BOULDER—For the first time since likely the early days of CU history, if ever, the Buffs will take the field Saturday against an opponent that wasn’t known at the beginning of the season in the regular season.
Storms that began on Sept. 9 dumped more rain on the Boulder area in a five day period, upwards of 20 inches, than the annual average. Boulder County was declared a federal state of emergency for the city on Friday, Sept. 13, the same day the CU-Fresno State game would be postponed.
When that announcement hit, it marked just the third time in 123 years and over 1,100 games of football that a Colorado football game would be postponed, joining the JFK Assassination and the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks on the east coast.
Originally scheduled for Nov. 23, 1963, the Buffs were supposed to close out the 1963 season at Air Force that day but after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy the day before in Dallas, the game was postponed two weeks and played on December 7. Air Force won 17-14 and the Buffs ended the season with a 2-8 mark.
The Buffs were to face future conference foe Washington State on Sept. 15, 2001 but games nationwide were cancelled due to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the east coast. That game wasn’t made up until Sept. 11, 2004, on the third anniversary of those attacks. No other game was scheduled during the 2001 season when the Buffs came within an eyelash (.05 points in the BCS Standings) of playing for the national championship.
Thus, this game Saturday makes history. Due to normal scheduling practices by FBS teams, sometimes as far as 10-15 years in advance, it could be several years before Fresno State makes up the 2013 game in Boulder. The Bulldogs are tentatively scheduled for a 2019 trip to Boulder in a contract that originally was set up for one game in Fresno and two in Boulder. The Buffs played at Fresno State in 2012 and the two schools will look forward in the schedule to see when the Bulldogs can make another trip to Boulder.
To schedule a football game against any opponent in a matter of two or three weeks was nearly impossible, but the task was accomplished and will come to fruition Saturday. A group of CU administrators including Athletic Director Rick George and Football Coach Mike MacIntyre worked tirelessly for 16 days before being able to make the announcement that Charleston Southern had agreed to visit Boulder.
“I’ll tell you, Rick (George) exhausted himself after the Fresno game,” MacIntyre told the media during his weekly press luncheon on Oct. 1. “I felt like a used car salesman, I never heard so many ‘no’s’ in my entire life. A couple of times we had teams we thought we had done, signed, sealed and delivered and then we’d get a phone call after their next game saying they were too beat up and didn’t want to play.
“Charleston Southern was the only team left standing that wanted to play us, and thank goodness they did. It’s going to be a great game for this community, the university and it’s a way we can give back to the community through the whole thing.”
The Buffs have distributed over 1,000 tickets for the Charleston Southern game out to first responders and the Buffs will recognize them in the first quarter of Saturday’s game.
The Buffs will also recognize the campus leadership for all their efforts during the flood. Led by a $40,000 contribution from the CU Student Government along with donations from fans that were partially matched by HomeAdvisor at the Oregon game and countless others who have donated through various channels, do ate more than $233,000 has been raised for the CU Boulder Disaster Recovery Fund.
Fans can continue to donate at www.cufund.org/disasterrecovery.