Uh-oh for the '00s: Does Colorado Make List of Most Disappointing

Stuart WhitehairAnalyst IDecember 15, 2009

BOULDER, CO - NOVEMBER 07:  Wide receiver Jeff Fuller #8 of the Texas A&M Aggies makes a reception against the defense of Jimmy Smith #3 of the Colorado Buffaloes during NCAA college football action at Folsom Field on November 7, 2009 in Boulder, Colorado. Colorado defeated Texas A&M 35-34.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

“Uh-oh for the ’00’s”

Such was the headline for a column by Matt Hayes in a recent edition for The Sporting News . When I read the sub-title, “As the decade’s play clock ticks down, SN’s Matt Hayes ranks the five programs that did the least with the most," I cringed.

I knew what was coming next—Colorado had made yet another list. Not quite the Bottom Ten, but bad enough nonetheless. More condemnation for the travesty which had become Colorado football.

But …

Colorado did not make Hayes’ rankings as one of the five programs who had disappointed in the 2000’s.

On the list were, in order: Texas A&M; Arkansas; Illinois; Virginia; and California . The common thread of the piece was that each of the programs had excellent facilities, fan support, and resources. Despite the scolding tone of the article, the fact is that all but Illinois had an overall winning record during the decade, and all but Illinois played in at least five bowl games during the 2000s. Yet, they were all considered disappointments. All were flagship universities in their state, but hadn’t taken advantage of their position. All were traditional laden programs, failing to live up to expectations.

Such a relief! A national article about football programs which were disappointments, and Colorado was not on the list!

Hey! Wait a minute!

For Colorado NOT to be on the list, that would mean that Matt Hayes did not consider what was going on in Boulder to be a disappointment.

I checked the numbers: 

Colorado’s record in the 2000s – 58-67. Only Illinois, with a 45-72 record, was worse on the list.

Colorado’s bowl appearances in the 2000s – five. Only Illinois, with two, was worse on the list (the Buffs record in those bowls: 1-4).

Colorado’s first-round NFL picks in the 2000s - two. Illinois and Texas A&M both had two; the other three on the list had six apiece (Quick quiz : which Colorado players were the only first-round NFL picks in this decade? Mason Crosby was the Buffs’ best player, but he, being a kicker, wasn’t chosen until the sixth round. The only players selected in the first round from Colorado were tight end Daniel Graham (No. 22, New England, 2002) and defensive tackle Tyler Brayton (No. 32, Oakland, 2003).

So, why isn’t Colorado on the list? As noted, Matt Hayes considered those teams on his list as having top rated facilities and rabid fans (Texas A&M: “Magnificent facilities, unwavering fan support;” Arkansas: “the fan support is among the best in the nation. Plus, the facilities are immaculate;” Illinois: “recently renovated stadium and upgraded facilities;” and Virginia: “top-notch facilities”).

Okay, now I get it. 

Colorado’s facilities? They rank among the poorest in the Big 12.

Colorado’s fan support? Folsom Field has a capacity of 53,750, about average in the Big 12, and has nine sellouts … this decade (and only one the past four years).

Yes, it’s true that Colorado did not make the list of college football programs which “did the least with the most…”

Right now, Colorado is not even good enough to be “disappointing …"