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10 Years of Ralphie Report: 2009 - What was even happening?

2009 was a weird year for the Buffs.

Wyoming v Colorado
Remember these uniforms?
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

I’ll be honest, I don’t really know what happened in 2009. You can blame me for not really following sports at that time, or you can blame the Colorado Buffaloes for having a completely forgettable season.

I looked up the 2009 football team and all I recognize are notable names on the roster, mostly the wonderful Rodney Stewart showing promise as a sophomore, the oft-embattled Cody Hawkins competing with Tyler Hansen (and the fans) for playing time, Scotty McKnight climbing up leader boards, and also Cha’Pelle Brown, Jimmy Smith and Jalil Brown combining into an underrated secondary. There are some other names on the roster that stand out for some reason — perhaps they’re buried in my psyche — such as Riar Geer, Demetrius Sumler and B.J. Beatty.

I looked up the 2009 schedule and there’s probably a reason I don’t remember anything. Their three wins were against Wyoming (this game wasn’t even televised if I recall), Kansas (they were ranked 17th but finished 5-7), and Texas A&M (who were 6-7 despite having Von Miller and his 17 sacks). Even the losses weren’t fun. CU lost to CSU and Toledo of all teams, were destroyed by Noel Devine at West Virginia, and they scored a combined 33 points in losses to Kansas State, Missouri (at home), and Iowa State. Sure, the Buffs lost to a good Nebraska team by one-possession, but even that game was a bore and the score was only close because of a meaningless last-second McKnight touchdown.

I am soooooo happy I wasn’t working at the Ralphie Report that year because not only would I have to survive those hopeless games, but the blog was created specifically to be positive about those losses. Can you even imagine seeing the Buffs lose 20-6 at Kansas State and you can’t write awful things about Dan Hawkins? Jon and Bob are saints for writing recaps that praised McKnight for leading the offense with 6 catches for 61 yards. I feel like this season summary is far too cynical for this site and I’m nine years removed from 12 games I didn’t even watch.

Compared to the football team, 2009-10 was a banner year for the basketball team. They finished the season with a 15-16 record and departed with Jeff Bdzelik afterwards, but they still had Cory Higgins and Alec Burks lighting up the scoreboard. (Sidebar: Did you know Bdzelik is currently one of the most respected assistant coaches in the NBA right now? He’s revered for being the defensive mastermind of the Houston Rockets. It’s wild.) Higgins may be the most underrated Buffalo in recent history and he spent his junior season trying his best to lead that team with his all-around game. Burks, meanwhile, showed why he was drafted before Kawhi Leonard in the 2011 NBA Draft as he won Big 12 Freshman of the Year.

That team had fewer highs than lows, but it was still a fun enough season to get excited about the team’s future, especially with a new coach coming in. In that season, they were a Cory Higgins buzzer-beater shy of upsetting #1 Kansas in Boulder. Aside from Kansas and a near-upset over Kansas State, the Buffs did do well by knocking off #22 Baylor and sweeping Nebraska. Looking at the team’s potential compared to the results, it’s not outrageous to compare that 2009-10 squad with our beloved 2017-18 team, although to a lesser extent. That team was talented enough to deserve an NCAA Tournament bid the next year, and though they didn’t earn, they did reach the Final Four of the NIT. That story is for tomorrow though.

(Sorry if this yearly summary was a bit bleak.)