Colorado Daily – February

 

February 28th

Larry Scott – “I think there’s a sense that some of our schools have some catching up to do”

Full story can be found in the Daily Camera … Larry Scott isn’t waiting for the bandwagon this time.

The Pac-12 commissioner, who watched Colorado’s NCAA Tournament run sitting right next to athletic director Mike Bohn at the Pit in Albuquerque, N.M., attended the Buffs’ key road game against Stanford on Wednesday night here at Maples Pavilion.

Tad Boyle’s program carried the postseason banner for CU’s new conference last March with Cal eliminated in a “First Four” game and regular-season champion Washington and Stanford settling for NIT madness.

In addition to CU’s projection as one of five or six Pac-12 teams in position for an NCAA Tournament at-large berth this season, Scott is also pleased with Bohn and CU chancellor Phil DiStefano announcing the athletic department’s plans for a $170 million project to upgrade facilities.

“I think it’s very important. I commend them for getting the leadership and different stakeholders aligned,” Scott said. “It’s something I spent a lot of time talking about with Mike and Phil DiStefano when I was out there during the football season. I shared with them, when I was visiting, some of the projects going on throughout the conference, that there was over $1 billion of infrastructure projects that have recently been completed or ongoing right now.”

Before CU breaks ground on any of the proposed projects — including expansion of the Dal Ward Center, enclosing the north end of Folsom Field, and construction of an indoor football facility — the athletic department must raise $50 million in private donations.

Tick, tock.

“I think there’s a sense that some of our schools have some catch-up to do,” Scott said. “Colorado has obviously had aspirations for some time. It’s really encouraging because they’ve had their financial challenges and the fact that they can see some daylight … it’s another healthy indicator for the conference.”

February 27th

CU defensive lineman Samson Kafovalu arrested after altercation at a frat party

From the Daily Camera … Samson Kafovalu, a freshman defensive lineman for the University of Colorado football team, was ticketed by Boulder police Friday night after officers say he tried to force his way into a fraternity party and threatened to kill a security guard when he wasn’t allowed in.

According to a police report, a security guard at the Kappa Sigma fraternity house, 1100 Pennsylvania Ave., called police to report that Kafovalu, 19, had tried to get into a party the fraternity was hosting.

The security guard said Kafovalu was not on the list for the party and was not allowed in. He continued to try to force his way into the party and began shouting. At one point the guard said Kafovalu yelled out, “Don’t (expletive) do this (expletive), I’ll (expletive) kill you,” according to the report.

While his friends were trying to push him back, Kafovalu bumped into a short brick wall and knocked part of it over, causing $300 in damage according to the fraternity, according to police.

When approached by police on the scene, Kafovalu reportedly told them he was, “Gonna go home.” He told officers that “they wouldn’t let me into the party, so they were pushing me out.”

Officers noticed Kafovalu appeared to be intoxicated, and he registered a .120 on a breathalizer on scene — more than the legal limit for driving.

Kafovalu was issued a summons on charges of threatening bodily injury, trespassing, consumption of alcohol by a minor and use of fighting words. He was allowed to leave the scene.

A defensive lineman recruited out of California, Kafovalu played in 10 games in his freshman year for CU in 2012, recording 20 tackles and one sack.

A spokesman for the CU Athletics Department could not immediately be reached for comment on Kafovalu’s current status with the team.

February 26th

ESPN’s Ted Miller: “MacIntyre to be positive, firm with Buffs”

A good feature article on CU’s new head coach Mike MacIntyre, posted by ESPN’s Ted Miller, can be found in its entirety here.

On the “positive, firm title” … Positive, mind you, isn’t soft. Nor is it easy. MacIntyre wants to convince his players that focus, intensity, attention to detail and the daily exhaustion their pursuit demands are a sweet nectar worth seeking at every moment. Or something like that.

“I think it’s positive and firm at the same time,” he said. “Some people think when you say, ‘Positive,’ that you’re saying that we’re just going to look at everything and be happy and everything is going to be OK. It’s positive and firm. And what I mean by firm is if you’re supposed to do it a certain way, you do it that way. You don’t demean them. You keep pushing them. And all the sudden the light goes on.”

… But, really, the new Xs and Os and present talent aren’t going to make things easy. As MacIntyre said, there’s no magic wand on hand. While a new coach typically brings an uptick in enthusiasm for a program, the reality is the nattering nabobs of negativism aren’t going to say or write many nice things about the Buffs this offseason. MacIntyre’s biggest challenge is rebuilding his team’s confidence and psyche.

“We can let the outside affect us,” he said. “But that’s hard because they get bombarded when things aren’t going as well.”

Bakhtiari: “I can play any position”

David Bakhtiari was invited to the NFL Combine this past weekend, with a chance to make his case for being drafted in April. Bakhtiari fared well, but still might have some convincing to do come March 19th, when CU will conduct its pro day on the Boulder campus.

For his part, Bakhtiari believes he has made an impression.

Excerpts from an article in the Daily Camera … “I never went to a bowl game . I told every scout I went through so much adversity, but I was able to prosper in that adversity,” Bakhtiari said. “I showed up week in, week out and played consistent ball. I think it spoke volumes about the kind of character I have. I was still out there making plays.

“A lot of teams were just trying to get to know me because I am a redshirt junior. They just kind of wanted to get some background on who David Bakhtiari is, how I played the game.”

Bakhtiari said he believes his NFL position will be at left tackle, but that he is willing to move into any position an NFL team wants.

Bakhtiari showed some quickness with a 5.09 showing in the 40-yard dash — 12th fastest among the offensive linemen at the combine. But several scouts say Bakhtiari needs more strength.

Bakhtiari’s arm measured at 34 inches, shorter than many personnel executives want on an offensive tackle who has to battle edge rushers standing 6-4 or 6-5.

“I can play any position,” Bakhtiari said. “I don’t think the height is an issue. At the next level, you need to have the athleticism to play on the outside and I think I have athleticism to play on the outside and I have the leverage to play on the inside as well.

“I have guys tell me I’m suited for left tackle and I’ve had teams say even center. I tell them I would just love to play. I want to get on the field, left tackle, left guard, center, right guard, right tackle, extra tight end, whatever.”

February 25th

CU wins RMISA championship; set sights on NCAA title

From cubuffs.com … The University of Colorado ski team took advantage of a large buffer it had built through six events and was able to cruise through the slalom with seven combined top 15 efforts here Sunday to clinch the title in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships, which also doubled as the NCAA West Regional.

The Buffaloes amassed a season-high 905.5 points in winning decisively for the third time in five meets, as Denver overtook Utah for second place but was still some 46.5 points behind CU with 859 points. Utah, which had held the runner-up position after each of the first two days, slipped to third with 805 points.

Colorado captured its 12th RMISA/West Regional title in the 23 years that Richard Rokos as served as the program’s head coach, and its 23rd overall in the 60-plus year history of the conference. Under Rokos, the Buffaloes have now won 60 of 139 meets they have skied in, which also includes six NCAA titles, and have finished second anther 45 times.

Since the sport went coed in 1983, this was just the fifth time that one school swept all the meets in the west leading up to the NCAA Championships: Utah was the first to do it in 1989, followed by the Buffaloes in 1995, Denver in 2005 and the Utes again last year. CU and DU went on to win the NCAA title those years for a complete start-to-finish sweep.

“This wraps up a great regular season,” Rokos said. “We had solid consistency across the board in the performance of all the teams. The Nordics did a great job without question, but the alpine teams contributed as well. They skied well here under very difficult conditions.

The goal (Sunday) was not to goof up anything,” he said of CU taking a huge lead into the last two races. “I told them last night it would take the village to lose the race and they listened. Everybody put forth a great effort under difficult conditions, especially in the men’s race. Andreas (Haug) did particularly well, starting in 28th on his second run with nothing but ruts to ski in because of the heavy snowfall here. It was the same for the entire field, no benefit to be seeded early today, but he did a great job in finishing seventh as did Cameron (Smith) in 10th.”

Colorado will now prepare for the NCAA Championships, which will be held March 6-9 in Middlebury, Vt. The giant slalom will open the event on that Wednesday, followed by the Nordic classical races (Thursday), the slalom (Friday) and closing with the freestyle (Saturday).

Vermont won all six eastern carnivals this winter, so it appears the Buffaloes and the Catamounts are the favorites heading in, but there are no less than six teams that will have a say in the matter.

Rokos has a light week planned for his team ahead of leaving for Vermont this Friday. “We need to take care of school, get in a couple of days of training before we leave. Everyone is good health, no reason to push anything this week. We need to get used to the eastern snow and we’ll get four solid days of training in prior to our first race.”

February 24th

Strength and conditioning coach – “I’ve got to get them ready for practice”

Full interview here at the Daily Camera …

Dave Forman has been working in the weight room with returning players in the Colorado football program for six weeks and he likes what he has seen.

That doesn’t mean he is anywhere near satisfied with the Buffs’ capabilities. As long as he has the job, he intends to push the men and women he works with throughout all the athletic department’s teams to improve. But it’s accurate to say that Forman wasn’t disappointed with what he inherited from former strength and conditioning coach Malcolm Blacken who wasn’t retained when former football coach Jon Embree was fired in the fall.

“If you got to coach effort, you’re really far behind, and we’re not there,” Forman said. “We’re beyond that part and now it’s really refining technique and details. These guys are pushing themselves pretty hard. I am impressed with that.”

Blacken was popular with CU players some of whom weren’t happy to see him go, but they have embraced Forman and already have developed a respect for his approach.

“We do a lot more with this new guy,” sophomore cornerback Yuri Wright said. “We do a lot more lifting and different types of running. I think he’s doing a really good job so far.”

Forman, whose first day on the job was Jan. 14, said he learned through his previous experience at San Jose State that it’s best not to push too much change on players too quickly. He felt like he made that mistake in his first year with the Spartans in 2011 after CU coach Mike MacIntyre, then the coach at San Jose State, hired him away from Stanford, where he was an assistant strength coach for three years.

… Gotta like the quotes, including that of Yuri Wright, one of the top candidates rumored to be wanting to transfer after spring ball …

Buffs looking good at RMISA championships

A little background … Colorado is competing at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships this weekend, being held in Bozeman, Montana. For those unfamiliar, these championships would be the equivalent of the Pac-12 basketball tournament – a championship tournament before the national championship tournament (which will take place in Vermont). This RMISA event serves as the NCAA West Regional, making up half of the teams which will be eligible to compete for the national title (so it’s a better measuring stick than the Pac-12 tournament, which is one of 32 qualifiers for March Madness).

From cubuffs.com … The University of Colorado ski team picked up a third regional champion in taking all three top spots in a race for the second straight day in extending its lead as the second day of competition was completed here Saturday in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships, an event that doubles as the NCAA West Regional.

The Buffaloes finished the day with 711 team points, extending its lead over second-place Utah (625) from 40 to 86 points with two events remaining. Denver moved from fifth into third (616) with host Montana State fourth (550). Heavy snowfall overnight and into the morning made things challenging for all the skiers, especially those competing in the giant slalom.

Colorado is bidding for its 12th RMISA/West Regional title in the 23 years that Richard Rokos as served as the program’s head coach, as its 23rd overall in the 60-plus year history of the conference.

For the second straight day, Colorado’s women’s Nordic team posted a 1-2-3 sweep, this time in the 15-kilometer freestyle race, duplicating the effort in Friday’s 5k classical event. Prior to Friday, Colorado had not recorded a 1-2-3 sweep in women’s Nordic action since the sport went coed in 1983; with Saturday’s accomplishment, it matched the number of times Buff skiers had done in all other disciplines (two, once in men’s Nordic and in women’s alpine).

The meet concludes Sunday with the slalom races; CU will return to Boulder ahead of departing next weekend for the NCAA Championships in Vermont.

February 23rd

Buffs pick up local preferred walk-on

According to BuffStampede.com, Colorado added a tight end to the 2013 roster this weekend, as Regis Jesuit tight end Robert Orban agreed to join the team as a preferred walk-on.

Orban led the Raiders, who went 5-6 last season, with all of eight catches, going for 85 yards and a touchdown.  Orban is 6’6″, but is only 210 pounds, so there is a great deal of bulking up to do before Orban will see the field for the Buffs.

Orban had interest from local smaller schools, like Colorado School of Mines, as well as some Ivy League schools like Penn and Harvard. Orban’s only scholarship offer, though, was from Montana State.

As with all preferred walk-ons, Orban is only afforded the opportunity to make the team, but is not on scholarship, and does not count against the 85-scholarship limit imposed by the NCAA.

Colorado will don uniforms for spring practices on March 7th with between 15-20 walk-ons on the roster. A few of those who might sound familiar include quarterback John Schrock, wide receivers Alex Turbow, Justin Gorman and Josh Smith, and defensive backs Harrison Hunter and Brandan Brisco.

Buffs in first place at the NCAA West Regional

A little background … Colorado is competing at the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships this weekend, being held in Bozeman, Montana. For those unfamiliar, these championships would be the equivalent of the Pac-12 basketball tournament – a championship tournament before the national championship tournament (which will take place in two weeks in Vermont). This RMISA event serves as the NCAA West Regional, making up half of the teams which will be eligible to compete for the national title (so it’s a better measuring stick than the Pac-12 tournament, which is one of 32 qualifiers for March Madness).

On Friday, there were the first nordic (cross-country) events. On Saturday, there will be both nordic and alpine (downhill) races, with the meet concluding on Sunday with the second half of the alpine events.

In short, the Buffs did very, very well on Friday, but the tournament is only one-fourth over …

From cubuffs.com … The University of Colorado ski team crowned two regional champions and swept one race here Friday as the first day of competition was completed in the Rocky Mountain Intercollegiate Ski Association Championships, an event that doubles as the NCAA West Regional.

The Buffaloes racked up 255 team points, with Utah in second (215) and host Montana State in third (189). Colorado is bidding for its 12th RMISA/West Regional title in the 23 years that Richard Rokos as served as the program’s head coach, as its 23rd overall in the 60-plus year history of the conference.

“You can hardly ask for more,” Rokos said. “Just short of two weeks before the NCAA Championships, this is a great confidence builder. It puts everybody in a good comfort zone, but we just can’t sleep on it. There is no pressure for (CU skiers) qualification, and having such a good cushion, it does provide a comfort zone for going out and skiing fast in both alpine and Nordic tomorrow.”

All six west schools will have full 12-skier teams at the next month’s championships, as the NCAA made qualification changes to permit such; it also returns a little more significance to the regional title meets with coaches tweaking starting spots to improve seedings as opposed to attempting to qualify a full team.

Senior Joanne Reid, named this week as the RMISA’s Women’s Nordic Most Valuable Skier, continued her phenomenal season, capturing her eighth race in nine attempts. She recorded a 16:35.9 time in the women’s 5-kilometer classic, besting teammate and fellow senior Eliska Hajkova, who was timed in 16:45.5; it marked the third time the pair finished 1-2 this year. Freshman Maria Nordstroem took the bronze spot on the podium with a 16:51.9 clocking, while senior Mary Rose rounded out the Buffalo performers with a 12th place effort in 17:49.9.

The sweep also made some school history. It was CU’s first-ever 1-2-3 sweep in women’s Nordic action since the sport went coed in 1983; on five previous occasions, Colorado women posted 1-2-4 finishes, along with three 1-3-4 efforts. It was the first all-podium finish by any Buffalo unit since January 10, 2009, when Nordics Jesper Ostensen, Vegard Kjoelhamar and Matt Gelso topped the standings in the 15k classic in the UAA Seawolf Invitational.

The last by a CU women’s discipline came in the giant slalom at the 2006 Western State Invitational, as Lucie Zikova (first), Lisa Perricone (second) and Sabrina Mocellin (third) hogged the podium that day. And under the current scoring system (adopted in 2010), it was just the second podium sweep by any school in any discipline (New Mexico in their own 2010 meet in the men’s freestyle).

February 22nd

Bakhtiari and Kasa weigh in at NFL Combine

Offensive lineman David Bakhtiari and tight end Nick Kasa have weighed in at the NFL Combine.

Bakhtiari’s numbers: 6’4″, 299-pounds, arm length 34.08

Kasa’s numbers: 6’6″, 269-pounds, arm length 32.08, hands 9.18

The first “workouts” of the combine for Bakhtiari and Kasa are Friday, with offensive linemen and tight ends perform the bench press. On Saturday, they will perform field drills and and positional workouts.

WalterFootball.com had this to say about Bakhtiari … David Bakhtiari told the media that he’s been evaluated as both a left tackle and a center. If NFL teams think he can play in those two spots, Bakhtiari can pretty much line up at any position up front as long as he’s in a zone-blocking scheme. This will help his draft stock tremendously.

While CBSSports.com had this to say … Bahtktiari was listed by Colorado at 6-4, 295 pounds. By today’s standards, that’s light for an NFL offensive lineman, and some scouts wonder if he has the arm length and balance to handle remaining outside. If moved inside, Bahktiari might have to add mass, especially in his lower body to be able to anchor against today’s massive defensive tackles.

NFLScout.com had this to say about Nick Kasa … The former defensive lineman has impressive athleticism considering his 6’6″, 271-pound frame, but stumbled a bit out of his breaks at the Senior Bowl practices. If he can prove through workouts that he has the balance and agility worthy of developing, he could make a push towards the late second day (of the NFL draft).

Ever want to take the Wonderlic test, the one which is given – amidst much fanfare – to the players seeking employment in the NFL.

Here is a sample Wonderlic test, along with the answers. How high a score can you post?

February 20th

Coach Mac’s Fan Conference Call

Some notes and quotes from Mike MacIntyre’s Fan Conference Call on Wednesday … “No excuses. No regrets” …

Identity of the program … offensively … “We’re going to start with the pistol, which will allow us to run downhill. You’re able to get the ball to your quarterback quick, then to your receivers quick, which will help out our offensive line” … defensively … “We’ll run a 4-3, sometimes a 4-2-5 due to the spread offenses we’ll be seeing. We’ll be attacking and aggressive in the secondary … not an all-out blitz package for our defense, but attacking” … team – “We’re going to develop the young man as a person. They’ll truly know that we care about them.”

Having six quarterbacks on the roster this spring  … “First half of spring practices, prior to spring break, we’re going to run the quarterbacks with only a small part of the playbook, so we can evaluate all of the players. During the week off for spring break, we’ll look at the tape, and then we’ll then narrow it down to three after Spring break. Those not in the top three may be moved to other positions”.

Spring practices open … Spring practices will be open, though no video will be allowed. Once the season starts, CU won’t have open practices on Thursdays, as the Buffs make specific game day preparations.

Wide receivers … Paul Richardson “looking quick”; Jeff Thomas “a real athletic guy”. New coach Troy Walters impressed with the agility of the returning group.

Recruiting in Texas … Jim Jeffcoat, played for the Dallas Cowboys, is a respected name, and knows the area. Troy Walters went to high school in College Station, and was an assistant at Texas A&M. Texas will continue to be a priority for Colorado recruiting.

Recruiting speed … CU recruiting is going to be speed oriented. The linebackers being recruited now are athletes, often tailbacks in high school. Buffs looking for speed in the defensive line area for the Class of 2014.

Making CU successful in the future … Starts with the commitment there from the President, Chancellor, and athletic director, and it’s there. Whatever you have heard about the former players, they have been very supportive of the new coaching staff.

Special teams … Got to have more speed. When you have more speed at running back, defensive back and linebacker, it will translate into better special teams. Won’t know until two weeks into fall practice where we are on special teams.

Traditions … Going to keep the old traditions. CU has some phenomenal traditions. We want these young men to build on the past as they build their own legacy.

New rivals in the Pac-12 … Kids from California want to beat USC and UCLA; kids from Colorado want to beat Oregon and Utah.

Credence in star-ratings on recruits … We watch tape and talk with high school coaches. I have no idea when I am watching them how anybody else is rating them. I honestly don’t ever look at the star system. It’s a good thing for football, though, as it keeps the fans active, kind of like the draft does for the NFL.

Using fullbacks in the pistol offense … We will use the fullback in our offense. We’ll need to look at the roster, but we’ll use the fullback in our offense. We’ll also utilize the tight ends to help block.

Playing CSU … A fun way to kickoff the season. Already circled on the calendar as an important game for our University.

Running backs … Look good on tape and in the agility drills. We’ll be able to evaluate this spring practices, and figure out what we can use  in our offense to best use their talents.

Discipline … Every play every day. Stay disciplined, and that includes the classroom. Positive, but firm. You can’t let them slide on anything. They also need to know that we care about them as people. If they hear what you are saying, then they will do what you ask.

Coaching assignments in the secondary … There is so much more passing today, often there are six defensive backs on the field. So CU will have two secondary coaches, as well as the head coach.

Rebuilding the defensive line … Kent Baer and Jim Jeffcoat are excellent coaches. We also have to get our defensive line in phenomenal shape. We will be a better fit defensive line. Some of the defensive line members need to lose about 25 pounds. If they can do that and stay healthy, they will be better players.

Getting off to a fast start this September … Has a good system in place for summer practices. We have an open date after the first three games, before the start of Pac-12 play. With an open date, you can focus a little bit more on those first three games (against CSU, Central Arkansas and Fresno State). We’ve had a little trouble beating 1-AA teams around here, so we’re not over-looking anyone.

Tight ends … Our tight end at San Jose State caught 50 balls the last two years, and will be drafted into the NFL this April. We will incorporate the tight end in our passing attack.

Offensive line and the running game … Offensive line coach was a coach in the old Pac-10 for many years, so he knows what he is doing. We’ll be a downhill running team, trying to be physical.

When CU will be competitive in the Pac-12 … It’s a process. I look at every game as a season. I don’t look at the calendar as to what games we can win and what games we can’t. I look that we can win every game.

Helping out the program … When you are at a party, you might say, “Oh, they are terrible”. Someone might hear you, and repeat that to a parent of a recruit. So try and stay positive. I really appreciate the season ticket holders. The players truly want to be successful. Sometimes we get caught up and look at them as objects, but they are young men trying to do well, trying to make you proud.

February 19th

Coach MacIntyre to answer fans questions Wednesday noon

I trust that many of you received the same email I did, which included the following …

Join us for our first-ever exclusive live Interactive Fan Conference Call on Wednesday, February 20 from 12-1 p.m. Throughout the call you’ll hear me talk about the direction of the team and you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions.

The live call will be moderated by Buffs radio play-by-play announcer, Mark Johnson and will feature myself and other members of our staff …

For those of you who did not, or won’t be available at noon on Wednesday … fear not! I’ll be listening in, and will post updates and quotes from the Fan Conference Call on Wednesday – just as fast as I can type!

February 18th

Final Assistant coach hired?

According to CoachScoop.com, the Colorado football coach staff is finally complete. If the report is accurate, Toby Neinas has been hired to coach special teams for Mike MacIntyre.

Neinas spent last season as secondary coach on Rob Ash’s staff at Montana State. Before that, he spent three seasons with Mike Locksley at New Mexico. Neinas coached special teams (2009-10) and linebackers (2009-11) and was promoted to defensive coordinator in 2011.

While the resume may not be all that exciting, Neinas may have been hired to boost CU’s recruiting. Neinas has significant experience recruiting California (especially the Inland Empire schools), Colorado and Texas.

But how will he be as a special teams coach? Neinas has five years experience at that position. “There are so many opportunities for huge swings in momentum,” Neinas said during his tenure at New Mexico. “You want very good players out there on your special teams.”

“I think if you asked most football teams, you’ll find out that the punt is one of the most important plays in the game. We work on punt every day.”

Neinas spent three seasons at San Diego State coaching special teams (2006-08), outside linebackers (2008) and tight ends (2206-07). He also coached at Temple and UAB after getting his start as a grad assistant at North Carolina.

A native of Boulder, his father, Chuck Neinas, is former interim commissioner of the Big 12 Conference (2011-12) and was the commissioner of the Big Eight Conference from 1971 to 1980.

CU senior Emma Coburn runs 6th-fastest mile in NCAA history

From cubuffs.com … University of Colorado senior Emma Coburn got her 2013 season off to an impressive start by running the sixth-fastest mile in NCAA history on Saturday at the 106th  Millrose Games.

She clocked an impressive time of 4 minutes, 29.86 seconds, which is also the fastest NCAA time of the season, to finish fourth overall.

“That’s a heck of a run for her debut. And not really her best distance, even among flat races,” head coach Mark Wetmore said. “That’s probably our most optimistic aspiration for this race. She’s in excellent February shape; now on to June.”

This was Coburn’s first race of any distance since last August and she made it count. The 2012 Olympian improved on her previous personal best of 4:36.08 from 2011 when she placed eighth at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Coburn shaved 6.22 seconds off her time to break some very elite company. Former teammate and fellow Olympian Jenny (Barringer) Simpson owns the NCAA record at 4:25.91 which she set in 2009 at the Big 12 Indoor Championships.

“The race went well,” Coburn said. “I was really happy to start the season with a 4:29. This was a really fun venue against a new mix of competitors I don’t get to race often. It was really fun and a great experience.”

February 14th

Dan Hawkins lands … in Montreal

From the Montreal Gazette … Two sources with knowledge of the situation have told The Gazette that Dan Hawkins will be named the Alouettes’ new head coach.

For the last month, while general manager Jim Popp and owner Robert Wetenhall have been conducting their interviews, numerous sources have indicated Hawkins had the inside track to the job.

Hawkins, 52, is a former head coach at the American collegiate level, having guided Boise State between 2001-05 and then Colorado, from 2006-10. He has an overall record of 112-61-1 as a head coach.

Hawkins might be unfamiliar to Canadian Football League fans, but he has followed a similar path as did Marc Trestman, his Montreal predecessor, who last month was named head coach of the Chicago Bears.

Hawkins was involved in off-season coaches meetings Trestman conducted last spring in Raleigh, N.C., Popp recently told montrealgazette.com. Indeed, Hawkins offered his services as an assistant coach, but Trestman appeared cool to the idea.

February 13th

NCAA rule amendment would add an ejection for illegal hits

Press release from the NCAA … The NCAA Football Rules Committee took steps to further protect student-athletes by proposing a rule to eject players who target and contact defenseless players above the shoulders.

The committee, which met Monday through Wednesday, unanimously voted to increase the on-field penalty for targeting. The penalty, if approved by the Playing Rules Oversight Panel, will be a 15-yard penalty and automatic ejection of the player. The Panel meets on March 6 to review the proposals and membership comment.

“Student-athlete safety will always be one of our primary concerns,” said Troy Calhoun, chair of the committee and head coach at the United States Air Force Academy. “We all have a role to embrace when making a positive impact on our game. Taking measures to remove targeting, or above the shoulder hits on defenseless players, will improve our great sport.”

The action by the committee continues a progression to address dangerous contact through its rules. Targeting, which was initially approved by the committee as a separate foul in 2008, has been generally successful in terms of officiating application, which made the committee feel comfortable in adding to the penalty.

“The general consensus is that the officials on the field make this call properly the vast majority of the time and know what the committee is looking for with this foul,” said Rogers Redding, secretary-editor of the rules committee and national coordinator of officials for College Football Officiating, LLC. “This move is being made to directly change player behavior and impact player safety.”

The proposed rule will mirror the penalty for fighting. If the foul occurs in the first half of a game, the player is ejected for the remainder of the game. If the foul occurs in the second half or overtime of a game, the player is ejected for the remainder of the game and the first half of the next contest.

The committee has also decided, in an effort to address concerns when one of these plays is erroneously called, to make the ejection portion of the penalty reviewable through video replay. The replay official must have conclusive evidence that a player should not be ejected to overturn the call on the field. Additionally, a post-game conference review remains part of the rule and conferences always have the ability to add to a sanction.

Another area the committee has discussed in recent years deals with blocking below the waist. The past two years, the committee has adjusted rules governing these blocks in an attempt to remove some potentially dangerous plays from the game. The result has been a confusing and uneven rule that has not had the intended impact.

The proposed rule will focus on the block itself and allow these blocks in typical line play.

February 12th

Coach MacIntyre: “It’s been crazy, but it’s been a lot of fun”

From CBS4 Denver (Here is a link to the video interview) … New University of Colorado Buffaloes head football coach Mike MacIntyre said the last couple of months have been crazy as he had little time to get things together for his new team.

“It’s been crazy but it’s been a lot of fun. Recruiting and getting to know the football players on our team now and meeting everybody in town, and that type of thing, it’s been a blast,” MacIntyre said on Xfinity Monday Live! “We went out on the trail recruiting and now I can kind of settle in to our young men on campus now.”

MacIntyre said he was aware of the situation at CU with former head coach Jon Embree but he didn’t know he was a candidate until about three days before he took the job.

“I was not looking to leave San Jose State, I loved it there. I had a lot of people calling and inquiring about our position, but I wasn’t looking to go anywhere,” he said. “(I) really didn’t know exactly all of the things going on at CU because I was in the middle of our season and we were getting ready for a bowl game.”

But he said his phone rang and one thing led to another and he’s blessed to be in Boulder.

Part of MacIntyre’s package at CU was a commitment to upgrade the facilities and he said it’s starting to happen.

“We’ve got a package together to do that and we’re going to do it in phases,” he said. “Our president, Bruce Benson, and our chancellor, Phil (DiStefano) and (Athletic Director) Mike Bohn and all of them have been working hard doing that, and I’ve been very pleased with what they’ve done so far.”

CBS4′s Vic Lombardi asked MacIntyre how he describes his demeanor as a head coach.

“I’m an intense with integrity type of guy. I’m hands-on, I enjoy football, I’m very passionate. I’ve got to make sure I control my passion sometimes,” he said. “I love the competitive spirit of football.”

The “pistol” formation on offense is hot in football right now and MacIntyre says he’s going to run it.

“We will run the pistol formation. I like being able to run downhill, have play-action pass, also be able to get the ball out of your quarterback’s hands quick for the spread-type offense,” he said. “(It) depends on how well out quarterback can run with how much running we’ll do with it.”

The people at Monarch High School were very happy MacIntyre decided to come to CU because his son Jay is an excellent point guard at basketball.

“He got his ball playing ability and his intelligence from his mom. He’s doing a good job.”

Jay MacIntyre also plays quarterback and his dad believes he’ll be able to play at the next level.

“He can play at the next level as quarterback or another position. He’s a really good athlete.”

MacIntyre insists he’ll have the Buffs ready when they open the season against Colorado State University on Aug. 31 in Denver.

February 11th

Buffs pick up a preferred walk-on at running back/safety

From krextv.com … Rifle running back and safety Ryan Moeller committed to Colorado on Sunday as a preferred walk-on.

“They have everything I was looking for,” Moeller said. “The staff, the facilities, town, academics, the support. Pretty much everything.”

The Class 3A Player of the Year passed up scholarship offers from Colorado Mesa, CSU-Pueblo and Idaho State.

Moeller, who was hoping for a Division I offer, had not reached a decision on National Signing Day. He was down to CU and CSU, where he had preferred walk-on offers.

“They had a lot in common,” the Rifle star said of the in-state rivals. “A lot going for them…But I liked everything that CU had to offer.”

2013 will mark the start of a new era for the Buffs under new head coach Mike MacIntyre. Moeller said he likes the new coaching staff and was impressed by MacIntyre’s turnaround at San Jose State.

A dual threat, Moeller is committed as an “athlete” and said he has a chance to play either safety or running back for the Buffs. He added that he knows the quickest way to get on the field is on special teams.

Moeller, who led Rifle to the Class 3A state title game, finished second in the state with 3,002 rushing yards. Defensively, he finished with 57 tackles and eight interceptions.

February 8th

New offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren on taking over the CU offense

From cubuffs.com … (New CU quarterback signee Sefo) Liufau won’t arrive until this summer, joining six other QBs on the roster and having to do what freshmen do – acclimate to football, life away from home, the college environment, et al. Yet, when Liufau arrives and Lindgren deems him capable, Liufau will be given ample opportunity to compete with returnees Jordan Webb, Connor Wood, Nick Hirschman, Shane Dillon, Stevie Joe Dorman and John Schrock.

Merely seeing that lineup in print still might baffle Lindgren, who is accustomed to having four QBs on scholarship and one walk-on on his roster. “This is the most I’ve seen or been around . . . it’s a lot for guys who play only one position,” he said. “But it’s not like we’re going to get rid of any of them.”

Lindgren has met with each of his QBs “a handful of times” and “watched a little tape from last year.” Obviously, he will refrain from making any evaluations, public or otherwise, until he gets more acquainted with each and sees them in spring drills.

“I’m starting fresh with those guys and that’s what I told them,” he said. “It’s a new beginning for all of them, a chance for them to prove themselves. I’m going into it with an open mind in starting the evaluation process.”

MacIntyre didn’t retain any position coaches from the former staff. One school of thought is that an entirely new staff faces a hurdle in thoroughly evaluating returning players. A holdover or two might have helped.

Lindgren disagrees; taped “cut-ups” have been made of Buffs personnel for the new staff to study. Also, Lindgren said he benefitted from lengthy conversations on offensive personnel with former receivers coach Bobby Kennedy and former QB coach Rip Scherer.

“Both of those guys were very open with me and I respect that,” Lindgren said. Added MacIntyre about Liufau: “Scherer did a very good job of evaluating him.”

Spring drills begin on March 7, and the Buffs will have eight of their 15 practices prior to spring break (March 26-30). During the off week Lindgren hopes to further the QB evaluation process and arrive at a preliminary decision of who might be his top two or three starting candidates.

“I’m hoping at that point to be able to narrow it down a little bit, not necessarily make a decision, but narrow it down and start getting more reps for some of those guys,” he said.

And by that point, he and MacIntyre might have an indication of what direction their offense will take. It’s been widely suggested that the Buffs will use the pistol this fall, and that could wind up being their formation of the future. But it might not feature all the elements of the pistol that has made its way from Nevada and elsewhere to the NFL.

Lindgren makes this point clear: His offense will be tailored to his personnel’s strengths, as was the case at San Jose State. “We used the pistol to fit our personnel,” Lindgren said. “If we have a talented running quarterback, then we’re going to run more of the pistol. If we’ve got more of a pro-style passer, then we’re going to tweak our offense more towards that – and that’s what we did at San Jose State last year.”

The Spartans’ quarterback was senior David Fales, and said Lindgren, “He was more of a pocket passer. We did less of the pistol to fit his abilities. Now, we still did some of it to keep people honest, and we did it with our backup quarterback at times, putting him in some situations in the red zone and did some different stuff with him.

“But you look at the statistics from last year, we threw for 4,000 yards. We didn’t run it as well . . . but we had good receivers, a good tight end and a real good quarterback. I think as an offensive coordinator you’ve got to have things you believe in, but especially in college you’ve got to learn to have success with the pieces you have.”

So, the impression that the Buffs’ offense will be overhauled overnight in the image of, say, the San Francisco 49ers is, well, false. It all depends on which QB winds up No. 1, but CU operating out of the pistol even 60 to 70 percent of the time “might be a stretch,” Lindgren said.

“A lot of it is going to end up with the quarterback we decide gives us the best chance to win. Is it going to be a more athletic guy or someone who has the ability to do both? Then we’ll do both if that’s who gives us the best chance to win. If it’s someone who’s a less talented runner, then we’re probably not going to do as much of (the pistol).

“That’s what we want to do, and I think you’ve seen the success it’s having in the NFL. We want that to be a part of what we do, but how big a part will be determined by the quarterback and who prevails.”

WHICH BRINGS US BACK to Liufau. Can he be the Buffs’ QB for the present or must he be groomed for the future? The best (and only) answer: Stay tuned until well into August camp.

MacIntyre and Lindgren love Liufau’s humble demeanor, his upbringing, his versatility and his athleticism. After watching Liufau play hoops, MacIntyre was concerned about schools coming after him in that sport. “He’s really, really good,” MacIntyre said.

Liufau has been all-league in hoops and was Bellarmine Prep’s basketball MVP last season, in addition to earning All-West Region (PrepStar) and a host of other area honors in football. Lindgren calls Liufau “a proven winner in a proven program,” loves that he was a four-year starter and says Liufau is “mature beyond his years.”

But this might be the most telling part of Lindgren’s early critique: He believes Liufau is “first and foremost a passer; he’s accurate and makes good decisions and also has ability to run when things break down . . . I really don’t think he showed as much in high school as he’s capable of.”

Still, he was noticeably prolific as a high school QB. He threw for 7,297 yards and 68 touchdowns (only 20 picks) while compiling a 34-5 record. He also ran for 606 yards and 18 touchdowns.

But come August in Boulder, there will still be the freshman factor, which comes into play at quarterback more than any other position. For Liufau to arrive this summer, acclimate to all that will be spinning through his head outside of football, then work himself up to speed in Lindgren’s offense . . . well, it won’t be easy.

And for MacIntyre/Lindgren to entrust their offense to a freshman QB, “Typically that doesn’t happen,” Lindgren said. “But my philosophy is playing the best guy. As a quarterback coach, I think it’s your job to put him in a position to succeed. That’s tough, because he won’t have had spring football to learn the system. So he’s naturally a little behind – that’s why it’s tough. But we’re going to give him some opportunities when he comes in to see if he’s ready. If he is, I don’t think we’ll have any problem (playing him). If he’s not, then we won’t rush him into anything.”

Unless Liufau proves to be an ultra-quick study, that likely leaves the QB position in the hands (or feet, or both) of someone already on the roster. And that launches the interest, not to mention the importance, for MacIntyre’s first CU spring about Flatirons high. On the heels of last fall’s 1-11 finish, expectations are a bit lower – and that might be a good thing.

February 7th

David Bakhtiari, Nick Kasa invited to NFL Combine

Two Buffs, offensive lineman David Bakhtiari and tight end Nick Kasa, have been invited to participate in the NFL Combine in Indianapolis.

Both players will be working out for coaches and scouts on Saturday, February 23rd.

Here is a link to more information on the combine, while here is a link to the invited players.

February 6th

Signing Day press conference

The transcript from Coach MacIntyre’s press conference can be found at cubuffs.com. Here are some of the highlights …

Opening Statement “This is always like Christmas to me. Even growing up, my dad was a coach and he used to always love signing day. My daughter goes to Baylor and she called me today to make sure everyone had signed. My wife called me and my kids called me on their way to school. It’s always a great, great day. I’ll talk about our class real quick and how proud I am of these guys and how proud I am of how hard our staff worked. When I got the job, the next day I called the 10 young men that were committed. The thing that I am really proud of is that all 10 young men stuck. They were bombarded by every school you can name and bombarded even the past week by a lot of schools. We’re really excited about how our staff got out there and got with these young men and they stayed with us. We were then able to get some young men that we are really excited about.”

On Addison Gillam and Markeis Reed “First of all, I’ll talk about the two young men we got in for this semester. Addison Gillam is a big linebacker that we’re really excited about. He’s in school and working out. Markeis Reed is a young man that graduated high school early from the Napa Valley area. He’s another big linebacker at 6-foot-4, 220 pounds. We needed linebackers. We were thin in that on the depth chart. We did not sign any linebackers a year ago and we needed some young men. We graduated a couple that were good players here. I’m really excited about getting these guys in.”

On running back Michael Adkins “Michael Adkins is a running back that we signed out of Helix High School. They won the state championship a year ago and had a really good year. He ran a 10.8 100-meters last year and should break into the 10.7’s this year and I’m looking forward to him winning the Southern California section, hopefully. He’s a 4.06 student. He wants to major in either engineering or business. Mike is a heck of a running back.”

On the secondary “We signed two defensive backs. Tedric Thompson, a young man from Valencia, Calif. He’s a big young man and a really good player. He has a brother that is a junior at Minnesota that plays there. It came down to us and Minnesota, so we were excited to get him. Tedric is a big, strong, physical safety. The other defensive back is Chidobe Awuzie. He’s a corner from Oak Grove High School in San Jose, Calif. He’s a young man that came to our camps at San Jose State for three straight years. I’ve known him since he was a 10th grader. I’m really excited about him. It came down to us and Washington State and we’re excited that he decided to come here. He’s a really good football player and an extremely intelligent young man.”

On the receiving core “We needed to get receivers that had a lot of speed. We feel like we did that. These three young men are really good players. Bryce Bobo is from Charter Oak High School. I’ve had a lot of experience at Charter Oak and Bryce is a heck of a player. He plays both sides of the ball and he can also play corner. He’s a very athletic young man. He can run really well. The other one is Elijah Dunston from Chaminade Prep. He ran a 47-second 400-meters last year. I was joking with him this morning and said he needed to get down into the 46’s and he told me he was trying to. Chaminade is a heck of a school there in the Los Angeles area. Devin Ross is from Bishop Alemany High School. He’s a very good athlete. I’m really excited about what he brings to the table. He’s done a lot of great things with the football. I had a really neat time at his house. I got to meet his great-grandfather and his great-grandmother, who is 95 years old. They have been married for 65 years. It was a neat visit to the see family history. We’re very excited about our receivers.”

On linebackers “We signed five linebackers. Addison Gillam, who I spoke about before. Big, strong kid. He also played tailback in high school. I’m very excited about Addison. One of the other linebackers is George Frazier, who is a big “MIKE” linebacker. He is 6-foot-2, 255 pounds and he also plays power forward on his high school’s basketball team. He’s from Monrovia High in the Los Angeles area. I’m very excited about what George brings to the table. The other linebacker is Kenneth Olugbode from Bellarmine Prep. He was a CCS Player of the Year. He was also the Northern Cal Player of the Year. He played tailback and linebacker. I like to get linebackers that play tailback. That’s one of the things that I look for. Basically all of these guys played tailback or quarterback. Believe it or not, George Frazier played quarterback until last year when he got too big. They played him as a wildcat quarterback, a tailback and at tight end also. Kenneth is a phenomenal young man who plans to major in mechanical engineering. He’ll be a good linebacker for us. I talked to you about Markeis Reed. Markeis is a big young man that has played linebacker and defensive end. He’s one of those that is in between. We’ll see how his body grows and figure out whether he’ll stay at linebacker or defensive end. He’s already 6-foot-4 and 225 pounds as a 17-year old. The other young man is Ryan Severson. He played linebacker and running back. He made first-team All-California. He made CCS Offensive Player of the Year and gained 1,998 yards at tailback this year with 32 touchdowns. He had over 60 tackles on defense and ran a 10.8 second 100-meters last year. He’s a 4.0 student and we’re very excited about Ryan.”

On the offensive line “We signed five offensive linemen. We’ve got two young men from The Woodlands High School, Sam Kronshage and Jonathan Huckins. They both play side-by-side on the same side. One was a guard and one was a tackle. The other offensive lineman, Gunnar Graham, is a big young man that plays offensive tackle. His team went to the state finals; he’s a very good player. I’m very excited about Gunnar. He has a lot of history in his family. If you read his bio, it’s very interesting. John Lisella is from Columbine High School. I had a great visit at his high school. He’s a very athletic offensive tackle. He also plays lacrosse. He can really run and as he gains weight, he’s going to be a heck of a player. Colin Sutton is from Orange Lutheran. His sister Chloe [Sutton] is an Olympic swimmer. It’s a phenomenal family. His dad played offensive line for the Air Force. We are excited about having Colin here. He’s a young man that can play guard, center, or tackle. He’s a very athletic young man.”

On the defensive line “On the defensive line, we signed two defensive ends. Jimmie Gilbert, a 6-foot-4 and a half, 230 pound athletic defensive end. He also plays basketball. His sister is the starting forward for Texas A&M. His dad also played basketball at Texas A&M and played in the NBA for the Chicago Bulls for a while. His mother played college basketball at North Texas. Jimmie is very athletic and I’m really excited about getting him here to play defensive end. The other young man that will play defensive end for us is Tim Coleman. Tim is a young man that when we got here, we turned on the film to look at Mullen High School and Valor (Christian) High School, two great schools. That was the first film I watched. I asked for film of some of the best high school football in Colorado and so I watched Mullen play Valor. We watched about five plays and I had to know who #56 was. They told me his name was Tim Coleman and I knew we needed to recruit him. We went after him and I’m very excited about him coming here to play for us at defensive end. He’s very athletic at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds. He’s built very well. With him and Jimmie, I’m really hoping that someone can help us this fall because we are a little bit thin at the defensive end position depth wise.”

On running back Phillip Lindsay “I’d like to talk about a young man that is a phenomenal athlete, Phillip Lindsay from Denver South. He broke the record for [Denver South] in rushing. He only played one and a half games his senior year. He’s a phenomenal athlete. He’s a really good running back and a very good defensive back. He’s a young man that is just bubbling over with enthusiasm. He lights the room up. He’s got a great personality and we are really excited about Phillip.”

On quarterback Sefo Liufau “I am really, really impressed with this young man. I went to his home to visit and his family really loves the University of Colorado. He’s a very good football player. He’s a heck of a basketball player. He averages double-double’s in basketball and his team won the league championship. Hopefully they will make it to the state finals in Washington. I’m really excited about what he brings to the table. He’s 6-foot-4 and a half and weighs 215 pounds and he can really run. He runs at least a 4.6 (40-yard dash). He’s very athletic. He took his team to the state finals and he’s just a phenomenal young man that will hopefully be a bell cow for this class and for our program as he grows. “

Coach MacIntyre to meet with former CU players tonight

Continuing a tradition, new CU head coach Mike MacIntyre, along with some of his coaches, will be hosting a mixer for former CU players at the Blake Street Tavern in Denver this evening. Over 100 are expected to attend the event.

Here’s hoping that the rift between the athletic department and some of the former players, still smarting over the firing of Jon Embree, can start to be closed tonight …

February 5th

Coach MacIntyre: “Rankings in Signing Classes don’t mean a lot to me”

From B.G. Brooks at cubuffs.com … MACINTYRE EXPECTS TO SIGN 16 to 19 prospects, with the final number solidified either late Monday or Tuesday. Five prospects – including three “grayshirts” from the former staff’s final class – enrolled in January for the spring semester. The two new signees are outside linebackers Markeis Reed, of Napa, Calif., and Addison Gilliam, of Palo Cedro, Calif. The trio of grayshirts is comprised of receiver Jeff Thomas, offensive lineman Gerrad Keogh and defensive end Derek McCartney.

Some attrition from the 2012 Buffs roster is expected. Starting junior left tackle David Bakhtiari is declaring his eligibility for the 2013 NFL Draft, and kicker Zach Grossnickle and tight end Davaughn Thornton are both graduating and have decided not to return for a fifth year of football. Plus, several other players are awaiting medical clearance.

Coaching changes always put early- and mid-December hires and their staffs in a rush to salvage recruiting. MacIntyre believes he and his guys were able to accomplish that: “It’s gone as well as could be expected with the late start. We held onto basically everybody that was committed when we got here. A couple of kids had already de-committed and made some decisions on other places. But holding onto all those commitments was huge.

“I called them the day after I got the job, talked to them (and) the first days we could get out – a Friday-Saturday – I sent all the guys out. We got after it; it was important to us. They (CU commits) were getting bombarded. Quite a few commits had been contacted by other Pac-12 schools – all the way to the last second. Those young men liked what we’re going to do here and were excited about Colorado and our future. That was very positive. Then we’ve gone out and found some other young men who were looking at other schools and got some of those guys that I felt round out our class really well . . . we found some good players, too.”

Validation of how good, he added, is TBD – which most coaches also will tell you. Take a look at San Jose State, where his three teams finished 1-12 (2010), 5-7 (2011) and 11-2 (2012). In those three years, MacIntyre didn’t have a recruiting class ranked higher than No. 99 nationally by Rivals.com.

In order, his three classes were ranked No. 100 (tied with four other schools), No. 99 (tied with Ohio) and No. 99 (tied with seven other schools). The average “star” ratings, respectively, were 2.23, 2.25, and 2.25.

“Rankings in signing classes don’t mean a lot to me,” MacIntyre said. “I’ll tell you in two to three years – how many stay, how many work, how many get better, the tenacity of them – all of those things. I feel like we got some kids who have a little bit of a chip on their shoulders to prove stuff. You always want that; I look for that.”

Kind of like what he saw in Patrick Willis 10 years ago: “He’s one of the best linebackers to ever play . . . I think that answers your question (about the star system).”

Using ballpark numbers, MacIntyre’s annual goal at CU will be to get “the right 22 . . . it varies, but it usually averages about 22 guys. You want the right 22 guys every year for Colorado. That’s what you want. It doesn’t matter what anybody else says. You want the right 22, and then in two to three years they’re standing there looking you in the eyes as men and they’re doing what they’re supposed to be doing. Now, you’re successful.”

A FEW OF THE PROSPECTS MacIntyre will introduce on Wednesday previously were committed to his former school. When I asked him to explain his philosophy on that, he answered: “I was not going to recruit anybody who was committed to San Jose State unless they de-committed and were looking at other schools. Two or three kids did. I had a bunch of other kids that inquired . . . guys that we felt fit our needs at Colorado. We had a few kids that worked out that way.”

Asked if the ex-SJS commits had to make the first call, MacIntyre said, “They had to de-commit and I had to know it – and, yes, they had to call me. I was not going to go in and (poach). That’s not the type of person I am. I honor commitments, I honor what I do. But those kids were looking at other schools in the Pac-12 also. I said I’d rather have them on my team than play against them.”

In stocking future CU classes, MacIntyre most likely will keep his recruiters west of the Mississippi. In random instances, the Buffs could look east – but only if a prospect shows an interest in CU, makes a call, and MacIntyre and his staff believe the prospect is worth pursuing.

“Basically that’s it; if we get a phone call from here or there, we’ll listen,” he said. “But we’re not going to spread ourselves thin. If you spread yourself too thin, you can’t evaluate correctly. That’s still the most important thing. Anybody can turn on the film and see a great one. My daughter can pick those out. But you’ve got to evaluate every part of it.

“We’re a Pac-12 school . . . now if a kid calls us from (the East Coast) and has an interest in Colorado, yeah. But we’re not going to spend five days in May (going there). Why would you? There’s enough players (in the West). The history of Colorado, if you look when they’ve been successful, they’ve done well in California, Texas and at home. I’m going to follow that plan.”

His plan’s fine print: In May, MacIntyre will dispatch four coaches to “hit every high school” in Colorado. Six coaches will be assigned to California, with some of them also working Colorado if necessary. Three coaches will work Texas, specifically the Dallas-Austin-San Antonio-Houston “triangle,” said MacIntyre. “Texas is a gigantic state . . . we’re really going to work that ‘triangle’ area hard.”

Also, one coach will work the Seattle/Pacific Northwest region, one will recruit in Arizona, primarily targeting Phoenix. San Jose State successfully combed that metropolitan area, said MacIntyre, adding, “We want to win Colorado first and foremost, get the BCS players here. That’s our goal . . . we had a great response from high school coaches and families (and) we’ve already got our eyes on juniors for 2014. It’s been a good reception. We’ve done a good job for this class.”

Selling CU, MacIntyre said, shouldn’t be difficult: “Colorado has a great history and is well-respected academically. When the kids came on their visits here they loved it. I thought that went real well. And as we get into it in a full (recruiting) cycle, it’ll even be better.”

February 4th

Jon Wilner – Hope for the celestially challenged

Colorado is not going to sign any five-star prospects this Wednesday.

Colorado is not going to sign any four-star prospects this Wednesday (though quarterback Sefo Liufau was a four-star recruit … before he committed to CU).

Still, there is hope for the Buffs. As Jon Wilner points out, the 2012 All-Pac-12 team is devoid of five-star recruits, and only seven of the 22 players were four-star recruits …

From the San Jose Mercury News … We’re two days from National Signing Day and fans are no doubt fretting throughout the conference — either you team’s recruiting class isn’t ranked very high, or it’s not ranked high enough.

I’m hear to help alleviate some anxiety … or tamp down soaring expectations. (Because that’s what I do!)

The star system that forms the basis of the team rankings is, of course, flawed: What’s below should give you an indication of just how flawed it can be.

It’s a look at the 2012 Pac-12 all-conference team (first team selections) and the number of stars each player received. You’ll notice: There are no 5-star prospects, and only seven of the 22 players were 4-star recruits.

Recruiting is often called an inexact science. I disagree. It’s not a science at all. It’s educated guesswork.

The development of any player depends so much on things that are difficult to measure the first Wednesday in February:

A prospect’s work ethic, the quality of college coaching, late-teens physical maturation and his fit within the system used by the college team.

And the success of any recruiting class depends, of course, on the coaching staff’s ability to make independent evaluations — to know which players are better than their stars suggest … and which might not be as good.

(Every miss eats up a valuable scholarship for one season, if not five.)

The following ratings are courtesy of Scout. I could just as easily have used Rivals: The ratings are similar, both services get it wrong with the about the same frequency — and both, in my opinion, are better than ESPN.

(Rivals … just to cite one major miss on its part, since Scout is singled out below … assigned just 4 stars to Andrew Luck in ’08 and ranked him not only as the No. 4 pro-style QB in his class but also as the 68th best prospect in the country.

(The pro-style QBs ranked ahead of Luck that year: Blaine Gabbert, Dayne Crist and Mike Glennon.

(Then again, Luck wasn’t No. 1 on Stanford’s board, either. Jim Harbaugh had his eye on Crist … and one or two others)

Here’s a look at the ’12 all-conference team, with stars …

*** OFFENSE

* Quarterback Marcus Mariota, Oregon: 3 stars (Also 3 stars: Washington’s Keith Price and Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly.)

* Tailback Kenjon Barner, Oregon: 3 stars Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona: 3 stars (Also 3 stars: UCLA’s Johnathan Franklin.)

* Receiver Markus Wheaton, Oregon State: 3 stars Marqise Lee, USC: 4 stars

* Tight end Zach Ertz, Stanford: 4 stars

* Linemen David Yankey, Stanford: 3 stars Hroniss Grasu, Oregon: 3 Brian Schwenke, Cal: 3 stars Khaled Holmes, USC: 4 stars Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA: 4 stars

*** DEFENSE

* Linemen Scott Crichton, Oregon State: 2 stars Star Lotulelei, Utah: 3 stars Will Sutton, Arizona State: 3 stars Dion Jordan, Oregon: 4 stars

* Linebackers Chase Thomas, Stanford: 3 stars Trent Murphy, Stanford: 3 stars Anthony Barr, UCLA: 4 stars

* Seconday Jordan Poyer, Oregon State: 2 stars Ed Reynolds, Stanford: 2 stars Desmond Trufant, Washington: 3 stars Ifo Ekpre-Olumu, Oregon: 4 stars

… So … take heart this Wednesday when the stars don’t come out …

Jimmy Smith and San Francisco’s last play – Defensive holding or a good “no-call”?

Baltimore Raven first round pick – and former CU Buff – Jimmy Smith was at the forefront of the post-game discussion after the 34-31 Raven victory over San Francisco in the Super Bowl.

On fourth-and-goal at the five yard line, 49er quarterback Colin Kaepernick lofted the ball towards the right corner, where San Francisco wide receiver Michael Crabtree and Baltimore cornerback Jimmy Smith jostled for position. Smith grabbed Crabtree, while Crabtree pushed off Smith. The ball fell untouched to the ground, and was called incomplete.

Here’s the take of Mike Pereira of FOX Sports: “[Colin] Kaepernick lofted a pass to Michael Crabtree, who was being guarded by Jimmy Smith. Both players were hand fighting and when you look at this play in real time, there’s not enough to call pass interference against either player. Smith had a quick grab and Crabtree had a quick push-off. Smith went down on the play and the pass fell incomplete,” he wrote. “Crabtree never complained and it’s the type of play where a flag thrown against either team would have, in my mind, created more controversy than a decision not to throw the flag.”

San Francisco 49er linebacker Ahmad Brooks disagrees. “The guy was holding Crabtree,” he said. “The officials called it as if it was a regular play and didn’t throw the flag. I think if anybody has seen it on film, they would say it’s pass interference.”

San Francisco head coach Jim Harbaugh: “Yes, there’s no question in my mind that there was a pass interference, and then a hold on Crabtree on that last one.”

Here’s a link to a discussion on the NFL Network, along with a video replay.

Either way … Jimmy Smith has become the owner of the 49th Super Bowl ring in CU history …

February 3rd

CU Super Bowl Trivia

Consider yourself a Super Bowl expert? How about an expert on your CU Buffs?

Combine the two, and you can impress your CU friends at your Super Bowl party. Here are some Super Bowl trivia questions about the 48 Super Bowl rings won by CU Buffs (answers below).

Questions:

1. Who was the first Buff coached by Bill McCartney to earn a Super Bowl ring?

2.  Numerous Buffs have won a pair of Super Bowl rings. Can you name the trio of Buffs who have each won three Super Bowl rings? (Hint: one was a Raider, the other two were Patriots)

3.  We all know that longtime CU coach Brian Cabral was a member of the 1985 Super Bowl champion Chicago Bears. But there was one other Buff on that Bear team. Can you name him?

4.  The Pittsburgh Steelers have won numerous Super Bowls, and many Buffs have won the black-and-gold of the Steelers through the years. Yet only one Buff has won a Super Bowl ring as a member of the Steelers. Can you name him?

5.  Four CU punters/placekickeers have won Super Bowl rings. Can you name all four?

6.  The Dallas Cowboys have won multiple Super Bowls, but only one Buff has won a ring wearing Cowboy colors. Can you name him?

7.  Two Buffs have won a pair of Super Bowl rings, and are also members of the College Football Hall of Fame. Can you name both?

8.  Two Buffs won a pair of Super Bowl rings in consecutive years, not only as teammates, but playing the same position. Name them.

9.  Only one Buff has won a Super Bowl ring playing almost exclusively as a kick returner. Can you name him?

10.  More Buffs have won Super Bowl rings as members of the New England Patriots (12) than any other team. What team has the second-most Buffs with rings?

 

Answers:

1. Lee Rouson, RB (New York Giants), 1986

2. Cliff Branch, WR (Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders); Tom Ashworth, OT (New England Patriots); Ted Johnson, LB (New England Patriots)

3.  Emery Moorehead, WR

4.  Mitch Berger, P, 2008

5.  Barry Helton, P, (San Francisco 49ers), Tom Rouen, P (Denver Broncos), Mitch Berger, P (Pittsburgh Steelers), Mason Crosby, K (Green Bay Packers)

6.  Mickey Pruitt, LB, 1992

7.  Dick Anderson, DB, (Miami Dolphins), 1972-73; Alfred Williams, LB, (Denver Broncos) 1997-98

8.  Christian Fauria and Daniel Graham were both tight ends for the Super Bowl champion New England Patriots in 2003-04

9.  Ben Kelly, who also played some cornerback for the New England Patriots in 2001.

10. The Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders have produced ten Buff Super Bowl rings. Denver is next, with seven.

February 1st

Chidobe Awuzie to announce decision on Signing Day; Thompson decision still pending

So there will be some Signing Day drama for the Buff Nation, after all …

Three-star defensive back Chidobe Awuzie will announce his decision for college on Wednesday, February 6th. Awuzie (Rivals bio) met with Washington State head coach Mike Leach on Monday, and committed to the Cougars that night. Awuzie, though, said he felt pressured by the Washington State coaches, who told him they only had one scholarship left open, and needed a decision. Awuzie then de-committed Tuesday morning.

Now, Awuzie will make his decision public on Signing Day (for those thinking this is a bit too theatrical for a three-star player, know this – Awuzie will actually let coaching staffs know his decision on Saturday, February 2nd, giving coaches time to adjust their plans accordingly). Awuzie will choose between Colorado, San Jose State, and Washington State (though Adam at BuffStampede.com is reporting that there may be some late interest from Wisconsin and Oregon State). Colorado coaches had an in-home with Awuzie on Tuesday night, and the Buffs are assumed to be the leader for the defensive back’s services.

One other player is still very much on CU’s radar. Another three-star defensive back, Tedric Thompson, remains uncommitted. Thompson, from Valencia, California (Rivals bio), has offers from Colorado, San Jose State, Freno State, Minnesota, UNLV and Washington State. Thompson took an official visit to Fresno State in December, and was in Boulder January 14th. Thompson will be taking an official visit to Minnesota this weekend … where his brother is currently on the roster.

A decision from Thompson may come this weekend, or it may become another Signing Day decision.

10 Replies to “Colorado Daily – February”

  1. “MacIntyre’s biggest challenge is rebuilding his team’s confidence and psyche.”
    Got that right
    For the last 7 years losing may not have been completely acceptable but it seemed tolerable. The old cliche that you have to want it more than the other team is about as true as it gets. Conversely the threat of losing has to be an unbearable pain.

  2. Thanks for the Emma Coburn update Stuart. As a mesomorph jogger…..er….make that shuffler….I can appreciate from great distance what it must take to be a world class runner. My wannabe status also helps make me extremely proud of the distance running tradition at CU.
    btw
    one downside to Emma’s speed is that you don’t get to see enough of her

  3. Stuart,

    The new ST coach seems to have most recently coached in your neck of the woods. Any additional insight you can share about what kind of a guy we’re getting?

    1. Only one year with the hated Grizzlies. Montana finished 5-6, the first losing season in Missoula since 1985, so you can take that for what it’s worth.
      Not much info on UM’s special teams, and I wouldn’t think one year’s worth of stats would be very telling about a new position coach …

  4. I’m all on board with new coach Mac but the only lingering doubts I have are with his son. Once bit…three times shy. I will curl up and die if we have to go through Cody part three (Webb being part 2)

    1. Coach Mac2 has said multiple times since his hire that, while he may recruit his son, he will not recruit him or play him as a QB (Probably a DB).
      Coach Mac2 also played for his Dad at Vandy and knows how that can turn out.

  5. Stuart, do you have any more info’ on Ryan Moeller? Ie: does he play basketball? If so, how good is he? Does he run track? If so, as a celebrated 3A RB, what is his time in the 40 and 100? I realize that the info’ on him might be a bit thin coming from a smaller school, however he seems to be a similar copy of Parker Orms (size, etc.). (?)

    1. Not seeing anything on basketball, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he plays.

      He is reported to running a 4.5 in the 40, bench 290 lbs., squat 605 lbs., shuttle 4.1 seconds, vertical 34 inches.

      In addition to rushing for over 3,000 yards and scoring 50 touchdowns, Moeller had eight interceptions on defense. Of course, these numbers were posted at Rifle, but he had these numbers at a Front Range school …

      1. Stuart, thanks for the info’. If Moeller squats 605 lbs., he must have some leg strength… that with the combination of a 4.5-40 could possibly make him a good candidate for either tailback or a slot position, however it seems that TB’s in the upper tier schools have typically 4.3 – 4.4 times.

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