Farewell Ode to the Buffs
Yes, it’s Rivalry Week Light, and hate is back in the air…sweeping through the chilled plains with a biting sting that is meant only for the downtrodden. Don’t get me wrong…I still think your team is a sham and is benefiting from your name and a complete and total lack of competitive foes to play in the North…but nonetheless, you’ve hopped back on your high horse, and started flailing your arms at whomever you can find.
This is the last Colorado vs. Nebraska week for this blog, and I think I would be selling myself short if I failed to give a special shout out to my good friends and brothers-in-arms from the Rockies. As I’ve stated many times, I think I share a special spot in my heart for the Buffs and their fans…and not just because they are the largest collection of readers I have outside of Missouri and Nebraska. (Although KSU is close)
No, coming to Nebraska in 1986, it was clear to me at that time that Husker fans really only felt threatened by Barry Switzer and the Sooners. However, that same first fall saw the mighty corn fall 20-10 to Colorado in a game that saw the vaunted Husker offense rush for a whopping 123 yards. After beating Florida State, Illinois and Missouri that year, this was my first exposure to crying Husker fans up close after a loss. That indifference and whiney egocentric arrogance laid the groundwork for the Husker hating movement you see today, all those years later. Husker fans were pissed...but to most, it was simply a mild setback in the march to another 10+ win season.
Fast forward to 1989, when the Buffs quickly became something more than a nuisance to the Hicks. The Huskers had demolished everyone in their path, scoring at least 42 points in every game but one prior to the November 4th game in Boulder.
The two teams met as #2 and #3 on that day…fighting for a #1 ranking and most likely a trip to the Orange Bowl. Colorado rode the legs of J.J. Flannigan and Darian Hagan, but still found themselves clinging to a 6 point lead with 1:40 to go in the game. Husker legend and future Frank Solich lackey at Ohio, Gerry "The Fremont Capgun" Gdowski marched the hicks down the semi-frozen turf to the CU 40, but on 4th down, a pass across the middle was tipped away, sending Folsom Field into a frenzy, and propelled the Buffs to a National Title showdown with Notre Dame.
The Huskers finished outside the top 10 for the first time in 4 seasons that year…and wouldn’t see that rarefied air again until Byron Bennett’s 46 yard field goal sailed wide left in the 93’ Orange Bowl.
No, what that win by Bill McCartney’s team did was open up the opportunity for teams NOT named Oklahoma to move beyond simply becoming an “annoyance” and start becoming something far more piercing. Kansas State would pick up the torch later in the 90’s. By all accounts, Missouri now holds that title in the new millennium. But until that game in 1989, other teams within the Big 8 simply melted away prior to kickoff. There was simply no hope in beating Nebraska on even a given Saturday. But following that game in Boulder...there suddenly was was hope of knocking off the mighty red Goliath.
Marv Sieler and Iowa State did it in 92.
Texas and James Brown did it in 96.
Michael Bishop and K-State did it in 98.
Brad Smith did it in ’03.
And so it goes.
So as this blog comes to a close in the next few weeks ahead, a special thank you to Colorado and their fans, for paving the way for Husker Haters everywhere to show truly just how despicable and antagonizing the “classiest fans in the nation” could be. Thank you also for being a great fanbase wingman, in our quest to rid the world of all things Huskers. Thanks for reading, and thanks for all you do in the war against Husker nation.
Give em hell Friday and good luck.
I’ve a few serious and a few smart ass friends/readers ask me what I thought of the prospect of Nebraska actually getting a “better” bowl game than Missouri, if the process works out a certain way. I’m sure I don’t speak for all Missouri fans, but I will give you my take anyway:
The bowl system is so corrupt, so screwed up, that absolutely nothing surprises me. Notre Dame…as shitty as they are is guaranteed a BCS birth with 9 wins? Granted, they won't get there this year..but this goes right along with why I hate college baseball…if the outcome of a championship or final polls are somehow variant on the amount of money and/or fans you can bring to the game, then the process loses all legitimacy.
I’ve spoken before of this, but I’m completely against a playoff as well. I don’t care how many Boise State’s and Utah’s get screwed in the process…if you go 13-0, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from making your own banner and proclaiming yourself National Champs. (Unless you’re Penn State in 1994 and you actually deserved it..but that’s another story.)
Anyway, back to the bowl process…last year’s pre-season poll told us EXACTLY why Nebraska could land a ½ decent bowl with a whopping 8 wins over crappy-at-best competition. Why? Because last season was proof positive that NOBODY in the national media is paying attention to how shitty you really were. If pundits and media types aren’t paying attention to you…how is some fat-ass CEO of a mid-level company wearing a bright orange jacket supposed to know the real you?
Pundits, bowl reps and the like have been blinded by your suckiness for going on 7 years now. Because your boring ass uniforms haven’t changed much since the mid-90’s…most writers and the like just assume that with your name and pedigree, you fit the bill of national power. (All the while missing the point that you start 5 walk-ons on defense and have two wide receivers who are as pasty as my ass.)
If you recall last off-season, Mike’L Severe of KOZN radio here in Omaha went off on me for 10 minutes last season because he claimed that National Powers will always be good. To a small degree, he is right. National Powers have long time donors who will build the facilities and pay the coaches needed to maintain a certain level of excellence.
YOU people on the other hand are led by a crusty buffoon, who hasn’t made a good decision since he decided to start recruiting thugs in the mid 90’s, and then lied to the world about how holier than thou he is. He is also the guy who skipped over hiring proven head coaches like Paul Johnson and Jim Grobe, and went with a whiney, sloth looking crybaby armed with sideline antics that would make Jerry Glanville roll his eyes.
So to answer the question..no, I would not be surprised if Nebraska ended up in lovely Jacksonville (ever been to that toilet?) or somewhere else, while Missouri and/or any other more deserving program (many of whom also kicked your ass by 5 TD’s earlier) will be going to a “lesser bowl”.
The fact remains..the whole thing is a beauty pageant…and no matter how hot you are or how hot you aren’t..the beauty queens who are in bed with the judges are the ones who are going to make it the furthest. That’s just how it is.
Enjoy the games…if you can find a ½ decent one this weekend.