BOULDER, Colo. (CBS4)– The Colorado Buffaloes have a chance to finish the regular season with a perfect record for the first time since 1989 but they would still need help to qualify for their own conference championship game.
As confusing as that sounds, it’s because CU has had two scheduled conference games canceled due to COVID-19 issues in opponent programs, Arizona State in Boulder and at USC. USC’s only canceled conference game was the Nov. 28 bout against CU.READ MORE: Snow, Rain A Welcome Sight In Colorado But Drought Still A Big Problem
USC is 4-0 in conference play and a win over UCLA on Saturday the Trojans would have a 5-0 conference record and the Pac-12 South Title since CU could only possibly get four conference wins.
So, Colorado would need to beat the Utah Utes in the Rumble in the Rockies on Saturday at 10 a.m. and have USC lose to UCLA for the Buffs to advance to the Pac-12 Championship Game for the first time since 2016. Buffaloes head coach Karl Dorrell said he wouldn’t be “bitterly disappointed” if CU misses out on the Pac-12 Championship Game with a perfect record but he knows his team can only focus on what they can control.READ MORE: Colorado Community Uses 'The Social Dilemma' To Ignite Conversation About Unity, Change
“I have to go by what we have done with the opportunities we have had. We have to control this week and not really think about what is going on a week from now,” he said.
“We still want to compete for the conference championship,” he said. “The magnitude of the weeks, we are now in week five of the season for us, are vitally important for us to be in that picture. We are in pretty good shape. We need to take advantage of this opportunity that we are in. That is the goal of this week and the preparation in getting ready to play.”MORE NEWS: COVID In Denver: Vaccine Focus Continues In Underserved Communities
CU has seen a resurgence this year, being ranked No. 21 for the first time since 2018. The team is led by Nate Landman, who is a semifinalist for the Butkis Award, which is given to the nation’s top linebacker and running back Jarek Broussard, who ran for 301 yards last week against Arizona. Dorrell knows he needs both of his stars to play their best to beat Utah.
“We have to take care of this week. We know that is going to be a tough task. Utah is a really good team. We are a really good team. We have to play better. This is going to be a great test for us,” he said.