Christian Powell flashed a big grin when asked about the significance of the Colorado football team's 41-24 win against California on Saturday.

"You can feel it in the locker room," Powell said. "Everybody loves it.

"There's still hope for making a bowl game."

The victory at Folsom Field was a big one for a football program that has seen way too many disappointing losses than it cares to remember. It was also big because it brought a nice end to a fairly perfect weekend for the Colorado athletic program.

It all started on Friday in Riverdale, Utah.

Ranked No. 1 in the country, the CU men's cross country team finished second in the NCAA Mountain Regional, earning an automatic trip to the NCAA championships. The women's team, meanwhile, pulled off an upset to win the regional title and earn an automatic berth of their own.

The cross country teams were still in celebration mode when coach Linda Lappe's women's basketball team took the court in the home opener at Coors Events Center on Friday night. Not a lot of drama, but plenty of smiles in that 83-33 rout of Alcorn State.

That started what turned out to be a marathon 24 hours for many in the CU athletic department. Some staffers actually slept at the Coors Events Center on Friday night. Others were well into their day before the sun came up Saturday morning.

By 9 a.m. on Saturday, free bacon was being handed out to CU basketball fans, who then were treated to the men's basketball team thumping Jackson State, 94-70. Tad Boyle's team put together an all-around team effort to win its third straight game.


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Shortly after the football game started at 3:30 p.m., the Colorado women's soccer team kicked off in its first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008. Going against 15th-ranked Denver, the Buffaloes were underdogs, having been outscored by the Pioneers 7-1 in their two meetings the past two years.

With seven minutes to play, Fairview High School graduate Anne Stuller scored the lone goal of the game, lifting the soccer team to the 1-0 upset.

All that was left was the football team, and the Buffs did their part, too, dominating Cal to snap a 14-game losing streak against Pac-12 Conference foes.

There have been few weekends like this one in CU sports history. In fact, it had been almost exactly 15 years since the men's basketball team and football team won on the same day. It last happened on Nov. 14, 1998.

For the basketball programs, the weekend wins were nice non-conference victories that Lappe and Boyle hope springboard their teams to bigger things down the road.

For the cross country and soccer teams, it was a huge weekend that could lead to national title chases in the coming weeks.

And, for the football team? Well, it's hard to really quantify what this meant to the Buffaloes.

Of all the programs that competed on Saturday, the football team is the one that has been down the most difficult road.

Yet, like the others, the football Buffs are hoping this day leads to brighter days in the future.

As Powell expressed, hope is alive in the CU locker room. The Buffs have four wins and with two games to play they are thinking about going to a bowl game.

Whether the Buffs can actually pull it off and get the wins they need, well, that's to be determined on another day.

On this day, it was just good to be a Colorado Buffalo.

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.