Playing in a near blizzard Saturday at Ames, Iowa, 15th-ranked Colorado came from behind to beat Iowa State, 17-14, and clinch at least a tie for its third consecutive Big Eight Conference championship.
Colorado, which won its last three games by a total of 12 points, becomes the first Big Eight school other than Nebraska and Oklahoma to win or share three consecutive titles. But the Buffaloes must wait until Friday’s Nebraska-Oklahoma game to learn their bowl fate.
If Oklahoma wins, Colorado, 8-2-1 overall and 6-0-1 in the Big Eight, wins the conference title outright and goes to the Orange Bowl for the third consecutive year.
If Nebraska wins, the 11th-ranked Cornhuskers tie Colorado for the title and get the Orange Bowl berth by virtue of being the higher-ranked team.
Colorado would go to the Blockbuster Bowl.
“This team is special,” said quarterback Darian Hagan, who led the Buffaloes to a 20-0-1 Big Eight record in his three years as a starter. “We have found a way to win when we needed to. We have had to overcome a lot this season, but we did it.
“That’s because we never gave up, no matter who we played. We played hard all season long.”
Colorado took the lead in the third quarter on the 27th touchdown pass of Hagan’s career, tying Steve Vogel’s school record.
Colorado freshman Lamont Warren gained a season-high 168 yards in 21 carries against Iowa State (3-7-1, 1-5-1), which led, 14-10, at halftime.
Kansas State 36, Oklahoma State 26--Eric Gallon rushed for 176 yards in a Big Eight game at Stillwater, Okla., as Kansas State (7-4, 4-3) won seven games for the first time since 1954. Oklahoma State is 0-10-1, 0-6-1.
Kansas State finished fourth in the conference, its best finish since 1982.