COLORADO SPRINGS — It took 45 years for CU and Air Force to get together on the football field again. If new AFA athletic director Nathan Pine has his druthers, the next gap won’t look anything like that once the current two-game series expires in 2022.
‘Yeah, we’d like to see if there are opportunities, in the “out” years, where we can line them up in quick succession like we did here,” Pine told The Denver Post Thursday at Sports Corp Football Kickoff Luncheon. “So (we’d) potentially get that game back on the schedule.”
Pine, who was hired last December, had a “get-to-know-you” conversation with CU athletic director Rick George in the spring, and said both sides agreed to see if they could make a date for another series in the near future. The Buffs host the Falcons on Sept. 14 in the first meeting between the two programs since 1974; CU will visit the Academy in 2022.
“And so I think it’s something that we’re going to continue to explore,” Pine said.
The programs met 16 times from 1958-74, with the Buffs winning 12 times, including the last five. But political tensions during the latter stages of the Vietnam War made for tense visits north for AFA officials and cadets. Falcons brass vowed thereafter to keep their distance, although time has healed old wounds, and AFA coach Troy Calhoun has long lobbied to get CU on his schedule on at least a semi-regular basis.
“There’s a lot of interest in seeing these games being played again,” Pine stressed. “So that the important thing is not the history of why it’s been so long before we were (playing) again — but the fact that we’re at this point, we’re going to have these games, at least over the next couple years, is really important.”
CU’s non-conference slate is booked up through at least 2028 and the program is presently lining up dates through at least 2034. Air Force tentatively has windows open after the fall of 2023.
Calhoun, a former Air Force quarterback, admitted that the non-league slots for the Falcons, given obligations to Army and Navy, and the Buffs, given the desire from Pac-12 for member schools to schedule “up,” make consistent meetings difficult.h2 data-curated-ids="" data-relation-type="automatic-primary-tag"">
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“They have three non-conference games and we have two, and so it’s just, when it comes to matchups, and one of (their) three is almost always — and understandably so — with Colorado State. So now they’re down to two and we’re down to two.”
On a lighter note, the Falcons coach opined that first-year CU coach Mel Tucker was walking into a situation in Boulder similar to the one Terry Bowden inherited at Auburn in 1993, when Pat Dye left his successor a 5-5-1 squad and a two-year postseason ban. The Tigers would post an 11-0 mark in Bowden’s first season and finished 20-1-1 over his first two seasons at the helm.
“Even just nine months ago, (the Buffs) were 5-0 and ranked 18th in the country and darn near all those guys are back,” Calhoun said. “And really, golly, if you had to say, has anybody inherited a situation that’s similar? I’d say 1993, what Pat Dye left in Auburn, when Terry Bowden came in at Auburn. I mean, just the talent level and what they did right out of the gates, (what) they have — it’s impressive, it really is.”
Source : https://www.denverpost.com/2019/07/11/rick-george-nathan-pine-cu-buffs-air-force-football-rivalry-renew-schedule-2022/720