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Gundy ‘Thrilled’ with Colorado Rejoining Big 12

Gundy gives props to Prime and Ralphie.



[Devin Wilber/PFB]

STILLWATER — Mike Gundy on Wednesday mentioned a few things that make Colorado an appealing addition to the Big 12: Prime, Ralphie and beer.

Colorado will rejoin the Big 12 ahead of next school year, and Gundy, the Big Eight’s all-time passing leader and current Oklahoma State coach, sounded excited to have the Buffaloes back in middle America’s conference.

“We’re thrilled to have Colorado,” Gundy said. “I actually need to reach out to Coach (Deion) Sanders and welcome them to the league. I haven’t done that yet. They fit in the Big 12. … Big 7, Big 8, Big 12, they’re right here. We grab that time zone.

“I remember going up there and they’d have snow pushed to the side of the field when we’d do our Friday walkthroughs. It’s a good setting. It’s a good setting for college football.”

Gundy also gave Ralphie her due. Ralphie is Colorado’s live mascot who has a tradition of running across the field ahead of games.

“They have a traditional mascot that’s cool,” Gundy said. “I used to watch him run out before the games. One, to make sure I wasn’t in his way because the guys that were holding on, they weren’t actually leading him. They were holding on. They couldn’t do anything if he went the wrong direction, honestly. “

Prime is still getting acquainted with Ralphie.

The Buffaloes haven’t been good on the football field really since leaving the Big 12. Entering this season, Colorado is 48-94 as a Pac-12 member in football. The Buffaloes are coming off a 1-11 season, one of two one-win seasons CU has had since joining the Pac in 2011.

With further expansion likely, the Big 12 doesn’t appear to be done. But even with Colorado’s on-the-field troubles since leaving the conference, Gundy sure does sound chipper about Colorado’s addition and where the league is going.

“But with what’s going on here with the realignment as it finishes up here over the next month — maybe a week — I think that they’re bringing some strength back,” Gundy said. “And I understand what’s happened the last X number of years record-wise, but I think the addition of [Sanders] there has generated a lot of excitement. And I think that has an advantage for this league from a marketability [standpoint] across the country. That’s what this comes down to, right? We’re trying to market so you can get sales so you can get ESPN and FOX to pay you money to play on TV.”

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