|Athletic director||Warde Manuel|
|Head coach||Jeff Quinn|
|Home stadium||UB Stadium|
|Stadium surface||Momentum Turf|
|Postseason bowl record||0–1|
|Claimed national titles||0|
|Conference titles||1 (2008)|
|Division titles||2 (2007, 2008)|
|Colors||Blue and White|
|Fight song||Victory March|
|Mascot||Victor E. Bull|
|Marching band||Thunder of the East|
|Rivals||Army Black Knights|
Bowling Green Falcons
Kent State Golden Flashes
The Buffalo Bulls football program is the intercollegiate American football team for the University at Buffalo located in the U.S. state of New York. The team competes at the NCAA Division I level in the Football Bowl Subdivision and is a member of the Mid-American Conference. Buffalo's first football team was fielded in 1894. The team plays its home games at the 31,000 seat UB Stadium on University at Buffalo's north campus in Amherst, New York. The team's main rival are the Temple Owls. The Bulls are coached by Jeff Quinn.
UB's first run with football started in 1894 and lasted until 1970, when the football program was suspended due to the student body's vote to stop funding the program. The football program was reintroduced in 1977. When reintroduced, the team played in Division III level football until 1992. In 1993, the school made the jump to Division I-AA. In 1999, the Bulls moved up again to Division I-A Bowl Subdivision level football.
The early years: 1894–1903
In 1894, UB established an athletics association and fourteen UB Medical students formed the first UB football team. This team played until 1903 with a record of 28-7-13. The team managed this despite lacking a coach for all but two of those years. In 1897, C. W. Dibble coached UB to a perfect 7-0-0 record and in 1903, Ray Turnbull led the UB team to a 3-3 record. After the 1903 season, UB would not again put a team on the field until 1915.
The UB Bisons: 1915–1930
In 1915, UB re-established the football program and instituted men's basketball. Both teams were named the 'Bisons' and used as their logo a caricature of a male American bison, often outfitted in a UB jersey. Frank Pleasant was called on to coach the football team but was replaced the following season after a 3-3 record. Art Powell would take over in 1916 and coach the team for six seasons (13-22-5). UB would go through two coaches in a span of two years - Jim Batterson in 1922 and James Bond in 1923 - before Russ Carrick would take over, serving five seasons despite winning only five games (while losing 30 and garnering two ties). The team would last be known as the Bisons under the command of Jay "Biffy" Lee, who coached for two seasons (until 1930), leading UB to a 8-7 record.
Welcome the Bulls: 1930–1942
In 1931, the University changed its mascot to the Bulls in order to distinguish UB from professional teams in the Queen City. The Bulls played every year until the outbreak of World War II mainly under the coaching guidance of Jim Peelle who was at the helm from 1935-1942 and would lead the Bulls to a 38-34-1 record including a 6-2 season in 1942.
Post-World War II: 1946–1954
After World War II, UB again took to the grid-iron under Jim Peelle, who led UB in two impressive seasons of 7-2 (1946) and 8-1 (1947), but were not selected to a bowl in either season. The program was next taken over by Frank Clair, who coached for two seasons, leaving with an impressive mark of 12-4-1. The following season represented one of the low points for UB when, under the guidance of coach Frtiz Febel, UB won only four games in three years with an overall record of 4-19-1.
Offenhamer era: 1955-1965
If the Febel season can be seen as one of the low points in UB football history, then Dick Offenhamer brought in UB's most successful era when from 1955 to 1965, he would coach UB to an impressive 58-37-5 record. In 1958, the football team won the Lambert Cup, emblematic of supremacy in Eastern U.S. small-college football. That led to the team's first bowl invitation, to the Tangerine Bowl in Orlando, Florida against Florida State University. But the Bulls would be allowed to participate only if back-up defensive end Mike Wilson and starting halfback Willie Evans, who were black, did not play. The team stood behind the two, and refused the bowl offer. The team was profiled on ESPN's Outside the Lines in 2008. Buffalo would not be invited to or be bowl-eligible for another 50 years.
Several UB football stars from the Offenhamer years went on to play professional football, including quarterback John Stofa with the American Football League's Miami Dolphins and Cincinnati Bengals, and defensive lineman Gerry Philbin with the AFL's New York Jets. Philbin is a member of the AFL Hall of Fame and the All-time All-AFL Team. Philbin and UB's Willie Ross were the first two UB graduates to play on professional football championship teams: Ross with the 1964 AFL Champion Buffalo Bills; and Philbin with the 1968 AFL Champion New York Jets, who went on to win Super Bowl III. They have been followed by Ramon Guzman who played on two Grey Cup Championship teams with the Montreal Alouettes and James Starks with the Super Bowl XLV champion Green Bay Packers.
Out with a whimper: 1965-1970
Following the departure of Offenhamer in 1965, UB would last only five more years before suspending football in 1970. There was some success under coach Doc Urich, who led UB to an 18-12 record over three years, but declining performance under his successor, Bob Deming (1969-1970) and financial issues would cause UB to suspend its football program. The main reason that football was dropped was that the student body voted to stop funding the team. At the time athletics at UB were fully funded by student fees. It would be seven years until UB would again take the field.
Division III football: 1977-1992
In 1977 UB began playing football at the Division III level under Coach Bill Dando, who would be the Bulls' longest serving coach, lasting thirteen years. UB had moderate success during his tenure, and he retired after the 1989 season. Sam Sanders would take over, but lasted only two seasons. His coaching career ended because of medical issues and Jim Ward was promoted because of a New York State hiring freeze and ushered in UB's return to Division I football.
Division I-AA (FCS): 1993-1998
UB's return to Division I football started in Division I-AA (known today as the Football Championship Subdivision). UB would have only one winning season during their time in I-AA. Under Coach Craig Cirbus, UB would go 8-3 in 1996. This would be UB's last season at or above .500 for a dozen years.
1999-2005: return to Division I-A (Football Bowl Subdivision)
In 1999 UB joined the Mid-American Conference in Division I-A (Football Bowl Subdivision) football. They retained their head coach from their I-AA seasons, Craig Cirbus. After a few years of dismal results, the team hired Jim Hofher a former head coach at Division I-AA Cornell University to be the head coach. However, Hofher's teams were marked by poor discipline and lack of effort, and won only 8 games during his five seasons at UB. Buffalo won only 10 games and lost 69 during this seven-year period, the second-worst record in the Football Bowl Subdivision during that time. A 2002 win on the road over Rutgers remains their only win against a BCS team.
2006-2009: Turner Gill era
In early December 2005, Hofher was replaced by Green Bay Packers assistant coach and former Heisman Trophy candidate Turner Gill. The former University of Nebraska quarterback led the program in a remarkable turnaround, helping the team to a 5-7 (5-3 MAC East divisional co-champions) in 2007, their best season since the school joined the MAC.
On November 21, 2008, the Buffalo Bulls won their first outright MAC Eastern Division Championship, sealing the win with a thrilling 2-OT victory over Bowling Green, 40-34. Down 27-7 at the beginning of the 4th quarter, the Bulls stormed back to tie the game at 27 and force it into overtime. In the second OT, running back James Starks ran 25 yards on the first play for a touchdown and a Bulls win. The quarterback coach for Bowling Green that day was former UB head coach Jim Hofher.
Following a loss to Kent State that broke a five-game winning streak for Buffalo, the Bulls entered the conference title game at 7-5, while MAC West champion Ball State was an unblemished 12-0. However, on December 5, at Ford Field in Detroit, Buffalo's defense returned two fumbles for touchdowns and the Bulls defeated the Cardinals, 42-24, to become Mid-American Conference champions for 2008. Their successful season earned the Bulls an invitation to the International Bowl in Toronto, Ontario to face Connecticut. The Bulls went on to lose that game to UConn by a score of 38-20.
2009 would not be as successful as Starks was lost before the season even started to a shoulder injury. The offense also struggled without four-year starting quarterback Drew Willy as new quarterback Zach Maynard had an up-and-down season as UB finished 5-7. After the season, Gill left to become head coach of Kansas.
2010-present: Jeff Quinn era
On December 20, 2009, it was first reported that Jeff Quinn would be the new head coach. He took over after coaching Cincinnati in the 2010 Sugar Bowl. In Quinn's first season as coach, he was unable to build upon Gill's success as UB finished the season 2-10.
Notable former players
Notable alumni include:
- Drew Haddad: Wide Receiver (Indianapolis Colts, 2001–2002; Buffalo Bills, 2004; San Diego Chargers, 2005)
- Ramon Guzman: Linebacker (Indianapolis Colts, 2007; Montreal Alouettes 2009–present)
- Trevor Scott: Defensive End (Oakland Raiders, 2008–present)
- Jamey Richard: Offensive Lineman (Indianapolis Colts, 2008–2011)
- Drew Willy: Quarterback (Indianapolis Colts, 2009; Las Vegas Locomotives, 2010)San Diego Chargers (2011)
- James Starks: Running Back (Green Bay Packers, 2010–present)
- Mike Newton: Safety (Indianapolis Colts, 2010)
- Naaman Roosevelt: Wide Receiver (Buffalo Bills, 2010–present)
- Josh Thomas: Cornerback (Carolina Panthers, 2011–present)
- Gerry Philbin: New York Jets 1964-1972, Philadelphia Eagles 1973, New York Stars (1974)
Current NFL players
|Buffalo Bulls in the NFL|
|NFL Draft selections|
|First picks in draft:||0|
|Hall of Famers:||0|
|Naaman Roosevelt||Wide Receiver||Buffalo Bills|
|Trevor Scott||Defensive End||Oakland Raiders|
|James Starks||Running Back||Green Bay Packers|
|Josh Thomas||Cornerback||Carolina Panthers|
- Statistics correct as of the end of the 2011-12 college football season
|NCAA Division I champions||Conference Champions||Division Champions||Bowl Eligible||Undefeated Season|
|Year||NCAA Division||Conference||Conference Division||Overall||Conference||Coach||Final Ranking|
|1926||N/A||New York State Conference||N/A||7||0||7||0||.000||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Russ Carrick||-|
|1927||N/A||New York State Conference||N/A||7||0||6||1||.071||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Russ Carrick||-|
|1928||N/A||New York State Conference||N/A||7||1||6||0||.143||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Russ Carrick||-|
|1929||N/A||New York State Conference||N/A||7||5||2||0||.714||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Jay Lee||-|
|1930||N/A||New York State Conference||N/A||8||3||5||0||.375||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Jay Lee||-|
|1931||N/A||New York State Conference||N/A||8||2||6||0||.250||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Pritchard||-|
|1932||N/A||New York State Conference||N/A||7||1||5||1||.214||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Jim Wilson||-|
|1933||N/A||New York State Conference||N/A||7||2||3||2||.429||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Jim Wilson||-|
|1934||N/A||New York State Conference||N/A||7||2||4||1||.357||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||George Van Bibber||-|
|1935||N/A||Independent||N/A||8||2||6||0||.250||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||George Van Bibber||-|
|1943||No team Due To World War II|
|1944||No team Due To World War II|
|1945||No team Due To World War II|
|1978||III||Division III Independent||N/A||9||3||6||0||.333||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1979||III||Division III Independent||N/A||9||4||5||0||.444||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1980||III||Division III Independent||N/A||11||6||5||0||.545||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1981||III||Division III Independent||N/A||10||5||5||0||.500||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1982||III||Division III Independent||N/A||10||5||5||0||.500||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1983||III||Division III Independent||N/A||10||8||2||0||.800||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1984||III||Division III Independent||N/A||10||6||4||0||.600||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1985||III||Division III Independent||N/A||10||4||6||0||.400||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1986||III||Division III Independent||N/A||11||9||2||0||.818||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1987||III||Division III Independent||N/A||10||3||7||0||.300||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1988||III||Division III Independent||N/A||10||2||8||0||.200||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1989||III||Division III Independent||N/A||10||4||6||0||.400||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Bill Dando||-|
|1990||III||Division III Independent||N/A||10||2||8||0||.200||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Sam Sanders||-|
|1991||III||Division III Independent||N/A||10||3||7||0||.300||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Sam Sanders||-|
|1992||III||Division III Independent||N/A||10||4||6||0||.400||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Jim Ward||-|
|1993||I-AA||Division I-AA Independent||N/A||11||1||10||0||.091||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Jim Ward||-|
|1994||I-AA||Division I-AA Independent||N/A||11||3||8||0||.273||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Jim Ward||-|
|1995||I-AA||Division I-AA Independent||N/A||11||3||8||0||.273||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Craig Cirbus||-|
|1996||I-AA||Division I-AA Independent||N/A||11||8||3||0||.727||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Craig Cirbus||-|
|1997||I-AA||Division I-AA Independent||N/A||11||2||9||0||.182||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Craig Cirbus||-|
|1998||I-AA||Division I-AA Independent||N/A||11||4||7||0||.364||0||0||0||0||.000||N/A||Craig Cirbus||-|
|1999||I-A||MAC||East||11||0||11||0||.000||8||0||8||0||.000||7th (East)||Craig Cirbus||-|
|2000||I-A||MAC||East||11||2||9||0||.182||8||2||6||0||.250||T-5th (East)||Craig Cirbus||-|
|2001||I-A||MAC||East||11||3||8||0||.273||8||1||7||0||.125||T-6th (East)||Jim Hofher||-|
|2002||I-A||MAC||East||12||1||11||0||.083||8||0||8||0||.000||7th (East)||Jim Hofher||-|
|2003||I-A||MAC||East||12||1||11||0||.083||8||1||7||0||.125||T-6th (East)||Jim Hofher||-|
|2004||I-A||MAC||East||11||2||9||0||.182||8||2||6||0||.250||T-5th (East)||Jim Hofher||-|
|2005||I-A||MAC||East||11||1||10||0||.091||8||1||7||0||.125||5th (East)||Jim Hofher||-|
|2006||FBS||MAC||East||12||2||10||0||.167||8||1||7||0||.125||6th (East)||Turner Gill||-|
|2007||FBS||MAC||East||12||5||7||0||.417||8||5||3||0||.625||T-1st (East)||Turner Gill||-|
|2008||FBS||MAC||East||14||8||6||0||.571||8||5||3||0||.625||1st (East)||Turner Gill||-|
|2009||FBS||MAC||East||12||5||7||0||.417||8||3||5||0||.375||5th (East)||Turner Gill||-|
|2010||FBS||MAC||East||12||2||10||0||.167||8||1||7||0||.125||T-5th (East)||Jeff Quinn||-|
|2011||FBS||MAC||East||12||3||9||0||.250||8||2||6||0||.250||6th (East)||Jeff Quinn||-|
All-time MAC records
- Statistics correct as of the end of the 2011-12 college football season
This table includes all MAC games from 1999, the year the Bulls joined the Mid-American Conference. It includes only games that were MAC conference games, and does not include postseason games.
|Opponent||Games||Win||Loss||Pct.||PF||PA||First Meeting||Last Meeting||Streak||Most recent win|
|Akron||13||4||9||.308||268||353||1999||2011||1 win||2011, 51-10|
|Ball State||6||0||6||.000||123||237||2000||2011||6 loss||-|
|Bowling Green||9||3||6||.333||209||290||2000||2011||1 loss||2010, 28-26|
|Central Florida (2002-2004)||3||1||2||.333||79||84||2002||2004||1 win||2004, 48-20|
|Central Michigan||6||1||5||.167||129||162||1999||2009||3 loss||2004, 36-6|
|Eastern Michigan||5||0||5||.000||102||150||2001||2011||5 loss||-|
|Kent State||11||5||6||.455||207||249||1999||2009||1 win||2009, 9-6|
|Marshall (1999-2004)||6||0||6||.000||82||280||1999||2004||6 loss||-|
|Miami University||13||2||11||.154||213||443||1999||2011||2 loss||2009, 42-17|
|Northern Illinois||6||0||6||.000||97||265||1999||2011||6 loss||-|
|Ohio||13||5||8||.385||297||375||1999||2011||1 win||2011, 38-37|
|Temple||5||2||3||.400||85||148||2007||2011||3 loss||2008, 30-28|
|Toledo||3||1||2||.333||87||127||2003||2007||1 win||2007, 43-33|
|Western Michigan||5||0||5||.000||114||175||1999||2009||5 loss||-|
- Statistics correct as of the end of the 2011-12 college football season
Following the 1995 season, the NCAA changed the rules to allow for overtime on games tied at the end of four quarters. Until that time, the Bulls had tied 28 times. Since then, Buffalo has participated in nine overtimes game and has won six of those games for a winning percentage of .667.
Buffalo vs. the BCS
Since 1999, the Bulls have played 28 regular season games and 1 postseason game against teams that are a member of one of the six conferences of the Bowl Championship Series, and have gone 1-29 all time against them (1-28 in the regular season, and 0-1 in the postseason). The Bulls have gone 0-2 against the ACC, 0-4 against the Big Ten, 0-3 against the Big 12, 1-17 against the Big East (0-1 in postseason play), and 0-2 against the SEC. The Bulls have yet to play against a team from the Pacific-12 Conference. This table includes only games with teams that were members of one of the six BCS conferences at the time the game indicated was played. The conferences indicated are also reflective of the conference the team was a member of at the time the game was played.
Buffalo has won one Mid-American Conference championship.