Colorado Daily

May 31st

Colorado second in the Pac-12 conference in returning starters

Okay, so having a large number of returning starters from one of the worst offenses and one of the worst defenses in school history is not great news, but it beats the alternative … completely starting over with 22 freshmen.

The Pac-12 media guide is out, and its 44 pages have some interesting tidbits (though Buff fans should avoid pages 32-44, as they contain the statistics from the 2012 season), and one of the notes worth noting is the list of returning starters.

Colorado is second in the conference, with 19 returning starters (nine offense; eight defense; two specialists) second only to Washington, which has 20. Three schools are right behind CU, with 17 returning starters – Arizona; Oregon State; and Washington State. (It’s interesting to note that Arizona is listing that all 11 of its defensive starters are back from 2012).

Last on the list is Utah, which has only 12 starters (six offense; six defense) returning this fall.

May 29th

Game times for CU non-conference games set

CU’s non-conference schedule would not have been very attractive to the networks, even if CU was winning games.

As a result, it’s not a surprise that the Buffs non-conference games all have different kickoff times:

Sunday Sept 1 – CSU in Denver on CBS Sportsnet – 4:00 p.m.
Saturday Sept 7 – Central Arkansas at Folsom on PAC 12 Net – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday Sept 14 – Fresno State at Folsom on PAC 12 Net – 12:00 p.m.

The CSU game time we already knew about, as the television contract was controlled by the Rams. The Central Arkansas game could be fun – assuming the Buffs defeat the Rams and look well positioned to take care of business against a FCS team – the Buff Nation will be well lubricated and loud. On the other hand, if the Buffs lose to the Rams, that Saturday will be a long and nervous day wondering if the Central Arkansas game will be the one (last best?) chance for a victory in 2013.

While the early kickoff for the Fresno State game will cut down on tailgating, the early start could also be a small advantage. Kickoff will seem like 11:00 a.m. for the visitors from the Pacific coast, giving CU a chance, albeit a small one, to catch the Bulldogs sleepwalking through the early part of the game (or, at least not awake enough to run out to a 35-0 first quarter lead … like last year).

May 28th

Buffs to delay bringing in freshmen – “I want them hungry to be here”

From cubuffs.com … Mike MacIntyre’s pair of new quarterbacks will arrive this weekend and begin summer school classes on Monday, June 3, but their first-year Colorado teammates will have almost another three full weeks before they report to campus and settle in to prepare for the 2013 season.

“I want them hungry to be here,” MacIntyre said of the June 23rd reporting date for the remainder of his incoming student-athletes.

CU signed 20 high school prospects in February and MacIntyre expects “another five or six” walk-ons. When the newcomers report in late June, “We like to have them doing stuff together all day, staying together from 7 (a.m.) to 6 at night, six days a week – bonding, making connections,” he said.

“When August hits (players report on Aug. 5), it’s a new reality for them. I want them to have a feel for their new teammates, both the guys they came in with and the older guys on the team.”

From previous experience, MacIntyre said he believes if all freshmen and newcomers report in early June, “I think they start getting burned out around the first of October. I want to let them have three to four weeks to say goodbye to mom, their grandparents” – and he added with a laugh – “break up with their girlfriends.”

… For obvious reasons, MacIntyre wants freshmen QB Sefo Liufau and junior college transfer Jordan Gehrke (Scottsdale Community College) on campus at the earliest possible date.

MacIntyre hopes both newcomers will absorb as much of the offensive scheme as possible and compete with junior Connor Wood for the No. 1 QB spot. MacIntyre has said he won’t name a starter until he’s seen the camp competition play itself out.

Liufau was the only quarterback signed in MacIntyre’s first CU recruiting class, and MacIntyre said, “We know he can throw and is really accurate.”

More on junior college quarterback Jordan Gehrke – “He’s not your typical JC guy”

From cubuffs.com .. In their search for another quarterback, MacIntyre and offensive coordinator/QB coach Brian Lindgren began working their JC connections and settled on Gehrke, who passed for 2,358 yards and 22 touchdowns (14 interceptions) last season at Scottsdale.

“We looked at about five or six junior college kids and felt he was the best,” MacIntyre said.

Gehrke transferred in February to Ventura (Calif.) College, whose head coach, Steve Mooshagian, was a MacIntyre acquaintance. MacIntyre said Mooshagian offered this scouting report on Gehrke: “A in accuracy, B-plus in athleticism, B in arm strength.”

“But,” added MacIntyre, “(Mooshagian) told me he could flat-out play and probably would be one of the top two JC quarterbacks in the country next year.”

Only problem was, Gehrke hadn’t yet played a down for Ventura, and his leaving for CU would send Mooshagian on a late search for another quarterback. Recalled MacIntyre: “He (Mooshagian) said, ‘You want him now, don’t you?’ I said, ‘Yeah, we just lost a quarterback.’”

Citing his relationship with MacIntyre and offensive line coach Gary Bernardi, Mooshagian gave his approval for Gehrke to transfer and wished him well. When they were at San Jose State, MacIntyre and his staff were aware of Gehrke as a high school player (Notre Dame Prep in Scottsdale, Ariz.). But at about 6-0 and pushing 170 pounds, he was undersized and didn’t turn the heads of many major college recruiters.

May 26th

While the Buff Nation waits … and waits … and waits …

Other news on facilities expansion …

Something to make you feel worse:

From the San Jose Mercury News … San Jose State hopes to break ground on renovations to 80-year-old Spartan Stadium by the end of the year after its end zone project received approval Tuesday at the California State University board of trustees meeting in Long Beach.

The $38.5 million privately financed project is expected to be completed in time for the 2015 football season. Construction is not expected to interrupt the football team’s usage of the stadium before then.

“Now the heavy lifting starts,” SJSU athletic director Gene Bleymaier said. “It’s very exciting to be at this junction and to be moving ahead with the project.” Bleymaier said the athletic department is “just over halfway” toward raising the money for the project, a key threshold in receiving CSU approval.

And a little something to make you feel better:

From the Coloradoan … (Okay, so it’s just a “Soapbox” guest editorial, but you have to like it) – CSU President Tony Frank has set a goal of growing the university, particularly through out-of-state students who pay higher tuition. Toward that end, athletic director Jack Graham believes a new football stadium along with a pumped-up football program is essential to increase visibility of CSU and, therefore, student numbers.

However, students come here from out of state for what CSU has to offer: professors, departments, areas of excellence, research interests, special programs and the environment. The reason students come to CSU, borrow money and go into debt is for education and better job prospects, not to pay for a redundant football stadium.

CSU sets contradictory goals of increasing student numbers while simultaneously ceding prime academic land to the athletic department.

This 40,000-seat stadium will sit on 12 acres of land (12 football fields) and stand the height of the First National Bank Building downtown. This enormous building, with big population flows in densely developed Old Town, will require huge alterations in utilities, streets and infrastructure within CSU and the surrounding city. Who pays for this?

At first, the stadium was a free gift from donors. Now CSU athletics is required to raise just half the cost to build the stadium, not accounting for hundreds of millions required to complete the project. With the unwilling backing of students and taxpayers, CSU will borrow or float bonds to finance it.

There has been no solid financial explanation offered for taking such risks with CSU and our fair city. The Stadium Advisory Committee financial report was prepared by the builders of the stadium.

Their reports read like marketing materials advocating for construction, not objective analysis. They are unworthy of the level of expertise within CSU and the intelligence of our community. Costs were ignored or minimized. The projections of profit are not consistent with conclusions of research compiled from universities across the nation.

May 25th

Emma Coburn wins NCAA West preliminary

Okay, so this strays from the normal coverage of football and basketball, but Emma Coburn keeps piling up impressive wins …

From cubuffs.com … Weather conditions may not have been perfect earlier in the day, but everything fell perfectly into place for the University of Colorado’s Emma Coburn on Friday night as she captured a first-place finish at the NCAA West Preliminary Championships to advance to nationals.

The running events were delayed three hours at Mike A. Myers Stadium due to heavy rain and lighting in the area, but in total the championships were suspended for nearly six hours as field events were stopped just before 2 p.m. and didn’t resume until after 8 p.m.

“Days like this are funny because you are sitting in your hotel room ready to go and then it’s an hour delay, then a two-hour delay and then a three-hour delay,” Coburn said. “It kind of messes up your schedule a little bit, but everyone has to deal with it, so it doesn’t make it a disadvantage to a specific athlete. I liked it because we got to run in perfect Austin weather.”

May 24th

Rules Changes for 2013

Only 100 days to go before the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver, the 85th meeting between Colorado and Colorado State (in case you need a pick-me-up, recall that the series is 61-21-2, Colorado).

No time like the present to bone up on the rules changes for 2013.

The Playing Rules Oversight Panel (PROP) on March 7 approved several rule changes for football, beginning this fall. The major ones:

— If the offense needs to spike the ball to stop the clock in the waning moments of either half, it can only be done with three or more seconds remaining on the clock; if it races to the line of scrimmage and the clock shows :03 or led, it has to run a play or the clock will run out.

Targeting Foul. If a player commits a so-called “targeting foul,” where a player takes aim at a defenseless opponent and attacks him in the head or neck area, or where a player attacks with the crown of the helmet, the player is automatically ejected. Officials will be watching for the following:

– Launch: a player leaving his feet to attack an opponent by an upward and forward thrust of the body to make contact in the head or neck area;

– A crouch followed by an upward and forward thrust to attack with contact at the head/neck area, even though one or both feet are still on the ground;

– Leading with helmet, forearm, fist, hand or elbow to attack with contact at the head or neck area;

– Lowering the head before attacking by initiating contact with the crown of the helmet.

— As in the NFL, there will now be a 10-second runoff when the clock stops inside a minute at the end of the half due to an injury (presuming this applies only to the offense);

— Uniform: numbers on the front and back of jerseys must be a distinctly different, solid color than the rest of the jersey. Multiple players from the same team can’t wear the same number, and players who change numbers during the course of a game must report to the referee, who will announce it.

May 22nd

Mountain West on the outside looking in – already looking to expand playoff entrants

The new college football playoff isn’t set to begin until 2014, but the Mountain West is already looking to amend the makeup of the event.

(Can’t blame them … but hard to see it happening, at least not for another 6-8 years).

From CBSSports.com … Most conference commissioners and university presidents claim the College Football Playoff, beginning after the 2014 regular season, does not plan to increase beyond four teams. But there is one conference commissioner who has strayed from “the script.”

Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson joined SiriusXM College Sports Nation to discuss the College Football Playoff, and explained why he thinks the playoff is “great for college football” and if there will be any changes in the format.

“I like it for several reasons,” Thompson said. “I’ve been espousing a playoff (during) the 14-year history of the Mountain West. I testified in Congress. I think it’s a great step forward.

May 21st

Gus Handler makes Rimington Award Watch list

For the second year in a row, CU offensive lineman Gus Handler has made the Rimington Award watch list.

The Rimington Award, which honors the nation’s top center, released its 44-man 2013 watch list on Tuesday.

Seventeen players return from the 2012 watch list. Sorted by conference, the SEC leads the way with nine players, while the PAC-12 and Mountain West Conference check in with five candidates each.

Last season, Handler started five games at center, missing the other seven due to ankle and knee injuries … While he was in there (279 snaps), he graded out to 83.5 percent, allowing a single quarterback sack and only two pressures … Top grade was 86.4 percent against Arizona State, and graded out 80 percent or higher in four of the five games … In 2011, he waw action in all 13 games and started the final 10; his first career start was at Ohio State in week 4 … Played 613 snaps from scrimmage, including every snap in six games … Led the team with four blocks directly leading to touchdowns … Graded to 81.6 percent for the year, with a high grade of 90.1 percent in CU’s 48-29 victory over Arizona.

Here is a link with a list of all of the Award candidates.

May 20th

CU press release on Gehrke

From cubuffs.com … Jordan Gehrke, a second-team All-Region performer at Scottsdale Community College as a freshman last fall, has signed a letter-of-intent to attend the University of Colorado this fall, becoming the 21st recruit in the first lass inked by head coach Mike MacIntyre.

Gehrke, who won’t turn 19 until late July, will have four years to play three in eligibility. He joins 20 other recruits, all of whom were high school seniors, as a member of CU’s 2013 recruiting class.

He helped Scottsdale CC lead the nation in passing yards (355.2 per game), completing 174-of-366 passes for 2,388 yards and 22 touchdowns; he completed 51.8 percent of his passes and threw 14 interceptions. He was sacked just twice all season and also scored one rushing touchdown. His top game came in the season finale, a 71-29 win over Phoenix College, when he was 29-of-43 for 384 yards and seven touchdowns (three interceptions).

“He’s very athletic, extremely accurate, can make all the throws and is a bright young man in regards to football and in the classroom,” MacIntyre said.

At Scottsdale’s Notre Dame Prep, Gehrke was a second-team All-State and a first-team All-II Section III performer as a senior, when he completed 134-of-250 passes for 2,012 yards and 23 touchdowns (with just 10 interceptions). He also rushed for 133 yards (on 24 attempts) and scored twice. As a junior, when he was also a first-team All-Conference selection, he was 124-of-183 (a 67.8 percentage) for 2,358 yards with 24 touchdowns against only four picks; his long pass covered 78 yards and his passer rating was 141.

Wilner posts his guess for the new Pac-12 bowl lineup

Negotiations continue, and an official announcement may not be made for another week or two, but Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News has a pretty good track record when it comes to Pac-12 news.

Wilner’s thoughts on the new (starting in 2014, that is) bowl lineup can be found here.

May 18th

Colorado picks up a junior college quarterback

Colorado started spring practices with six quarterbacks on the roster, with a seventh on the way.

Two months later … Hirschman gone; Webb injured and status uncertain (both medically and legally); Schrock, Dillon, and Dorman not up to snuff.

Which leaves Connor Wood, who failed to take over the position during the spring, and Sefo Liufau, who has yet to take a snap in a CU practice.

And now … junior college transfer Jordan Gehrke. (Rivals bio) (MaxPreps video highlights) (Hudl video highlights)

From Scout.com … Despite having a successful career as a three-year starter at at quarterback for Scottsdale (Ariz.) Notre Dame Prep, Gehrke didn’t receive an offer. He played one season at Scottsdale Community College and the success continued.

In 2012, Gehrke threw for 2,388 yards and 22 touchdowns to 14 interceptions, earning 2nd team All-ACCAC honors.

As a full qualifier, Gehrke (6′-2″, 190 pounds) landed an offer from Weber State and he made an official visit. Things did not work out with the Wildcats and Gehrke decided to transfer to Ventura Junior College in California after the Fall semester and had every intention of returning to play his sophomore year except his hopes of landing a FBS scholarship came true.

Gehrke’s prep coach, Gary Gregory, from Notre Dame Prep tells FoxSportsNext that Jordan landed a big time scholarship offer and committed on the spot.

“Colorado came in looking for a quarterback,” Gregory says. “I knew Jordan was a qualifier and gave them his name and film. They ended up liking him, offering him a scholarship and he took it right away.”

Gregory adds, “I couldn’t be happier for Jordan. He is such a hard worker and a good kid. Colorado is getting a great player. We have had our last five quarterbacks all go to four-year schools, including Sean Renfree (three year starter at Duke and 7th round draft choice of the Falcons), and Jordan has worked as hard as any of them. He just happened to be in the right place in the right time with CU looking for a quarterback.”

MacIntyre: “There is always a sense of urgency”

An article published by Athlon Sports, picked up by the Chicago Tribune, gives a pretty fair account of the state of Colorado football.

Some highlights:

It’s been more than two decades since the football team at the University of Colorado hoisted its one and only national championship trophy, and the program has struggled to remain relevant ever since.

Under the watchful eye of Bill McCartney, the winningest coach in school history and a recent inductee (class of 2013) into the College Football Hall of Fame, the Buffaloes were kings of the college football world, or at least co-kings, back in 1990 when they shared the crown with Georgia Tech.

Despite a few years of fleeting success since, they’ve had a difficult time keeping pace with the competition in what most can agree are some of the toughest conferences in NCAA history (Big Eight, Big 12, Pac-12).

… Having inspired his players to perform at a high level in the past, MacIntyre knows the path to greatness isn’t going to be easy.

“We will work tirelessly, we will work correctly, and we will work with passion,” he said as his introductory press conference.

Despite the tough road ahead, he also realizes the honeymoon will be short- lived as Buffalo backers everywhere are frothing at the mouth for a winner.

“There is always a sense of urgency. You develop; the word I use instead of patience is perseverance. I think there is a big difference. Perseverance, you’re working continuously every day.”

May 17th

Colorado ranked No. 115 by USA Today

Hard to take, but Buff fans had better be prepared for more of the same. It’s going to be a long summer of dire predictions for the CU football program.

The full (and largely accurate, except for the part where they say that the Ralphie Report is the “clear and undisputed leader of Colorado blogs”) assessment of the Buffs can be found at the USA Today website.

Some highlights:

It can’t get worse than this. Really, it can’t: Colorado can’t possibly be any worse than it was a season ago, when the Buffaloes turned in one of the worst seasons by a major college football program in the history of the sport. Don’t call that an overstatement; I saw it, you saw it, we all saw it, and CU’s performance in 2012 – the USC game, the Oregon game, the Fresno State game – will forever linger in the memories of those unfortunate enough to have witnessed it.

Phrases like “multiple-year rebuilding project” come to mind. Most of the Pac-12 is moving forward at warp speed, with the exceptions of Colorado, of course, and perhaps Utah and California. CU has fallen so far back of the pack that it will take more than one year and 12 games to clean up this mess.

The bright spot comes in the Buffaloes’ new hire, former San Jose State coach Mike MacIntyre, a man with a clear plan and the experience to see it through to fruition. He’s been in similar spots before, as an assistant at Duke and the coach at SJSU, and his three-year turn with the Spartans highlighted his deft touch at slowly but surely remaking a weak and broken foundation.

But SJSU was a different animal. The Spartans were one year removed from a six-win finish when MacIntyre stepped up in 2009, not to mention had the good fortune of playing in the Western Athletic Conference; Colorado hasn’t won six games since 2007, hasn’t finished above .500 since 2005, has lost 22 games in the past two seasons and must deal with one of the nation’s deepest and most explosive conferences

May 16th

Ohio State athletic director message to Iowa State hitting home in Boulder?

Gene Smith is the athletic director at Ohio State. Previously, he was the athletic director at Eastern Michigan and Iowa State. In talking about his current and previous schools, Smith either paid ISU a compliment, or made a derisive slight.

Take a look at the article, and while you do, think about CU and its seemingly uncanny inability to raise money (the latest indictment coming in a Kyle Ringo commentary in the Daily Camera.

From the Des Moines Register … Much of the talk at this week’s Big Ten meetings was about the growing economic divide among NCAA programs, and the advantages of being a powerhouse.

Gene Smith was the athletic director at Iowa State from 1993-2000, and is now in charge of Ohio State’s sports teams.

He shared his thoughts on how to cope when the playing fields are not always level.

“When I think about that type of question, it makes me think about our landscape,” Smith said. “Because, yes, it was a difficult job at Iowa State.

“All of college athletics at different levels have to decide their niche. You have to create your expectations consistent with reality.

CU linemen continuing weight loss program

One of the first projects identified by Mike MacIntyre upon coming to Colorado was to have the Buff linemen, particularly the defensive linemen, become more … well … Buff.

MacIntyre stated before spring practices began that he wanted several linemen to lose 20-30 pounds before the fall, and it appears that headway is being made toward that goal.

MacIntyre said three of his defensive linemen have lost 20 pounds each but have 14 more to lose before they begin August camp. He wants a couple of linebackers to lose 15 pounds each, several offensive linemen to drop 10 to 12 and has a couple of receivers earmarked to gain 8 to 10 pounds. He said his team’s first-year weight loss task at San Jose State was more difficult, but “we came around OK . . . the next year we radically changed.” He expects the same results eventually at CU.

May 15th

Alex Lewis not in Nebraska gear after all

From the Daily Camera … The lawyer for former University of Colorado football player Alex Lewis, who along with CU quarterback Jordan Webb was arrested on assault charges over the weekend, today backtracked on comments he made that his client may have been “accosted” for wearing Nebraska Cornhusker gear.

Boulder police arrested Lewis and Webb early Saturday morning after witnesses said the two men were involved in an altercation on University Hill.

Witnesses said another man involved in the incident was knocked unconscious when Lewis, an offensive linemen, pushed his head into a brick wall, before Lewis and Webb then pushed him to the ground and began punching him, according to a police report.

Lewis and Webb, both 21, appeared at the Boulder County Jail’s courtroom today to be charged in the case. Webb was charged with one count of second-degree assault, while Lewis was charged with one count of second-degree assault and two misdemeanors counts of harassment.

Both men are free on $10,000 bond in the case.

Following this afternoon’s hearing, Lewis’ attorney, Donald Brenner, sought to correct comments he made on Monday that his client was wearing Cornhuskers apparel and that his new team’s gear may have played a part in the incident. Lewis transferred to Nebraska last week.

“I made a misstatement,” Brenner said. “(My client) wasn’t dressed in Nebraska gear. I don’t know where I got that from. I’ve been bombarded by the press with so much inunedo, I get confused.”

May 14th

Lynn Katoa sentenced to four years in prison

Katoa never saw the field of play as a Buff, but the CU program will still get nationally (negative) publicity for this …

From the Daily Camera … One-time star football recruit Lynn Katoa came to Boulder in 2008 hoping to spend four years on the field making tackles for the Buffs.

Instead, after numerous run-ins with the law and a stint on the Boulder Police Department’s most-wanted list, Katoa instead will spend the next four years in a Colorado prison.

Katoa was sentenced to prison for felony menacing plus 145 days in jail for third-degree assault Friday in connection with a 2011 case, his third arrest during his time in Boulder.

He pleaded guilty to felony menacing and third-degree assault in March in exchange for prosecutors dropping two counts of second-degree assault, one count of third-degree assault, criminal mischief and false reporting to authorities.

But because Katoa was on probation during the assault, he had to be sentenced to a mandatory three to six years in prison.

Katoa was a former five-star linebacker recruit for the University of Colorado, but never saw the field because of his legal troubles

May 13th

Attorney for Jordan Webb: “I believe Mr. Webb will be exonerated”

From the Daily Camera … University of Colorado quarterback Jordan Webb and former CU offensive lineman Alexander Lewis were arrested Saturday morning on University Hill after witnesses say they knocked another man unconscious when Lewis shoved his head into a brick wall and both players pushed him to the ground and punched him, according to a Boulder police report.

Webb, and Lewis, both 21, were booked Saturday on suspicion of second-degree assault and remain in custody at the Boulder County Jail on $10,000 bond. Lewis also faces two counts of harassment.

Lewis’ attorney, Donald Brenner, said his client has a clean record and that he was wearing Nebraska Cornhuskers gear that night, which may have led to him being “accosted,” and that he only shoved the victim — identified by police as Lee Bussey, 22 — after Bussey threw a punch.

“My client didn’t do anything but shove a fellow,” Brenner said. “I don’t feel there is enough evidence to go forward and convict my client.

“He might not have handled the situation properly, but he’s a kid,” Brenner added. “It’s a really sad event for a really nice kid.”

Brenner said Lewis was planning on enrolling in summer school at Nebraska, but that his enrollment was put on hold because he has pending felony charges.

Webb’s attorney, Lou Rubino, said during the hearing that Webb’s role in the incident was “non-criminal.”

“I believe Mr. Webb will be exonerated,” Rubino said. “It’s not who he really is. He’s been a good kid in high school, at Kansas and at CU.”

May 12th

Two Buffs arrested for second degree assault

According to the Boulder County Sheriff’s arrest report, two Buffs have been charged with second degree assault and harassment.

Quarterback Jordan Webb and offensive lineman Alexander Lewis were both cited for one count of second degree assault, and two counts harassment. No further details were released.

Mike MacIntyre has issued a statement: “Jordan’s exact involvement in this incident is still being investigated. We continually stress the importance of appropriate behavior to our players and do not tolerate any detrimental conduct in our football program. Once all of the facts come to light, if Jordan is found responsible for any misconduct, he will be disciplined according to team rules.”

As for the new Cornhusker? “As for Alex Lewis, as of Friday he was off of the team when he did a media interview and announced that he is transferring to Nebraska,” MacIntyre said. “Since he is no longer a Colorado Buffalo, it will be up to Nebraska to decide what discipline he might face.”

Jordan Webb is trying to work his way back into playing shape after tearing an ACL in a non-contact incident during spring practices. Webb has made progress, and earlier this week head coach Mike MacIntyre said Webb might be back as early as the start of the Pac-12 season in late September.

Lewis, meanwhile, has left the CU football team. It was announced this week that Lewis is transferring to Nebraska. Lewis, who is recovering from shoulder surgery, sat out the spring, and was likely slated to sit out the fall, with two years of eligibility left for 2014 and 2015.

May 10th

Buffs lose Alex Lewis to Nebraska

Well, I guess we won’t have to spend any more time wondering whether to call him Alex or Alexander …

Offensive lineman Alexander Lewis will not be the starting at left guard for the Buffs this fall. Instead, the junior, who missed the spring with a shoulder injury, will be transferring to Nebraska.

In 2012, Lewis garnered honorable mention sophomore All-American accolades (collegefootballnews.com) and honorable mention All-Pac-12 from the league coaches. Lewis started all 12 games last fall at left guard, playing the second most snaps of any offensive lineman (736).

Lewis, whose father Bill played for Nebraska, will have to sit out a transfer year, and will then have two years of eligibility remaining. He can take this all to rehab his shoulder, and then be ready for the 2014 season.

Junior Kaiwi Crabb now becomes the odd’s on favorite to start at left guard for the Buffs this fall. Behind Crabb on the depth chart are two sophomores, Jeromy Irwin and James Carr.

Lewis makes an even dozen

For those of you scoring at home, Lewis makes 12 players from last year’s team who will not be returning for 2013. Four were walk-ons, but eight were scholarship players.

The list:

David Bagby, wide receiver (walk-on) – transferring

David Bakhtiari, offensive lineman – declared for the NFL draft

Jarrod Darden, wide receiver – graduating, transferring

Zach Grossnickle, punter – graduating, possible transfer

Sherrard Harrington, defensive back – medical retirement (hip)

Nick Hirschman, quarterback – graduating, transferring (Akron)

Harrison Hunt, wide receiver (walk-on) – transferring

Scotty Jarvis, linebacker (walk-on) transferring

Alexander Lewis, offensive lineman – transferring

Josh Smith, wide receiver (walk-on) – quit

DaVaughn Thornton, tight end – graduating, possible transfer

Kyle Washington, linebacker – medical retirement (concussions)

Nick Hirschman to Akron

The Zips … the Harvard Crimson of the Mid-American Conference?

From ESPN … Former Colorado quarterback Nick Hirschman said Thursday he will transfer to Akron, where he will be eligible to play this fall after receiving his degree.

Hirshman, 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, completed 59.1 percent of his passes with two touchdowns and seven interceptions last season. He has two years of eligibility remaining.

Hirschman, who earned a degree in sports communications in three years and was set to have his a graduation ceremony Thursday night, said he believes Terry Bowden is an excellent coach and he was impressed by Akron’s facilities.

He surprised some by transferring despite finishing the spring as Colorado’s co-starter alongside Connor Wood.

In four Colorado spring scrimmages, Hirschman was 32-of-52 passing for 433 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception with a passer rating of 178.9.

May 9th

Post-Spring Q&A with Mike MacIntyre

The full interview can be found at cubuffs.com.

Some highlights …

General Thoughts On His First Spring In Boulder

“I thought it went well, it was exciting in that everyone bought in to what we are trying to accomplish and how we need to go about getting there. There was improvement from every practice to the next, sometimes it was big, other times small. It took a little bit of time for the players to feel comfortable, to start showing a little more emotion, and to have a lot more fun. That’s expected when there’s a whole new staff in place, and for some of these kids, they’re on their third head coach. So that was understandable. But by the end of 15 practices, because they knew it was okay, they were having a lot more fun than they did at the start. “To outside eyes it’s a small thing, but from the inside it’s very big. The way we practiced and the way we scrimmaged as the spring went on, it seemed like the young men enjoyed playing more. They were excited for each other, with each other, they were happy when other people made plays. They competed like crazy. The team was enjoying the work process (and) if they’re enjoying their work process, they can get better. If they’re not enjoying it, I don’t think they can get better. I think it’s a mental state and I think that’s true in any business.”

On Where He Saw The Team Improve

“I’ve seen more accuracy by our quarterbacks, better attention to detail with our offensive lineman in finishing and communicating at the line, and defensively, I have seen a better gap responsibility in understanding that. Receiver-wise, they have kept improving each and every day and I think the secondary has gotten better as the spring has gone on. I’ve been very pleased with our kickers, our long-snappers and our punters. I think they have done a really good job this spring; they have been very accurate, they’ve done a good job of snapping the ball and handling the ball, most of them have all been very, very good. So, those are the areas that I think have gone well.”

On His Concerns Regarding The Offense And Defense

“I think my biggest concern offensively right now is making sure we can sustain drives and that we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot – jump off sides, have a bad snap, miss an assignment and/or give up a sack – so sustaining a drive and that comes with repetition. Defensively, I still think we have to leverage the ball better. We’ve got to know where our help is. We have to miss a tackle correctly, and that might sound funny, but if you miss a tackle wrong and you don’t turn it into somebody he is gone. So, we have to be able to tackle better in the open field and I think we have improved in that area from the first couple of scrimmages, I really do, but we still have a way to go.”

On Team’s Emotional Psyche

“I think we are on the way, we’re not where we want to be, but I think we are definitely on the way. Every scrimmage and every practice from the first one on they’ve had more fun playing, they’ve congratulated each other, they’ve jawed at each other, they’ve enjoyed coming out and doing the work. If you enjoy your work, you get better. If you don’t enjoy your work, you don’t get better, and they are starting to enjoy that, and to me it’s getting harder, we’re pushing them but they are all kind of buying in to each other and enjoying the process. If you enjoy the process, you get better.”

On Restructuring The Culture

“There’s no doubt, the culture we want to set, and that is no knock on the things done in the past, but every staff that comes in has a certain culture they want to set, a certain identity. What I want them to do is really bond, and then also really get a lot of self-worth and self-esteem at their position and understanding it. And I think if they do that then you keep maturing as a football team and I think it flows into the summer workouts which are critical; their focus there, their work ethic, and their mentality, and come in with a fresh approach when we hit August.”

May 8th

CU running a deficit for the second straight season

From the Daily Camera … CU will show a significant financial loss when the fiscal year ends on June 30.

“We recognize that we’ll have a deficit,” CU athletic director Mike Bohn said on Tuesday at a media roundtable. “That is a deficit that we will be required to cover long-term within our plan and budgeting process.”

It is too early to predict the total deficit because several factors could impact the bottom line, but Bohn said, “We recognize that this is a challenging year for us, for a lot of different reasons.”

CU also had a deficit a year ago, but much of that was due to the penalty CU had to pay to leave the Big 12 for the Pac-12.

This year’s deficit was not planned, as the football team struggled more than anyone anticipated. With a 1-11 record in football, the Buffs didn’t bring in the revenue they normally do.

May 7th

Coach Mac – “I’m not bitter. I’m a Buff”

Bill McCartney was certainly vocal about his objections to Jon Embree being fired after only two seasons.

Now, however, McCartney seems willing to move on.

From the Daily Camera … McCartney accepted congratulations from dozens of people (at a luncheon after the announcement that he had been selected to join the College Football Hall of Fame), including CU athletic director Mike Bohn, with whom he shook hands. McCartney was publicly critical of Bohn and his bosses last year after they fired former CU coach Jon Embree after just two seasons on the job.

But McCartney, while making it clear he still stands behind Embree, said he has put the issue behind him and is moving forward.

“I’m not bitter,” he said. “I’m a Buff. “I’m past that now. The new coach Mac, I’m 100 percent behind him. I mean, his name is coach Mac.”

Hall of Fame announcement – Bill McCartney selected!

Former CU head coach Bill McCartney was elected today to the College Football Hall of Fame.

From cubuffs.com … Bill McCartney first set foot on the University of Colorado campus in Boulder in June 1982; little did he know at the time that just over a dozen years later he would retire as the winningest coach in CU football history.

And now the turnaround “Mac” orchestrated in Boulder with a program that won just 14 games over a six-year span to one that claimed three Big 8 Conference titles and the 1990 consensus national championship is being rewarded on college football’s biggest stage.

McCartney has been selected by the National Football Foundation for induction into the College Football Hall of Fame this December 10 in New York City. He will join 12 players and two coaches in the Class of 2013.

He will become the seventh Buffalo enshrined in the Hall, joining Byron White (inducted in 1952), Joe Romig (1984), Dick Anderson (1993), Bobby Anderson (2006), Alfred Williams (2010) and John Wooten (2012). He is the school’s first coach to be so-honored.

“It’s a surprise and it is very humbling when you look at the men that have been recognized with this honor over the years,” McCartney said. “It’s very gratifying and rewarding. Keep in mind I’ve been out of coaching almost 20 years, so to be remembered after such a long absence was a complete surprise to me.”

McCartney was 93-55-5 in 13 seasons at the reins of the Buffaloes, guiding the program to its first and only national championship in football in 1990, doing so by playing the nation’s toughest schedule, just the second time that feat was ever accomplished. He coached CU in more bowl games, nine, than anyone before or after him, as well as to three consecutive Big 8 titles in 1989-90-91 during a run of 10 consecutive winning seasons in league competition. After a 4-16-1 start in conference games, the Buffs finished 58-29-4 against Big 8 competition, going an impressive 54-13-3 over his last 10 seasons.

In the six-year span from 1989-94, Mac’s last six seasons, Colorado was 58-11-4, the fifth-best record in the nation behind Miami, Fla. (63-9), Florida State (64-9-1), Nebraska (61-11-1) and Alabama (62-12-1). CU’s 36-3-3 record in the conference games in the same period was the nation’s best. CU finished in the nation’s top 20 each of those six years, including a No. 3 ranking his final season.

All 93 wins came against Division I-A/FBS competition, with just nine against so-called non-BCS schools (though five of those versus in-state rival Colorado State). He coached the most games ever (153) at Colorado, with his 13 seasons are second to only the legendary Fred Folsom (15) in the number of seasons working on the “hilltop.”

Mac was quick to credit two specific groups for his election to the Hall.

“It all started with my first recruiting class, that winter of ’83,” he recalled. “I asked all the in-state players not to make a decision until they visited CU, and we wanted them to come in the last weekend before signing day. They gave their word and most of them held to it. They stuck together, and they helped recruit our great class in ’87 that made up the core of the national championship team.

“That’s how I am in the Hall of Fame,” he said boldly. “This means something to the state of Colorado, it’s part of our history. What led us to the national championship is that seven years earlier, the in-state kids stayed home.”

He also had great assistant coaches through the years, coaches he only hired because they could recruit; he would pass on coaches that were great with X’s and O’s if they couldn’t recruit.  And those who worked under him formed a pool that eventually would produce 11 future collegiate head coaches: Gary Barnett, Jim Caldwell, Ron Dickerson, Gerry DiNardo, Karl Dorrell, Les Miles, Rick Neuheisel, Bob Simmons, Lou Tepper, Ron Vanderlinden and John Wristen.

Mac’s two favorite games during his CU tenure resonate with most of the fan base. “Without a doubt, when we beat Nebraska in Lincoln when we were behind 12-0 going into the fourth quarter. We scored 27 in the fourth quarter. And then the second Orange Bowl against Notre Dame, because it was our only national championship. That Notre Dame team was as good a Notre Dame team as (coach) Lou Holtz had. We lost our QB at halftime and still found a way to win that game.”

In 1999, he was inducted into the Colorado Sports Hall of Fame, just the sixth coach at the University of Colorado to be honored so. He was enshrined in CU’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2006.

More on McCartney at the CU website.

May 6th

Coach MacIntyre on Jordan Webb: “We are hoping to get him back in September”

CU head coach Mike MacIntyre was interviewed Monday by John Harris on the War Room for Yahoo Sports. The link to the interview can be found here.

Some highlights …

On spring practices … “I thought the young men got better and better each practice. I thought our attitude and enthusiasm for the game of football improved every day.”

On Jordan Webb … “They are working on him hard to get him back as quick as he can get back. We are hoping to get him back some time in September … He’s not going to be able to get a sixth year, so he’s got to push and try and get back and help out some this year.”

CU Surveys season ticket holders

If you are a season ticket holder, this morning you likely received a survey by email. Though it is designed for season ticket holders, the ticket office is inviting others to participate.

It takes about ten minutes, but it does include questions about the ticket office, the Buff Club, parking, concessions, and stadium experience. If you have an opinion about any of the above, now is the time to be heard …

Here is the link to take the survey

May 5th

Eligibility Chart not quite in balance

After the last spring practice on April 16th, new CU head coach Mike MacIntyre indicated that the “pencil depth chart”, issued midway through spring practices, would be updated by week’s end.

That was almost three weeks ago …

So, assuming that there will not be a new depth chart before August, we are left to our own devices in structuring the team will line up come August. In the meantime, though, we can certainly look at the eligibility chart, and see if some balance is returning to the CU lineup.

Below is a list of players by position and year in school. Currently, the Buffs have 89 players on scholarship, with 85 the limit. Two of those players, quarterback Nick Hirschman and wide receiver Jarrod Darden, have already announced that they will be graduating and moving on to other schools.

CU is actively pursuing several junior college players (see the story about safety T.J. Reynard in the “Recruiting Prospects – 2014“). Translation: the list below will be absent a few other names in a few weeks (my speculation can be found at the end of the list).

Post-Spring Practices Roster

Notes: Bold indicates returning starter; italics indicates walk-on; freshmen from the Class of 2014 are listed as true freshmen

Offense

QuarterbacksJordan Webb (Sr.); Connor Wood (Jr.); Stevie Joe Dorman (So.); John Schrock (So.); Shane Dillon (R-Fr.); Sefo Liufau (Fr.)

Running backs – Josh Ford (Sr.); Tony Jones (Jr.); Malcolm Creer (Jr.); Christian Powell (So.); Donta Abron (So.); Davien Payne (R-Fr.); Terrence Crowder (R-Fr.); Michael Adkins (Fr.); Phillip Lindsay (Fr.)

FullbacksAlex Wood (Sr.); Jordan Murphy (So.); Clay Jones (So.)

Wide receiversAlex Turbow (Sr.); Tyler McCulloch (Jr.); Paul Richardson (Jr.); Keenan Canty (Jr.); D.D. Goodson (Jr.); Justin Gorman (Jr.); Wesley Christiansen (Jr.); Nelson Spruce (So.); Jeffrey Hall (So.); Gerald Thomas (So.); Austin Vincent (So.); Jeffrey Thomas (Fr. – grayshirt); Colin Johnson (R-Fr.); Bryce Bobo (Fr.); Elijah Dunston (Fr.); Devin Ross (Fr.)

Tight ends – Scott Fernandez (Sr.); Kyle Slavin (Jr.); Vincent Hobbs (So.); Austin Ray (R-Fr.); Sean Irwin (R-Fr.); Robert Orban (Fr.)

Offensive linemen Jack Harris (Sr.); Gus Handler (Sr.); Daniel Munyer (Jr.); Alex Lewis (Jr.); Kaiwi Crabb (Jr.); Stephane Nembot (So.); Brad Cotner (So.); Marc Mustoe (So.); Jeromy Irwin (So.); Alex Kelley (R-Fr.); Gerrad Kough (Fr. – grayshirt); Vincent Arvia (R-Fr.); Ed Caldwell (R-Fr.); Gunnar Graham (Fr.); Jonathan Huckins (Fr.); Sam Kronshage (Fr.); Colin Sutton (Fr.); John Lisella (grayshirt this fall – will not count against scholarship limit in 2013)

Defense

Defensive tackles – Nate Bonsu (Sr.); Josh Tupou (So.); Tyler Henington (So.); Justin Solis (So.); John Tuso (So.); Kory Rasmussen (R-Fr.); De’Jon Wilson (R-Fr.)

Defensive ends – Chidera Uzo-Diribe (Sr.); Kirk Poston (Jr.); Juda Parker (Jr.); Andre Nichols (Jr.); Samson Kafovalu (So.); John Stuart (R-Fr.); Derek McCartney (Fr. – grayshirt); Jimmie Gilbert (Fr.); Timothy Coleman (Fr.)

Inside linebackers Derrick Webb (Sr.); Brady Daigh (Jr.); Lowell Williams (Jr.): K.T. Tu’umalo (Jr.); Thor Eaton (So.); Clay Norgard (R-Fr.); Addison Gillam (Fr. – grayshirt); Jesse Hiss (R-Fr.); Tim McLaughlin (R-Fr.); George Frazier (Fr.); Ryan Severson (Fr.)

Outside linebackers Paul Vigo (Sr.); Woodson Greer (Jr.); Hunter Shaw (So.); Markeis Reed (R-Fr.); Kenneth Olugbode (Fr.)

CornerbacksGreg Henderson (Jr.); Harrison Hunter (Jr.); Kenneth Crawley (So.); Yuri Wright (So.); Brandan Brisco (So.); John Walker (R-Fr.); Chidobe Awuzie (Fr.)

SafetiesParker Orms (Sr.); Terrel Smith (Sr.); Jered Bell (Jr.); Josh Moten (Jr.); Marques Mosley (So.); Richard Yates (So.); Isaac Archuleta (So.); Alexander Stewart (R-Fr.); Tedric Thompson (Fr.); Ryan Moeller (Fr.)

Special Teams

Kickers – Justin Castor (Sr.); Will Oliver (Jr.)

PuntersDarragh O’Neill (Jr.); D.J. Wilhelm (Jr.)

Long-snappers Ryan Iverson (Sr.); Keegan LaMar (So.); Trevor Carver (R-Fr.); Blake Allen (R-Fr.); John Finch (R-Fr.)

For those of you scoring at home, that would be 87 scholarship players listed, with 14 seniors, 22 juniors, 18 sophomores, 16 red-shirt freshmen, and 17 true freshmen.

With CU actively looking for help at tight end, linebacker and secondary, it would not be a surprise if several names are added to the above list before fall camp. If that is the case, then who are the players who are most likely to be playing elsewhere come September?

Running back Davien Payne is on everyone’s short list to leave after finals. The red-shirt freshman was not a participant in spring drills, and did not appear on the depth chart issued by the school.

Another name mentioned consistently is defensive tackle De’Jon Wilson. Another red-shirt freshman, Wilson was on the pencil depth chart, but listed fourth at defensive tackle behind three sophomores.

Several members of the defensive backfield were rumored last December to be on the verge of transferring, but sophomores Jeffrey Hall and Gerald Thomas have moved to wide receiver, and seem to be happy with the move. Fellow sophomore defensive back Yuri Wright received more playing time as the spring went on, and talk of him transferring has cooled.

Sophomore tight end Vincent Hobbs missed spring practices after his father suffered a serious illness. Hobbs has been dealing with family issues (and some resulting class issues), but the latest report is that he still intends on being a Buff in the fall.

All of the above is speculation. There may be other transfers after finals are concluded, and … you hope not to jinx anything … there may be a player or two lost to academic ineligibility. And there is always the chance that one or two of the members of the Recruiting Class of 2013 might not get through the NCAA Clearinghouse (though there has been little or no discussion of that happening so far).

So … the Buffs are at 87 strong right now, with several changes destined to take place between now and the start of Fall Camp.

May 3rd

Pac-12 close to deal with AT&T

From the San Jose Mercury News … The Pac-12 Conference and AT&T have the framework of a deal in place for U-verse to broadcast the league’s television network beginning this summer, according to conference and industry sources.

The contract is weeks (and perhaps months) away from being finalized as the sides hammer out final details.

If all goes as expected, the networks will be available on U-verse prior to the start of the football season.

U-verse has approximately 4.5 million customers nationwide and is the nation’s seventh-largest multi-channel video distributor.

Sources declined to comment on details of the agreement, including subscription fees and which of the networks’ seven feeds would be available in various regions of the country.

The Pac-12 Networks, which launched last August, are available on Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Bright House and DISH.

But the league was unable to reach an agreement with four major distributors: AT&T, Verizon, Charter and DirecTV.

Conferences sources believe the agreement with AT&T could ratchet up the pressure on Verizon.

Negotiations with DirecTV reached an impasse last summer and have not progressed in recent months.

May 2nd

NCAA backs off on increasing academic requirements

Because the NCAA is all about academics, right? Right? …..

From CBSSportsline.com … After an outcry within the industry, the NCAA has decided to maintain the current sliding academic scale instead of raising the standards beginning in 2016. The Division I Board of Directors made the decision on Thursday.

Coaches throughout the college basketball ranks were concerned that the move, an effort to increase academic success, would have had a major impact — especially on inner-city kids.

Currently, student-athletes with a 2.5 GPA need an 820 on the SAT to be eligible. Under the proposed 2016 changes, the same student with a 2.5 GPA would have needed to score a 1,000 on the SAT.

“The Board has determined that requiring prospects to meet a more stringent sliding scale starting in 2016 would have yielded a number of unintended consequences,” the NCAA announced Thursday. “Those consequences led the Board to its decision to retain the current sliding scale standard.”

One of the rationales was the impact on socio-economic and ethnic backgrounds.

Committee of Academic Performance chair Walter Harrison, also the president at the University of Hartford, said the “enormity of the impact on minorities, the numerous other academic changes set to take place soon and the positive trends in Academic Progress Rates were factors in his support of the sliding-scale re-examination.”

“APRs are improving, and I believe they will continue to improve,” Harrison said. “I’m concerned about minority students who would be affected by the dramatic change to the sliding scale.”

May 1st

2012-13 CUSPY’s All Sport Video

A little pick-me-up video of the CU sports season, with highlights from football, basketball, the national champion ski team and the Pac-12 champion cross country teams …

 

ESPN interview with Coach MacIntyre

Here is a link to a short interview with Coach Mike MacIntyre.

10 Replies to “Colorado Daily – May”

  1. Didn’t the 2004 Plan have Tharp’s slimy prints all over it? Anything Tharp did turned into Sh*t!

    If anyone started the CU Slide (or at least accerlerated it with errors of commission and omission)!) it was little Workin’-on-my-tan-in-Mexico Dickie Tharp! When he was around anyway and not off watching his kid play baseball for NW!

  2. I hope Gehrke comes on like a wildfire and pushes Wood and Liufau to the limit. Sorry Sam, I think Connor showed good/consistent accuracy in the Spring Game. Hopefully, we will have 3 QB’s who can run the offense efficiently and put a thorn under the opposition’s saddle. Best of luck to all three, but it is good to have an experienced QB on the roster, albeit a JC transfer. After all, SF 49ers don’t mind having a former JC QB on their roster. Wouldn’t you agree Stuart?

    1. I wouldn’t mind if CU’s starter has a JC background … it’s worked well for many a school.
      And I don’t mind that there is some starting experience in the QB meeting room.
      Whether it’s Connor, Dillon, Liufau or Gehrke … I don’t care. Just find me a winner!!

  3. I just wanted to chime in before any Bohn-haters do, if there are any around these parts. I was a member of the CU Marching Band when I was in school and Mike Bohn treated the band better than I ever would have imagined. Mike made sure the band could travel with the team for a few away games every year, and he always gave us lots of free stuff. Mike made the band feel like we belonged as part of the athletic experience at a university, and not just some side show. It was obvious that Mike Bohn loved the band, and the band loved Mike Bohn right back. MIKE BOHN!!!

    1. Well put. Thanks for the note.
      It is good to have some positive Mike Bohn stories, as there are sure to be some negative posters as well.

  4. Interesting. I live in Ventura County and I know the OL coach at VJC. I’ll be asking him what he thinks about this kid.

  5. From JW Blue:

    How far up the depth chart does the vote of no confidence go? By looking at Hirschman’s transfer I would say all the way to the top

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