'The Rise' series documents Buffs' re-birth

Documentary chronicles 'The Rise' . 9NEWS at 5 a.m. 11/25/16.

BOULDER - After years of being written off as irrelevant, the University of Colorado football team is coming close to a Babe Ruth-style called shot with their 2016 season.

Fewer people might know about it but for the Emmy-winning CU Video crew, who have given Buffs fans a front row seat to what's become known as “The Rise.”

CU Video’s John Snelson, Jamie Guy and company are producing a visually stunning documentary series for the PAC-12 Network, also called “The Rise."

Snelson and his team didn't coin the moniker. He says that was the recruitment branch of the athletics department, but they share some of the credit for making it popular.

The series tracks the team from pre-season when Coach Mike MacIntyre and his ragtag crew predicted a  the team's first winning season in years, to Colorado’s latest fist-pumping victories.

From the practice field to the locker room, CU Video captures a team that MacIntyre insists is the mature product he's worked toward in his tenure.

After a skin-of-the-teeth win over UCLA in episode 4, quarterback Sefo Liufau apologizes to the locker room for his sloppy play.

"I won't let it happen again," Liufau insists.

As the 9-2 Buffaloes rack up wins, a previously skeptical student section has given way to a full embrace of the storyline.

During the UCLA game, hundreds of students spelled “THE RISE” with cards in the stands.

The marching band made a nod to the movement on the field.

Even elite sports pundits, the people who previously wrote off the team, are now relishing the catch-phrase, "The Rise is real."

And it might be. The Buffs are bowl eligible after a near decade-long drought. A win against Utah Saturday puts CU in contention for a PAC-12 championship.

CU Video's traction on the series mirrors the team's success.

Snelson's team started expanding beyond practice videos a few years ago with copying YouTube videos they thought looked cool. Now they've won three Emmy Awards.

"To finally come to where CU Video and 'the Rise' are something people talk about, it's pretty amazing," Snelson said.

Snelson says they'll release episode 5 on December 1st. They hope to continue the series through the Rose Bowl if the Rise is indeed real.

You can watch episodes here: https://vimeo.com/cuvideo

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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