With Pac-12 Media Days this week and the focus on the “haves” in college football, it got me thinking: What has happened to Colorado?
In the old Big Eight Conference, the Buffaloes peaked under Bill McCartney in the early 1990s and were a major factor in the world of college football. From 1989 to 1990, they went 22-2-1 and claimed a national championship with a win over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in the 1991 (1990 season) Orange Bowl.
They slowly started to fall off the college football map in the late ’90s and early 2000s and then hit rock bottom during the Dan Hawkins era. Since joining the Pac-12, the Buffaloes have been virtually non-existent with a 4-21 overall record and a 3-15 conference record.
Let us flashback to a time when the Buffaloes mattered in the world of college football. A time when Colorado had a triple threat of offensive talent. Rashaan Salaam rushed for over 2,000 yards and scored 24 TDs during the 1994 season for the Buffs, but it was Kordell Stewart and Michael Westbrook that would provide them with one of the biggest moments in their history when they took a trip to Ann Arbor.
Earlier this week, Terry Johnson took a look at the greatest walkoff TDs in college football history. One of the games he didn’t include happened during the 1994 season and featured #7 Colorado at #4 Michigan in an early season encounter.
Michigan pulled ahead in the third quarter by scoring 17 straight points and led 26-14 — the Wolverines seemed to be in control. A late fourth-quarter touchdown gave the Buffaloes hope, but they still trailed by five points, stood 64 yards away from the opposing end zone and, most importantly, only six seconds remained in the game.
What happened next cannot be described but must be watched….