Generally, the CU-Nebraska had something on the line -- whether it was bowl eligibility for one team or another, a spot in a conference title game, or even a spot in the national title game. At least one of the two went to a bowl game every year from 1996-2010. In most cases, both went bowling.
The same was true for BYU and Utah. From 1998-2010, there were only two seasons when both teams missed out on bowls (in 2000 and 2002).
"We always want to be first," said first-year CU coach Mike MacIntyre. "I think we've made progress. We need to start seeing some more progress on the scoreboard. That also helps in recruiting."
Coach Mike MacIntyre spoke to his team about that issue in the moments after a bitter defeat to the Trojans on a bitter cold night. He encouraged them to get the most out of their final week of the season and to play for the seniors, most of whom will never put on shoulder pads and helmets again after leaving Rice-Eccles Stadium on the Utah campus Saturday.
"These young men, I have bonded with them and they have bonded with us," MacIntyre said later, after CU's 47-29 loss to Southern California.
"I really like 'em. I like their effort and what they've done and how they've worked and a lot of the sacrifice they've made for the team. They've been through a lot and I'm proud of what they've tried to accomplish. It's not always happened on the scoreboard for us, but I do think we're making great progress."
Pac-12 Network: Colorado leads the series 31-25-3, and this is both teams’ longest series against any Pac-12 team. They played annually from 1903-62 with four exceptions, but then the rivalry went dormant for 49 years before it resumed in 2011 as Pac-12 members. Last season, Utah’s 42-35 win in Boulder was its first over the Buffs since 1962. That game was a back and forth affair that was iced by Utah's Reggie Dunn producing his fifth 100-yard kickoff return of his career (an NCAA record) for the winning TD. John White rushed for 168 yards, and Utah’s four interceptions matched its season total entering the game. In this week’s NCAA rankings, Utah has the fifth-toughest schedule in the country (down from No. 2 a week ago). Utah’s schedule has been rated among the nation’s toughest all season. The combined FBS record of Utah’s opponents is 64-30 and all of its first 11 FBS opponents are bowl eligible.
"It is an incredible place,'' Smith said. "When I stepped off the plane, everything was perfect about it. "It feels like Southern hospitality. I think the coaching staff has the program going in the right direction and the players are buying into it. There was nothing I didn't like.
The Buffaloes are back to 15 verbal commitments for the 2014 recruiting class as the Hendrickson High School (Pflugerville, Texas) defensive back has decommitted from Colorado.
Waz posted to his Twitter account on Sunday night, "Decommitting isn't easy but oh well. Time to figure out where I will be playing at now!!!"
He found his rhythm late, though. He had eight points, eight rebounds and two blocks in the final 11 minutes to finish with an impressive line of 12 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks. "I wasn't scoring, I wasn't exactly blocking shots, so I figured I'd play defense and rebound," he said. "Shots came afterward and I shot well from the free throw line."
Boyle saw what he had hoped for after Colorado limped into half, down 12. The defense picked up as the Buffs held Harvard to 10 points over the first 15 minutes of the second half. After defensively asserting themselves, Xavier Johnson and Spencer Dinwiddie nailed threes on three successive trips which once again showed maturity in a pressure packed situation, albeit in the Coors Events Center in Boulder.
"I think this was more comfortable because I was just going out and playing," he said. "Usually I think too much. I just went out and played today." After a slow start to the season, Fletcher has 20 points in 36 minutes over the past three games. He has made 11 of his 18 field goals (61.1 percent) this season.