TUCSON, Ariz. -- Even though the 1999 Insight.com Bowl was one of the most lopsided postseason contests ever, both teams found something positive in it.
For Colorado, a 62-28 victor over Boston College, the immediate benefit of the game Friday night might be to take over the Eagles' No. 25 ranking.
"The rankings are out of our control, but we had a little sign in our locker room that had "1999 Finals Rankings" with a question mark by it," Buffaloes coach Gary Barnett said. "We knew this was our only chance to get that question mark changed to a number."
If excess impresses voters, the Buffs should get a look. They had a 45-7 halftime lead, and set an Insight.com record for points. If tradition helps, Colorado has a leg up there, too, after winning its sixth bowl game in a row -- the longest active streak in the country -- and scoring in all four quarters to run its postseason scoring streak to 15.
But quarterback Mike Moschetti wasn't happy with his senior season.
"We're 7-5, so it wasn't a great year," he said. "What difference does it make if you're No. 25 or not ranked at all? But it's something to build on, and we have a lot of young guys."
Until Boston College scored twice in the fourth quarter, Colorado was threatening Alabama's all-time margin of victory in a 61-6 rout of Syracuse in the 1953 Orange Bowl. The worst loss in the Eagles' 11-game bowl history shellshocked many players, but coach Tom O'Brien put a forward-looking spin on it.
"I want it to carry over for the young kids that played this game," said O'Brien, who took over a program rocked by a gambling scandal in which 13 players were suspended and turned it around for a bowl invitation in three years.
"They have to understand that this is the level we've got to get to, and we have to be a much better team than we were," O'Brien said. "My only regret is that we couldn't do a better job the last two games for these seniors that played so hard and so well. We're still 8-4, and there ain't a ton of eight-win teams out there."
The Eagles lost their season finale to No. 2 Virginia Tech and ended in a two-game skid, a memory that will motivate tailback Cedric Washington.
"We just want to get back here next year and redeem ourselves," said Washington, a 1,122-yard rusher who was held to 30 yards in 16 carries. "I didn't have a good game, and that's something that's probably going to stick with me the rest of my life."
Everything went right for Colorado's Cortlen Johnson.
Johnson ran for 201 yards and two touchdowns in 15 carries, setting up two other TDs with 30- and 49-yard runs.
He expects his offseason to be more of the same -- weights to gain strength and put a few extra pounds on his 5-foot-9, 195-pound frame. It's what Johnson did last year at the suggestion of running backs coach John Wristen.
"He just told me, 'You're our guy, but there's a couple of things we want you to do in the offseason,"' Johnson said. "Like get strong in the upper body and put on some weight. Now I take it as a challenge -- any guy they recruit has to come in and compete with me."
The Buffaloes could lose cornerback Ben Kelly to the NFL. He plans to decide soon whether to leave for the draft.
Kelly scored the seventh kick-return TD of his career when he took back a punt a bowl-record 88 yards for the score that made it 35-7 in the second quarter.
Colorado also had two interception returns for scores in the first half, one off Tim Hasselbeck and the other off Brian St. Pierre.
"We tried to hang in there, but when you're down 38 at halftime it's tough," Hasselbeck said.