2016 Pac-12 Football Championship Game: Colorado's season 'brings magic back'
SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - The 2016 Pac-12 Football Championship Game didn't go how Colorado wanted it to, but anyone who expected a downtrodden Mike MacIntyre at Friday's postgame press conference would have been in for a surprise. The Colorado head coach arrived with a list of accomplishments, and read each bullet point.
"First team in 101 years of Pac-10, Pac-12 football, biggest turnaround ever. Only one of four teams to go from last to first since 1959. Seventh ten-win season in school history," MacIntyre said after the game. "Pretty impressive."
The Buffs, 1-8 in conference play in 2015, flipped the ledger to 8-1 this season. That feat helped Coach MacIntyre earn Pac-12 Football Coach of the Year and Walter Camp National Coach of the Year honors.
Colorado's Mike MacIntyre has been named 2016 Walter Camp National Coach of the Year. pic.twitter.com/2v6ahS5LKx
— ESPN CollegeFootball (@ESPNCFB) December 1, 2016
On Friday night, Coach Mac credited his players for the turnaround on the field, and in the stands.
"With what they've done for the university, how they've kind of reunited Buff Nation, we can't say enough about that, where they've come from. We'll build on it. They'll leave a great culture and we'll have a very good football team next year."
Was the loss to Washington in the Championship Game disappointing? Of course it was. MacIntyre didn't sugarcoat it.
"Yeah, we hurt. We lost. We lost to a good team and made some mistakes that kind of gave them a chance to pull away from us."
But this year was about more than just one game. And this loss doesn't detract from that.
"There are a million other things I could say. Number one, I love them. I love the staff, I love the team, I love their fight...Tonight was tough, there is no doubt about it. Can't put a damper on the whole season, and we'll bounce back and go play in a Bowl game."
The final game of the regular 2016 season against Utah was the first sellout at Folsom Field since 2008. The future looks bright in Boulder, and the University is ready to rally around their Buffs. And Coach Mac is ready.
"Place is rocking now. These guys brought Folsom's magic back, these young men."