I especially feel bad for seniors Alexis Austin and Nicole Edelman. They deserved to go out with another trip to the tournament, not the heartbreak of a truly indefensible snub. For that, I have only one word for the committee:
Today in the bag, I'm talking the hoops win over Northern Colorado, the end of the football season, and an uncomfortable anniversary.
Click below for the bag...
Buffs brush past Northern Colorado -
Nothing much for it, on a wintery Sunday afternoon, the BasketBuffs blew UNC out of the water. From the get-go, CU was red-hot, knocking down outside shots, clamping down on Northern defensively, and generally commanding the court. Steadily, the Buffs took control of the game, grinding out a 46-19 lead at the break. After halftime, the rolling tide stemmed itself a bit, as focus both on the court and in the stands flagged, but there was no coming back from the Bears, as the game eventually settled into a 82-52 final.
As per usual, Colorado was fueled by superlative senior forward Josh Scott, who owned both sides of the ball. He put up an efficient 18/8 in 25 minutes of play, as UNC had simply no answer for him. Past the top line numbers, however, he also handed out three assists, swatted five blocks, grabbed three offensive boards, and only committed one foul. It was all-encompassing, the latest in a line of surpassing performances -- he's been shooting 76% from the field and 87% from the stripe, while averaging eight rebounds and three blocks since the opener in South Dakota. The competition has been lacking, to be sure, but those are elite numbers to kickoff his comeback campaign.
|Josh was far too much for the undersized Bears. From: the Journal-Advocate|
Speaking of, the trio of Dom Collier, Josh Fortune, and George King shot 7-14 from deep to give CU all the scoring depth they could need on the day. All-in-all, a very clean, solid performance from the front-line talent, although against relatively little resistance from the visitors from Greeley. The Bears just aren't a very good basketball team, and the Buffs did what they needed to do when faced with a lesser opponent. The second half may not have been pretty, by any means, but it didn't need to be, and minds are wont to wander this time of year. Really, I saw what I needed to see in the first; a strong showing with a tough stretch of the schedule looming.
Up next, however, is yet another test of focus, as the Division II Ft Lewis Skyhawks come to town. I'll have more on this game in tomorrow's teaser.
Frustrating football season ends in Salt Lake City -
On the far side of the Rockies, with the snow falling on a frigid November day in SLC, CU found themselves in yet another close ballgame on the season's final day. The defense was holding strong, eliminating almost everything through the air while bending but not breaking on the ground. On offense, despite yet another injury under center, the offense was a credible threat in the fourth quarter behind a 3rd and 4th string tango at QB. It all seemed to be setting up for a stunning, emphatic comeback final against a rival on road turf...
|The Buffs had their chances. From: Utah Utes.com|
There's really not much more to say at this point about the season that was. For me, while the team continued to 'look' better, the results did not match. They left plenty of opportunities to climb the latter of success on the field, and will be haunted by games like those against Oregon, Arizona, UCLA, USC, and Utah as they sit out the bowl season... for the 8th straight year. In such light, and since their stated goal was to make a bowl game - any bowl game - I can't help but view this season as a failure. Not a large one, mind you, but a failure none-the-less.
|In the end, more of the same from Colorado. From: KSL.com|
Remembering 100-6 -
I don't mean to bring anyone down from their post-holiday buzz, but we've reached a depressingly important milestone in the annals of CU Athletics. Starting last week on the 25th, and extending through tomorrow, we're currently enjoying the 10th anniversary of 100-6. Yep, that sequence of back-to-back embarrassments to Nebraska and Texas that sounded the death knell on the Gary Barnett era, and sent the football program spiraling into a well of bowl-less irrelevance, was exactly a decade ago. Happy birthday to us all!
Now, I'm on the record as stating that the fall from grace really started the week prior in Ames, Iowa, when the Buffs coughed up a lead to the Cyclones and a damn real-life tornado (if that ain't an omen, I don't know what is). But, while that ugly loss was the stunning jab that put the Buffs on their heels, 100-6 were the finishing blows that knocked Colorado football to the canvas. It's such a clear dividing line, the sense of the program before and after that week. Since then, an entire generation of Buff faithful have come of age expecting nothing but abject failure, and been routinely rewarded for their pessimism with corresponding results. The program I knew vs the program I know... startling.
|Back when empty rows in the student section was a newsworthy event. From: Channel 7|
The next day, when Iowa State blew a late lead against Kansas to, once again, back the Buffs into the Big XII title game, I couldn't even bring myself to be excited. We all knew what was coming, with that unholy, Vince Young-lead Texas team looking to punch their ticket to the national title game with a blowout win in their own backyard. If that trip had been optional for those in the band, I don't know 50 players who would've gone, myself included.
|Somewhere, Texas is still scoring on our Buffs.|
Look, I don't bring this up to dwell in the past. But, as a history major, I feel that celebrating the glories without also understanding the failures is disingenuous. 100-6 has as much to do with the soul of BuffNation as the 1990 national title -- we have to wear it all to be true fans. When, at some point in the future, the football team does return to something resembling relevance, we're all going to be better off for having crawled through the proverbial 'five hundred yards of shit-smelling foulness I can't even imagine.' Those of us who were there that week 10 years ago will know exactly how long the journey has been, and absolution will mean all the more for it. So, here's to you, 100-6; go fuck yourself.