There was so much hype surrounding this game that fans may not have seen a blowout coming. Originally, this game was to be played during the day, but due to its attractiveness, ABC picked it up and used it as part of their Saturday night lineup. Even without Brent Musburger and ABC, the game had built in hype. Both teams were ranked in the top 25, it was the season opener for both teams, Colorado and Wisconsin were both coming off New Years Day bowl victories and once again, the game was at night. Electricity is high in Madison for every game. But, give the fans an entire day to party? Camp Randall was rockin’ and ready for this contest. Many teams are accustomed to having every game nationally televised. Wisconsin was just getting used to it and Barry Alvarez was the physician who breathed life back into the program.
On the other sideline was Coach Rick Neuheisel in his first game as Colorado coach. Being born in Madison, this game had special appeal to him, as well. All of this excitement led to a great build up. It was still summer, so there were no cool breezes to be had. Due to the sticky heat of the evening, the band was wearing light sweaters as opposed to their wool uniforms. Another surprise in attire came when the Badgers took the field. They had completely different uniforms. A huge “W” on the shoulder highlighted a new striped design along the side of the jersey.
The stage was set for revenge since the Buffaloes stampeded the Badgers the year prior in Boulder. A program as well known and respected as Colorado seemed out of place on the turf at Camp Randall. Their gold helmets and black uniforms were intimidating. But, once again, Wisconsin was not yet used to being a contender themselves. Unfortunately, this night was not the time to prove it. Colorado nabbed a quick 10-0 lead. Wisconsin’s Darrell Bevell scored on a short run to the corner of the endzone to cut the lead to three. However, that would be the last cheerful moment for Wisconsin. Fumbles and mistakes sunk the Badgers deeper into a hole. The final score in a quiet Camp Randall was 43-7.
During the game, we sat with Sam Veit, punter for Wisconsin during their Rose Bowl run in 1993. My parents are friends with the Veits, so we all sat together. I remember asking him what Colorado’s stadium was like. He replied by saying that the ball travels a lot further due to the altitude. I wasn’t really interested in physics. I was more intrigued by their traditions and game atmosphere. I suppose as a player, you don’t see too much of that. But, perhaps this was the conception of my idea for a tour. My interest in other venues was expanding and despite the blowout, I really enjoyed seeing a national power like Colorado. Maybe Sam Veit was unable to answer my question about Colorado’s stadium, but I do remember one other thing that he said as the Badgers were being annihilated – “They’ll never wear those jerseys again.” He was right. I still haven’t seen them. Something tells me that the locker room’s incinerator did not go hungry that night.