This Day in College Football History—Nov. 14th

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This Day in College Football History—Nov. 14th
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 This Day in HistoryNovember 14th

 Colorado record on November 14th 6-8

  • 1903—Colorado College—W 31-6;
  • 1908—Utah—L 21-14;
  • 1914—Colorado Mines—L 6-2;
  • 1925—Colorado State—L 12-0;
  • 1931—Utah—L 32-0;
  • 1936—Utah State—L 14-13;
  • 1942—BYU—W 48-0;
  • 1953—Nebraska—W 14-10;
  • 1959—Nebraska—W 14-12;
  • 1964—Kansas—L 10-7;
  • 1970—Oklahoma State—W 30-6;
  • 1981—Kansas—L 27-0;
  • 1992—Kansas—W 25-18;
  • 1998—Iowa State—W 37-8.

November 14th Coloradobest game on this date
Colorado v. Iowa State           
November 14, 1998
[In 1998, the Buffs went into the game against the Cyclones with a 6-3 record, but had lost three out of the previous four games after a 5-0 start. The 5-0 record had earned Colorado a No. 14 ranking, but losses to No. 5 Kansas State, as well as unranked Kansas and Missouri, had dropped the Buffs out of the polls. What had started as a magical season was quickly fading away]

November 14th – Boulder           Colorado 37, Iowa State 8
At least some things could be depended on.

Nursing losing streaks against four of the five members of the Big 12 Northern division, Colorado could at least depend on Iowa State.  The Cyclones came to Boulder for the 1998 home finale winless in Big 12 action.  The Buffs desperately needed a win to keep their bowl hopes alive, and ISU was the perfect opponent. 

Oft-injured senior tailback Marlon Barnes rushed for a career-high 237 yards and two touchdowns as CU rolled to a 37-8 win.  The Colorado victory, marking the 15th consecutive win over Iowa State, was the 600th in school history.

The easy victory, the most complete effort of the Buffs’ season since the season opener against Colorado state (a 42-14 CU victory), was especially sweet for Barnes.  Barnes, who was to have been the featured back for CU in 1998, had seen limited action, carrying the ball only 57 times for 247 yards before nearly doubling his season total against the Cyclones. 

“I’ve been banged up a whole lot,” said Barnes of his effort, the eighth-highest single game rushing effort in school history.  “Just having the opportunity to get out there and play excited me a lot.  I just wanted to get out there and play as hard as I could.”

Barnes contributed the Buffs’ first score, a nine-yard run in the first quarter to put Colorado up 9-0.  A 64-yard touchdown scamper early in the fourth quarter sealed the deal, making the score 30-8.  In all, Colorado amassed a season-high 463 yards of total offense, while the defense held Iowa State to 182 total yards. 

The special teams also chipped in, as Ben Kelly returned a punt 76 yards for a score in the second quarter.  With the effort, Kelly a sophomore defensive back, became the first Buff to return two punts for touchdowns in a season since 1990 (Dave McCloughan).

”Well, it was more of the kind of performance that we all know and love,” gushed head coach Rick Neuheisal.  “We hung together, put together an effort that now gives us our seventh win, gives us a chance to go to the post-season and gives us a chance to keep climbing back to where we all would like to be.” 

The 7-3 Buffs were now seemingly assured of a bowl bid, with the Holiday (with a win over Nebraska), Independence, Aloha, and Las Vegas bowls all possibilities.

Numbers
600, 29, and 1.

Colorado’s win over Iowa State was the 600th in team history, giving Colorado an overall mark of 600-362-36 (a .619 winning percentage).  As the 1998 season wore down, the Buffs were also closing in on another milestone.  Game 999 in school history would take place against Nebraska, with game 1000 coming in a hoped-for bowl game.

The numbers 29 and 1 belonged to Kansas State.

While Cololrado was beating up on Iowa State, 9-0 Kansas State was playing the most important game in its school history.  The second-ranked Wildcats (tied for No. 1 with Tennessee in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ poll) hosted the 8-2 and 11th ranked Nebraska Cornhuskers.  Kansas State had not defeated Nebraska since 1968, a 29-game losing streak. 

The run of futility was the third worst in NCAA history, bettered (worsened?) only by a 34-game losing streak by Navy to Notre Dame (made 35 with a 30-0 loss to the Irish the same day as the KSU/Nebraska game—a streak which would reach 43 before it was broken) and a 32-game losing streak K-State endured against Oklahoma from 1937-1968.

The stars were aligned correctly for Kansas State in 1998, as the Wildcats scored on a defensive touchdown on the game’s final play to enhance a 40-30 final.  With the ESPN Gameday crew on hand, the Wildcat faithful stormed the field and tore down the goalposts.  With Missouri having lost earlier that afternoon to Texas A&M, K-State wrapped up the Big 12 Northern Division title. 

The championship was KSU’s first league title of any kind since 1934, when the Conference was known as the Big 6 (Colorado joined in 1948 to create the Big 7; Oklahoma State in 1958 to form the Big Eight).  The Wildcats now were poised, if they could win out against Missouri and Texas A&M (in the Big 12 Championship game), to have a chance at a national title.

Meanwhile Colorado, whose 600 all-time wins were a far sight ahead of K-State’s 375 wins (in 963 games), was 7-3 overall, 4-3 in Conference play.  A date with 8-3 Nebraska did not have the meaning envisioned when the game was moved to Thanksgiving weekend, but it carried plenty of meaning for the participants. 

The winner would finish tied for second (with Missouri) in the Big 12 Northern Division, and likely be invited to the Holiday Bowl.  The loser would finish fourth in the six team division, and would have to be satisfied with a minor bowl bid.  Nebraska had not lost four games in a season since 1968.  But then again, Nebraska hadn’t lost to Kansas State since 1968...

[The Buffs would go on to lose to 14th ranked Nebraska, 16-14, in the regular season finale. Relegated to the Aloha Bowl, Colorado did put on a show for the Christmas Day crowd, besting Oregon, 51-43, to finish the 1998 campaign with an 8-4 record—the final game for head coach Rick Neuheisal.]

Best Games in College Football HistoryNovember 14th

1970No. 4 Nebraska 51, No. 20 Kansas State 13—1970 was an odd year, as a number of teams had a chance at the national championship. The second week of November, there were still five different teams receiving first place votes in the polls. One of them was Nebraska, ranked fourth. The Cornhuskers made a statement in handling 20th ranked Kansas State. Nebraska intercepted KSU star quarterback Lynn Dickey seven times, allowing Nebraska running backs Joe Orduna and Johnny Rodgers to steal the show.

The win moved Nebraska up to number three in the polls, and positioned the Cornhuskers to claim the national championship with an Orange Bowl win over LSU. Kansas State, meanwhile, would not win again in 1970, finishing 6-5 and out of the polls.

1981No. 6 Alabama 31, No. 5 Penn State 16 —The 1981 match-up between Alabama and Penn State in 1981 was more than just an interesting clash of top ten teams. It proved to be historic, as with the win, Alabama head coach Bear Bryant tied Amos Alonzo Stagg's career win record (314).

Losing coach Joe Paterno, falling to 0-3 all-time against Bryant, said, “It’s a historic moment in football and I’m glad for him.”

Ironically enough, it would be Joe Paterno (along with Florida State’s Bobby Bowden), who would go on to surpass Bear Bryant on the all-time wins list. In 1981, though, Alabama won the game, going on to finish seventh in the polls after a Cotton Bowl loss to Texas. Penn State would not lose again in 1981, and, after defeating No. 1 Pittsburgh in the regular season finale, and USC in the Fiesta Bowl, would conclude the season with a No. 3 final ranking.

1987No. 13 Michigan State 27, No. 16 Indiana 3 —The Michigan State coaching staff apparently had a simple game plan against the Hoosiers—run Lorenzo White. The Spartans’ senior tailback (who would go on to finish fourth in the Heisman balloting) rushed 56 times for 292 yards in leading Michigan State to the Rose Bowl. White’s efforts were just short of the 58 rushes Tony Sands had for Kansas against Missouri in 1991, but were more than enough to take out the 16th ranked Hoosiers. Michigan State would conclude 1987 with a 20-17 win over USC in the Rose Bowl, 9-2-1, and ranked eighth . Indiana finished 8-4 and out of the polls after a 27-22 loss to Tennessee in the Peach Bowl.

1998No. 2 Kansas State 40, No. 11 Nebraska 30 —Nebraska lost three games in a season for the first time since 1977, but the Cornhuskers’ loss was not the story. The win for Kansas State, the first for the Wildcats over Nebraska since 1968, continued the fairy tale ride to the national championship game. Quarterback Michael Bishop passed for 306 yards and two touchdowns, as the 10-0 Wildcats advanced to No. 1 in the ESPN/USA Today poll. Just a few points behind Tennessee in the AP poll, Kansas State just needed to win out to claim an unlikely national title.

The Wildcats did beat Missouri to cap a perfect regular season, but then fell to Texas A&M in the Big 12 Championship game, 36-33. Relegated to the Alamo Bowl, the snubbed Wildcats lost to Purdue to fall to No. 10 in the final poll. Nebraska, meanwhile, finished 9-4 in Frank Solich’s first campaign as head coach, winding up 19th in the final poll.

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