Mountain West sets bowl slate for 2014-19 … Champion to play a Pac-12 team in Las Vegas
From the Mountain West Conference … The Mountain West announced its bowl agreements for the six-year cycle beginning after the 2014 regular season, adding flexibility and diversity to its postseason alignment. The 12-team league, which includes Boise State, is finalizing agreements with eight bowl games that will give it six or seven postseason opportunities each season.
The Mountain West has primary deals with the:
• Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, Texas (vs. Big Ten);
• Famous Idaho Potato Bowl in Boise;
• Gildan New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque;
• R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl;
• Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl (first choice);
• San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl;
• Sheraton Hawaii Bowl in Honolulu
And a secondary agreement with the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.
The league could also send a team to the new College Football Playoff. The highest-rated conference champion among the Mountain West, Conference USA, Sun Belt, Mid-American Conference and American Athletic Conference, as determined by a new 13-member committee, will earn a spot in one of six College Football Playoff games.
The Mountain West will play in the Armed Forces Bowl twice in the six-year cycle. It will play in the Las Vegas five times and Hawaii five times. It will play in the other games, including Boise’s Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, each year from 2014-19.
The Las Vegas bowl will have the first choice. After that, the league and bowls will work together to determine which team plays in which game.
The Mountain West will also work to fill slots in eight other ESPN Regional Television-owned games.
“We are excited about this new bowl model,” Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson in a statement. “The flexibility it offers helps maximize the best interests of our member institutions, coaches, student-athletes, fans and bowl partners.”
Ryan Severson, Nelson Spruce, and Alex Wood added to injured list
TB – Josh Ford – ankle – suffered a high ankle sprain (Aug. 11), underwent surgery (Aug. 19), returning to limited action – OUT/1-3 WEEKS
OL – Jeromy Irwin – foot – suffered a broken bone in his foot doing yard work at a friend’s house (July 30) – OUT/2-3 WEEKS
FB – Clay Jones – neck – suffered a neck sprain against Central Arkansas (Sept. 7) – OUT/2-3 WEEKS
ILB – Ryan Severson – hamstring – first slightly injured at Oregon State (Sept. 28), played versus Oregon but missed ASU – DAY-TO-DAY
WR – Nelson Spruce – knee – suffered a sprain against Arizona State (Oct. 12) – QUESTIONABLE
TE – Alex Wood – concussion – suffered against Arizona State (Oct. 12) – DAY-TO-DAY
Out for the season:
DB – Josh Moten – Achilles – suffered initially in late May, was rehabbing and recently reinjured it a second time (late July) OUT/SEASON
PK – Justin Castor – hip – suffered an avulsion (severe flexor strain on Aug. 21) and may require surgery OUT/SEASON
S – Terrel Smith – shoulder – underwent surgery on Sept. 5 to mend a chronic injury and will redshirt OUT/SEASON
OLB – Tommy Papilion – knee – suffered a torn ACL in the spring game (Apr. 13); he has elected to be a student coach OUT/SEASON
Odds-makers: Oregon now co-favorite to win the national championship
From SportingNews.com … Oregon is now the co-favorite to win this season’s BCS Championship Game, according to odds posted at the LVH SuperBook.
The Ducks, 45-24 winners in Washington on Saturday, had their price adjusted from 9-to-4 last week to 8-to-5 currently. Alabama’s odds were also shortened, from 2-to-1 to 8-to-5. The Tide outgained Kentucky by nearly 500 yards this weekend, en route to a 48-7 win.
While the LVH has not opened wagering on any potential BCS title games, SuperBook assistant manager Ed Salmons told The Linemakers on Sporting News Monday morning that Alabama would lay a short price against Oregon.
“I’d say you’re looking at Alabama a short favorite, maybe two-and-a-half,” Salmons said.
South Point last month opened ‘Bama as 3.5-point favorites in a potential championship game against Oregon; the Golden Nugget hung -3 (-120).
Stanford, after being upset by Utah, 27-21, in Salt Lake City, dropped way down the LVH board, as the Cardinal’s price was adjusted from 12-to-1 to 100-to-1.
“Stanford’s (practically) eliminated with that loss,” added Salmons “This year there’s going to be teams like Louisville and Ohio State that are probably going to go undefeated, and I don’t see how they’re going to pass those teams (even if they win the Pac-12).
“I guess if enough losses happen, it could happen. Things always seem to get crazy toward the end of the year – it happens (almost) every year, so I’ll never say never.”
Oregon visits Stanford on Thursday, Nov. 7. The Ducks are 11-point favorites in that contest on the LVH’s list of college football games of the year. That’s an adjustment from -9.5 a week ago.
The SEC, which put a record eight teams in this week’s AP top 25, had a pair of big upward movers in Vegas, too: LSU, which beat Florida, 17-6, in Baton Rouge Saturday, and Texas A&M, which survived at Ole Miss, 41-38.
The Tigers, now 15-to-1 to win the BCS title, have a tough road ahead, with games against two of those ranked conference foes still on the schedule. The LVH has them as 8-point dogs Nov. 9 at Alabama, and as 6.5-point favorites at home vs. Johnny Manziel and A&M on Nov. 23. LSU also has to travel to Ole Miss this week and opened as a 7.5-point favorite at the Wynn.
Missouri, meanwhile, got a big win in Georgia on Saturday but suffered a rather devastating injury, as QB James Franklin separated his shoulder and is expected to miss six weeks. Mizzou’s price at the LVH doubled to 200-to-1.
Here are the most recent odds to win the BCS posted at the LVH. Odds as of last Monday, if changed, are listed in parentheses.
ODDS TO WIN BCS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, PASADENA, MONDAY, JAN. 6, 2014 ALABAMA 8-5 (2-1) OREGON 8-5 (9-4) OHIO ST 5-1 BAYLOR 6-1 FLORIDA ST 10-1 CLEMSON 12-1 LSU 15-1 (30-1) LOUISVILLE 30-1 TEXAS A&M 40-1 (100-1) UCLA 40-1 STANFORD 100-1 (12-1) SOUTH CAROLINA 100-1 (200-1) MISSOURI 200-1 (100-1) FRESNO ST 1000-1 TEXAS TECH 1000-1 OKLAHOMA 1000-1 (30-1) GEORGIA 1000-1 (25-1) OKLAHOMA ST 2000-1 (1000-1) MICHIGAN 9999-1 (40-1) FLORIDA 9999-1 (200-1) WASHINGTON 9999-1 (1000-1) TEXAS 9999-1 NOTRE DAME 9999-1 USC 9999-1 OREGON ST 9999-1 ARIZONA ST 9999-1 NEBRASKA 9999-1 BYU 9999-1 VIRGINIA TECH 9999-1 ARIZONA 9999-1 BOISE ST 9999-1 MICHIGAN ST 9999-1 UTAH 9999-1 WISCONSIN 9999-1 NORTHWESTERN 9999-1 AUBURN 9999-1 IOWA 9999-1 FIELD 40-1
CU men’s basketball to conduct an open scrimmage Saturday morning
From CUBuffs.com … The University of Colorado men’s basketball team will open its doors at the Coors Events Center this Saturday, Oct. 19 for an intra-squad scrimmage from 9-10:30 a.m.
The scrimmage is free and open to the public. Doors open at 8:30 a.m.
The CU women’s basketball team will also have an open scrimmage from 10:30-11:30 a.m.
Fans can come and watch the 2013-2014 Buffaloes as they prepare for another exciting basketball season. The season opener is four weeks away with a showdown against nationally ranked Baylor, Nov. 8 at the American Airlines Center in Dallas.
The home opener is Sunday, Nov. 10 against UT Martin at 4 p.m.
On Saturday, the campus parking lots will be set up for the football game and fans are encouraged to walk over to Folsom Field at the conclusion of the basketball scrimmage to watch the Buffs take on undefeated Charleston Southern at noon.
Colorado/Arizona to kickoff at 6:00 p.m. on October 26th
The Pac-12 Conference has released television selections for football games to be played Saturday, Oct. 26, including contests on Pac-12 Networks, the ESPN family of networks and FOX. TV networks and kick-off times are as follows:
Oct. 26, 2013, Pac-12 football
Utah at USC, 1 p.m. PT/2 p.m. MT, Pac-12 Networks
UCLA at Oregon, 4 p.m. PT, ESPN or ESPN2 (network designation will be made Oct. 19/20)
Arizona at Colorado, 5 p.m. PT/6 p.m. MT,
Pac-12 Networks Stanford at Oregon State, 7:30 p.m. PT, ESPN
California at Washington, 8 p.m. PT, FOX Sports 1
Arkansas athletic director to chair playoff selection committee
From ESPN … Arkansas Razorbacks athletic director Jeff Long has been named the first chairman of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
A news conference will be held Wednesday in Dallas to announce the committee’s members.
ESPN and The Associated Press have identified the other 12 members of the committee as:
• Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez
• Retired Lt. Gen. Michael Gould, a former Air Force Academy superintendent
• USC athletic director Pat Haden
• Former NCAA executive vice president Tom Jernstedt
• West Virginia athletic director Oliver Luck
• Former NFL and Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning
• Former Nebraska athletic director/coach Tom Osborne
• Clemson athletic director Dan Radakovich
• Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
• Former Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese
• Former USA Today reporter Steve Wieberg
• Former Stanford/Notre Dame/Washington coach Tyrone Willingham
The selection committee will choose the four teams that advance to the College Football Playoff beginning after the 2014 regular season, as well as rank and place at-large teams in the noncontract New Year’s Day bowls — the Cotton, Fiesta and Chick-fil-A.
Sefo Liufau to start against Charleston-Southern
From CUBuffs.com … The nature of the position puts it squarely under the microscope, a fact Mike MacIntyre didn’t have to be reminded of when he began his postgame press conference late Saturday night in Sun Devil Stadium.
Mid-season changes in starting quarterbacks – though this one comes one game shy of Colorado’s midway point – are difficult at best. And MacIntyre didn’t have to be reminded of that either.
“Real difficult . . . more than what you usually know,” he said. “You’re dealing with a young man and a position that’s already written and talked about. We’re spending the whole time (postgame) talking about this right now. It is a difficult position because it’s one that’s always going to be in the limelight.”
And so it will be for the Buffs’ last two games in October and their final five in November. Welcome to the limelight, kid, although this kid appears capable of playing beyond his years.
In the first quarter of CU’s 54-13 shelling by Arizona State, MacIntyre switched QBs. It signaled the beginning of the Sefo Liufau Era, with MacIntyre making it clear that ridding the true freshman of his redshirt means he expects Liufau to grow as quickly into a starting role as he did in becoming a backup.
“I’d like to look at the rest of the year (like) we took the redshirt off a young man that we think is very talented, very bright and is an excellent leader,” MacIntyre said of Liufau. “So we feel like we’d hopefully play him the rest of the year – if he plays good.”
Liufau didn’t know the call to arms was coming until it came. “I knew right at the moment it happened,” he said. “Coach told me to warm up and I went in. I was excited. It was fast for the first couple of plays then everything slowed down. But there’s always room for improvement.”
His athleticism and swift grasp of the offense have impressed MacIntyre and offensive coordinator/QB coach Brian Lindgren since August camp. His maturity also has been a cut above that of most freshmen, and that was apparent following his debut.
Liufau led CU’s only two scoring drives, but he was intercepted twice, trapped in the end zone for a safety and was charged with a fumble after a bad snap. Memories of those mistakes, he said, won’t linger: “I don’t really dwell on the mistakes – probably just for a second when it happens, then I flush it. I go talk to coach Lindgren on the phone, see what we can do better and move on to the next play.”
He said he had not spoken with MacIntyre about the next several weeks, but that was before MacIntyre met with the media and said Liufau is his guy – if he performs. “He has not discussed anything with me,” Liufau said. “We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.”
But this much should be clear: Subbing Liufau and not Jordan Webb for Connor Wood was done with the rest of this season and the next several in mind. Had MacIntyre wanted to save Liufau’s redshirt, Webb – the 2012 starter – was one of three other roster QBs available.
If Wood, said MacIntyre, “was lighting it up, playing great” and lost his helmet or suffered a minor injury that cost him one play, Webb would have been used as a one-play stand-in. “That’s what we’d planned all along.”
Wood, however, was neither lighting it up nor playing great against the Sun Devils, who used Wood’s seventh interception of the season to go up 25-0 in the first quarter and prompted MacIntyre to look at Liufau and into the future.
This was MacIntyre’s early, pre-tape critique of Liufau: “He made a couple of mistakes, but looked pretty calm and made some good third down plays, some good throws. Nothing looked too big for him, to me. To the naked eye I thought it was good, but he had a couple of turnovers that we don’t need to have . . . (but) he made some checks and went to the right guys on some blitzes. He’s done it in practice but hasn’t had to do it in the game yet. I thought it was impressive.”
Wood’s first-quarter interception came after he was pressured and threw a pass across the middle that should have been thrown out of bounds, MacIntyre said. “He was fighting and trying to work at it. Hopefully he’ll keep improving, and hopefully Sefo will keep improving and we’ll keep getting better at that spot.”
MacIntyre was very careful not to lay Saturday night’s loss or the two preceding it on Wood: “This game or the last few games can’t be blamed on Connor – no way,” he said. “It’s the whole team. We’ve made changes at other positions . . . we’ll keep working with him and keep moving forward.”
Wood, said MacIntyre, “has done some good things for us and I really, really like Connor. But he hasn’t had a winning game for us in the last four games now. It was time to make a little bit of a change there, just like I would at any position. We’ve made changes at other positions, not just the quarterback.
“The quarterback’s always the one that’s obvious . . . Connor is phenomenal young man; he’s done some good things, he has good talent. We’ll give him the opportunity to keep working; there’ll be a time when he’ll have to come back in and do it again. So he’ll have to be ready.”
The plan, said MacIntyre, is to keep Wood engaged, keep a redshirt on junior college transfer Jordan Gehrke, and “see how things evolve” with Webb, who was cleared to play three weeks ago after rehabbing a spring knee injury. “He’s got a great attitude; he’s waiting to see if his chance arrives.”
Paul Richardson stays well grounded
From CUBuffs.com … Rather than big-headed, Paul Richardson is level-headed. He’s about as well-grounded as anyone – fellow students, professors, coaches – strolling about the University of Colorado campus. Most who knew “P-Rich” and his work ethic were fairly certain that after sitting out last year with a knee injury, he would be a player to watch this season in the Pac-12 Conference.
An audience that goes well beyond the league has taken notice, but Richardson has barely noticed. He’s second in the FBS in receiving yards per game (155.3) and seventh in total receiving yards (621, five touchdowns). A fully extended, one-handed catch last weekend against Oregon was nearly as big a personal thrill as throwing his first career pass, which happened to go for a 75-yard first-quarter touchdown to D.D. Goodson.
All is well and good on “P-Rich’s” personal side, but there’s much more to him than himself. His football team is 2-2 overall, winless (0-2) in the Pac-12 and goes to Arizona State this weekend perceived as a no-chance-in-hell underdog against the Sun Devils. ASU is a 25-point favorite, which could change by kickoff (8 p.m. MDT, Pac-12 Network) but was on par with CU’s status among the oddsmakers before its first two conference games.
Richardson isn’t paying attention. Asked earlier this week if the Buffaloes “taking the next step” depended on winning a game that no one expects them to, he answered, “If that’s the case then we need to win all of our games because no one expects us to win any of them.” But, yes, he said, upsetting Arizona State would be a start: “They beat Wisconsin, they beat USC, so for us to go in and beat that caliber of an opponent would be great for our team as far as self-esteem, as far as energy and hype and just continuing on our goal which is to get to a bowl game this season.”
“P-Rich” is keeping the faith. One of the Buffs’ six captains, he takes his responsibility to his teammates seriously and puts himself second. “I’ve got to get my team ready each and every week,” he said. “I came off a 200-yard game (vs. Central Arkansas) then I had a 70-yard game (vs. Oregon State). It wasn’t in my control, but if you have a game like that you can’t go into the next one like, ‘I only had 70 yards’ and feel bad about yourself. There’s highs and lows, you have to be able to play the next week. You have to keep a level head and stay balanced.”
If every Saturday produced a 200-yard receiving day, that probably would mean the Buffs had won. That’s what matters; the personal stats and momentary personal highs don’t resonate with Richardson.
“I never hold onto things like that,” he said. “Since my freshman year when I had those big games, I had no idea I was breaking records. When it’s presented to me I appreciate it and it’s an honor to be in record books for Colorado. But that’s all in the past. I’ll live that when I’m done with college and then it’ll be like, ‘Oh, look at these memories.’”
As a freshman in 2010, Richardson set school marks for most receiving yards (514) and touchdowns (six) by a freshman. In 2011, he tied six other performances – including his own at Kansas the previous season – by catching 11 passes against California. But his 284 receiving yards in that game left him all alone as CU’s single-game leader.
His performances thus far in his junior season already have outsiders looking ahead and trying to project his future – specifically, whether he will return for his senior year or declare his eligibility for next spring’s NFL draft. Richardson admits the prospect of playing in the NFL “has been a big deal since my sophomore year” and says he relishes the critiques of his game he hears from NFL analysts and draft watchers.
“But,” he adds, “as far as taking that step, I worry about this season. The next step for me is the next practice, that next game.”
Richardson’s level-headed approach to what happens on the field took shape in high school (Serra, Los Angeles), when he and pal Robert Woods – now a receiver with Buffalo Bills – competed. “I knew you couldn’t get too excited or too down,” Richardson said. “You can’t be down on yourself, you have to encourage teammates to keep on being productive. That’s what I learned before coming to college. I had a great humbling experience.”
It continued at CU when he suffered the knee injury two springs ago that sidelined him last season. But he’s come back from that stronger and more determined. It didn’t take new receivers coach Troy Walters long to see what Richardson was made of and how he conducted himself.
“He has all the tools and abilities to be the best out there,” Walters said. “I mean, he can run. He’s got another gear that I haven’t seen in college football. He’s got hands and he’s hungry.”
The biggest hunger is for a season like the Buffs haven’t experienced since Richardson has been on campus. CU hasn’t been in a postseason game since the 2007 Independence Bowl. Richardson wants to end that streak as much as he wants the Buffs’ initial Pac-12 win this season. Getting it Saturday night would make the kind of statement he insists the Buffs are capable of.
“Guys are ready, guys are looking forward to this game,” he said. “This is a good test for us overall. And I think we’re going to meet the challenge.”
It will be a huge one. ASU is exiting a four-game stretch – Wisconsin, Stanford, USC, Notre Dame – that coach Todd Graham said at Pac-12 Media Day defined the Sun Devils’ “Any Challenge” mantra. His team finished those four games with a 2-2 record, losing to Notre Dame 37-34 last weekend in Arlington, Texas, in a game that stayed close despite three ASU turnovers. The last error was devastating: Sun Devils QB Taylor Kelly threw an interception that was returned for a touchdown with just 1:08 to play.
The Sun Devils’ only previous loss had been to No. 5 Stanford, and after losing last weekend, ASU dropped from both of this week’s Top 25 polls. The Sun Devils are 3-2 overall, 1-1 in the Pac-12. Their blowout win over USC (62-41) preceded the firing of Trojans coach Lane Kiffin and pushed ASU to Nos. 22 and 24 in the next week’s polls. Saturday night undoubtedly will find Graham’s team seeking a rebound ‘W’ that will hoist them back into Top 25 consideration.
Meanwhile, Richardson is certain that a pair of lopsided Pac-12 losses (44-17, 57-16) have not damaged the Buffs’ resolve. The spark remains, he said, but it needs to be apparent earlier in games such as Saturday night’s. “We just have to show attitude out the gate more and fight earlier and I think that’s the thing we will benefit from the most,” he said. “We show it in spurts and we show it sporadically, but if we do that from start to finish we’ll be a hard team to compete with.”
USA Today – Colorado men’s team the No. 21 team nationally
USA Today is counting down to its top team, with the CU Buffs coming in at No. 21. The countdown projects CU as a No. 6 seed in the NCAA tourney, and has the Buff ranked ahead of UCLA (No. 28), Oregon (No. 36), Stanford (No. 38), Arizona State (No. 45) as Pac-12 teams which should qualify for the tournament. Still to be listed in the rankings is Arizona.
Also ranked amongst the top 68 teams are non-conference opponents Baylor (No. 29) and Harvard (No. 31). Still to be ranked amongst the non-conference opponents is Oklahoma State.
The full write up on CU can be found here.
Excerpts … If three consecutive 20-win, postseason-ending campaigns wasn’t enough evidence to signal the 180 turnaround the Colorado basketball program has experienced, perhaps the number of fans coming to see the Buffaloes speaks volume for just how far Tad Boyle’s program has improved since he arrived in Boulder.
After setting multiple attendance records last season, the school announced it sold out season tickets for the first time ever — a direct sign of the anticipation for a high-hopes season based on the returning nucleus that features one of the best backcourts in the Pac 12 in Spencer Dinwiddie and Askia Booker.
Coach’s corner: “Our goal is to win games in the postseason. The key is that our veterans show patience and understanding as our younger players develop. We can be deep if our freshmen grow up quickly. We have to get better throughout the course of the season — each practice, each game, week to week, month to month — so hopefully we’ll be peaking in March. My hope is that the guys from last year understand how important defense and rebounding, those kind of things are when it comes to winning big, close games. Our team is very talented but unfortunately sometimes that talent allows guys to think they can turn it on whenever they need it. There’s no on/off switch. You have to bring it every night.” — Boyle, now entering his fourth season with Colorado. Boyle just earned a $1.5 million contract that doubled his previous earnings with the program.
Team strength/weakness: This team will be gifted offensively, and the possesses length and athleticism that bodes well defensively. But rebounding could be a huge area of concern with Roberson departing for the NBA. He averaged 11.2 boards per game last season. Scott (5.7 rpg) and Johnson (4.8 rpg) will have to step up on the glass, and most importantly stay out of foul trouble. The Buffaloes like to dictate the tempo off turnovers, feeding off an aggressive man-to-man defense. But avoiding their own turnovers and coughing up second-chance opportunities for their opponents will be extremely crucial.
NBC – Colorado men’s team 19th-best in the nation
From NBCSports.com … The full report on the Buffs, tabbed as the No. 19 team in the nation, can be found here.
They’ll be good because …: If all goes according to plan, Tad Boyle will have one of the best inside-outside combinations in the country. Spencer Dinwiddie is no longer a secret. The 6-foot-6 point guard is one of the most versatile players in the country, particularly on the defensive end of the floor. If he avoids his bouts of inconsistency, he’s got a shot at being a first round pick in June. Josh Scott put on 20 pounds of muscle, which should allow him to a) better get position in the paint and b) be more durable when it comes to lasting through the entire season. Throw in Xavier Johnson, who should thrive with Andre Roberson off to the NBA, and the Buffs could end up with three all-Pac-12 performers on the roster.
Colorado will also have a roster that will be able to give a number of different looks this season. If they need to go big, they can play Johnson at the three and put one of their big guards at the two. If Boyle wants to use a smaller lineup, Johnson can slide over and play the four, allowing Dinwiddie to share the perimeter with two of Colorado’s smaller guards. Tad Boyle will be able to create mismatches next season.
Outlook: There are two things that signify a quality basketball program: the ability to identify and develop talent that others don’t recognize, and being able to continue to grow as a team despite losing that talent earlier that expected. Twice in the last three years, Colorado has lost a player to early entry (Alec Burks and Roberson) that was a three-star recruit coming out of high school. And while Boyle didn’t recruit either of them, he was the one that put together this entire roster, one that has been built on under-the-radar talent and will head into this season as a top 25 team.
Can the Buffaloes win the Pac-12? Well, that’s a tough task considering that a) Arizona has a chance to be awesome this season and b) the conference will be as deep as it has been since Kevin Love and James Harden had normal facial hair. This is going to be one of those years where sixth place in the Pac-12 is two games behind first place, but anything short of at least one win in the NCAA tournament should be thought of as a disappointing year for these Buffaloes.
CBS – Colorado men’s team fourth-best in the Pac-12
CBSSportsline.com has had it’s experts take a look at the Pac-12, and they pick Colorado to finish fourth this season. The experts have Arizona as the unanimous pick to win the conference, followed by Oregon, UCLA, and Colorado.
In individual picks, two of the six experts tabbed CU to finish second, while two others had the Buffs fourth. One expert had CU at No. 5 in the league, with one other predicting CU to finish no better than 6th in Pac-12 play.
The full slate of predictions can be found here.
As to the Buffs:
The loss of Andre Roberson to the NBA Draft one year earlier than expected was an undeniable blow, though it’s hard to blame the 6-foot-7 forward for jumping considering Minnesota selected him 26th overall. That development might’ve cost Colorado two spots in the Pac-12 standings. But the Buffaloes should still be good considering every other relevant player (besides Sabatino Chen) is back from a 21-win team — including junior guard Spencer Dinwiddie, an All-American candidate who averaged 15.3 points per game last season and has started every contest in his two-year college career. Dinwiddie’s partner in the backcourt is classmate Askia Booker. He averaged 12.4 points per game last season and will be among the reasons Tad Boyle spends March in the NCAA tournament for the third consecutive year.
Colorado men’s basketball season tickets sold out!
From CUBuffs.com … Coming off a season where the University of Colorado men’s basketball team reached its second straight NCAA Tournament, achieved another 20-win season and set a number of attendance records at the Coors Events Center, a new record was achieved Thursday morning.
In unprecedented fashion, men’s basketball season tickets are sold out for the 2013-2014 season.
There will be a limited number of single game tickets based on availability. Fans wanting to be a part of the pre-sale process for single game tickets can sign up for the free CU Athletics e-newsletter, Buffs Blast, at CUBuffs.com.
The Buffs Blast pre-sale begins Monday, October 14. Any remaining single game tickets after the pre-sales will be on-sale to the general public on Tuesday, October 15 beginning at 8 a.m.
Due to the high demand of the Kansas and Arizona games, the pre-sale of any remaining single game tickets for these games is being offered via the process that is used for post-season tickets with access based on donor priority points. This process will be conducted through separate communication to eligible priority point groups while supplies last.
In each year of head coach Tad Boyle’s tenure, attendance numbers have steadily increased at the Coors Events Center.
Last year, the Events Center faithful helped with a number of school records with seven sellouts; 12 of 15 home games exceeding 10,000 fans; in addition to record totals in season total (155,884); season average (10,392); conference total (94,371); and conference average (10,486).
Game time for Charleston-Southern finally set
The full Pac-12 TV schedule and game times for Oct. 19:
Charleston Southern at Colorado, 11:00 am PT/Noon MT, Pac-12 Networks
UCLA at Stanford, 12:30 pm PT / 1:30 pm MT, ABC Regional/ESPN2 mirror
Washington at Arizona State, 3:00 pm PT / 4:00 pm MT, Pac-12 Networks
Washington State at Oregon, 7:00 pm PT / 8:00 pm MT, FOX Sports 1
Utah at Arizona, 7:00 pm PT/8:00 pm MT, Pac-12 Networks
Oregon State at California, 7:30 pm PT / 8:30 pm MT, ESPN2 or ESPNU (network will be announced next weekend)
Josh Tupou only addition to Injury Update
Sophomore defensive tackle Josh Tupou is the only addition to the injury report from last week, with quarterback Jordan Webb no longer reported as being injured.
If Tupou can’t go against Arizona State, two other sophomores, Justin Solis and John Paul Tuso, are listed as the next men up on the depth chart. According to Adam at BuffStampede.com, junior Kirk Poston, listed as a backup at left defensive end, may also see time at tackle this weekend.
TB – Josh Ford – ankle – suffered a high ankle sprain (Aug. 11), underwent surgery (Aug. 19) to aide healing process – OUT/2-4 WEEKS
OL – Jeromy Irwin – foot – suffered a broken bone in his foot doing yard work at a friend’s house (July 30) – OUT/2-3 WEEKS
FB – Clay Jones – neck – suffered a neck sprain against Central Arkansas (Sept. 7) OUT/2-4 WEEKS
DT – Josh Tupou – ankle – suffered a sprain against Oregon (Oct. 5) – QUESTIONABLE
Out for the season:
DB – Josh Moten – Achilles – suffered initially in late May, was rehabbing and recently reinjured it a second time (late July) – OUT/SEASON
PK – Justin Castor – hip – suffered an avulsion (severe flexor strain on Aug. 21) and may require surgery – OUT/SEASON
S – Terrel Smith – shoulder – underwent surgery on Sept. 5 to mend a chronic injury and will redshirt – OUT/SEASON
OLB – Tommy Papilion – knee – suffered a torn ACL in the spring game (Apr. 13); he has elected to be a student coach – OUT/SEASON
Darian Hagan elected to College Sports Hall of Fame
From the Daily Camera … Former CU quarterback Darian Hagan learned Tuesday he was elected to the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame. Hagan was the starting quarterback on the Buffs’ 1989, 1990 and 1991 teams. The 1989 and 1990 teams played for the national title and the 1990 team won the championship in the Orange Bowl against Notre Dame. Hagan has been a member of the CU coaching staff or the football operations staff since 2004. He is currently the director of player development.
An excellent article by B.G. Brooks on Hagan’s election can be found here.
Hagan’s bio, from CUBuffs.com … Darian Hagan, one of the names synonymous with Colorado’s rise to glory in the late 1980s, is in his ninth season overall on the CU staff, shifting from coach into the role of director of player development in January 2013.
Hagan, 43, spent the previous two years as the director of player personnel (2011-12) under head coach Jon Embree. He worked five seasons (2006-10) as running backs coach for head coach Dan Hawkins, as he was one of two assistant coaches retained by Hawkins when he was named to the position in December 2005.
He was named an offensive assistant coach on Gary Barnett’s staff on February 9, 2005, and worked with the skill position players on offense in the spring and fall in his first year as a full-time collegiate assistant.
A popular coach with his players yet with a stern touch, he was coaching true freshman Rodney Stewart on the way to a 1,000-yard season in 2008 until a season-ending injury sidelined him in the ninth game of the 2008 season. Stewart’s 622 yards were the third most by a CU freshman in school history. In 2010, Stewart hit the plateau and then some, rushing for 1,318 yards and in position to threaten many of the school’s all-time rushing marks. In 2007, Hagan tutored Hugh Charles to a 1,000-yard year including the Independence Bowl; he has since gone on to play successfully in Canada.
Hagan made a difference in his first season (2006) mentoring the running backs, as CU had three 500-plus yard rushers for just the 10th time in its history. He also played a role in the development of quarterback Bernard Jackson, as Hagan’s own skills of blending the run and the pass rubbed off on the Buff junior in his first year as a starter.
He had a brief taste of coaching in the spring of 2004 as he subbed as secondary coach when the staff was minus a full-time assistant. Otherwise, he was the defensive technical intern for the ’04 season, assuming that role in February of that year. It marked the third time he has made the University of Colorado his destination of choice.
He starred at quarterback for the Buffaloes between 1988 and 1991, leading the school to its first national championship, and following his professional playing career, returned in the mid-1990s to work as CU’s Alumni C Club Director.
Addison Gillam named National Football Foundation Player-of-the-Week
From CUBuffs.com … CU freshman linebacker Addison Gillam has been named the National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame – Colorado Chapter Player-of-the-Week.
Here is the press release … Gillam set a CU freshman record (true or redshirt) with 18 tackles in Colorado’s 57-16 loss to Oregon. In 86 plays, he had 14 unassisted stops, which included two tackles for loss, one a quarterback sack, along with a tackle for zero to give him three at or behind the line of scrimmage. He also had four third down stops, giving him 11 on the year (four games). He is CU’s leading tackler with 51 on the year (32 solo).
Gillam is the second Buff so honored this season. Junior wide receiver Paul Richardson was named the Player-of-the-Week for his 208 yard receiving effort against Colorado State in the season opener.
Marcus Mariota Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week
For the second week in a row, the quarterback who played against the Buffs has been named the Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week … not a good trend.
From the Pac-12 … Marcus Mariota, a sophomore from Honolulu, Hawai’i, set a school record with 42 points accounted for in Oregon’s 57-16 win at Colorado on Saturday. He completed 16 of 27 passes for 355 yards and five touchdowns. Mariota also ran for an additional 43 yards and two more scores. He is eighth in the country in passing efficiency (176.30 QB rating) and ninth in total offense (339.20 ypg), helping Oregon to a No. 2 national ranking in total offense (630.40 ypg).
Linebacker Trent Murphy and wide receiver/kick returner Ty Montgomery, both of Stanford, were named the Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week, respectively.
Bill McCartney honored at halftime of Colorado/Oregon game
Here is a link to the video of the halftime ceremony for Bill McCartney. There is a short video showing highlights of McCartney’s career, and then the ceremony down on the field for the Buffs’ first coach Mac.
McCartney will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December, the 7th Buff to be so honored.
Oregon video – “Second Son: Eugene, Oregon, and Ed Reinhardt, Jr.”
A great – and heart-warming video – has been put together by the University of Oregon.
“Second Son: Eugene, Oregon, and Ed Reinhardt, Jr.” chronicles the journey of Ed Reinhardt from his injury during the last minutes of the Colorado/Oregon game in 1984 to his return to Eugene for the 2012 game. There are interviews with many of the doctors and nurses who treated Ed, along with interviews with Ed and his father.
I have had the opportunity to meet and talk with Ed and his father on several occasions. They are truly great people, and an inspiration to us all.
Here is a link to the video (it wouldn’t be a bad idea to have a tissue handy – it’s a great story).
For those who are not familiar with the story, here is archived story from the 1984 game, along with the archived story from the 1985 game, when Oregon came to Colorado the following season for “Ed Reinhardt Day” in Boulder.
Coach Mac Stories
Dave Plati has put out a Plati-Tudes in honor of Bill McCartney. The first coach Mac, who will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this December, will be honored at halftime of the Oregon game.
The Plati-Tudes can be read in their entirety here, and are worth your time.
There are some great stories in there, including some about Coach Mac I’ve never heard before.
… One of his favorite recruiting stories involves Michael Westbrook. Mac is in Detroit at Chadsey High School, but he’s there recruiting someone else. “I’m talking with his high school coach in his office, a guy I’ve known well for years, and we’re talking about who we were interested in. But he tells me that I really should be interested in Westbrook. I was being nice and listened but really wasn’t all that interested. So then he gets up, leaves the room and went to go get him. The second I saw him, I knew I was going to recruit him. And it turned out pretty darn good for all involved.”
… Mac shared some stories I had never heard. One was that as an assistant at Michigan, in the spring of 1981 the staff visited Nebraska as coaches at schools often do during spring practice to share ideas. While there, Mac queried the Husker coaches on the Big 8, including on what they thought about the Colorado job. “They responded that it was not competitive, not a good place to be, in general sort of running the place down,” he said. “A year later, I’m CU’s head coach, and what they said was one of the reasons I put Nebraska in red letters on our schedule when I got here.”
… The Fifth Down. The Sunday following the game, it was apparent this was exploding into a big deal, and rather quickly (and this was pre-Internet age). I’m in the copy room over next to the football meeting room at Gate 1 of Folsom Field, and Mac walks in to talk; he challenged me to get Chris Fowler to have ESPN show some of the slips our players suffered on Missouri’s crummy Omni-Turf field (we sent him a tape of 16 of them, and they ran all on Game Day the next Saturday). But I’m trying to convince Mac that we need to address the fifth down and not so much the field, but after he told me three times, his voice rising each time, “You’re not listening to what I’m saying!,” I backed off. Three days and some hundreds of letters postmarked from Columbia, Mo., later, he quipped to me, “I should have listened to what you were saying.”
Charleston Southern to be paid $400,000 for trip to Boulder
From the Daily Camera … The University of Colorado will pay Charleston Southern $400,000 to play a football game Oct. 19 that was recently scheduled after the Buffs’ Sept. 14 game against Fresno State was postponed because of flooding in and around Boulder.
The game contract between the schools, obtained through an open records request, also calls for CU to pay for a charter flight to and from Denver International Airport, bus transportation for the Buccaneers while they are in Colorado, 60 hotel rooms at the Omni Hotel in Broomfield and meals.
The $400,000 fee is in line with what CU has paid other nonconference teams to play in Boulder in the recent past and is a substantial savings compared with what some schools asked for when CU athletic director Rick George contacted them about possibly playing.
Over 100 former players expected this weekend to honor Coach Bill McCartney
The winningest coach in CU history, Bill McCartney, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame this December. McCartney will become the seventh Buff, and first coach, to be inducted.
The first coach Mac will join Byron White (inducted in 1952), Joe Romig (1984), Dick Anderson (1993), Bobby Anderson (2006), Alfred Williams (2010) and John Wooten (2012) as honored Buffs.
From CUBuffs.com … Many of Mac’s former players are returning to attend in one, some or all of the events slated to celebrate his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame, as well as some other notable names that didn’t play for him. Over 100 are expected to return, including CU’s 1994 Heisman Trophy winning running back, Rashaan Salaam, who garnered the honor in Mac’s last season. The captains of Colorado’s 1990 national championship team, OG Joe Garten and OLB Alfred Williams, and its team MVP, WR Mike Pritchard, will also be in attendance.
Some of the more notable players who will return to Boulder this week include WR Blake Anderson, ILB Chad Brown, WR Lance Carl, OT Bill Coleman, FB Guy Egging, QB Mark Hatcher, P Barry Helton, TE David Hestera, FB James Hill, ILB Kevin Hood, FB Erich Kissick, DT Curt Koch, TB Mike Marquez, DB Dave McCloughan, ILB Dan McMillen, OG Darrin Muilenburg, C Erik Norgard, TE Ed Reinhardt, ILB Barry Remington, DT Leonard Renfro, CB Greg Thomas, OT Mark Vander Poel OT Derek West.
Some of those attending who played after Mac’s coaching days were completed include TE Daniel Graham, OLB Hannibal Navies and DT Justin Bannan.
Charleston-Southern quarterback out with a knee injury
From the Charleston Post and Courier … Charleston-Southern starting quarterback Malcolm Dixon was injured in last weekend’s game against Appalachian State. Dixon underwent an MRI on his knee Tuesday, and the results are still pending.
As a result, the Buccaneers will be going with red-shirt freshman Danny Croghan at quarterback this weekend at home against North Greenville. Croghan replaced Dixon late in the game against Appalachian State, hitting one of two pass attempts. But the completion was a game-winning 15-yard touchdown pass with 5:27 to play in the game.
Croghan might as much of a running threat as Dixon, who has 337 yards rushing and two touchdowns through five games. But head coach Jamey Chadwell believes he can run the Buccaneers’ spread offense.
“We feel good about Danny and what he brings to the table,” Chadwell said. “First and foremost, he’s a winner and he knows how to get things done. We won’t wow you with his athletic prowess and doesn’t have the strongest arm out there. But he’s got something about him that’s hard to define, an ‘it’ factor”.
With a new quarterback, the Bucs will rely more on running back Christian Reyes, who carried 34 times for 167 yards and a touchdown in the 27-24 upset win over Appalachian State.
“We didn’t realize we gave him the ball that many times”, said Chadwell of Reyes, who is a 5’10”, 218-pound junior. “But he could have carried it 20 more times. He was full speed the whole time, no stopping him. He’s not the fastest guy, but he’s unbelievable with his balance, and he finds ways to make cuts. He never goes backward”.
… Charleston-Southern takes on North Greenville on Saturday. The Buccaneers head coach, Jamey Chadwell, spent four years at North Greenville before coming over to Charleston-Southern this season. North Greenville is 4-0 on the season, and has beaten VMI, which is, like Charleston-Southern, a Big South team. Kickoff is set for 9:00 a.m. (MT) on Saturday.
Against Central Arkansas, Richardson had 11 catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns. The Pac-12 Offensive Player-of-the-Week is … Oregon’s running back DeAnthony Thomas (11 carries for a game-high 124 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the Ducks’ 59-10 road win over Virginia on Saturday. He had touchdown runs of 1, 40 and 8 yards and reeled in one catch for another 28 yards).
Richardson was the Pac-12 Player-of-the-Week for ESPN, however.
From ESPN … We don’t often single out performances against FCS teams on the Pac-12 blog. Then again, we don’t often single out players from Colorado, either. But it’s hard to argue that through the first two weeks, the biggest impact player in the league might be Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson.
The nation’s leading receiver through two weeks, Richardson caught 11 balls for 209 yards and two touchdowns in Colorado’s 38-24 win over Central Arkansas. That comes on the heels of a 10-catch, 208-yard performance and two touchdowns a week earlier in the win over Colorado State.
His 11 catches against the Bears tied a school record for most catches in a game and his 209 yard-yard performance was just the fifth 200-yard receiving game at Colorado. He’s the first Colorado player to post back-to-back 200-yard receiving games.
Asked after the game if he’s ever had a player as explosive as Richardson, first-year Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre struggled to find a comparable name.
“Probably not as explosive as ‘P-Rich,’” MacIntyre said. “There is one guy at San Jose State named Noel Grigsby that broke every one of their records by his junior year. He’s not as explosive but he made a ton of plays. But, ‘P-Rich’ is the most explosive I’ve seen, for sure … When we see certain matchups, we’re gonna go attack it, and he’ll go get it.”
Offensive line grades good so far … but not great
Due to the Sunday to Saturday turnaround, the CU coaches didn’t have time to put together grades for the CU offensive line for the CSU game (at least not in time to make them public).
But now we have the grades for the first two weeks of the season. For every player below, their high grade is for the game against Central Arkansas, with the exception of Alex Kelley, who spelled Kaiwi Crabb for one play during the CSU game.
Kaiwi Crabb 72.9%
Gus Handler 72.9%
Jack Harris 82.3%
Alex Kelley 100.0%
Daniel Munyer 72.9%
Stephane Nembot 67.1%
If you are looking for comparisons, Gus Handler had a season grade average last year of 83.5%; Jack Harris was 84.3%; Daniel Munyer was 83.2%; and Stephane Nembot was 74.6%. So all of the season grades for last year – when the Buffs went 1-11 – were higher than for the first two games of this season.
This tells us that this team, which is 2-0 on the season, is being graded more harshly than the unit which generated all of 3.11 yards per rushing attempt in 2012, and allowed a gaudy 52 sacks. Sounds good …
It is also good to see that, other than the one play Alex Kelley was in for during the CSU game, the offensive line has played every down together as a unit. If this offensive line can stay healthy, they will only improve the more that they play together. (It should be noted that some of the other offensive lineman, like Sean Irwin and Marc Mustoe, are seeing playing time on field goals and extra points).