Since Tad Boyle arrived on campus, his Colorado men's basketball program generally has been regarded as the premier men's athletic program at the university.

On Saturday, though, the football team did something his squad hasn't done since 2012 by playing for a berth in the Pac-12 Conference championship game. Boyle has been a staunch supporter of the football team throughout the fall and hopes his club has been taking notes on what it might take to survive their own league schedule, which begins New Year's Day at Utah.

"It's the last game of the season and they're playing for a championship. If that can't inspire you I don't know what does," Boyle said. "We'd like to put ourselves in position to do it. If you watch the (basketball) league right now, nobody's invincible. UCLA hasn't lost yet, but there's chinks in their armor as their is in everybody's, ours included.

"It makes you feel like there's an opportunity where if we take care of business and play the way we're capable of playing, maybe we'll be in position to play for a championship. There's a long ways between now and then for basketball, but it's certainly been inspiring to see what those kids have done and it's fun to be a part of it."

Pat Rooney: or