Steamboat Springs For Chuck Samtistevin and Michael Martinez, things were not supposed to end like this.
Sitting at the Tap House Sports Grill with the University of Colorado Buffs down 28-7 entering the fourth quarter, only one word described how they felt: Shocked.
"I was expecting them to walk away ahead 13 to 14 points," Samtistevin, a CU alumnus, said.
For the two men who had come to Steamboat from Denver, things were suppose to end with a Buffs' victory and CU sharing the national championship with Nebraska. But Samtistevin and Martinez were not the only ones who sat stunned at the Tap House as the Oregon Ducks blew past the Buffs 38-16 Tuesday night to destroy CU fans' hopes of a national championship.
While the Tap House was a full house for the Fiesta Bowl's 2:30 p.m. kickoff time, the crowd started thinning when the Buffs were down 21-7 at halftime.
In a Buffs hat, Ben Beall remained a loyal fan as he watched the game until the bitter end. Beall and Mike Davenport, both Steamboat locals who now attend CU, said it just was not the Buffs' day.
"They started off slow. There were a couple of calls that didn't go our way. Especially when they called back that touchdown," Beall said. He was referring to a call on a pass by quarterback Bobby Pesavento to Derek McCoy in the end zone, which ruled that the quarterback was past the line of scrimmage when he threw the ball.
With Tuesday's loss, Martinez, whose daughter goes to CU, is hoping Nebraska will lose to Miami on Thursday in the Rose Bowl.
"We don't like them, we hate Nebraska," Martinez said.
But, Martinez and Samtistevin both admit they would have cheered for Nebraska if things had gone the other way for the Buffs. A Buffs' and Huskers' win during the bowl games would have meant a chance for the Buffs to share the national title.
Beall and Davenport shared similarly strong opinions of the Huskers. Both CU students were in the stands when the Buffaloes rolled over Nebraska 62-36 and Davenport made the long drive to Texas to watch the Buffs' 39-37 win over the Longhorns.
Although Davenport said even if a Nebraska win on Thursday would mean CU held the prestige of being the only team to beat the national champion, he still wants the Huskers to lose.
Despite Steamboat's strong ties to CU, a few dissenters could be found watching the game. An Oregon alumnus, Seth Koch, who came to Steamboat from Alaska on a two-month vacation, sat beside a Buffs fan.
"I'm always up for a close game, but I'm glad the Ducks won," Koch said.