November 19th

Confirmed candidates up to three?

Minnesota Vikings head coach Brad Childress has indicated that the NFL team has been contacted “circuitously” by the University of Colorado about interviewing offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy. “I do think highly of him,” Childress said of Bieniemy. “I think he can be a coordinator in this league, and I think before it’s over he could be a head coach in this league … We’d hate to lose him, but certainly if he has that opportunity it would be hard to hold him back.”

Another new “official” candidate might be former Oregon head coach Mike Bellotti. Now an ESPN analyst, Bellotti has confirmed that he traveled to Boulder several weeks ago, and has had discussions with Colorado about the job opening. “I will only say that we have had initial contact,” Bellotti told BuffStampede.com. “We have had initial conversations to gauge interest. We will continue to discuss it more. That’s about all I can say.” Bellotti is, in his terms, a “free agent”, and says that he has been contacted by several schools about becoming their head coach, but Colorado is the only school with which he has confirmed speaking. “For me to come back, it would have to be the right job,” said Bellotti.  UPDATE: Both the Denver Post and the Daily Camera are reporting that Bellotti no longer wishes to be considered as a candidate for the Colorado head coaching position …

The third known “official” candidate is former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney. On the day that the names for the search committee were named, McCartney said that he had been contacted about interviewing for the head coaching job at Colorado.

The search committee will meet for the first time early next week …

Fearless Forecasts

The Fearless Forecasts took a beating last week … but I didn’t mind a bit.

The 42,722 attendance figure was nothing to be proud about (2nd worst for a Big 12 game in Folsom), but it could have been worse. The weather, while not ideal, did not get ugly, so I will take a minus on my prediction that the crowd would be 10,000 less than what was announced. I give credit to CU for at least not overly inflating the numbers.

I also predicted that Paul Richardson would not do as well against Iowa State as he did against Kansas. That proved true – to an extent. Richardson had less than half as many catches against the Cyclones (five) as he did against the Jayhawks (11), but he did post another 100-yard game. My concern had been going in was the forecast, and that the cold weather (which Richardson has stated is making him thinking about a transfer back to southern California) would be a hindrance for Richardson against ISU. The weather held, though, and Richardson came through.

Accepting a one-for-three week, we press on with this week’s Fearless Forecasts:

1) The team which posts the highest rushing total will be the victor … Stated another way, this weekend’s game is a battle between Colorado’s Rodney Stewart and Kansas State’s David Thomas. Thomas, the Kansas State runner, is ranked 9th in the nation, carrying the ball for an average of 116.8 yards per game. Not far behind Thomas in the national rankings is Colorado’s Rodney Stewart, 17th in the nation in rushing, with 103.5 yards per game. Both Colorado and Kansas State win their games by running the ball successfully. Whichever team is best able to accomplish that feat on Saturday should emerge victorious.

2) The Buffs will play their best in the first and third quarters; their worst in the second and fourth … This is as much a statement as a prediction. Colorado has out-scored its opponents in the first quarter (44-35) and in the third (80-49), but has been man-handled in the second (67-105) and fourth (38-99). Those latter two comparisons, especially the fourth quarter numbers, are ugly. If Colorado and Kansas State are even going into the fourth quarter, it might not be good news for the home team …

3) Cody Hawkins, Scotty McKnight, and Paul Richardson will continue to set records … This is not really a stretch for Scotty McKnight, who sets a new record for consecutive games with a catch with every game he plays. Still, there are two career records still out there for McKnight, who already owns the career receptions record, to obtain, and it would be nice to see him set the new standards at home. McKnight is tied for the most touchdown receptions in a career (20) with Derek McCoy and Rae Carruth. One more, and he will stand alone in the record books. Also, McKnight is currently fourth all-time in receiving yards, 112 shy of Michael Westbrook’s total of 2,548. McKnight hasn’t had a 100-yard receiving game all season, but a long touchdown reception to break both marks at the same time would sure be sweet.

As for Cody Hawkins, the reigning Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, the only major career passing record which still eludes him is career passing yardage. At 7,044, Hawkins is 331 yards shy of the 7,375 mark set by Joel Klatt (2002-05). While it is unlikely that Hawkins will set the new standard at home against Kansas State, he will likely reach that mark sometime next week during the Nebraska game.

Paul Richardson, meanwhile, continues to impress. He is already the first freshman wide receiver in Colorado history to post two 100-yard games, and Richardson is tied with Scotty McKnight for the most touchdowns by a freshman receiver (with four). At 442 yards receiving for the season, Richardson is only 46 yards short of McKnight’s freshman record, set in 2007. A day anywhere close to the days Richardson has had against Kansas (141) and Iowa State (121), and both records will be in jeopardy on Saturday.

A couple of  notes on Colorado coaching debuts … Brian Cabral is in position to become only the second Colorado head coach since 1932 to win his first two games at the helm. Rick Neuheisel won his first five games as the Colorado head coach in 1995, but you have to go back to 1932, with William Saunders, to find another coach who opened up 2-0 … And, for you history Buffs … In 1982, Bill McCartney lost the first game of his coaching career to Cal. Coach Mac won his second game, however, on the road against Washington State. The win over the Cougars put Coach Mac at .500 for his career, with a 1-1 record … Bill McCartney would not see the .500 again until 1989, his seventh season with the Buffs!).

It’s nice to talk about positive records for a change, isn’t it …. ?

November 18th

Injury Update

For the second week in succession, the Colorado injury report has the same players listed. Three players remain out, but potentially available for play this weekend against Kansas State. Senior wide receiver Travon Patterson (ankle) was the only player to receive an upgrade in status, going from “Questionable” last weekend to “Day-to-Day” for the game against the Wildcats. Also listed as “Day-to-Day” are cornerback Paul Vigo (lower leg fracture) and wide receiver Dusty Ebner (ankle).

The “Out for the Season” list remains at seven, but has had no new members the past few weeks. Looking to the future are: offensive lineman Shawn Daniels (foot); cornerback Vince Ewing (knee); quarterback Tyler Hansen (spleen); tailback Brian Lockridge (ankle); linebacker Jon Major (knee); safety Parker Orms (knee); and safety Anthony Perkins (knee).

Seniors doing well in the classroom

Colorado has seventeen seniors who will take the field on Saturday, sixteen for the final time as Buff players (senior wide receiver Andre Simmons is being red-shirted, and is eligible to return in 2011). For senior tight end Luke Walters, it will be his second trip down memory lane (Walters was granted a medical red-shirt, and a sixth year of eligibility).

Of the remaining fifteen, two have already graduated, tailback Corey Nabors and offensive tackle Nate Solder (both are taking graduate courses this fall, in case you were wondering), while 11 more are in line to graduate in December. Only two of the seniors, center Keenan Stevens and safety Matt Meyer, will need until next May to graduate.

With as many hits as the football program has been taking in its APR scores, it is nice to see that every member of the Senior Class of 2010 is in line to graduate.

Weekly award winners updated

Under Dan Hawkins, the coaches awarded awards only when the Buffs were victorious, and then only in five categories (offense, defense, special teams, offensive/defensive line, and scout team). Of course, when the Buffs opened 0-3, and hadn’t won since the Georgia game, the award list grew stale.

The award list has been updated and upgraded this week, however, under interim head coach Brian Cabral. Each position has an award winner, as well as an overall Player of the Game. Against Iowa State, the POTG was quarterback Cody Hawkins, with plaudits also going out to: DL-Curtis Cunningham; LB-Michael Sipili; S-Travis Sandersfeld; CB-Jalil Brown; OL-Nate Solder; TB-Rodney Stewart; WR-Toney Clemons; and Special Teams-Arthur Jaffee. The Buffs also honored those earning membership in the “Victory Club”, which requires a player grade out to roughly 85% or higher. Against Iowa State, 35 players earned “Victory Club” status.

Cabral joins Neuheisel in elite group

Brian Cabral may still be considered the “interim” head coach at Colorado, but as far as the NCAA is concerned, Cabral is the 25th head coach in Colorado history, and the Buffs are 1-0 in the Cabral era. While the 34-14 win over Iowa State may not have caused much of a stir nationally, it does make a dent in the Colorado record book.

Since 1932, a total of 15 coaches have taken their turns as the Buffs’ head man prior to Brian Cabral. Notables such as Dal Ward, Eddie Crowder, Bill Mallory, Chuck Fairbanks, and Bill McCartney all lost their first game. Since 1932, when William Saunders won his first game as head coach (a 31-0 win over Colorado Mines), the only Colorado coach to win their first game before Cabral was Rick Neuheisel in 1995. Taking over for Bill McCartney, Neuheisel took the 14th-ranked Buffs on the road to face 21st-ranked Wisconsin, and won in a laugher, 43-7.

Overall, Colorado coaches are 10-14-1 in their debut games (including the one game – the Champs Sports Bowl – Mike Hankwitz coached after Gary Barnett was fired in 2005). However, Buff coaches started out hot, with the first six coaches in Colorado history winning their opener. Before 1935, Colorado coaches were 8-1-1 in debuts, with a 2-13 record since.

November 17th

Search Committe Named

The 24th football head coach at the University of Colorado will have to work his way the search committee named today.

Long-time faculty member Dr. David Clough will chair the seven person committee. Clough, a professor of Chemical and Bioengineering since 1975, has served as the CU Faculty Athletics Representative since 2005.

Joining Clough on the committee are three representatives from the University, and three representatives from the business world. The faculty representatives are Dr. Robert Boswell (Interim University of Colorado Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Community Engagement); Dr. Elizabeth Bradley (Chair, Boulder Faculty Assembly Intercollegiate Athletics Committee, and Computer Science professor); and Ric Porreca (Senior University of Colorado Vice Chancellor & Chief Financial Officer).

The three business world representatives are: Dave Hoover (Chairman and CEO, Ball Corporation); Roger Parker (Chairman and CEO, Recovery Energy, Inc.); and George Solich (President and CEO, Cordillera Energy Partners III, LLC).

The committee is charged with the task of studying and evaluating potential candidates to replace Dan Hawkins, who was let go November 9th. The committee will participate in interviews, but will only make a recommendation. Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn will retain the “hiring authority”. The committee will meet for the first time next week. “We will strive to present to the director of athletics and the chancellor recommendations that will lead to the hiring of the best possible candidate for head coach,” said committee chair Clough, “an individual who will lead the program to success in the coming years in a way that will engender pride in all supporters of the University of Colorado.”

Not being with the faculty in Boulder, and not being a big-time donor myself, I have to admit the only name familiar to me in the group is that of George Solich (CU ’83), who was the donor who was one of the leaders of the campaign to find 50 $1 million donors (remember that campaign from last spring? It may be back in the news in the next few weeks). It would be safe to assume, though, that the other two CEO’s named, Roger Parker (CU ’83) and Dave Hoover, are also big time supporters of Colorado athletics. (Solich and Parker also graduated with the same degree – Business-Mineral Land Management – in the same year. Probably not going out on a limb here to say that they know one another).

I will post more information as it becomes known, but if you have information concerning the backgrounds and/or loyalties of any of the members, please feel free to post them in the comments section, below.

 

 

November 15th

Cody Hawkins Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week

Senior quarterback Cody Hawkins had a career best passer rating last weekend against Iowa State (201.02), and was duly rewarded for his 16-for-24, 266 yard, three touchdown effort in being named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week. “That is awesome, that is so awesome. He deserved it,” said interim head coach Brian Cabral. “He went through more than anybody would ever know … No one can appreciate the adversity and the emotions; no one could understand what he went through, and how he handled it was unbelievable.”

Hawkins already owns most of the career passing records, including pass attempts, touchdowns and interceptions. He needs 332 yards in the final two games of the regular season to catch Joel Klatt for the all-time pass yardage lead.

With the honor, Hawkins becomes just the second Buff to be so honored in 2010, joining linebacker B.J. Beatty, who was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week for his five tackle effort against Georgia which included a forced fumble with 1:55 remaining, preserving a tenuous 29-27 lead.

Terdema Ussery leaving the team?

It is being widely reported that red-shirt freshman safety Terdema Ussery is leaving the team. Ussery, from Dallas, was recruited as a wide receiver in 2009, part of the infusion of wide receiver talent that included junior college transfer Andre Simmons, Jarrod Darden, and Will Jefferson. Ussery was excused from spring practice earlier this year, and was moved to safety this fall. Ussery suited up for one game (a home game against Texas Tech), but did not see any playing time.

Of the four receivers recruited in the Class of 2009, only Jefferson has caught a pass in 2010. Jefferson, who like Paul Richardson this year, was a summer signing, and has now been moved to running back (after the season-ending ankle injury to Brian Lockridge).

Kansas State kick returner out for the season

William Powell, who leads the nation in kickoff returns, will not be on the field against Colorado this Saturday. Powell, who was averaging 34.57 yards per kick return, and who had a 100-yard kick return for a touchdown against Baylor, is out for the remainder of the season. Powell scored on an eight-yard touchdown late in the game against Texas, but was apparently injured on the play, and did not suit up for last weekend’s game against Missouri,

Powell was also the backup running back behind Daniel Thomas. Powell had 23 carries for 250 yards (over ten yards per carry) and four touchdowns in 2010.

Colorado Injury Update

No new major injuries were reported after the Iowa State game. Two players who coaches thought might be available to play against the Cyclones, though, remain out of action. Red-shirt freshman defensive back Paul Vigo, who suffered a fracture in his leg in the Hawai’i game, remains day-to-day, as does senior wide receiver Travon Patterson, who sprained his ankle in the Oklahoma game and has not played since.

11 Replies to “The Colorado Daily”

  1. Let’s add Marty Schottenheimer in to the list just for giggles since it is huge list now anyway, whom last led San Diego Chargers to a 14-2 record in 2006 before being fired and was NFL coach of the year in 2004 . Career NFL win-loss record 200-126 . Let’s put him as a Denver Bronco’s coach candidate too while we are at it as Denver always seemed to get lucky against him in Kansas City. He may come cheap too and has developed many head coaches and yet still an analyst with SportsCenter with his nuclear family all still coaching.
    He’s cool…. I would really like to play for him and his conservative “Dan Reeves” style run first play calling…. Just for giggles… : ) Ha ha : ) I would take an NFL coach of the year for CU …Would
    you? : )

  2. Nope – no association with the search committee what-so-ever. Just a ’96 grad / Naval Aviator with a masters degree in Strategic Operations who makes 1 trip a year to Boulder to watch the Buffs play (not to hang out at Leeds). My point is that there is a huge chasm between athletics and academics at CU and that if the academics side of the house has a vested interest in the athletics side, there will be better buy-in across the entire campus. I think they will be more inclined to accept “relaxed” academic standards for the players, reduced restrictions on recruiting, they will talk more positively about the team, etc. What I am biased toward are people who think that having someone from the Athletic department on the search committee would be beneficial somehow – Bohn chose Hawkins last time and we all saw how that worked out.
    But everyone is entitled to their opinions. At this point, however, there are some opinions that nothing can be done about.

  3. J Rifas, I appreciate your take on the search committee and personally don’t get too excited about who is on it. I’m no longer surprised about the happenings at cu, its like living on another planet. But I must say you sound as though you might be a good friend, spouse, or one of the committee members. Your take is quite biased towards the academic side of things, and I think you forget that at colorado it is the athletic department that most often gets steam rolled by the academic dept. Rather than the other way around. Your position is exactly what’s wrong at cu, the academ
    ic society doesn’t realize how much better their financial situation would be if the football team were successful or elite. If you haven’t noticed college football is a billion dollar industry. Those who are investing in it are reaping the rewards for their entire university!

  4. For Clark – while not on TV, they are going to show it on BUFF VISION (cubuffs.com) for $9.95.

    As for the search committee, I’m quite pleased. I think this group will take a more strategic approach with the coaching hire vice a tactical/emotional/short sighted approach. If there were members of the athletic department, I’m afraid their opinions would tend to dominate the decision making (at least within the media) and cause divisiveness among the committee. One of the most important things this coaching hire must do is create buy-in among the entire university and the community at large. If academic arm of the university felt it was steamrolled by the athletic department, there would be less overall support for the program. If the boosters/business community felt it was steamrolled by the athletic department, they would be less inclined to donate to, and support, the program. If the athletic department were steamrolled by the Academics and community, I think the fans would react negatively to the decision. Plus, I don’t think the athletic department fully appreciates the financial constraints the university under.
    These guys aren’t stupid, they appear to be avid supports of the Buffaloes and the football team, and I think they will have a good outlook on the situation.

  5. Stuart,

    Thanks for the link. I’m not very hopeful he’ll stick around, but I’ll try to remain positive. P. Richardson is A LOT of fun to watch on T.V. and has the talent to be a great receiver.

    I wish the game this weekend was on T.V.

    GO BUFFS!!!!!!

    Thanks again,
    Clark (previously known as Matt…I realized there is another Matt posting comments on this site)

  6. I really do not understand why there is no former football player (or someone from the athletic department other than Bohn) on this committee. I understand we want student/athletes because academia is important, but I think we need one person with a sports background instead of money and academics, at least in an advisory capacity. Mike has a bad history hiring coaches, he needs to get it right this time.

  7. Matt,

    I’ve read the same stories. Hopefully, this is just a case of a freshman being away from home – and living in a colder climate for the first time – and that he will decide to stay.

    Let’s just hope it’s not a Buff curse – finish a season strong, then not make it back to the field the following fall. Recall that Markques Simas had three 100-yard receiving games out of the final four games last season (and 92 yards receiving in the fourth), but didn’t make it back for 2010.

    Perhaps Richardson’s public expression of homesickness will give his teammates and new friends in Boulder an opportunity to persuade him to return next year.

  8. While I’m sure all the members of the search committee have great credentials I think it is a big mistake to not have at least one person in the group that either participated in intercollegiate athletics or has coached or been an administrator at some level in athletics. There really is no good model in the search for a new coach but if these people all approach this problem as if it were some equation to be solved and that the answer will be black and white they are throughly mistaken. There just might be a time when you have to go with your gut feel as this search is not a complete science but maybe a little bit of an art form.

  9. Stuart,

    I read on another web page that Paul Richardson is “homesick”…is there any chance that he transfers after the season is over? I would hate to lose him because he is the dynamic receiver CU has been lacking over the years. I hope the move to the Pac-10 will ease his feelings because he will get a couple of opportunities each year to play in front of friends and family.

    Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.