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Ultimate Buffalo Tournament: Football Region

A quick runthrough of all seeds in the football region.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the Buff Bracket’s first region! This is a really fun project to put together, and it should be fun for you guys, too. Because the Buffs aren’t in the NCAA Tournament, we made our own tournament. The four regions, football, basketball, coaches, and the catch all “other” bracket, will be previewed before the voting begins.

Here’s a look at the football bracket:

This was impossible to make. No matter the 16 we settled on, it seemed like we were leaving someone off that was too important to be left off. And the seeding just added another layer of difficulty. Finally, we came to these 16, which we think is a fair representation across eras. Guys, CU has been really good at football for a long time. A quick run-through of the matchups:

#1 Whizzer White vs. #16 Michael Lewis

Byron Whizzer White, the greatest alumnus in CU history, was also a dominant player on the gridiron. A unanimous All-American in 1937, a season in which the Buffs went undefeated, White’s rushing totals from that season set records. His 1,121 yards and 122 points were NCAA records until they expanded to 10 and 11 game seasons. On the other side, Michael Lewis was a terror in a more recent era. An All-American as a senior, Lewis patrolled the middle of the field as a safety and dominated the Big 12 in 2001. He led the team with 112 tackles and snatched five interceptions.

#8 Joe Romig vs. #9 Bobby Anderson

A matchup of two Colorado legends. They also both played in the 1960’s. Romig was a terror at offensive guards and owns one of three retired numbers at CU (67). A unanimous two-time All-American, Romig was consistent and dominant. Bobby Anderson was a skill position player. He led the Buffs in both passing and rushing for his sophomore and junior seasons. He started out at quarterback as a senior, then switched to running back after injuries and pounded Alabama for 254 yards in the Liberty Bowl. He was recognized as a first team All-American.

#5 Sal Aunese vs. #12 Eric Bieniemy

This was a tough one for me to seed. These are two fantastic representatives for CU, each in their own right. Aunese was the heart and soul of the Bill McCartney movement, and he kicked off a decade of dominance for the Buffs. His emotional leadership directly led to a national championship. Meanwhile, Bieniemy has insane stats. He was the nation’s second leading rusher in 1990, third in Heisman Trophy voting, and Colorado’s all time leading rusher, touchdown scorer, and all-purpose yards gainer.

#4 Alfred Williams vs. #13 Herb Orvis

A defensive end battle right here. Alfred Williams is the more recognizable name here, for good reason. This is just one of his college games. A two time All-American, a Butkus award winner, and CU’s all time leader in sacks, Williams owned the edge during his time as a Buff. Orvis did the same thing. As a defensive lineman, he was elected an All-American before his senior. He finished his career with 20 sacks and many more disrupted plays.

#3 Rashaan Salaam vs. #14 Michael Westbrook

Two teammates now facing off. Rashaan Salaam has hardware on his side. He is the only Buffalo to win the Heisman Trophy, after possibly the best single-season effort in CU history. 2,055 yards on the ground. Four straight 200-yard games. He completely dominated the competition. Westbrook also did the same. That 1994 team was stacked. He finished his career at CU as the leader in catches and yards. He also made the Miracle at Michigan, and was a two time All-American.

#6 Kordell Stewart vs. #11 John Wooten

This is a very intriguing matchup. When Kordell retired, he owned the record for most QB yards, completions, and TDs. He presided over an 11-1 1994 season, threw the Miracle at Michigan, and ran the offense to perfection. He is one of the greatest QBs in CU history. John Wooten is no slouch, either. He was the fifth All-American in CU history at guard, and was selected to the all-century team. Wooten was also one of the first black players in the Big Eight Conference.

#7 Chris Brown vs. #10 Deon Figures

Another stacked matchup. Chris Brown gave us the prettiest three hours of football in history. Six touchdowns against the best run defense in the country. He was a Heisman candidate until his injury in his junior year as well. Brown was one of the most talented runners in CU history and the backbone of the best team in recent history. Figures also stands out. A Jim Thorpe award winner and an All-American his senior year, FIgures was a four year contributor at DB for the Buffs, and help secure the 1990 national championship with an interception. There have been few defensive backs better than Figures. Not just at CU, but everywhere.

#2 Darian Hagan vs. #15 Nate Solder

Hagan needs no introduction. The face of a wildly successful stretch of CU history, Darian Hagan is synonymous with successful Buff football. Darian Hagan never lost a conference game (20-0-1). As an option quarterback, he was the sixth player ever to run and pass for more than a 1000 yards and was 5th in Heisman voting in 1989. He’s just a beast. Nate Solder has a more developmental approach. After moving from tight end, he took the starting tackle spot for the three years. An All-American his senior year, he was a bright spot during the Hawkins era and as solid as they come on the offensive line.

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Those are the matchups, now it’s up to you to vote!