugural season, 103-0.

• Nov. 12, 2005, was the last time Colorado was ranked, and it was the week going into the four-game losing streak to end the 2005 season.

• That 2005 season for Colorado was four head coaches ago, with Gary Barnett at the helm that year.  Since then there has been Dan Hawkins, Jon Embree and now Mike MacIntyre. 

• Since joining the Pac-12 conference in 2011, Colorado is 14-43 overall, and 5-35 in conference.

• One of those five conference wins came last week against Oregon State.  Only one of those was against a team with a winning record (Utah, 8-4 in 2011).  The other wins came against OSU (2015, 2-5), Cal (2013, 1-11), Washington State (2012, 3-9) and Arizona (2011, 4-8).

• Colorado, even though it’s 4-4, has an uphill battle to finish the year with a winning season.  Its remaining games are:  @ #24 UCLA, #8 Stanford, USC, @ Washington State and @ #13 Utah. 

• Mike MacIntyre (50) is in his third season at Boulder, with a combined record of 10-22 (2-20 in the conference).  The last successful coach at Colorado was Barnett, who left in 2005, and three more coaches since (Hawkins, Embree and MacIntyre) have failed to post a winning record.  MacIntyre got into coaching mostly because his father was a coach, George MacIntyre, who was the head coach at Vanderbilt in the early ‘80s.  It’s generally thought MacIntyre has upgraded Colorado’s program over his predecessor, Embree, but would probably need to get at least one more win during the remainder of the season to at least be able to show progress. Two more wins and bowl eligibility would be a clear step forward.  

•  UCLA field goal kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn, of course, set the UCLA all-time record for the longest field goal last week against Cal, making a 60-yarder, beating Chris Sailer’s record of 56 yards in 1997.   Also, Fairbairn needs just 18 more points to surpass John Lee (1982-85) to become UCLA’s all-time leading scorer, with Fairbairn currently at 373 points.  Fairbairn also leads the Pac-12 in scoring (67 pts.), field goals made (13) and field goal percentage (.929/13-14). 

• In the last three seasons, UCLA has lost two conference games in a row, and then gone on to finish the remainder of the season strong. It has a combined record of 11-2 in games after its two-game losing streak in the last three years. 

• In 2014, UCLA also lost the #5 and #6 games on its schedule, just as it did this year.  In 2013, it lost the #6 and #7 games. 

• The pattern might come from UCLA, traditionally with its schedule, facing a couple of good teams a few games into conference play, and then facing a string of not-so-good teams.  In 2013 it lost to Stanford and Oregon on successive weeks, and then fattened up on Colorado, Arizona and Washington. Last year it lost to Utah and Oregon, and then beat Cal, Colorado, Arizona (which was the one “good” team, being ranked #12 at the time), and Washington.   This year, after losing to ASU and Stanford, it beat Cal, and will now face Colorado, Oregon State and Washington State.

• UCLA is 5-1 in its alternate uniforms under Jim Mora.

• UCLA will be the first ranked team in the AP poll that CU will play this season.  The Buffs have lost 19 straight games against ranked teams, and have dropped 24 in a row against ranked teams on the road. 

• Colorado's win last week against Oregon State snapped a 14-game streak of conference losses for CU, which tied a school record.  

• Colorado is 2-8-1 all-time in the state of California, with its last win coming in the 1996 Holiday Bowl. 

• In the last four games, Jordan Payton (25 catches, 363 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Thomas Duarte (25,381,6) have combined for 50 catches for 744 yards and 8 touchdowns. 

• UCLA is favored by 20 over Colorado.

• UCLA is 6-7 all-time on Halloween games.   Colorado is 10-6-1. 

• The weather forecast calls for a high of 89 degrees. 

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