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.