The Colorado Buffaloes football team represents the University of Colorado at Boulder in the Big 12 Conference at the NCAA Division I-A level in college football. Dan Hawkins has been the head coach since the 2006 season. The football team has played at Folsom Field since 1923. The Buffs all-time record is 658-419-36 (.608 winning percentage) through the finish of the 2007 season. The football program is 16th on the all-time win list and 22nd in all-time winning percentage.
Beginning in 1890, Colorado has enjoyed much success through its history. The team has won numerous bowl games (27 appearances in bowl games (12-15), 23rd (tied) all-time prior to 2004 season), 8 Colorado Football Association Championships (1894-1897, 1901-1908), Colorado Faculty Athletic Conference (1909), 7 RFMAC Championships (1911, 1913, 1923, 1924, 1934, 1935, 1937), 4 Mountain States Conference Championships (1939, 1942-1944)), 5 Big Eight (Six) conference championships (1961, 1976, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1 Big 12 conference championship (2001), 4 Big 12 North Championships (2001, 2002, 2004, 2005), and an Associated Press National Championship in 1990.
The following was taken from the Silver & Gold newspaper of December 16 1898. It was a recollection of the birth of Colorado football written by one of CU’s original gridders, John C. Nixon, also the school’s second captain. It appears here in its original form:
At the beginning of the first semester in the fall of ’90 the boys rooming at the dormitory on the campus of the U. of C. being afflicted with a super-abundance of penned up energy, or perhaps having recently drifted from under the parental wing and delighting in their newly found freedom, decided among other wild schemes, to form an athletic association. Messrs Carney, Whittaker, Layton and others, who at that time constituted a majority of the male population of the University, called a meeting of the campus boys in the old medical building. Nixon was elected president and Holden secretary of the association.
It was voted that the officers constitute a committee to provide uniform suits in which to play what was called “association football”. Suits of flannel were ultimately procured and paid for assessments on the members of the association and generous contributions from members of the faculty.
The University at that time had about the best base-ball team in the state composed of such star players as Ingram, Blake, Carnahan, Rust, Neighoff and others. But it was a reflection upon us that although it was styled the University base-ball team, it was composed mainly of outsiders, who had no connection with the U. of C.
It was the object of the newly organized association to ultimately absorb the base-ball team, even if it was mercilessly whipped in that, as it was afterwards scourged in football.
Whatever may have been said of their playing, the boys were made of that stuff called “American Grit,” and had no conception of what the word failure meant. To them defeat was simply a severe lesson which was to teach them how to win in the future.
Taking up the game of association football the boys practiced quite regularly and under the instruction of Hosford, who was an Englishman of extraordinary proficiency in the game, they soon became adepts in the art of running at full speed and keeping the ball almost fairly between the feet. I called this an art, as I consider excellence in any athletic sport an art. The graceful swing of a trained foot-runner is as fair a sight as the rhythmic waltzer, or as creditable a performance as that of an opera singer. After becoming proficient in this game we learned that all other football teams of the state played what was called the Rugby game, and as we could not attain state or national renown playing among ourselves, it became a question whether we would make a change or not. Only two in the association had ever seen a Rugby game and it was reported as fiendish beyond comprehension. The rush of a Rugby team was likened to the stampede of a herd of Texas cattle: nevertheless the boys decided to throw themselves in front and die a la Leon idas, and succeeding events showed that they had not over estimated the opposition.
The association had two factions—no live organization is ever harmonious—and the lesser faction always opposed the propositions of the majority. In this instance they had secured the individual promises of the eleven of the twenty four members to oppose a change of the game, and as it required the assent of two-thirds to accomplish this the remaining members decided to adopt the tactics of wearing out their opponents in the meeting. The session lasted one entire afternoon until darkness came upon them, during which, bursts of orator, pro and con, and imminent danger of pugilistic strife pervaded the atmosphere. The vote stood 16-8 in favor of a change and the University football team was launched on a broader basis. This vote was followed by our throwing the association open for membership to the whole student body, (and a limited number of outsiders, if we should need them), but time showed that the vim and snap of the college man was not possessed by those outside.
Holden was sent as our representative to a meeting of the state league and bound us for the forthcoming games with only two weeks of preparation, learning the game almost entirely from the rule book, nine of the eleven having never seen a Rugby game clad in the flannel suits without padding, the average weight of the team being about 140 pounds, we went to Denver and lined up against the D.A.C. team, composed of graduate college players. It was also their first game, they having just organized, and they way they ran out ends was astonishing, but in this game our team developed a characteristic which it has even since maintained, which was this, that although our line was much lighter then that of our opponents, they would be carried steadily back whenever they attempted a line play against us.
One week later, with four of our best men too maimed and bruised to play, the Golden giants came down on us. Our boys went down like a row of pins and the Goldenites went over the top. Score 103 to 0. In the return game with Golden, Darley made our first touchdown: score 44-4, and Golden prophesied our future success. We lost one game with Colorado Springs and the Springs and the D.A.C. team which forfeited, giving us third place in the percentage list. We paraded that percentage list before our eyes with unbounded satisfaction. It mattered not how we came by it, we had it.
President Hale, who from the first took a kindly interest in the team, also did other members of the faculty, advanced the money with which to buy padded suits, but we did not obtain them in time to use that season. The following year the team commenced training as soon as the semester opened, and has since taken its true position as one of the most formidable teams in the west. Of the original team, James, Carney, Layton, Putnam and others, became among the best players in the state.
The Athletic Association should now invigorate its base-ball and place it at par with its football team; and it certainly has the material with which to do it. The U of C should henceforth lead the state and possibly the west in athletic sports.
The style of football playing has altered considerably; by the old rules, all men in front of the runner with the ball, were offside, consequently we could not send backs through and break the line ahead of the ball as is done at present. The notorious V was then in vogue, which gave a heavy team too much advantage. The mass plays being now barred, skill on the football field is more in demand than mere weight and strength.
To the physically weak, football appears like a relic of barbarism at par with the Spanish bull fight, but, considering the course of training that the player must take, he becomes hardened and inured to danger, in serious causalities become few. The player develops physical strength and mental composure in the face of fierce and determined opposition, which enables him to better battle with the competition and business worries succeeding school life, of which the average student knows nothing and with which he usually buffets helplessly for years. A successful football team will advertise a University and attract as many male students as its educational facilities. This is avowedly admitted by Yale and Princeton authorities, hence the game should be encouraged by college faculties. It is not to the discredit of the American youth that he is thus attracted. It is indicative that he possesses hardihood and vigor and will not sink into lassitude and degeneracy which characterize the population of a degenerate nation.
It is often said, how little we know: so with a modest sense of humility, college graduate I after years look back, not to the mountain of learning that he or she surmounted, but the incidents in college life that bind them to so many friends, intellectual ennobling friends. Thoughts of those exercises in sports, fraught with just a little danger, will continue to the end as a refreshing fountain inspiring new life.|4=Silver & Gold|5=
|2||Georgia Tech (20)||11-0-1||1,441|
|3||Miami, Fla. (1)||10-2-0||1,388|
Colorado Buffaloes yearly results since Big 12 Conference play began in 1996.
|September 2||vs. Colorado State (10-2)||L||24||28||@ Denver, CO|
|September 9||@ Southern California (5-7)||L||14||17|
|September 16||vs. Washington (11-1)||L||14||17|
|September 30||vs. *Kansas State (11-3)||L||21||44|
|October 7||@ *Texas A&M (7-5)||W||26||19|
|October 14||vs. *Texas (9-3)||L||14||28|
|October 21||@ *Kansas (4-7)||L||15||23|
|October 28||vs. *Oklahoma State (3-8)||W||37||21|
|November 4||@ *Missouri (3-8)||W||28||18|
|November 11||vs. *Iowa State (9-3)||L||27||35|
|November 24||@ *Nebraska (10-2)||L||32||34|
|August 26||vs. Fresno State (11-3)||L||22||24||@ Boulder, CO Jim Thorpe Classic|
|September 1||vs. Colorado State (7-5)||W||41||14||@ Denver, CO|
|September 8||vs. San Jose State (3-9)||W||51||15|
|September 22||vs. *Kansas (3-8)||W||27||16|
|October 6||@ *Kansas State (6-6)||W||16||6|
|October 13||vs. *Texas A&M (8-4)||W||31||21|
|October 20||@ *Texas (11-2)||L||7||41|
|October 27||@ *Oklahoma State (4-7)||W||22||19|
|November 3||vs. *Missouri (4-7)||W||38||24|
|November 10||@ *Iowa State (7-5)||W||40||27|
|November 23||vs. *Nebraska (11-2)||W||62||36|
|December 1||vs. *Texas (11-2)||W||39||37||@ Dallas, TX Big 12 Championship Game|
|January 1||vs. Oregon (11-1)||L||16||38||@ Tempe, AZ Fiesta Bowl|
|August 31||vs. Colorado State (10-4)||L||14||19||@ Denver, CO|
|September 7||vs. San Diego State (4-9)||W||34||14|
|September 14||vs. Southern California (11-2)||L||3||40|
|September 21||@ UCLA (8-5)||W||31||17|
|October 5||vs. *Kansas State (11-2)||W||35||31|
|October 12||@ *Kansas (2-10)||W||53||29|
|October 19||vs. *Baylor (3-9)||W||34||0|
|October 26||vs. *Texas Tech (9-5)||W||37||13|
|November 2||@ *Oklahoma (12-2)||L||11||27|
|November 9||@ *Missouri (5-7)||W||42||35|
|November 16||vs. *Iowa State (7-7)||W||41||27|
|November 29||@ *Nebraska (7-7)||W||28||13|
|December 7||vs. *Oklahoma (12-2)||L||7||29||@ Houston, TX Big 12 Championship Game|
|December 28||vs. Wisconsin (8-6)||L||28||31||@ San Antonio, TX Alamo Bowl|
|August 30||vs. Colorado State (7-6)||W||42||35||@ Denver, CO|
|September 6||vs. UCLA (6-7)||W||16||14|
|September 13||vs. Washington State (10-3)||L||26||47|
|September 20||@ Florida State (10-3)||L||7||47|
|October 4||@ *Baylor (3-9)||L||30||42|
|October 11||vs. *Kansas (6-7)||W||50||47|
|October 18||@ *Kansas State (11-4)||L||20||49|
|October 25||vs. *Oklahoma (12-2)||L||20||34|
|November 1||@ *Texas Tech (8-5)||L||21||26|
|November 8||vs. *Missouri (8-5)||W||21||16|
|November 15||@ *Iowa State (2-10)||W||44||10|
|November 28||vs. *Nebraska (10-3)||L||22||31|
|September 4||vs. Colorado State (4-7)||W||27||24|
|September 11||vs. Washington State (5-6)||W||20||12||@ Seattle, WA|
|September 18||vs. North Texas (7-5)||W||52||21|
|October 2||@ *Missouri (5-6)||L||9||17|
|October 9||vs. *Oklahoma State (7-5)||L||14||42|
|October 16||vs. *Iowa State (7-5)||W||19||14|
|October 23||@ *Texas A&M (7-5)||L||26||29|
|October 30||vs. *Texas (11-1)||L||7||31|
|November 6||@ *Kansas (4-7)||W||30||21|
|November 13||vs. *Kansas State (4-7)||W||38||31|
|November 26||@ *Nebraska (5-6)||W||26||20|
|December 4||vs. *Oklahoma (12-1)||L||3||42||@ Kansas City, MO Big 12 Championship Game|
|December 29||vs. Texas-El Paso (8-4)||W||33||28||@ Houston, TX Houston Bowl|
|September 3||vs. Colorado State (6-6)||W||31||28|
|September 10||vs. New Mexico State (0-12)||W||39||0|
|September 24||@ Miami (Florida) (9-3)||L||3||23|
|October 1||@ *Oklahoma State (4-7)||W||34||0|
|October 8||vs. *Texas A&M (5-6)||W||41||20|
|October 15||@ *Texas (13-0)||L||17||42|
|October 22||vs. *Kansas (7-5)||W||44||13|
|October 29||@ *Kansas State (5-6)||W||23||20|
|November 5||vs. *Missouri (7-5)||W||41||12|
|November 12||@ *Iowa State (7-5)||L||16||30|
|November 25||vs. *Nebraska (8-4)||L||3||30|
|December 3||vs. *Texas (13-0)||L||3||70||@ Houston, TX Big 12 Championship Game|
|December 27||vs. Clemson (8-4)||L||10||19||@ Orlando, FL Champs Sports Bowl|
2006 season 2-10 (2-6 Big 12)
2007 season 6-7 (4-4 Big 12)
|1977||Orange||Ohio State (N)||L||10||27||65,537||NBC|
|1988||Freedom||Brigham Young (N)||L||17||20||35,941||Raycom|
|1990||Orange||Notre Dame (N)||L||6||21||81,191||NBC|
|1991||Orange||Notre Dame (N)||W||10||9||77,062||NBC|
|Coach (Alma Mater)||Seasons||Years||Games||W||L||T||Pct.||Pts.||Opp.'|
|Bill McCartney (Missouri 1962)||1982-1994||13||153||93||55||5||.624||3977||3039|
|Fred Folsom¹ (Dartmouth)||1895-1899; 1901-1902; 1908-1915||15||102||77||23||2||.765||1813||555|
|Eddie Crowder (Oklahoma 1955)||1963-1973||11||118||67||49||2||.571||2528||2105|
|Myron Witham (Dartmouth 1905)||1920-1931||12||96||63||26||7||.693||1525||841|
|Dallas Ward (Oregon State 1927)||1948-1958||11||110||63||41||6||.600||2497||1743|
|Gary Barnett (Missouri 1969)||1999-2005||7||88||49||39||0||.557||2395||2275|
|Bill Mallory (Miami, Ohio 1958)||1974-1978||5||57||35||21||1||.623||1358||1163|
|Rick Neuheisel (UCLA 1984)||1995-1998||4||47||33||14||0||.702||1398||1008|
|Bunnie Oakes (Illinois 1923)||1935-1939||5||41||25||15||1||.662||685||332|
|Jim Yeager (Kansas State 1931)||1941-1943; 1946-1947||5||43||24||17||2||.581||663||590|
|Sonny Grandelius (Michigan State 1951)||1959-1961||3||31||20||11||0||.645||468||414|
|Frank Potts (Oklahoma 1927)||1940; 1944-1945||3||25||16||8||1||.660||494||236|
|William Saunders (Auburn/Navy 1916)||1932-1934||3||24||15||7||2||.667||413||137|
|Dave Cropp (Lenox/Wisconsin)||1903-1904||2||19||14||4||1||.763||384||112|
|Willis Keinholtz (Minnesota)||1905||1||9||8||1||0||.889||359||28|
|Harry Heller (Baker/Colorado 1885)||1894||1||9||8||1||0||.889||288||32|
|Dan Hawkins (UC Davis 1982)||2006-present||2||24||8||17||0||.320||549||650|
|Frank Castleman (Colgate)||1906-1907||2||17||7||6||4||.529||155||96|
|Melbourne "Bob" Evans (James Millikin U.)||1916-1917||2||15||7||7||1||.500||154||218|
|Chuck Fairbanks (Michigan State 1955)||1979-1981||3||33||7||26||0||.212||469||1047|
|T.C. Mortimer (Simpson 1896/Chicago)||1900||1||10||6||4||0||.600||150||78|
|Joe Mills (Denver)||1918-1919||2||11||4||6||1||.409||130||138|
|Bud Davis (Colorado 1951)||1962||1||10||2||8||0||.200||122||346|
|Year||Name||Position||Rank in Heisman Voting||Points|
White was a Phi Beta Kappa, Rhodes Scholar, two-time All-Pro halfback with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Detroit Lions, leading graduate of the Yale Law School in 1946, decorated naval intelligence officer in World War II, leading Denver attorney, and deputy attorney general for the United States. White is a member of the NFL Hall-of-Fame, the National Football Foundation’s College Football Hall-of-Fame, the GTE Academic Hall-of-Fame, and was selected to CU’s All-Century Team. In 1998, he was the first inductee into CU’s Athletic Hall-of-Fame. He died at the age of 84 on April 15, 2002.