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Colorado Football: Worst Pac-12 Team in the BCS Era?

Lisa HornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterNovember 3, 2016

Colorado Football: Worst Pac-12 Team in the BCS Era?

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    We've heard the jokes. Colorado is a really bad team. 

    The Buffaloes started out the 2012 season with three consecutive losses against rival Colorado State (who lost to North Dakota State, San Jose State, and Utah State), Sacramento State, and Fresno State.

    Colorado did upset the Washington State Cougars, winning a 35-34 thriller on the road, but it looks like that may be its only win this season. 

    Is their dismal performance a real shocker? Not really. The Buffaloes only returned three starters on offense and six on defense. There weren't a lot of high expectations coming into this season, although fans hoped for an improvement over last year's 3-10 record. 

    Are they the worst Pac-12 team since the BCS Era started? 

    Check out these other under-achievers. Colorado has company. 

2008 UCLA Bruins (4-8)

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    In 2008, the UCLA Bruins started out the season with a shocking upset over No. 18 Tennessee, winning 27-24 in overtime.

    That excitement was short-lived.

    UCLA traveled to No. 18 BYU and got shut out 59-0. Two more consecutive losses to Arizona and Fresno State added to the Bruins' woes before they temporarily righted the ship with a win over Washington State. 

    The Bruins would go on to lose six of their final seven games, with their second win coming from a 27-7 victory over Washington (more on that Husky team later).

    This was head coach Rick Neuheisel's first year at UCLA and he would repeat that 4-8 record two years later.

2010 UCLA Bruins (4-8)

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    The UCLA Bruins opened the 2010 season with a 31-22 loss at Kansas State. They hosted No. 25 Stanford at home and were shut out 35-0 before reeling off three consecutive wins over No. 23 Houston, No. 7 Texas, and Washington State. 

    Perhaps head coach Rick Neuheisel was finally going to get the Bruins back to a winning program. 

    UCLA, unfortunately, would revert back to its 2008 season's losing ways and dropped six of its final seven games, including a 60-13 loss to the No. 1 Oregon Ducks and a 55-34 loss to Arizona State.

    The Bruins finished 4-8.

2002 Stanford Cardinal (2-9)

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    Eugene "Buddy" Teevens took over the Cardinal football program after head coach Tyrone Willingham left for Notre Dame.

    The Cardinal's season opener was a loss to Boston College. The team would rebound a week later by beating Fresno State 63-26, but that game would turn out to be one of only two highlights in the Cardinal's season. 

    Stanford would end up losing eight of its final nine games, with its lone conference victory coming against Arizona at Homecoming.  

    Teevens was dismissed two seasons later.  

2003 Arizona Wildcats (2-10)

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    How bad were the 2003 Arizona Wildcats?

    Head coach John Mackovic was let go before the middle of the season after a 1-4 start. Getting beat 59-13 (LSU), 48-10 (Oregon), and 59-7 (Purdue) was probably the catalyst for his abrupt departure. 

    Mike Hankwitz stepped in as the interim coach and didn't fare any better. The Wildcats got blown out in three games, including a 52-23 loss to Oregon State.

    The Wildcats finished the season with a 2-10 record  

2006 Stanford Cardinal (1-11)

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    2011 was one of the darkest years in the history of the Cardinal's football program.

    Of their 12 scheduled games that year, the Cardinal only scored 10-plus points in three games. Stanford was shut out twice by UCLA and USC and barely avoided another shutout by kicking a field goal in its 38-3 loss to Arizona State.

    Stanford's fans would have to wait until mid-November to witness a victory, and even then, it happened on the road at Washington. 

    Head coach Walt Harris was only in his second year at Stanford, but it would turn out to be his last; Jim Harbaugh was hired to start the 2007 season.

2004 Washington Huskies (1-10)

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    Not a lot of football fans will remember a head coach named Keith Gilbertson. Husky fans would probably like to forget his name. 

    The Huskies won one game in 2004, and that was against San Jose State. Their schedule was one of the most difficult in the country; their two other non-conference games were against Fresno State and Notre Dame. But only winning one game in a single season? 

    Gilbertson only lasted two years at Washington.

    Things would get better because it was impossible to have a worse season than 2004, right?

2009 Washington State Cougars (1-11)

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    The Washington State Cougars suffered the unimaginable in 2009: after going 2-11 in 2008, they went 1-11 the following year. The Cougars' lone win came against SMU, and even then, it required an overtime period to notch a win.

    Out of 120 FBS teams, Washington State was ranked No. 118 in scoring defense; Paul Wulff's team gave up an average of 38.5 points per game. 

    In the Cougars' final home game of the 2009 season, the announced attendance at Martin Stadium was 16,167.

2008 Washington Huskies (0-12)

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    The Washington Huskies have a storied football program, but in 2008 they were the story for all the wrong reasons. 

    The 0-12 Huskies were the first team in Pac-10 history to have a win-less season and had the unfortunate distinction of finishing the season as the only FBS team without a win. 

    How bad was it?

    The Huskies failed to beat the Washington State Cougars, losing 16-13 in double-overtime. The Cougars, by the way, finished their season with a 2-11 record. The Huskies finished in last place in the Pac-10's standings.

    Head coach Tyrone Willingham was dismissed as the Huskies' head coach, despite having one year left on his contract. 

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