The End of an Error?

Will the loss to Baylor be the final straw?

Will this be the game which finally brings to an end the all too frustrating Dan Hawkins’ era?

Well, “no” … and “yes”.

Dan Hawkins will be on the sidelines for the Texas Tech game next weekend. In all likelihood, Hawkins will be patrolling the sidelines at Memorial Stadium in Lincoln the day after Thanksgiving.

But that should be it.

Six weeks from now, the 31-25 loss to Baylor will be looked as being the turning point of the 2010 season.

A win over the Bears would have given the Buffs a 4-2 record at the midway point. With three winnable home games left on the calendar (plus a winnable game on the road against hapless Kansas), the Buffs would have been on their way to a winning season, or at least a 6-6 record and a bowl game. With his first winning season still a possibility, Dan Hawkins might have found a way to save his job for yet another year.

Now, with a 31-25 home loss to a good, but certainly not great, Baylor team, Colorado is 3-3, and it is difficult to imagine a scenario under which the Buffs will rebound and post a winning season. Texas Tech next weekend? The Red Raiders are on par with Baylor, and will present similar matchup problems for the Colorado defense. Oklahoma in Norman the following weekend? Yuck. The Sooners beat Iowa State Saturday, 52-0 – and it wasn’t that close. It could be Cal ugly (52-7); it could be 2008 Missouri ugly (58-0). The only reason to watch will be to see if the Buffs can score against the Sooners.

The Buffs then go on the road to play Kansas in Lawrence. Unless the Buffs can pull out a win over Texas Tech, Colorado will travel to play the Jayhawks carrying the burden of a four game losing streak. As bad as Kansas has played this season, the Jayhawks could be looking forward to the game against the Buffs. This game could be to decide which team finishes last in the Big 12 North in 2010, and Kansas will be up to play a team they can beat.

The Buffs will limp home after a two game road trip to face Iowa State and Kansas State at home. Perhaps the Buffs will rally at this point; perhaps not. Colorado will then close out its 15-year membership in the Big 12 with a trip to Lincoln to play Nebraska. The Cornhuskers showed that they can be beaten Saturday, fallling 20-13 at home to Texas. And yes, Colorado does play Nebraska tough, regardless of records. But, after the loss to Baylor, is there anyone out there willing to place a bet on the Buffs to win that game?

Colorado is 3-3 at the halfway mark of the 2010 season, but there are no Colorado State’s or Hawai’i’s left on the schedule.

As a result, it must be said …

… the Dan Hawkins’ countdown officially began when Tyler Hansen’s last pass of the night fell incomplete in the Baylor endzone.

Colorado is 3-3, but is 0-2 in Big 12 play. A close loss to Baylor is still a loss. Baylor is now 5-2, and in line for its first bowl game since before the Big 12 was formed. Colorado is in line to finish last in the Big 12 North.

In a perverse way, it would almost be fitting that Dan Hawkins’ last team finish last in the Big 12 North. Hawkins has littered the Colorado record books with ignoble records. He is the first head coach to lead the Buffs to four consecutive losing seasons. Hawkins’ Buffs were shut out by Missouri in 2008, ending a consecutive game scoring streak dating back almost 20 full seasons. Hawkins took a team which won four division titles in five years, and has, as he might put it, “burned it to the ground”.

One last record for Dan Hawkins before he is officially shown the door?

Colorado has never, and I mean NEVER finished alone in the basement in a “Big” conference. Not in the Big Seven. Not in the Big Eight. Not in the Big 12. NEVER. Yes, Colorado has finished tied at the bottom of the standings several times, but Colorado has never finished alone in last place. (For those keeping score at home, the only other team from the Big Eight days which can make that claim is Oklahoma … Nebraska finished alone in last place in 1957).

Will 2010 be the year?

Colorado still has four winnable games in the final six contests. There were times when the Colorado offense played well against Baylor defense. There were times when the Colorado defense rose up and played well against the Baylor offense. There were times when the Colorado special teams made plays.

The Buffs just did not make enough plays to win.

The Baylor loss will haunt the Buffs the rest of the 2010 season. It may cost Colorado a bowl bid. It may just cost Dan Hawkins his job.

Pac-12 presidents and chancellors will meet this week to vote on division alignments, revenue sharing, and a conference title game site. It will be a big week for the University of Colorado, as Buff fans will find out who will be their new division rivals, and will find out which Pac-12 teams will be on their schedule in 2011.

For Buff fans, though, the 2011 season began when the final Tyler Hansen pass fell to the Folsom Field turf, sealing the loss to Baylor.

There are six weeks left in the 2010 college football campaign … just not in Boulder.

Dan Hawkins should not have been retained after last season. He has forced Buff fans to endure another season of “almosts”. He won’t find a way to justify keeping the position this time. The Baylor game sealed his fate.

Bring on 2011…!!

13 Replies to “The End of an Error?”

  1. Maybe we could use it to make a coach beast and unleash it on opponents own fields … Revelations 13.2 “And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth.” McCartney could be the head coach with assistant head coaches Bienemy , and Dave Logan. I would pay $2 million right now to see that happen ! Ha ha ha : )

  2. As for the buy-out of Hawkins’ contract – it seems to me that we ended up saving about $2 Million more than we thought we’d have to pay for the conference transfer. What could we do with that extra money…?

  3. In Minnesota’s case, they can’t wait to the end to fire their coach. They have a new stadium to pay for (which itself says they care about trying to turn it around).

    I think Hawkins is a good man, but it is time, and I wouldn’t be upset if they pulled the trigger mid-season. I really worry about who they will hire. I’m not wild about most of the ideas put forth.

    McCartney- Gone too long; don’t want a coach-in-waiting situation.
    Bienemy- Hasn’t been a head coach, although he is the most appealing of the bunch.
    Dave Logan- See Gerry Faust and Todd Dodge.

  4. I think that this far into the Hawkins era (4 1/2 years) we are too far at this point and have too much history and poor results to gauge whether Hawk should be retained based on the won lost record this year.
    There are just too many negatives when one unemotionally and objectively evaluates his tenure, and the dismal results. There are so many more negative factors than positive that render the final won loss record for 2010 totally moot.

  5. Of course Hawkins is quoted in the Post blaming the kids for the loss. He will be fired never having once admitted to a single error in five years of losing. He is perfect, it is the kids who are flawed. Time for this arrogant jerk to take the money, sell his house and slink off to tell everyone how brilliant he is if he could just not have to deal with those darn kids. For the record, while having him fired tomorrow and banned from the campus and possible excuted in public might satisfy me, I tend to agree that at this point, playing out the string is likely the best option. However if a firing squad is being assembled, I might be available.

  6. I agree 100% with J Rifas — making an announcement NOW can only help recruiting. Heck, we only had 5 official visitors for the Georgia game – the highest profile game for us in Boulder. Bohn needs to ride the momentum of the Pac 12 South announcement this coming week by announcing that the Dan Hawkins era is over and we are moving in a new direction.

    College football season is my favorite time of year and I feel like I’ve lost my last five Falls with this joke of a coach and staff. Our beloved Buffs are completely irrelevant right now and it makes me sick to my stomach to watch this happen to our program. PLEASE Bohn! — Please end my miserable by announcing something, which will give me some hope for next year.

  7. The time is NOW!!!! The zen master has to go. We are looking at another 3-9 season with no hope. Hapless Kansas will easily have their way with the zen master led Buffs. The Colorado tradition has been completely destroyed by a coach that should not be allowed in the locker room on Monday. Clean out his office and dump all his NAIA and high school trophies on his front yard.

    NOW is the time for AD Bohn to “Buffalo Up” and at least give the student athletes a chance to save their season. Gofer-2 has got to go!

  8. I no anything can happen on game day but i honestly dont see any winnable games left on the schedule.The way this team is prepared,coached and plays it is past time for hawkins to go.

  9. The sooner it is announced, the sooner we can officially begin looking for a coach. Some think the search is over – Bill McCartney will coach the team the next few years until EB, yes Eric Bienemy is ready to take over.

    It will be good to see some familiar names back on the staff.

  10. I just want Hawkins out NOW!!! He isn’t fit to coach a Pop Warner team. I’m tired of seeing the once proud program being burned to the ground. I was so angry after that game last night that I couldn’t even swear!

  11. I hear everyone say that getting rid of Hakins right now would be bad for recruiting. Personally, I see it as a plus for recruiting…even if we only have an interim coach. High School kids see what going on. If Hawkins rides out the remainder of the year, those kids will think CU isn’t serious about winning. If Hawkins is canned immediately, they will at least see that we are trying to do something about it.

  12. I did not get to see the game so I can’t comment on the incompetence of Hawkins directly, but it is time to replace him now. See today’s Denver Post column by Mark Kizla. What is the point of waiting to the end of the season? At least give the players some hope. As far as recruiting goes, it may not be a good thing but that’s the price to pay whether now or at the end of the season.

  13. At least we can take solace that it’s a foregone conclusion now. It just sucks that we have to watch this slow motion train wreck continue on for the rest of the year. If Minnesota can fire Brewster right now, why can’t we do the same?

    I hope there really is a “behind closed doors” search going on right now. How long it take them after Barney – 60 days maybe to hire Hawkins?

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