August 24th

Colorado picks up 13th game for 2011

While Colorado does not know for certain that it will be playing in the Pac-12 conference in 2011, the Buffs do know that there will be 13 games on the calendar.

On September 24, 2011, Colorado will travel to Columbus, Ohio, to take on the Buckeyes of Ohio State. The Buffs will receive $1.4 million for the one-time, no return trip contract (the payoff will increase if the game is televised, which is all but certain).

“Colorado has always recognized the significance of playing marquee opponents in the non-conference portion of our football schedule,” said Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn in a prepared statement. “This is a tremendous opportunity on the national platform to schedule a game with Ohio State … We are looking forward to what will be CU’s first trip to the ‘Horsehoe’ in 25 years.”

The two teams have met four times previously, with Ohio State owning a 3-1 advantage. In 1971, the No. 10 Buffs traveled to Columbus to face the 6th-ranked Buckeyes, coming away with a 20-14 victory. The teams met again in the 1977 Orange Bowl, with Ohio State prevailing, 27-10. The two teams then had a home-and-home series in 1985-86, with Ohio State winning in Boulder in 1985 (I won’t tell you the score, because you have to go to the Archives, where I actually have found the video highlights from this game – check out the blue “COLORADO” in the bowl), and again in Columbus, 13-10, in 1986.

If – and when – Colorado joins the Pac 12 for the 2011 season (more on that below), the Buffs will have nine conference games to play. Colorado will be able to keep its already contracted non-conference games – @Hawaii on September 3rd; v. Colorado State (Denver) on September 17th; with the home game against Fresno State being moved from September 24th to October 8th.

The schedule would give the Buffs 13 games, which is allowed by the NCAA when a team travels to play a game at Hawaii. If the home game against Cal, previously scheduled as a home conference game on September 10th, is kept as is, Colorado will open its Pac 12 season against the Bears, then play another conference game on October 1st before finishing off the non-conference slate against Fresno State. The Buffs would not have a bye week, and would have to have five Pac-12 home games in 2011 in order to have six games in Boulder.

But … will Colorado be stuck in the Big 12 until 2012?

The Daily Camera (link:   is reporting that the Buffs are planning on staying in the Big 12 until 2012, as no exit agreement has been reached with the Big 12. “It is our plan (to play in the Big 12 in 2011), and that is what we are working on,” said Mike Bohn.

The issue is how much much television revenue Colorado has to forfeit, as the penalty for leaving after one year is significantly higher than the penalty for the second year. “We’re waiting for further direction from the Big 12 on how many games will be incorporated into the conference schedule for 2011,” said Bohn.

Reading between the lines of the article, however, I still do not see officials from Colorado or the Big 12 saying that the headline of the Camera article, “CU Buffs to remain in Big 12 two years, join Pac-12 in 2012” is a true statement, and that Colorado and the Big 12 (11?) will schedule accordingly. I see the above as posturing by both sides. I still believe that Colorado will be playing in the Pac-12 in 2011.

Your thoughts? Post your comments below.

August 22nd

Buff name four senior teammates captains for 2010

Four fifth-year seniors, quarterback Cody Hawkins, offensive tackle Nate Solder, cornerback Jalil Brown, and wide receiver Scotty McKnight were named Sunday as the Buffs’ captains for the 2010 season.

Of the four, Solder and McKnight need no further explanation. Solder is an All-American candidate, a three-year letter winner, and the anchor of the offensive line. McKnight, also a three-year letter winner, already holds several Colorado all-time receiving records, including touchdown receptions (46). McKnight is in position to take over the career receptions mark on September 4th (he is only two shy of Michael Westbrook’s record of 167), and will likely take over the yardage title by year’s end.

Jalil Brown has not receieved the accolades of fellow cornerback Jimmy Smith, but his inclusion on the captain’s list is certainly understandable. Brown was amongst the national leaders in passes broken up last season, with 17, and he earned the respect of his peers as an underclassman, leading the team in special teams points as both a freshman and a sophomore.

Nor is it a surprise that Cody Hawkins was named as a captain. While Hawkins is the only player amongt the four captains who will not be starting in the opener against Colorado State, he has certainly earned the respect of his teammates. Colorado has undergone four straight losing seasons, and, for the past three of those, Cody has been the face of the team. He has never been shy about taking on media responsibilities, even when the Buffs have played poorly and the attacks on the team – and his father – have been at their peak. One can question Cody’s athleticism, his play-making abilities, his speed, even his height – but you cannot question his leadership.

The Buffs were able to vote for any player on the team when they were choosing their captains. They chose four fifth-year seniors, all three year letter winners.

They chose wisely.

August 21st

Associated Press Top 25 announced

For the eighth consecutive season, the University of Colorado is not a member of the Associated Press preseason Top 25 football poll.

It has been since the opening of the 2002 season, when the Buffs were ranked 7th in the first poll of that year, that Colorado has gone without a number attached to its name to start the year. (For those keeping track, it was November, 2005, when the Buffs were last ranked at all. Colorado was ranked 22nd heading into Ames to play Iowa State on November 12, 2005. A humbling 30-16 loss dropped the Buffs out of the polls, and sent the Buffs on their way to two devastating losses (30-3 to Nebraska; 70-3 to Texas in the Big 12 championship game) and the end of the Gary Barnett era.

In the preseason poll, Alabama, the defending national champion, is the consensus pick to repeat (though no BCS champion has yet been able to defend their title). The Crimson Tide received 54 of the 60 first place votes. No. 2 Ohio State received three first place votes, with the other three spread out amongst No. 3 Boise State, No. 5 Texas, and No. 7 Oklahoma.

Only three teams from the Big 12 are in the preseason poll, but they are all in the top eight, with No. 8 Nebraska falling in line behind Texas and Oklahoma. Looking down to the “others receiving votes”, though, there are four more Big 12 members: No. 33 Missouri; No. 37 Texas Tech; No. 40 Texas A&M; and No. 42 Oklahoma State.

Looking to the Colorado 2010 schedule, there are only three teams ranked: No. 7 Oklahoma; No. 8 Nebraska; and No. 23 Georgia. Amongst the “others” on the Buffs’ schedule, there are also No. 33 Missouri and No. 37 Texas Tech. Interestingly enough, Cal, the Buffs’ first road game of the season, did not merit any votes in the minds of the Associated Press panel.

For those already looking past 2010 to 2011, it is worthy of note that three teams from the Pac-10 are ranked, No. 11 Oregon, No. 14 USC, and No. 24 Oregon State. Four other future foes are also listed amongst the “others”: No. 27 Stanford; No. 28 Utah; No. 35 Arizona; and No. 39 Washington (not to mention the potential game the Buffs might be playing in Columbus against 2010 preseason No. 2 Ohio State).

Colorado was a mainstay in the Associated Press poll for over eight full seasons – 143 consecutive weeks between 1989 and 1997. In the past seven seasons, however, the Buffs have been ranked a total of five weeks, none of those coming in the Dan Hawkins’ era.

And it’s not as if it was a surprise that Colorado was on the outside looking in to start the 2010 season …

August 17th

Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild posted a “tweet” Tuesday afternoon that he has picked a starter for the Rams’ game against the Buffs. “Going to start Pete Thomas against CU. I feel like he gives us the best chance to win,” tweeted Fairchild.

Who knew it could be that easy to name a starting quarterback … ?

Pete Thomas may become a name with which Buff fans become quite familiar, seeing as he is a true freshman. Thomas is 6’5″, 218-pound prospect from El Cajon, California. rated Thomas as the No. 16 pro-style quarterback of the Class of 2010. Thomas, like Colorado freshman quarterback Nick Hirschmann, graduated early, and participated in spring drills in Fort Collins this spring.

Thomas will be the third straight quarterback to make their debut against Colorado, joining fifth-year seniors Billy Farris (2008) and Grant Stucker (2009).  Thomas will be only the second freshman to start the opener for Colorado State, joining the immortal Bob Hainlen, a 17-year old true freshman who led the Rams (or the Aggies, as they were known at the time) to a 33-0 win over Northern Colorado.

Thomas beat out sophomore Klay Kubiak and red-shirt freshman Nico Ranieri for the right to face the Buffs’ defense on September 4th …


August 15th

More on Colorado’s trip to Columbus

The announcement that Colorado was in negotiations with Ohio State for a trip to Columbus in 2011 perhaps gives a hint as to how negotiations are going with the Buffs’ exit from the Big 12.

First, it is clear that the Buffs will be playing in the Pac-12 in 2011. This is not really news. We know that announcement is coming, it is just a matter of when (my bet is that it will come shortly after the start of the 2010 season, when focus has shifted to the field of play). That Colorado is looking to adjust its 2011 schedule is just the next step in that process.

Second, though, the discussion makes you wonder how bad the penalty might be for Colorado, and that the Pac-10 might not be helping the Buffs pay the buy-out. The consensus is that Colorado will reap significant benefits monetarily from the new Pac-12 television contract, but the Buffs taking on a $2 million payday for taking on the Buckeyes might be a hint that the athletic department is going in search of dollars to pay off the Big 12.

Finally, there is the concern as to how the 2011 schedule might be formulated. As it stands now, Colorado has four non-conference games: at Hawaii; Cal; CSU (in Denver); and Fresno State. The Cal game could be a new Pac-12 conference game, but that would still leave the Buffs with three non-conference games. As the new Pac-12 will likely have nine conference games to play, the non-conference schedule would already be set: at Hawaii; CSU (in Denver); and Fresno State.

So what game goes? It certainly won’t be Colorado State.

It could be Hawaii, but the Buffs are playing the first game of a home-and-home with the Rainbow Warriors this fall.

It could be Fresno State, but that would leave Colorado with exactly zero non-conference games in Boulder. With promises to local merchants that Colorado will have at least six home games each season, and with the Buffs slated to play a maximum of five Pac-12 games at home each season (in alternate years, there will only be four), something else has to give.

One possible solution: Colorado could play a 13-game schedule. This is allowable when teams play at Hawaii. This would give the Buffs six home games, counting Fresno State and five Pac-12 games.

Another option would be to drop the Hawaii game, but, as mentioned, that would require a buyout of the home-and-home with Hawaii, and Colorado should not be writing checks when the balance sheet is in need of an infusion of dollars from the Ohio State coffers.

A final solution would be to move the Colorado State game to Boulder – but we know how much the Rams like scheduling games in Boulder.

Best bet at this point: schedule Ohio State (either September 10, 2011, when Colorado is presently slated to play Cal, or September 24th, when Ohio State has an open date, which would require moving the date of the Fresno State game), giving Colorado four non-conference games: At Hawaii, Colorado State (in Denver), at Ohio State; Fresno State. The Buffs would then also need to have the Pac-12 schedulers agree that 2011 will be a five home game conference season for Colorado.

Clear as mud …

All we know for sure is that – this just in! – money rules football.

August 14th

Injury update

Two Buffs suffered major injuries during the first fall practice on Thursday.

Sophomore wide receiver Justin Ebner became the first Buff to suffer a serious of the fall. At Thursday’s scrimmage, Ebner broke his tibia, and will be out for six weeks.

Safety Vince Ewing was also injured during the scrimmage, and was diagnosed Friday with a tear of his ACL. The injury means that Ewing, a sophomore, is the first Buff in 2010 to suffer a season-ending injury. Ewing had nine tackles during the first fall scrimmage, second on the team.

Buffs adding difficulty to 2011 schedule?

There are many things which can be said about the University of Colorado football program which tend toward the negative.

Detractors can say Colorado can’t fill a medium-sized stadium without a great influx of spectators wearing opponents’ colors.

Detractors can say that the University does not back the athletic department, and that the Buffs are at odds with their own community.

Detractors can say that the Buffs are big-time “wannabes”, on the outside of big time college football, trying to pretend like they belong.

One thing detractors cannot say, however, is that the Buffs duck tough non-conference opportunties.

With the unknownas concerning the 2011 schedule – we’ll assume a Pac-12 schedule which may include ranked teams from Utah, USC, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, and perhaps Oregon State. A non-conference trip to Hawaii. An always tough game against Colorado State in Denver.

The above being a given, one might assume that the Buffs would take the opportunity to have their last remaining non-conference game be filled with a cupcake. After all, Colorado lost to Montana State and trailed Eastern Washington, so there are no givens, but the Buffs would be justified in playing teams other teams play (like say, a Western Kentucky or South Dakota State, who Nebraska is playing this season).

Instead, it is being reported that Colorado is in negotiations with Ohio State to play the Buckeyes, in Columbus, in 2011. The $2 million payout for the trip (there would be no return trip by Ohio State to Boulder) could help the Buffs finance their departure to the Pac-12, but would not make the 2011 schedule any easier. Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn is presently negotiating the Buffs’ departure for the Pac-12 a year early, and the package which would include a money game makes sense.

Unless you have a team desperate for finding ways to post a winning record in their new conference …

{On a side note, I have to wonder whether the Buffs are trying to create  problems for me and my family. My son-in-law attended the University of Oregon, soon to become a rival. And my wife attended – you guessed it – Ohio State. Why couldn’t Colorado have made these moves in the mid-90’s, when the Buffs were ranked in the top ten every season?}

More on Cody v. Tyler …

When asked about watching the tape of Thursday’s three hour scrimmage, Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins said that he was mostly pleased about the effort. “I thought I saw a good tempo, a lot of good guys running the ball, doing a lot of extra effort things,” said Hawkins. “All that is positive. Both sides you can say everything is okay, but we got two or three death blows in there that have got to be eliminated.”

The “death blows”? There were several dropped passes by the wide receiver corps, and two offensive plays resulted in defensive touchdowns. The first was a fumble which was returned for a touchdown; the second was an interception returned for six points.

The culprit on both defensive touchdown plays … Tyler Hansen.

Will that be enough for Dan Hawkins to delay naming Tyler Hansen as the starter at quarterback for the game against Colorado State? …

We’ll see.

August 12th

Cody v. Tyler … again

Tyler Hansen ran the seven-on-seven drills this summer. Senior wide receiver Scotty McKnight said at the Big 12 media days, “He’s our starter”. Hansen has been running with the “ones” the first week of practice.

So will Tyler Hansen be the starter against Colorado State?

“We’re not going to make an announcement,” said Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins, “so that way you’ll have something to write about every single day.” Is Hawkins trying to keep Colorado State in the dark? “I don’t know that their game plan is going to be a whole lot different based upon one guy or the other. I really don’t.”

Offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau, you want to help us out here?

Kiesau did acknowledge that the starting job might be Hansen’s to lose at this point, but then added that both quarterbacks, “are playing really well.”

Hansen, for his part, agrees the opportunity is there for the taking. “I think I have the edge right now. I had the advantage coming out of spring and was on top of the depth chart,” said Hansen. “Over the summer, I felt like I gained a leadership role, and that really jump started my fall camp. So I think it’s my spot to lose.”

For those ready to call it a done deal, though, you have to remember the past two fall camps.

Both players had their moments during the first fall scrimmage, but both also made mistakes. The defense scored two touchdowns on the day, and both were the fault of Tyler Hansen. “Only two mistakes is a pretty good day,” said Hansen, “But those also were two big mistakes.”

Said head coach Dan Hawkins, “That’s a huge gaffe right there”.

And so it goes …  

August 11th

First scrimmage will provide skewed stats

Hoping for a definitive stat sheet from Thursday’s first scrimmage? Want to see how well Tyler Hansen is doing compared to Cody Hawkins? See how many yards/carry Speedy posts? How many catches go out to the “Transfer Trio” (Clemons, Patterson, and Richarson)?

Well, there will be stats, but not many which Buff fans will be able to dissect.

The reason? The first scrimmage of the fall, which will be open to the public, will be “situational”. The Buffs will focus on game situations, and will not feature the offense trying to put together extended drives. “It will be a lot like the first scrimmage we had in the spring,” said Dan Hawkins. “We will try and get a lot of situational work done.”

The Buffs will conduct two more scrimmages this fall, on Thursday, August 19th, and on Saturday, August 28th. Neither of those scrimmages, however, will be open to the public. Previously, Dan Hawkins stated that he hoped to name a starting quarterback for the Colorado State game after the Buffs’ second scrimmage.

Five Buffs on Watch Lists

In 2009, only two Buffs were on pre-season watch lists, as tight end Riar Geer was named to the John Mackey Award watch list (top tight end), while Matt DiLallo was placed on the Ray Guy Award watch list (top punter).

In 2010, there are five Buffs who have been so honored. Offensive tackle Nate Solder is on the Lombardi Award watch list (top lineman or linebacker) as well as the Outland Trophy watch list (top interior lineman). Joining Solder on the Outland Trophy watch list is offensive guard Ryan Miller. A third offensive lineman, center Keenan Stevens, has been nominated to the Lombardi Award watch list (top center). A fourth offensive player nominated is wide receiver Scotty McKnight, named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list (top wide receiver). The lone defensive player from Colorado nominated for an award is cornerback Jimmy Smith, named to the Jim Thorpe Award watch list (top defensive back).

Last season, Geer made it to the mid-season watch list, while DiLallo, well, you know how that worked out.

This season, the Buffs are up to five nominees, with Solder and Smith legitimate candidates to at least make the list of finalists.

If you trying to read the tea leaves in hopes of finding a reason to believe Colorado will better the 3-9 record from last season – the above is a good start.

August 10th

Colorado/Georgia under the lights

Blackout game, anyone?

It appeared before today that the University of Colorado, coming off of a 3-9 season, would not be playing in primetime during the non-conference schedule. All four games were scheduled for mid-afternoon on Saturday, a clear departure from 2009, when the Buffs played on Sunday, Friday, and Thursday during the non-conference slate.

That changed Tuesday when it was announced that the Colorado/Georgia game, formerly set for 2:30 p.m., would be moved to a 5:00 p.m. kickoff. ABC will be showing the Texas/Oklahoma game nationally at 1:30 p.m., and the move to 5:00 p.m. will likely generate a larger audience for FoxSportsNet, which had previously announced it would show the game between the Buffs and the Bulldogs nationally.

With the game in early October, it already looks like a natural fit for a “Blackout Saturday”.

August 9th

Patterson on the field, and finally a Buff!

USC transfer Travon Patterson was a participant in the Buffs’ practice this morning, which was a good sign. However, that news was tempered a few hours later when Colorado head coach Dan Hawkins indicated that Patterson was still not cleared to be a member of the team, but, as a player must participate in three shorts and helmets practices before participating with pads, he wanted the newest Buff to get into practices with shorts as soon as possible. While that was certainly an indication of the confidence that Patterson would be cleared, it was still not a definitive announcement that the senior wide receiver would be wearing black and gold this fall.

Then, in a statement issued Monday night, the university announced that Travon Patterson’s issues with the Pac-10 had been resolved: “We are most appreciative of the professionalism, timeliness, and attention to detail from our new partners in the Pac-10, and that includes the conference office and all the 10 current institutions”, said Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn in a press release. “Our first experience of dealing with an issue of substance could not have been more impressive, and not just because of the clearance that Travon received, but because of the professional commitment and collaboration in the entire process.”

For those who have been on vacation the past few weeks … Travon Patterson played three seasons at wide receiver for the Trojans. With the school under NCAA sanctions, however, juniors and seniors have been permitted to transfer without having to sit out a year. There was a holdup on Patterson coming to Boulder, though, as concerns were raised by USC and the Pac-10 about transfers within the Pac-10 conference, but those issues have finally been resolved.

Welcome to Boulder – officially – Travon Patterson!!

Water World

After the first practice of the fall in pads, the Buffs took the afternoon off to travel to Water World. The team will have two practice sessions on Tuesday, with a practice in pads in the morning and a practice in shorts in the afternoon. Another practice in shorts on Wednesday will precede the first of three scrimmages, which will be conducted between 12:00-3:00 p.m. on Thursday. (UPDATE: As it turns out, the Buffs did not go to Water World, as was reported. That trip was taken last fall camp. Instead, the Buffs watched the movie Inception Monday afternoon).


August 6th

One down, one to go …

Freshman wide receiver Paul Richardson, the former UCLA recruit, has been cleared to practice with the team. After meeting with Colorado admissions and athletic officials, Richardson was admitted to the University.

“So far the players I’ve met are really great guys, and the coaches are great,” said Richardson, who was able to practic with the team on Friday. “I just can’t wait to hit the field. I haven’t been on the field in a while, and I’m just anxious to get back out there.”

As a senior at Sierra High in Gardena, California, Richardson was ranked as the No. 26 wide receiver prospect in the nation by, while had him as the No. 38 receiver nationally, and had him as the No. 22 wide receiver in the country.

Richardson understands that, after his arrest in California which led to his dismissal from UCLA, that he will be on a short leash in Boulder. “This is definitely a second chance. I made it to a big-name university,” said Richardson. “I made a mistake and God has blessed me with another opportunity to redeem myself … so I plan to just put it behind me and learn from it. I’ve moved past it and I’m ready to move forward.”

More on Richardson, as well as a recap of Friday’s practice, will be posted on Saturday …

USA Today Top 25 released

The second-most important Top 25 poll of the preseason was released Friday (the Associated Press poll will come out two weeks before the first regular season game), with a few surprises.

It is not a suprise the defending national champion Alabama sits atop the poll (link:, with the Crimson Tide garnering 55 of the 59 votes by the coaches. The other four first place votes went to Ohio State, which finished fifth in the final 2009 season poll.

The Big 12 was well represented – at least in the top ten. Texas, last year’s runner-up, slid to fourth in the first poll of 2010, just behind Florida. Oklahoma and Nebraska came in at No. 8 and No. 9, respectively. To find the next Big 12 team, you have do delve into the “Others receiving votes”, where one will find Missouri “ranked” 37th, followed by Oklahoma State at 39th, Texas Tech at 44th, and Texas A&M at 46th.

The Pac-12 meanwhile, also had three teams in the preseason Top 25 – if you count 2011 newcomer Utah. The Utes came in at a tie for 24th with West Virginia, behind Oregon at 11th and Oregon State at 22nd. As if to underscore last week’s Pac-10 media poll, which saw seven of the ten teams receive votes for the best team in the conference, five other Pac-12 schools were amongst the “Others receiving votes” – with Arizona coming in at 29th; Stanford at 32nd; and Washington at 36th.  Arizona State and Californina came in at a tie for 42nd, with six votes apiece (Note: USC, under NCAA sanctions, is not eligible for the USA Today Coaches’ poll).

For Buff fans, there are three ranked teams on the 2010 schedule (No. 8 Oklahoma; No. 9 Nebraska; and No. 21 Georgia), with three more opponents amongst the “others” – 37th-ranked Missouri; No. 42 Cal; and No. 44 Texas Tech.

Other notes from the USA Today Coaches’ poll … the SEC, led by Alabama at No. 1 and Florida at No. 3, leads all conferences with six ranked teams … BCS buster lovers will take note that Boise State, at No. 5, and TCU, at No. 7, are both positioned, with undefeated seasons, to make a run at the national championship game … Oregon State, though, will have a say in the championship hopes of both the Broncos and the Horned Frogs, as the Beavers play TCU in Arlington to open the season, then travel to the Smurf Turf in Boise three weeks later … Oklahoma took the biggest leap from the final 2009 poll, going from being unranked to a No. 8 preseason ranking. The highest ranking afforded any other team not ranked at the end of last season was given to North Carolina, which will start the season at No. 18.

Richardson / Patterson still not Buffs … yet

The saga continues …

The good news: Both USC transfer Travon Patterson and former UCLA recruit Paul Richardson were in Boulder yesterday as fall practice got underway.

The bad news: Neither Paul Richardson nor Travon Patterson practiced with the Buffs Thursday, with the status of both remaining fluid.

The issue for Patterson apparently has to deal with internal Pac-10 transfer rules. The NCAA, due to sanctions imposed upon USC, is allowing juniors and seniors to transfer without having to sit out, but the conference has its own rules about transfers within the conference. “His eligibility is still not resolved,” said Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn.

Head coach Dan Hawkins, for his part, did not seem to believe that the issue was insurmountable. Asked after practice if the paperwork on Patterson was just a formality, Hawkins responded, “Yeah, yeah”.

Paul Richardson was also a spectator on Thursday. The wide receiver recruit dismissed by UCLA after he was involved in a theft of a student’s backpack, Richardson has apparently settled on Colorado as his school of choice. As of yet, though, he has not been admitted to the University of Colorado.

More on both wide receivers later today, as events warrant …



August 5th

Paul Richardson a Buff?

There is no confirmation – yet, but it is being widely that former UCLA wide receiver recruit Paul Richardson was on campus in Boulder, and was enrolling for fall classes. There were also reports that Richardson was in shorts and watching the first CU practice of the fall from the sidelines.

At this point, I am not quite ready to break out the bubbly, but you have to like the looks of this. If Richardson is going to enroll in another university, and have any hope of playing in 2010, it must be done soon. If Richardson is indeed in Boulder and working on paperwork, it would appear that he has made his choice, and that Colorado has, for the second time in as many weeks, significantly upgraded its receiving corps.

However … the Colorado admisssions office and the NCAA has scuttled player movement before. In this instance, though, Richardson is not a transfer, as he received a release from his letter of intent from UCLA, and never enrolled. He is eligible as a freshman from the Class of 2010, and, if he was eligible to enroll at UCLA … it bodes well that he would qualify for CU as well.

The next few days should tell us a great deal …

August 4th

Fall Camp underway

Led by a senior class of only 12 scholarship players, the Colorado Buffaloes signed in Wednesday for the start of the 2010 season.

Of the 12 players, nine have seen significant time on the playing field as starters – four on offense; four on defense; and one on special teams.

On the offensive side of the ball, senior wide receiver Scotty McKnight, alreaady a record-setter, has seen the most playing time amongst the seniors. Along the offensive line, preseason All-Big 12 selection Nate Solder joins Keenan Stevens as the only seniors in the trenches. The only other senior with extensive starting duty is quarterback Cody Hawkins. The other seniors on offense are: running back Corey Nabors; tight end Luke Walters; and wide receivers Andre Simmons and Travon Patterson.

On defense, the four seniors who have seen extensive playing time in the past, and will likely see most of the snaps on defense this fall, are: defensive end Marquez Herrod; linebacker B.J. Beatty; and cornerbacks Jalil Brown and Jimmy Smith. The only other senior on the defensive side of the ball this season will be linebacker Michael Sipili.

The lone scholarship player on special teams returning is kicker Aric Goodman (though walk-on defensive tackle / long snapper Joe Silipo will also be a senior in 2010).

If the senior class seems unusually small, you would be correct. By comparison, the junior class at Colorado, based on the depth chart, has 25 scholarship players.

How did the 2010 senior class get that small?

Let’s take a look at the recruiting class of 2006. The highest rated player in Dan Hawkins’ first recruiting class was … Cody Hawkins.

In the aftermath of the poorly handled dismissal of Gary Barnett, the recruiting class was a shambles. No player was rated as four star, and quarterback Cody Hawkins, considered by as the 21st-best quarterback of the 2006 class, was the best the Buffs could get. Over half of the class was rated as two-star or lower.

Other three stars who signed on in February, 2006, include – in declining order of their national ranking: defensive end Jason Bryce; safety Jimmy Smith; linebacker Marquez Herrod; running back Demetrius Sumler; wide receiver Sherman Lang; linebacker Michael Sipili; offensive lineman Wes Palazzi; running back Thomas Perez; and offensive lineman Erick Faatagi.

The Buffs did not completely miss out on picking future stars, though. Near the bottom of the national rankings of the 22 member class were Justin Drescher, who was a four year starter at long-snapper for the Buffs, and one Nate Solder, an unranked, two-star prospect from Buena Vista.

The few, the proud – the Colorado senior class of 2010.

This fall will be their last chance to go out with a winning record …

August 2nd

Jimmy Smith makes Thorpe Award watch list

Senior cornerback Jimmy Smith has been named as one of 35 players on the Jim Thorpe Award preseason watch list.  The award, given to the nation’s top defensive back, has been awarded to two Buffs in the past, Deon Figures (1992) and Chris Hudson (1994).

Enthusiasm from Buff fans might be tempered somewhat, however, from the knowledge that 3/4 of the Texas Longhorn backfield has also been nominated. Safety Blake Gideon is joined on the watchlist by both Texas cornerbacks, Curtis Brown and Aaron Williams. In all, there are six players from the Big 12 nominated (For those keeping score at home, there were two players from the Pac-10 nominated, one from Arizona, the other from UCLA).

The Thorpe Award committee will meet the first week of November to narrow the field down to 10 to 12 semi-finalists, and will meet again the Monday before Thanksgiving to select the three finalists. The names of the finalists will then be submitted to a national panel of about 50 sportswriters, coaches, and former players who will vote and determine a winner.

But …

“He is hands down one of the best corners in the country,” said senior wide receiver Scotty McKnight.

Thing is, he wasn’t talking about Thorpe Award candidate Jimmy Smith.

McKnight was talking about his partner, senior Jalil Brown.

“Of everyone I’ve gone against – Aqib Talib at Kansas, guys from Oklahoma and different schools,” McKnight said. “Jalil’s strength and speed are unmatched by anyone.”

Brown is ready for a big senior season, and said that the transition from Greg Brown to Ashley Ambrose as is position coach was smooth. “We gone from having a mastermind who knew the game inside and out to having a guy who played it on the field,” said Brown. “(Ambrose) can tell you why you do this, how you do it, when to use your leverage and get you out of bad situations … I don’t think there’s a better DB coach in the country as far as learning technique.”

Jalil Brown does appreciate the talent on the other side of the defensive line. “I’m very fortunate to be playing with a cornerback as good as (Jimmy Smith) is,” said Brown. “I think we’ve both got a chance to have a good year. I don’t think the quarterback can throw to one side or the other and believe he has a better chance (at a completion).”

“We realize the importance of this season,” said Brown of his senior year. “We’ve both got that in mind – making it to the Big 12 championship game and a major bowl game. Some of the guys in the past kind of got into the habit of dreading the early morning workouts, running the shuttles … but now, I think the guys know this is what’s going to get us better.”

Coming off of a 3-9 season Buff fans would like to forget, it’s nice to have one position on the field that Colorado has covered.

7 Replies to “The Colorado Daily”

  1. “But if you bring home another losing season, you’re gone – without penalty. If the Buffs go bowling in 2010, the clause is replaced by a $1 million buyout. Winning season in 2011? Add another million.”

    Now that’s thinking outside the box, Stuart! It could work, although I wouldn’t bump up the buyout to a mil after one bowl season . . . maybe half that. Two winning seasons, back to back, with more wins each year . . . then I’d go to a mil buyout. if you look at the progress that Randy Shannon has brought to Miami, he’s improved by two wins each year and now, this year has the Canes on the verge of at least a 10 win season, BCS playing, darkhorse national title contending team.

    Who in Buffland wouldn’t like to have a 10 win season? Heck I’d settle for 8 this year as a sign of real progress.

    We shall see soon enough. Hopefully Hawkins won’t be outcoached by Fairchild AGAIN!

  2. Another season of Big xii (xi?) football serves nobody’s best interest. This is posturing by both sides. I wonder where Nebraska is on this since their Chancellor has been on record all along that neither CU or NU owe any departure moneys b/c they were driven to it by Texas and Mizzou.

  3. hard to have a black out game at five in the afternoon. Maybe a “Gold Rush Sunset” would be better.

  4. Thanks for the Richardson updates, Stuart. This kid could definitely be a BIG step up, if not this year then next.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *