Buffs are Big 12 North Champs Again
BOULDER - The University of Colorado football team officially won its fourth Big 12 North title in the last five years on Saturday.
After losing to Nebraska on Friday, the Buffs needed a little help to get into the Big 12 title game. After Kansas beat Iowa State in overtime, Colorado won the North outright with a 5-3 conference record. CU will travel to Houston to take on the undefeated No. 2 Texas Longhorns in a late-season rematch between the two teams on Saturday, Dec. 3. The game will be a national broadcast on ABC, with kick off scheduled for 11:00 MDT.
"This is a great opportunity for us," head coach Gary Barnett said. "I feel good for our players and our seniors."
The Buffs still have all of their goals in front of them, despite playing far from their best football over the last two games?losses to Iowa State on the road and Nebraska at home. Senior captain and V-Back Lawrence Vickers said it was tough to have the balance of their championship aspirations hinge on a game CU had to watch, but he sees Saturday as a way for the Buffs to get two week's worth of bad taste out of their mouths.
"A lot of teams out there would love to be playing in the Big 12 Championship right now," he said. "I'll probably call a team meeting [Sunday] to bring everybody in and let them know what is in front of us."
The Buffs lost their previous meeting to the Longhorns this season by a 42-17 margin. Led by senior quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate Vince Young, Texas jumped out to an early 28-0 lead in handing CU its first conference loss of the season. Young completed 25-of-29 passes and accounted for 394 total yards and five touchdowns.
Colorado will look to rebound from their only home loss of the season and beat the Longhorns for the second time in as many tries in the conference championship game?the Buffs handed a one-loss and possibly Rose Bowl-bound Texas team a 39-37 defeat in the 2001 Big 12 Championship game.
"We have to be a family and not just a team," redshirt freshman wide receiver Reggie Joseph said. "As a family, I think we have to chance to bounce back, and given the opportunity I think we will.
"It was a great Thanksgiving after all."