Heading into today’s contest at Arizona State, the Colorado football team appears to be as concerned about the mercury level as the talent level of the Sun Devils.
The forecasted high temperature is 105 degrees, but it should be at least slightly cooler by the 7:28 p.m. kickoff.
CU is preparing for the hot conditions by hydrating heavily — linemen have been instructed to consume a gallon of a sports drink a day.
Also, many players will wear a water-filled cooling vest under their pads during the game.
Cornerback Jalil Brown attended Phoenix South Mountain High.
“The guys asked me, 'When you play in that kind of heat, do you fall out or anything?’ ” Brown told the Denver Post.
“I tell them, 'I won’t lie; it’s going to be hot. But you have to combat that.’
“I just tell them to stay hydrated and pretty much stay off their feet as much as they can.”
When an opposing team comes into Sun Devil Stadium for an early-season game, its fretting about the heat can potentially become a bigger issue than the heat itself.
Last year, Oregon spent time worrying about the weather in the days before a 12:30 p.m. contest in Tempe on Sept. 30.
“The temperature will be a major issue for us,” Ducks coach Mike Bellotti said then. “We are playing in the heat of the day, which will be a challenge to our players. I feel good about the conditioning aspect of our team, but we will be tested in this game.”
And when kickoff came, the Ducks were tested in the Tempe heat like “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire” contestants are tested with the $100 question.
The temperature of 101 degrees was more than three times the passing yardage compiled by ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter, and Oregon cruised to a 48-13 win.
The other sweltering games in Tempe in recent seasons: Oct. 1, 2005, against Southern California (99 degrees), Oct. 11, 2003, against Oregon (92), Oct. 4, 2003, against USC (94) and Sept. 28, 2002, against Stanford (94).
The Sun Devils beat Oregon and Stanford but lost to USC twice, giving them a 2-3 record in those supposedly opponent-wilting heat contests.
As the saying goes, both teams have to play in it.
“It’s something you just have to live through,” Colorado coach Dan Hawkins said. “Hydrate and live through it.”