We’re four weeks in to the college football season, and the Buffalo Bulls have shown every week why they will be in the hunt for a trip to Ford Field in December. Four wins with 35 or more points scored in each, explosive plays galore on offense, and the waxing of a Big Ten opponent in their own stadium have the Bulls riding high and earning votes in both the AP and Coaches polls this week.
With all of the accolades, and national media attention, the Bulls are truly entering uncharted territory ahead of their match-up on Saturday with the Army Black Knights. Going back to last season, the Bulls are now on a 7-game winning streak, tying the program’s FBS record set by the 2013-14 team. The Bulls are also off to their first 4-0 start in the program’s FBS history, and you have to go all the way back to the early 1980s the last time a Bulls squad was undefeated at this stage in the season. These are all accolades and accomplishments that, I believe, highlight the exemplary work the coaching staff and players have done to truly point the football program in a new direction going forward.
However, with the accolades, accomplishments, and new-found success, comes expectations. Outside of the 2013-14 team that featured future NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack, I can’t remember a time when the expectations for the football team were close to being this high in my time following the school.
These expectations put higher stakes on the table for the Bulls, for the rest of the season and especially for Saturday’s tilt against Army. By all accounts, the tickets for the Army game are going quickly, and according to Ticketmaster at the time of this writing, there are only tickets left for sale in the 300 levels of UB Stadium. This will likely mean the largest crowd at UB Stadium since the Baylor Bears came to town a few years ago. Unlike the game against Baylor, UB will play a meaningful game with a 5-0 start on the line heading into the meat of their conference schedule. What will also be on the line is the potential to win over new fans that could potentially start supporting the program on a weekly basis.
Winning has long been touted as the cure-all for the Bulls’ woes and with a packed crowd on hand Saturday for a match-up against a marquee opponent like Army, a win could go a long way toward galvanizing a local community that has been tepid in its support of the Bulls. I’ve seen several tweets and Facebook posts from folks that have purchased tickets to the game because the team is performing at the level it is, and for some Saturday will be their first time seeing a game live at UB Stadium.
What better way to show off the program to newcomers than a win over an Army team that took #5 Oklahoma to overtime last week?
If the Bulls continue to ride the recent wave of success into a victory against Army and more victories later in the season, community support may start to turn around as many Bulls faithful have hoped for for many years. With legitimate NFL talent, a reasonable price, and an exciting brand of football on the field, now is the time for the athletics department to strike while the iron is hot.