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Buffs, 'Bama bound for Independence Bowl

Dec. 30 game will be only bowl played that day

Every college football player dreams of playing on Sundays. The Colorado Buffaloes and Alabama Crimson Tide will get their chance.

The two storied programs will meet for the third time in the postseason on Sunday, Dec. 30, in Shreveport, La., in the 32nd annual Independence Bowl, officials announced Sunday. It is the only bowl game scheduled that day and will kickoff at 6 p.m. (MDT), following action in the National Football League.

"We historically get teams on the way up and I think that is definitely the case this yearwith these two teams," Independence Bowl chairman Joe Darwin said. "The most intriguing thing about it for us is we've never had Colorado here before. From a television standpoint, it's a great matchup. ESPN is very excited about it."

Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn said CU will have an advance team in Shreveport on Thursday to scout practice sites and begin planning team activities and hospitality events for fans. The Buffs will travel to Louisiana on Dec. 26 for the 28th bowl in program history.

"Obviously, we're excited because the Independence Bowl committee is so excited to have the Buffs," Bohn said. "That says a lot. We want to match their enthusiasm and give them a game that leaves them with a good impression of our team and our program as a whole."

Colorado has been inconsistent in supporting teams with fan support in bowl games and Big 12 Conference championship games. With the game located in SEC country, it figures to be another neutral-site game that feels more like a road game for the Buffs.

Bohn said he is committed to doing whatever possible to draw large number of fans clad in black and gold to Shreveport, including the possibility of chartering a plane for fans if the demand exists.

Darwin said the Independence Bowl isn't worried about CU's reputation of not traveling well.

Alabama is making an NCAA record 55th bowl appearance and its second consecutive trip to the Independence Bowl. The Crimson Tide lost last season to Oklahoma State in Shreveport, but it comes to town this year with a new coaching staff led by Nick Saban, who was hired away from the Miami Dolphins in January for a reported $32 million.

Saban said he has great respect for CU coach Dan Hawkins and he's looking forward to the contest against a quality Big 12 Conference team. He's also looking forward to seeing Ralphie IV, CU's live Buffalo mascot make her run.

Saban said he has seen Ralphie's pregame and halftime romps once before, when he served as an assistant coach at Michigan State in 1984 and the Spartans visited Folsom Field. Saban's team won that day 24-21.

"I think it's one of the great things about college football is the tradition and Colorado has great tradition," he said. "I cherish those traditions in college football."

Both programs finished the regular season with 6-6 records. They share one common opponent in Florida State. Colorado lost to FSU, 16-6, and Alabama lost to the Seminoles, 21-14.

The Buffs did so in Hawkins' second season as coach following a 2-10 season in 2006. The Buffs competed against one of the most difficult schedules in all of college football. CU played seven bowl teams, including four that were ranked among the top-14 teams in the Bowl Championship Series standings — the teams eligible to play in BCS games.

Alabama was disappointed to finish at .500 in Saban's first season as coach in a tradition-rich southern stronghold. The Crimson Tide started well in the Southeastern Conference, arguably the toughest conference in the sport, but lost its final four games, including a head-scratcher against Louisiana-Monroe.

CU and Alabama have played only twice before and both times came in bowl games. The Buffs won the first contest 47-33 in the 1969 Liberty Bowl in Memphis, Tenn. It was the final game in former CU running back Bobby Anderson's Hall of Fame career.

Alabama beat the Buffs 30-25 in the 1991 Blockbuster Bowl, a game memorable to many CU fans because of former coach Bill McCartney's decision beforehand to scrap the program's I-bone offense and switch to a passing-oriented attack.

McCartney explained the decision at the time saying he believed passing offenses were the future of college football. Looking around today, he appears to have been ahead of his time.

Katoa commits

Along with the bowl bid, the Buffs also received some good news in the recruiting department on Sunday. According to Scout.com, five-star linebacker Lynn Katoa committed to CU over the weekend. Katoa is a 6-2, 220-pounder from Cottonwood High School in Salt Lake City who is ranked by Scout as the No. 2 middle linebacker in the nation.

Among the other schools who offered Katoa a scholarship were Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Florida.

Paired with Ponderosa's Jon Major, that gives the Buffs two five-star linebackers in the current recruiting class.

Comments

Posted by JasperJohns on December 3, 2007 at 1:31 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Major, Katoa, and Sipli? Holy mother of God, even the chumps at Judicial Affairs will be powerless to stop the Buffs next year. Take that, high-browed intellegencia types!

Posted by badbuff on December 3, 2007 at 5:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Locked and loaded....Collins and Cabral have upped the ante....

Major....Katoa....Pericak and Berard

Some serious linebackers for a very serious "D"

Play makers on "O"...and play makers on "D"

Wow can these guys recruit!!!

Posted by archalon on December 3, 2007 at 6:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hope all the doubters about Hawkins shut up now. The program can flat recruit. Last two years worth of commits are amazing compared to the Barney era and we still have a shot at Scott.

Posted by NJBuff on December 3, 2007 at 6:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)

OMG! What another awesome recruit!!! You've got to figure both will see action right away!

Posted by michbuff257 on December 3, 2007 at 7:49 a.m. (Suggest removal)

It's a great time to be a Buff! Great job by Hawkins and Cabral keeping the linebacker pipeline flowing. Let the east coast biased media keep crowing about Penn State being Linebacker U. If they ever decided to pay attention to what is going on out West they would know what an awesome job Cabral has done throughout the years at CU.

Posted by kimolukela on December 3, 2007 at 7:53 a.m. (Suggest removal)

We definitely have a shot at the big twelve Championship next near. Both Kansas and Missouri are going to be losing some key players, and we don't have to play Oklahoma. The defense should be rock solid, and hopefully the offensive will follow suit. I would like to see a couple more O-lineman to round out the class. The seasons not over, so let's go Buffs! Beat Bama!

Posted by travis on December 3, 2007 at 7:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

GREAT JOB CABRAL!

Posted by rnorthro14 on December 3, 2007 at 8:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I would bet that Will Pericak will get a look at TE and Jon Major might get a look at DE.

Either way, the coaching staff is putting together a class of exceptional athletes and they are not done yet. The biggest commitment is yet to come!

Posted by nwbuff32 on December 3, 2007 at 8:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Pericak is going to be a TE, that is the position the staff offered him to play.

Posted by buff75 on December 3, 2007 at 8:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

YES YES AND YES MY XMAS PRESENT CAME EARLY WITH KATOA, MAJOR AND ALSO DEEHAN COMMITTING. CAN YOU SAY LINEBACKER U!!!I'M SO PUMPED FOR NEXT YEAR.
GO BUFFS BEAT THE TIDE!!!!

Posted by BUFFRYDERZ on December 3, 2007 at 8:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm stoked on the KATOA commit but if your serious about us contending for a Big XII championship you might want to take a look at next years schedule first.

Posted by dionisus1122 on December 3, 2007 at 9:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Also, the Buffs picked up a 4-star TE out of California. Ryan Deehan... supposed to be a great receiving TE.

Posted by Saheeb on December 3, 2007 at 9:57 a.m. (Suggest removal)

JasperJohns: a laugh out loud on your comment. Too funny, but true. They aren't moving Major to DE. Let's hope we get this JC four-star Finau kid or Marquiss Hamm. Would love to see our next commits be Scott, Brandon Smith, Tinker, Quarles, Givens, Mohler...

Posted by nwbuff32 on December 3, 2007 at 10:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ed Tinker will not be a buff. It was posted on rivals but no reason as to why. It is speculated he will not qualify.

Posted by extrapoint on December 3, 2007 at 10:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I guess that means Tinker will wind up at K State.

I hope Scott doesnt get nervous about practicing against all these bad boy linebackers.

Still need the rush ends and another O lineman would be gravy.

Posted by jamespnolan on December 3, 2007 at 11:10 a.m. (Suggest removal)

"The defense should be rock solid next year."

The defense that gave up 600 yards and 51 points to the Huskers? What gives you the confidence - our lock down corners? The relentless pash rush? Or maybe it's the just the overall team speed on that side of the ball.

I hope you're right, but we have some very serious holes to fill next year on both sides of the ball.

Posted by JimmytheBuffalo on December 3, 2007 at 11:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This is a completely different topic, but I couldn't help but think about where the Buffs would have wound up if the refs had got it right in Ames. 7-5/5-3, ahead of A&M and OSU, and probably in the Alamo Bowl. Did you all know the ref who blew the call, Clete Blakeman, was a QB for Nebraska in the '80's (that's right - he was a back-up to Steve Taylor when we beat them in 1986 and ruined their National Championship hopes)? What the h*ll is he doing officiating games in the Big XII??

If anyone wants to let him know your thoughts on this, his email address is: cwb@blakemanlaw.com

As for me - I've bought my tix to the Independence Bowl - it's just sad that the "men" in black and white can ruin the efforts of the players, week after week...

Posted by Saheeb on December 3, 2007 at 11:38 a.m. (Suggest removal)

nwbuff32: Thanks for the insight on Tinker. Damn, that's two good players from western PA we may have lost due to academics. DevAn Johnson, FB, he of the alleged Lawrence Vickers like talent, still hasn't been able to get his scores together it seems. Maybe Hawkins has another stud received like Chance Blackmon lined up or something, perhaps Aubrey Quarles.

Posted by Saheeb on December 3, 2007 at 11:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Tinker visited Louisville for their game against Rutgers. Maybe he walked away swayed by their comeback win in that game. I think he also has a buddy who already plays there too. Who knows.

Posted by nwbuff32 on December 3, 2007 at 11:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)

nolan

You obviously weren't watching the end of the Nebraska game (if you watched it on ABC you couldn't). The final 150 yds and 16 points were garbage. The game was over and the defense was playing conservative.

Our defense was banged up this year. We are getting the depth we need but it will still need another year until we can be a top 25 defense. Nonetheless our defense will be a lot better next year. Sipili, Hypolite, Wallace are back, Goree and Obi will be game ready after their red shirt season, and we have Major and Katoa on board.

Oh, and the defense did hold OU to just 24 points when they were averaging close to 60. The same team that beat the #1 team this weekend and won the Big 12. Not bad for a squad with some serious holes to fill.

Posted by CABuffalo on December 3, 2007 at 12:02 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It's a great class thus far! We are going bowling and it looks like Hawk and Co. are establishing quite a foundation. Things are looking pretty good right about now and I'm excited again for this program after a long lay-off.

Some here may not know, but CU was also recruiting Julio Jones (the #1 WR recruit) and ESPN's recruiting site shows that he is still a CU recruit. I wouldn't doubt that Hawk and Co. may put the full-court press on this guy like they did with Katoa. If we can land Scott, Brandon Smith, a couple of good linemen, look out Big 12!

Posted by extrapoint on December 3, 2007 at 12:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ray Polk will surprise y'all

Posted by rodrigo on December 3, 2007 at 1:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Agreed, extra. Everyone is overlooking Polk.

And JamesP, this isn't the first time your negative jones has shown up. Did you, as nw suggests, watch the Nebraska game? Funny, but I think I remember two interceptions turning the tide and a third salting it away. And check the box score: save those garbage time tds to which nw refers, the Huskers put up a fat goose egg in the second half.

Wheat and Dizon will be sorely missed, but I see the D getting better, not falling apart.

Posted by houston_buff on December 3, 2007 at 3:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Good board-funniest in a while. We are headed to the game too. I would encourage everyone to check it out. There are some good casinos, plenty of whiskey AND you can smoke in public. Game tixs are $30!!! It may be warm enough to play golf on Saturday, so pack your sticks. I think Hawk may have some wrinkles ready for that putz Saban. Bob Stoopes even thinks Saban is overrated.

Posted by dabuffs50 on December 3, 2007 at 4:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey Karl Dorrell was fired today. I wonder if there was any chance of him or any of his staff joing back up with the Buffs. Eric Bienemy coming back to Boulder would be awesome. Hagan and him could get the young Buff Rb's up to speed quickly

Posted by neb_cu_buff on December 3, 2007 at 5:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Let's charter a plane people! Game tickets are cheap, the flight should be between 150-250 dollars on a chartered flight, we need more fans at the bowl games to support our team!!!!! GO BUFFS! and great job on the recruiting!

Posted by houston_buff on December 3, 2007 at 7:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

50-You can forget about Bienemy-he has a sweet gig with some running back in Minnesota named Peterson. I see E Beenemeee in the NFL for the long term. I never got that both he and Embree headed to UCLA-is that really a better job than Boulder with the same title? I loved when we went to the Rose Bowl a few years back and smacked UCLA in their house. This is a new era and the Buffs need a big win against Bama. Buff fans unite-take the holiday money you were going to use on silly material goods and give it to a needy cause-the Buffs in Shreveport!

Posted by dabuffs50 on December 3, 2007 at 8:11 p.m. (Suggest removal)

My Bad Houston, thanks for the update!

Posted by SnowBuff on December 3, 2007 at 8:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

he went there because his child has (had?) a rare disease that needed a specialist that lived in LA. I do not know what has happened in that regard... what I do know is that Maurice-Jones Drew went to UCLA instead of CU because of that.

Posted by IAM4CUINIOWA on December 3, 2007 at 9:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Are there any other Buffs fan out there from Iowa that are heading to the Bowl game?
I'm looking at going, but at this point, am by myself. Looking for others to caravan with or something.
Hope to see you all in Shreveport!
Great recruiting news also! GO BUFFS!!

Posted by neb_cu_buff on December 3, 2007 at 9:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm in Nebraska, potentially looking to go to the game. Flight or car.

Posted by babybuff on December 3, 2007 at 9:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Wow! Playing against Alabama is the best! Can't wait to see the game! And picking up the #2 middle linebacker in the nation should give us some depth in the backfield in the years ahead! Go Buffs!

Posted by hoop401k on December 4, 2007 at 7:18 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Being a DFW-BUFF like seeing the 'Port if we are not in a top notch Bowl. BUFFS-BOOZE-CRAPS. El Dorado is a great Casino about 10 crap tables not as many $30,000.00 millionaires as the Horseshoe

Posted by MDBuff on December 4, 2007 at 1:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

We need the lucky charm, Eric Cartman, to announce starting lineups again! Go Buffs!

Posted by MDBuff on December 4, 2007 at 1:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Will Cartman do a NICK SATAN joke?

Posted by extrapoint on December 4, 2007 at 5:03 p.m. (Suggest removal)

is Saban somehow related to the incompetent Bronco coach of yore?

Posted by Ldjbuff on December 4, 2007 at 5:10 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This class is really coming together with more recriuts to come a GREAT JOB by Coach Hawkins and Staff,just keep rolling . Welcome L. Katoa to the BUFFNATION

Posted by rodrigo on December 4, 2007 at 6:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Nice q, extra. Wondered that at various times, myself, but your post prompted me to action. According that most reliable of sources, Wikipedia, Nick and Lou are cousins. How weird is that?

Then there's this: "[Lou] Saban served as head coach at the University of Miami from 1977 to 1978, and is credited with helping lay the foundation for the Hurricanes' future success, in particular recruiting quarterback Jim Kelly to the university. However, despite a winning record in 1978, Saban departed Miami amid controversy. That April, three Miami players threw a twenty-one-year-old Jewish man who worked at a campus gathering place for UM's Jewish community into a lake. When Saban returned to campus a few days later, he was unaware the man was Jewish and reportedly said "Getting thrown in the lake? Sounds like fun to me."

If that's not fodder for Cartman...

Posted by Saheeb on December 4, 2007 at 11:08 p.m. (Suggest removal)

More good news. Scout.com reports that PT Gates expects to have his classes i order and join the Buffs in January. I like it. http://colorado.scout.com/a.z?s=148&...

Posted by extrapoint on December 5, 2007 at 6:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

thanks rodrigo
Craig Morton wasnt exactly Jim Kelly.
and Cartman ought to go over real big down in the bible belt

Posted by rodrigo on December 5, 2007 at 7:23 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Neither was Steve Tensi. Man, I can't believe I even remember that far back.

Go Buffs!

Posted by extrapoint on December 5, 2007 at 8:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

first Bronco game I ever saw, Tensi started and the entire stands were chanting in perfect unison...."we want Briscoe! we want Briscoe!"

Posted by SnowBuff on December 5, 2007 at 9:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Good to hear about Gates... We need some POWER in the backfield...

Wish we had a guy like Lawrence vickers with us... Now that was one tough dude

Posted by rodrigo on December 5, 2007 at 9:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Heh, heh. Back in the day when the Broncos played in Bears (as in minor-league baseball) Stadium! Wooden bleacher seats, the silly tubular Holiday Inn just to the north... Geez.

OK. How about another instant fan poll: What's your favorite Buff bowl win?

I know it's hard to overlook the Orange Bowl win over ND in 1990, but my personal fav is when they beat Riley Odoms and Houston in the Bluebonnet Bowl in '72 (I think) for a Big Eight poll sweep: #1 Nebraska -#2 Oklahoma -#3 Colorado.

Posted by Saheeb on December 5, 2007 at 9:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

SnowBuff: The coaches claim Devan Johnson, FB recruit from 2007 class, possess "Lawrence Vickers" type abilities. Wish he'd get his grades/scroes in order. If he truly has that kind of talent it would be a great addition.

Posted by extrapoint on December 5, 2007 at 10:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Ditto
Definitely the Bluebonnet bowl. Houston also had Robert Newhouse, a Bienemy type bowling ball back who went on the play for the Dallas Cowboys (I think) The Buffaloes had many players on that team that went to the NFL as well.

Posted by LBCBuff on December 5, 2007 at 12:35 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Unbelievable job Hawkins is doing landing these guys! Would love to see some stud D Linemen start coming. A great college D starts there - when Coach Mac had the machine running, both lines were dominant. Hopefully George is coming back along with the others which makes us solid - but depth and some future studs would be great! Let's Roll the Tide Buffs.

Posted by mntbyker on December 5, 2007 at 12:54 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mines the 95 Fiesta bowl. Surprised Notre Dame with a prolific passing attack and destroyed them. I think Stuart is the best Buff qb. What a team! If McCartney would have passed against Neb that year I believe we would have been National Champs.

Posted by MDBuff on December 5, 2007 at 1:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Hawkins will get a nice payday if the Buffs continue to improve. See USA Today's coaches' compensation info. In 2007, Hawkins earned a total salary of $936,000. The only coach with a lower salary is Prince at KSU. Also, Hawkins earns $156,000 per win. Compare that with Bama's Saban at $584,000 per win, Callahan, at $350,000 per win, or Stoops at $329,000 per win. We're getting a good deal, folks.

Posted by asutgriff on December 5, 2007 at 3:32 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This is a big game for the buffs... hopefully they can get a dubya & ride some mo into next season. They've got a brutal non-conference schedule (take notes KU) & w/out Dizon & Wheatley I'm a little concerned. Good job w/ recruiting Hawk... but let's remember, does their "4 star" title really matter? Let's wait til they put the pads on & play a down in Division 1 football before we crown them Boulder saviors.

Posted by extrapoint on December 5, 2007 at 6:16 p.m. (Suggest removal)

holy smokes MDbuff
3 to 500K per win?
no wonder Callahan is gone! Patience may be short with that mercenary Saban too. Lets send him down the road with Bill. Let CU be known as the graveyard of (opposing) coaches.

Posted by houston_buff on December 5, 2007 at 7:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

OK-I did some of work and here is the low down on the trip. Most of you rich couch muffins will never see Shreveport, but for the intrepid-
CU tix office nor Boulder Travel has the 411, no charter, nothing. Call it the Barney hangover...

Check out-
Horseshoe 318-742-0711
Eldorado Casino or Sams Casino 877-429-0711
For golf-Southern Trace or Shreveport CC, I may be able to do a hook up, let's see some interest and I will float my email for a Saturday game. Game tickets are plentiful and on line. For those less hearty there is a Holiday Express within 3-4 miles from the stadium, free breakfast and a better choice for kids. Who is in?

Posted by Saheeb on December 5, 2007 at 9:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Four-star LB Shaun Mohler says he's down to CU, Iowa and Oregon. If he comes to CU we'll have Mohler-Major-Katoa! Holy crap. Reminds me of another great group that played together under Cabral; Craig Biekert-Chad Johnson-Ted Johnson -- three future NFL All-Pros. Okay, getting a big prematurely hyperbolic. But, what a trio those guys would be, plus we'd have Brad Jones and Sipilli too.

Posted by phibuffa on December 5, 2007 at 11:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Forget Tensi and Briscoe, wasn't the most famous Bronco QB controversy Steve DeBerg and Bucky Dilts??? I remember cheering on BUUUU-CKYYYYYY in the nosebleeds on the Fifth Level cause the Punter kid could hit the coffen corner and would never get the ball interecepted or take a sack.

Posted by rodrigo on December 6, 2007 at 9:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Nice! How on earth can a professional football team be taken seriously with a punter named Bucky?!?! Those were the days...

Posted by Realist on December 6, 2007 at 6:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Saheep...Rivals has Mohler as a Nebraska recruit. yes, a "soft Verbal", but still leaning toward being a Husker. Where did your information that he has narrowed down to Colorado, Iowa or Oregon come from?

Posted by walto_clown on December 6, 2007 at 8:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Realist,

From a Scout article by Greg Powers:

“I am not committed to Nebraska,” Mohler stated. “I am de-committed. Actually no one from the new staff has called me or really even talked to me.”

“I do not have a visit left to take to Nebraska, so I do not really see how I can get to know the new staff at all.”

“Right now it is Colorado and Oregon as my top two. I would say that Iowa is third

Here's the link:

http://colorado.scout.com/a.z?s=148&...

Posted by Saheeb on December 7, 2007 at 9:14 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Paul Vigo a one-star/two-star (depending on which recruiting service) just committed. He's listed as an LB/ATH but played running back too. He allegedly has 4.5 speed and is 6'2 200. Wonder where they plan to use him. Anyhow, he's teammates with Brandon Smith, a 4-star Safety and 3-star DE Marquiss Hamm, both of whom we also want. Hope he brings his buddies to Boulder.

Posted by rodrigo on December 7, 2007 at 2:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Saheeb, you seem to have the line on the recruiting scene. Not sure where you get your info but thanks for keeping the rest of us in the loop.

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