Buffs, Falcons still trying to work out deal to meet in football

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) Dan Hawkins would gladly welcome the scheduling of Air Force with a caveat the Falcons have to scrap their option offense.

``I'm not going to lie to you: who wants to go up against that offense for one game?'' the University of Colorado second-year coach said Tuesday at a football kickoff luncheon. ``I'll have to see how much option offense (new Falcons football coach Troy Calhoun) wants to keep doing.''

The Buffaloes and Falcons have talked about reviving their rivalry on the football field, but it's become a difficult proposition. The two sides haven't played since Colorado beat Air Force 28-27 on Oct. 5, 1974, and even under the best circumstances wouldn't face each other for another four years. Colorado leads the all-time series 12-4.

``I won't give up on this,'' Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh said.

Neither will Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn.

``I think Front Range games are important,'' Bohn said. ``But it's really a challenge to pull it all together.''

The Buffaloes' schedule is booked through the 2014 season. Although, the team could potentially add a 13th game in 2011 or swap out Colorado State for Air Force. Colorado's contract with the Rams expires after the 2010 meeting and Bohn said he could envision a scenario where the Falcons take Colorado State's place from time to time.

``That's something we'd explore a little bit,'' Bohn said.

The Buffaloes' big push these days is for more television exposure, which they'll receive plenty of with three straight nationally televised games to begin the 2007 season. The opener on Sept. 1 against Colorado State will be carried by FSN with a 10 a.m. kickoff.

Colorado's next two games at Arizona State (Sept. 8) and back home against Florida State (Sept. 15) will both be in front of a national audience.

``We're fortunate to have a head football coach who believes in (television exposure) and is willing to compete at the highest level,'' Bohn said.

Mueh wants to see a deal get ironed out. After all, it was good for basketball. The Falcons renewed their rivalry with Colorado on the court last season, with Air Force going into Coors Events Center in November and blowing out the Buffaloes. It was the first meeting in basketball since Dec. 5, 1979.

And now there's some bad blood, at least among some fans. Hoops coach Jeff Bzdelik defected from Air Force to Colorado following one of the Falcons' most storied seasons. Bzdelik and the Buffaloes will come into Clune Arena next season at an as of yet undetermined date.

``Jeff did great things for our program,'' Mueh said. ``He'll always been a big part of Air Force basketball. There are some of our fans who haven't forgiven him for leaving. It will be noisy. It will be fun.''

Colorado had a home-and-home football series lined up with North Carolina in 2008 and 2009, but the Tar Heels opted out. So the Buffaloes lined up West Virginia to take the spots on the schedule, with ESPN helping to facilitate the deal. Both games could be on either ABC or a cable outlet.

The Buffaloes also have home games scheduled against Eastern Washington (2008), Wyoming (2009), Hawaii (2010) and Georgia (2010).

Colorado is currently trying to get Florida State to move the game scheduled for Sept. 20, 2008, up a week. That way, Colorado doesn't have to play at the Seminoles and then host West Virginia and Texas in three consecutive weeks.

``We'll see,'' Bohn said. ``Florida State has been incredibly supportive in the past.''

The Falcons have made attempts to buy their way out of already contracted games in an effort to line up a contest with Colorado, but the price was too steep. Mueh said the cost to get out of a 2011 engagement with Wake Forest was $500,000.

``No way we could do that,'' Mueh said. ``Right now, (a matchup with Colorado) is not working. Some things will have to fall off the table in order for that to work.''

Yet Mueh remains hopeful.

``It's time for us to get back together,'' he said.

(Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)