Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Quick Post: On CU's new reputation

I don't know if you noticed, but we're suddenly a school that travels well.  At least that's the message that's been floating across the country over the past two weeks.

It all culminated in Albuquerque, where enthusiasm surrounding the hoops program's first conference title in over 40 years combined with a short trip down I-25 to fill the Pit with Black & Gold.  That formula almost helped propel the Buffs into the Sweet Sixteen.

The presence in New Mexico only followed on the heels of the heart of the C-Unit being shipped out to LA, where they were seemingly the only group at the Staples Center interested in making noise.

As a result, TruTV/TNT constantly showed the C-Unit celebrating, announcers in both LA and ABQ couldn't help but mention it, and bloggers and journalists from across the sporting world commented on it.  The University of Colorado was suddenly a traveling force to be reckoned with.

Hell, even the band was getting massive props:

These two weeks aren't isolated incidents, either.  Increased student enthusiasm and participation helped slide the C-Unit into the final eight of the Naismith Student Section of the Year Award.  Additionally, with the move to the Pac-12, overall road attendance is on the rise, and solid Buff contingents were at every West Coast road venue for both football and mens basketball.

Never in my decade on the Front Range have I seen anything close to this from Buff Nation.  Typically in the past, at basketball tournaments and road football games, the only Buff presence would be the band and the team's family.  At the Big XII championship game in 2005, for example, only a handful dressed in Black & Gold bore witness to 70-3 (probably a good thing). 

Based on my experiences, I just assumed that the fan base, though large and passionate at home, just wasn't a traveling bunch.  I guess I was wrong.  There just needed to be a spark of interest combined with feasible travel distances. 


Rico said...

It helps when we never have to go to Texas. Our fans prefer less derper climes

Llama said...

Moving to the Pac-12 has helped make us relevant again. Why go to Texas where you're either a UT or A&M fan when we can go to California where actual CU fans live?

Aaron Jordan said...

I think the move to the Pac-12 has helped immensely with that. Combine that with efforts by the C-Unit and other entities within the program (having a dedicated BBall Band Director for instance) and we are on a great track.

I am really happy to see how things have changed in just 7 years since being a Freshman at CU. If Embree pans out, CU could be on track to be a serious powerhouse sports program.

Tractor said...

Scenic (read:cool) locations is huge, aligning more with our fans "culture" is huge.

As much as I like BBQ, I don't need to drive for hours and only look forward to the eating part of the trip.

Winning helps too. It's nice to go to a place and feel like you're not going to get boatraced. We actually have a chance to win against these teams!

We might really be on to something in the next few years! Exciting stuff