The Buffaloes will roam in flyover country once again.
This week, Brett McMurphy’s tweets came fast and furious, culminating in the official news on Thursday that the University of Colorado is set to leave the Pac-12 to return to the Big 12 after 13 years. CU will join ahead of the 2024-25 athletic season.
Colorado’s History with Oklahoma State
The two schools spent 51 seasons in the same conference (both in the Big Eight and Big 12) before CU left for Pacific waters.
In football, Colorado owns a 26-20-1 edge over OSU in football, but the Cowboys won the last three meetings, including the Pokes’ 38-8 drumming of the Buffs in the 2016 Alamo Bowl. In hoops, the Cowboys own a 59-48 in the two schools’ 107 meetings.
There’s one interesting loose end that will need to be tied up. Two years ago, OSU and Colorado signed up for a home-and-home series in football that is set to take place in 2036 and 2037. The schedule will get worked out in the meantime. Besides, in college football, a lot can change in 13 years.
What are Colorado’s football facilities like?
For those who don’t remember, or never made the trip to Boulder, the Buffaloes play on historic Folsom Field which will turn 100 years old the season CU returns to the Big 12. The stadium received a $156 million renovation in 2016 which rebuilt the north endzone and included updates to some seating and club-level areas. Its seating capacity is 50,183.
Who is Colorado’s football coach?
It’s Prime Time, baby.
Colorado’s fanbase got a shot in the arm when Deion Sanders, the former Jackson State coach — and former Pro Football Hall of Famer, big league baseball player and overall sports magnate — was named the Buffs’ new head coach on December 3, 2022.
Sanders went 27-6 during his tenure at Jackson State, following up a 4-3 debut in the shortened 2020 with finishes of 11-2 and 12-1 the next two. The Tigers went 8-0 in conference play each of those two seasons, winning conference titles.
What Sanders may lack in overall coaching experience, he makes up for it in moxie — especially on the recruiting trail. Sanders famously slipped Travis Hunter, the No. 1 overall prospect in the 2022 class from Florida State to an FCS school. For what it’s worth, Colorado’s 2023 class is ranked 29th nationally and includes one five-star and three four-stars, all of which committed after Sanders was announced as coach. That’s not too shabby for a team that finished 1-11 last year.
How CU Football fared in the Pac-12
The Buffaloes didn’t exactly dominate the West Coast on the gridiron. In 12 seasons in the Pac-12, Colorado went 48-94 (.338). CU only earned more than five wins once, the 10-4 season that led them to an Alamo Bowl loss to Oklahoma State in 2016. It should be noted that the Buffs were 4-2 when football was shut down due to Covid. Sanders will look to build some momentum during his one and only season in the Pac-12, but he’s got his work cut out for him.
What are Colorado’s hoops facilities like?
The Buffaloes play their hardwood ball at CU Events Center, nicknamed “The Keg” which has been the home of the men’s and women’s basketball teams since 1979. The arena had a floor lift with a permanent maple surface installed in 2008. Its capacity is 11,064.
Who is Colorado’s men’s basketball coach?
While the football program has had five coaches since leaving the Big 12, CU Hoops is still with Tad Boyle, who took the helm in 2010-11, the final year before the Buffaloes left for the Pac-12. Boyle is 272-172 in 13 seasons in Boulder with just one losing record (2014-15).
How CU Hoops fared in the Pac-12
Under Boyle, the Buffs went 248-158 (.610) and have made it to five NCAA Tournaments, the latest as a 5 seed in 2020-21. They lost to Florida State in the second round. This past season they finished 18-17 (8-12), eight in the Pac-12.