In 1958 the Bulls took a stand against racism, a stand that cost them a bowl game in Orlando. This season a -bowl in Orlando may need to pick an at large team because their contacted conferences won’t have enough teams.
It’s a second chance for Orlando and Buffalo to play the game which should have been played almost 60 years ago.
Blogfather’s note: Hat Tip to PromoRobot, who brought this to our attention.
Every Buffalo fan knows the story of the 1958 Buffalo Bulls and their team stand against the racism of their day. The late 50’s and early 60’s were a high water mark for UB Athletics; year after year they were winning and competitive.
But 1958 remains as the program's best season ever. The Bulls started the year by shocking Harvard and running through the year to an 8-1 record.
After the season they were awarded the Lambert Cup, as the best small college team in the eastern United States. That season, for the first time, the Bulls were invited to play in a Bowl Game, the 1958 Tangerine Bowl against Florida State.
Unfortunately the city of Orlando would not allow UB’s two African American players (defensive end Mike Wilson and half back Willie Evans) to play the game. Buffalo had a choice. Play without their teammates or don’t play at all.
The players voted to sit out the bowl game and it was 50 years until Buffalo, led by Turner Gill, would get another bowl invitation.
This year the American Athletic Conference has seven eligible teams for their seven bowls. With Memphis and UCF being the two highest ranked G5 teams it’s almost a certainty that the AAC will put their champion into one of the New Years bowls set aside for a G5 team.
That means one Bowl with an American conference tie in will go to the at large pool for a team.
History suggests that maybe Buffalo would be the right pick. It would give the Bulls and Orlando a chance to get acquainted, as they should have 59 years ago.