AMHERST — Until last week, University at Buffalo football coach Jeff Quinn had never heard of C.W. Dibble, let alone realized the two suddenly shared a few things in common.
"I'm sorry," Quinn said, when Dibble's name was brought up. "Who is this gentleman?"
Why Dibble, of course, in 1897 — that's not a misprint — was the first Buffalo coach to win seven consecutive games in a single season. Quinn now happens to be the second.
"Oh, very good, C.W. I did not go back that far in my archives," Quinn said, breaking into a smile. "He was a great coach because, obviously, winning seven in a row (puts us) in the same company."
Quinn was joking in drawing the comparison, and yet it's time to start taking the Bulls seriously during a season in which they're making several dents in the school record book.
The Bulls (7-2, 5-0 Mid-American Conference) are off to their best start since a 9-2 finish in 1986, when they were members of the ECAC.
Following a 30-3 win over Ohio last week, they've won seven straight to enjoy their longest winning streak since a seven-game stretch spanning the 1958-59 seasons.
And only Dibble's squad won that many in a row in the same season with a 7-0 finish 116 years ago. It was a perfect season that featured wins over Western Reserve, Hobart and Union in the first year of William McKinley's first term as president.
The seven wins this season are the Bulls second-most since joining the MAC in 1999. And the Bulls are one win shy of matching the 8-6 finish the Turner Gill-coached team had in 2008, when Buffalo won its lone conference championship and qualified for its first bowl game in 50 years.