Naturally, gladhanding and sort phrases overflow when a convention welcomes a brand new college. It goes with the territory and was no exception in June 2010 when it was introduced Colorado would be part of the Pac-10 the next summer season.
“This can be a historic second for the convention, because the Pac-10 is poised for super development,” stated then-commissioner Larry Scott, whose convention additionally added Utah and would turn out to be the Pac-12. “The College of Colorado is a good match for the convention each academically and athletically and we’re extremely excited to welcome Colorado to the Pac-10.”
Mentioned then-Colorado president Bruce Benson, “The College of Colorado is an ideal match — academically and athletically — with the Pac-10. Our achievements and aspirations match these of the colleges within the convention and we sit up for a productive relationship.”
Colorado has been something however productive as a Pac-12 member the place it issues most: on the gridiron. Removed from a “excellent match,” the Buffaloes have been badly overmatched in a convention that has made treasured little noise within the Faculty Soccer Playoff period.
Whereas Deion Sanders might or might not realign the compass of a program he was given free rein to overtake a 12 months earlier than it returns to the Massive 12, Colorado regarded out for its pursuits by re-joining a convention that has reacted to the loss subsequent 12 months of Texas and Oklahoma by including UCF, Cincinnati and Houston this 12 months and CU subsequent summer season.
In fact, there’s additionally the cash. Colorado will profit from the convention’s media rights take care of Fox/ESPN that pays $31.7 million yearly to every member establishment. The deal was introduced final fall and extends by means of 2031. Certainly, the underside line appears to at all times rise to the highest amongst packing containers to be checked, doesn’t it? Particularly when the convention from which Colorado is departing presently doesn’t have a long-term deal in place and can lose the Los Angeles market with the departure of USC and UCLA to the Massive Ten efficient subsequent 12 months.
Whereas the grass all of a sudden seems a lot greener in Boulder, years of ineptitude have left many seeing purple. How dangerous has it been? The Buffaloes didn’t precisely be part of the Pac-12 with a working begin. After Dan Hawkins led them to an Independence Bowl berth in 2007, they gained solely 13 video games and went 6-18 in convention play throughout their last three seasons as a member of the Massive 12.
As we all know, issues didn’t get any higher within the Pac-12. Actually, Colorado was an unpleasant 5-40 in convention play throughout its first 5 seasons. There was a momentary pivot underneath Mike MacIntyre in 2016, the coach’s fourth 12 months in Boulder, when the Buffaloes gained 10 video games and a South Division title. That marks the lone profitable full season – the Buffaloes have been 4-2 in virus-shortened 2020 – for Colorado since becoming a member of the Pac-12.
In the meantime, the Massive 12 has since undergone a lot change and will probably be a far completely different convention than the one Colorado left. The varsity, which joined the then-Massive 7 in 1947 – the convention grew to become often called the Massive 8 with the addition of Oklahoma State in 1960 — and spent the ultimate 14 of its 63 years as a member within the rebranded Massive 12 following the addition of 4 former Southwest Convention establishments in 1996, will probably be a part of a convention that can bridge three time zones subsequent season.
Although there won’t be a renewal of the Thanksgiving weekend rivalry with Nebraska, which left the Massive 12 for the Massive Ten the identical 12 months Colorado departed, or battles for the Bronze Boot with Missouri, which bolted for the SEC in 2012, the Buffaloes will reacquaint with Kansas State, Kansas, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Baylor.
Enjoying convention video games in opposition to groups from Oklahoma and Texas as soon as once more can solely assist with recruiting. That alone makes returning to the Massive 12 much more interesting than being within the Pac-12 ever was.