Colorado Daily – December, 2014



December 30th

… CU in a few minutes …

CU down to Final Four for Defensive Coordinator position

Adam at is reporting that Colorado is down to its Final Four candidates for the vacant Defensive Coordinator position.

A snapshot look at the candidates (Note: I will have profiles on the candidates posting Wednesday afternoon … unless a selection has already been reached by then):

Clancy Pendergast – Currently not coaching … Defensive coordinator, USC, 2013; Defensive coordinator, Cal, 2010-12; Defensive coach in the NFL (For five teams), 1995-2009

David Gibbs – Defensive coordinator, Houston, 2013-14 … Defensive backs coach, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, 2006-10; Former Buff – played 1986-90, starting safety for CU’s national championship team

D.J. Durkin – Defensive coordinator, Florida, 2010 -14 … Serving as interim head coach for the Gators after the resignation of head coach Will Muschamp … Likely to be a top choice for either Michigan or Texas A&M positions, but did interview with Colorado

Gary Gibbs – Linebackers coach, Kansas City Chiefs … Has been a coach in the NFL for the past 13 seasons … Was head coach at Oklahoma, 1989-94, compiling a 44-23-2 … Has also served as defensive coordinator at Georgia and LSU



December 27th

… CU in a few minutes …

Woelk – “Realistic Goals Within CU’s Reach”

Neill Woelk has posted another great essay at the Daily Camera, entitled, “Realistic Goals Within CU’s Reach”. In the commentary, Woelk points out that CU will never (realistically) be able to compete with the likes of the final four playoff teams – Florida State, Ohio State, Oregon and Alabama – either on the field on in the balance sheets. Instead, Woelk offers programs such as Mississippi State and Kansas State as programs CU should emulate. The full article can be found here.

The opening …

Last summer, Colorado athletic director Rick George told me, “We have a game plan for how we’re going to become the premier athletic department in the country in the next 15 years.”

That obviously includes a successful football program, meaning a team that produces not only enough wins on the field to satisfy fans, but also enough revenue to support almost every other program in the athletic department. Neither of those has been a reality in the last decade.

But George’s goal is not unrealistic, at least not if the standard by which a department is measured is “bang for buck” — and it all depends on football.

What’s clear is that Colorado’s overall athletic successes will always be tied to the gridiron. While the basketball team has enjoyed unparalleled success in recent years — recent struggles notwithstanding — it’s hard to imagine CU ever reaching the realm of true “basketball schools” such as Arizona, Kansas or Kentucky.

But in that same vein, it’s also not logical to ever expect Colorado football to once again reach the pinnacle it reached in the Bill McCartney years. The landscape has simply changed too much. It’s difficult to conceive any circumstances under which CU will ever reach the budgetary stratosphere currently occupied by the nation’s elite football programs. The financial gap is simply too large.

… The remainder of the essay can be found here



December 26th

… CU in a few minutes …

ESPN: Colorado “the best of the worst”

ESPN writer Ted Miller was asked how CU would have fared if they had played the 2014 season in any other Power-Five conference or division other than the SEC West. His response:

When you ask, “How would the Buffs have stacked up in any of the other Power-5 conferences this year?” my overriding thought is the Buffs would have been far better off as long as they didn’t play in the SEC West. In the SEC East, ACC, Big 12 and Big Ten, the Buffs would have won more games. They lost four Pac-12 games this season by five points or less, and two of those defeats were to teams that remain nationally ranked.

In fact, we’re going to crown Colorado the best worst Power-5 conference team.

In the interest of fairness, here are the candidates.

  • Wake Forest (3-9, 1-7 ACC): Ranked 127th in the nation in points per game (14.8) and rushing yards per game (39.9). Lost to Louisiana Monroe. Best win was 6-3 in double-overtime over Virginia Tech.
  • Purdue (3-9, 1-7 Big Ten): Lost to Central Michigan. Best win was at Illinois. Lost six straight to finish season.
  • Iowa State (2-10, 0-9 Big 12): Lost to North Dakota State. Gave up 38.8 points per game, which ranked 118th in nation. Best win at Iowa 20-17. Lost six straight to finish season.
  • Vanderbilt (3-9 0-8 SEC):Lost to Temple. Ranked 106th in the nation or worse in passing yards, rushing yards, points for and points against. Best win? Massachusetts?
  • Colorado (2-10, 0-9 Pac-12): Lost to Colorado State. Ranked 120th in the nation in points allowed (39.0 — yeah, time to change coordinators). Best win? Hawaii.

Among those five, we’d rank Colorado first, Iowa State second, Purdue fourth, Wake Forest third and Vanderbilt fifth.



December 23rd

… CU in a few minutes …

Speculation begins as to CU’s new defensive coordinator

While there is no official word as to who CU head coach Mike MacIntyre might be looking to as the Buffs’ next defensive coordinator, there are any number of names which are being bandied about as possible replacements.

As interviews are disclosed, or names are made public, we will take a deeper look into the resumes of the candidates. For now, here are some names (in no particular order) of names which might be leading CU’s defense in 2015:

Ed Orgeron – Currently not coaching … Former head coach at Ole Miss (2005-07); Assistant head coach, Tennessee, 2009; Defensive line coach/Recruiting Coordinator, USC, 2010-13; interim head coach, USC, 2013

Todd Orlando – Utah State defensive coordinator, 2013-14 … Defensive coordinator, Florida International, 2011-12; Defensive coordinator, Connecticut, 2005-10

Clancy Pendergast – Currently not coaching … Defensive coordinator, USC, 2013; Defensive coordinator, Cal, 2010-12; Defensive coach in the NFL (For five teams), 1995-2009

David Gibbs – Defensive coordinator, Houston, 2013-14 … Defensive backs coach, Kansas City Chiefs and Houston Texans, 2006-10; Former Buff – played 1986-90, starting safety for CU’s national championship team

Rocky Seto – Passing game coordinator, defense, Seattle Seahawks,  2010-14 … Assistant coach at USC, 2000-09, serving as defensive coordinator in 2009

Ron English – Currently not coaching … Head coach, Eastern Michigan, 2009-13; Defensive coordinator, Louisville, 2008; Defensive coordinator, Michigan, 2006-07

… Others? …. An announcement on Christmas Eve is unlikely, but an announcement before New Year’s is a possibility, and an announcement before the end of the “dead period” for recruiting an absolute necessity …


ESPN: CU better than its record indicated

A story from ESPN. It says what Buff fans already know, but it’s nice to have the national media taking note. The article – which is worth your next five minutes – opens as follows:

Coming strictly from a win-loss standpoint, Colorado’s second season under coach Mike MacIntyre would be evaluated as a complete and utter failure. And in the results-driven world of college football, maybe that’s fair — 2-10 is 2-10, right?

Except that would also be lazy, and fail to take into account the magnitude of the mess left by previous coach Jon Embree, whose 2012 team might have been the worst Power 5 team in the country. The cupboard wasn’t just bare for MacIntyre, it was rotting at a dump. This was never going to be a quick turnaround, and — much like the case when he arrived at San Jose State in 2010 — a lot of losing would have to precede winning. That should have been well understood even before the Pac-12 South transformed into the country’s it division with five ranked teams.

There will come a time when MacIntyre’s job should be more heavily evaluated by wins and losses — maybe even next season — but to do so this year would ignore tangible headway.

Continue reading here



December 22nd

… CU in a few minutes …

UNLV hires two Colorado coaches

It’s been on twitter since this morning, but seems to be confident:

UNLV: Tony Sanchez has hired away Colorado’s defensive coordinator Kent Baer and corners coach Andy LaRussa per Mark Anderson. At UNLV, we understand LaRussa will coach safeties / special teams. We can confirm the hires.

From the Las Vegas Journal … Colorado defensive coordinator Kent Baer was hired by UNLV to serve in the same capacity.

Baer, who also has been a defensive coordinator at Notre Dame, Stanford, Arizona State and California, will oversee linebackers in addition to his coordinator duties.

The Rebels also announced the hiring of Andy LaRussa as their safeties coach and special teams coordinator. LaRussa also at Colorado as well, where he coached defensive ends, and he was a graduate assistant at UNLV from 2005 to 2008.

The new hires complete new coach Tony Sanchez’s staff.

“I’m excited about this staff because of the years of experience and also the success that they’ve had in their careers,” Sanchez said in a statement. “Bringing this group of gentlemen in not only gives us excellent football coaches but also great mentors to our kids and people who will represent this University in a positive way. I couldn’t be more excited about the staff and their commitment to my vision and the vision of UNLV and where we’re moving. They are going to help us build UNLV Football into a winning program


Wide receiver Bryce Bobo will miss spring practices

From the Daily Camera … Colorado wide receiver Bryce Bobo underwent shoulder surgery last week and won’t be available to participate in spring practices Feb. 13 through March 15, coach Mike MacIntyre said.

Bobo played in all 12 games for the Buffs this season, recording 23 catches for 215 yards and three touchdowns as a redshirt freshman. MacIntyre said Bobo played the whole season with a torn labrum.

“He played safety in high school and would have helped us on special teams, but we were afraid to do that,” MacIntyre said. “So we get that fixed and he’ll be able to help us on special teams also. He’ll also be able to get bigger and stronger, but he won’t be able to go in the spring”.



December 20th

… CU in a few minutes …

CU Athletics counting down the Top 14 in 2014 is counting down the Top 14 stories of 2014. The list can be tracked here.

The stories so far …

No. 14 … The CU women’s cross country team has a top ten finish at nationals

No. 13 …  CU women’s tennis doubles team earns high marks

No. 12 … The CU women’s golf team has a great season



December 19th

… CU in a few minutes …

Jim Hansen: Rhodes Scholar, Scientist, Leader… Still Huddling with His Teammates

Curtis Eichelberger of the National Football Foundation has published a great story on former Buff Jim Hansen. An honorable mention All-American as a senior in 1992, the CU offensive tackle went on to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship.

The article, “Rhodes Scholar, Scientist, Leader… Still Huddling with His Teammates“, is definitely worth a few minutes of your Friday.

Catching with the first Coach Mac

Meanwhile, at, Michael Weinreb has posted a lengthy and detailed interview with Bill McCartney.

Entitled “Promise Keeper“, the interview covers the early dark days of the McCartney era, the rise to the national championship, McCartney’s surprise retirement, and issues involving his family, including those involving his wife and daughter.

If you haven’t been around long enough to appreciate Bill McCartney, and what he did for the University of Colorado, you should check out this article. For those of us who know much of the story, there are some interesting insights which are not widely known.



December 18th

… CU in a few minutes …

CU press release on the Buffs’ three junior college transfers

From … The University of Colorado has added three junior college transfers to its football program, head coach Mike MacIntyre announced Thursday.

Defensive tackle Jordan Carrell, defensive end Blake Robbins and defensive back Afolabi Laguda all signed Wednesday with the Buffaloes. All three have three years remaining on the eligibility “clocks,” with Carrell and Robbins juniors-to-be while Laguda will be a sophomore (meaning Carrell and Robbins still have a redshirt year available to them).

“We’re excited today that we helped ourselves on defense,” MacIntyre said. “We’ve bulked up our D-Line with more size and pass rushing ability. In Blake, we add a 6-4, 260-pound rush end who is an excellent outside player, and in Jordan, we’re bringing in a 6-3, 275-pound junior college All-American D-tackle who is an excellent inside pass rusher and an excellent run stopper.

“Afolabi is a rangy defensive back who can play all three positions in the secondary, corner, safety and nickel,” MacIntyre continued. “At 6-2 and 200 pounds, we like his potential as a defensive back and on special teams.”

Carrell, 6-3, 275, joins CU from American River College in Sacramento, Calif., where he was a teammate of current Buff junior offensive lineman Sully Wiefels in 2013; the two went head-to-head daily in practice and will be reunited. The Norcal League Defensive Player of the Year for the 10-2 Beavers, Carrell was in on 80 tackles as a sophomore this past fall, numbers that included 19 tackles for losses of 69 yards and eight quarterback sacks (for 48 yards). He also had 24 quarterback hurries, 12 of which were knockdowns, two passes broken up and a forced fumble.  American River finished with a 10-2 record and a No. 10 national ranking, with a No. 3 ranking in the state of California in winning the Norcal Conference title.

A parade of honors came Carrell’s way, including first-team ACCFCA All-American, first-team All-State, first-team All-Region I and first-team All-Norcal Conference, as he was the league defensive most valuable player. A two-year starter at ARC, he had 30 tackles as a freshman, 10 for losses with four sacks, along with four passes broken up, two fumble recoveries, an interception and a blocked field goal.� He played his prep ball at Roseville (Calif.) High School, where he was a four-year starter at center and a three-year starter at defensive end.

Robbins, 6-4, 260, will come to Colorado from Georgia Military College, where he started this fall at defensive end; he missed the better part of four games with a broken bone in his hand but did return to finish out the season. In limited action due to the injury, he was in on 15 tackles for loss, including five quarterback sacks, along with forcing a fumble in playing for GMC, a perennial JUCO powerhouse.

He is from Aiken, S.C., where he graduated from Silver Bluff High School; he played just one year of prep football, starting at both defensive end and tight end, the latter as primarily a blocker in the offensive scheme. He was in on 60 tackles, 20 for losses with seven sacks and a fumble recovery on defense in earning first-team All-State and All-Region honors.

Laguda, 6-2, 200, played safety this season for Butler Community College (El Dorado, Kan.). He was in on 46 tackles, 24 solo with three for losses, along with two passes broken up and a forced fumble. He had at least four tackles in six games for the 8-3 Grizzlies.

He played his high school ball for Brookwood (Snellville, Ga.), where he was a two-year starter at defensive back and wide receiver.

All three will enroll at CU for the spring semester and participate in spring practices, which begin February 13. National signing day for high school seniors is Wednesday, February 4. Colorado loses 21 seniors off the 2014 team, 10 from the defense, nine on offense and two four-year kicking specialists, thus MacIntyre and his staff will likely sign around 18-20 prep players.



Letter from CU Athletic Director Rick George

Many of you are on the CU mailing list, but if you are not, below is the email letter from CU athletic director Rick George which went out this morning:

Dear Buffs Fan,

As the calendar year comes to a close, I wanted to reach out to you one final time in 2014 to share my thoughts about CU athletics, touching upon some of the highs and the lows as we embark on what we all hope will be a successful new year on many fronts for us.

Northeast Complex Expansion Update
If you were in attendance at a football game in September and then again in November, you personally witnessed the beginning of the transformation of the northeast corner of Folsom Field; and in the three weeks since Senior Day, progress has been rapid and the new administration building is really taking shape. We remain on schedule for phase two to be completed in early summer, with phase three also currently underway with perhaps the largest excavation on campus since the Coors Events Center was undertaken back in 1977 (translation: there’s a big hole out there!).

The cost of the project at this time remains $156 million, and it was announced earlier this fall that in addition to our on-going fundraising for all three phases of the Athletics Complex Expansion, we would secure bonds as well, especially since the rates were most favorable. In consulting those with financial expertise on the issue, it was the most efficient and effective method to fund this project.

As conference distribution payments increase over the life of our current television contracts, along with monies from the championship playoff in football and the NCAA basketball tournament, our continued fundraising efforts and the new revenue streams we are developing, we believe we are in good financial shape in the coming years to absorb those bond payments, even with additional costs on the horizon being a Power 5 conference school.

Speaking to the latter, we will know a lot more shortly on what the costs will be, as the NCAA vote on more autonomy for those five conferences and exactly what can be done to improve conditions for the student-athlete is in January.

Competition Update
Our all sports record against Division I competition this year currently stands at 331-91-2, a 78.3 winning percentage. The largest contributor to that mark was our two-time NCAA men’s cross country championship team, which also claimed its fourth straight Pac-12 title and the Mountain Regional crown en route to a perfect 100-0 record (they are 205-1 over the last two seasons). The women were also regional champs, and finished third in the Pac-12 and seventh in the nation.

Congratulations are in order for cross country coach Mark Wetmore, who was named the national coach of the year for the fifth time in his illustrious career; this is his third time as the men’s selection, and he’s also been the top women’s coach twice. It was a most fitting way for Mark to celebrate his 20th season guiding our cross country and track programs.

The women’s soccer and volleyball teams both were invited to their respective NCAA tournaments and advanced to the second round (pushing their opposition to the very end in both games). Senior volleyball captain Taylor Simpson was named our first-ever First Team All-America selection by the AVCA on December 17. In women’s tennis, senior Julyette Steur and freshman Kyra Wojcik were regional champions in doubles play and represented CU well in the ITA National Championships in New York City.

Six programs ended their fall seasons ranked in the top 40 nationally and all six of these sports have over 300 schools competing on the Division I level: men’s cross country (#1), women’s cross country (#7), volleyball (#19), soccer (#28), women’s golf (#35) and men’s golf (#39). It is no doubt one of our most successful fall seasons in recent memory, and we are currently 10th in the Learfield Director’s Cup Standings that were issued this week (points awarded to date nationally for just cross country and field hockey).

I’ve already been quoted publicly that while I am pleased with the improvements that we have made in the football program, none of us are satisfied with the won-lost record. We stated earlier in the year our goal was to get back to playing in the postseason, which we haven’t done since 2007; we obviously fell short of that. There were no proverbial moral victories in coming close (four Pac-12 losses by a combined 15 points); we hope to convert those narrow losses into wins next season. But the signs are there; this team set or tied 107 school records, most of them on offense, and that could not happen if positive strides weren’t made.

Both basketball teams have 6-3 records as they wait to resume action following final exams; we’ve had some early ups and downs. The highlights include the men shining during ESPN’s 24-Hour Tip-Off Marathon, recording a dominant 31-point win over Auburn before an energized crowd with the unique 11 p.m. start time, and the women claiming our own Omni Hotels Classic with a thrilling double-overtime win over Colorado State.

Content Coming Soon
Later this week, on, we will start looking back at 2014 with our Top 14 in ’14, recalling our top sports stories of the year, one per day over the final two weeks of December. What will our top story be? Check in daily as we count them down!

Academic Accolades
The fall Pac-12 All-Academic Teams were announced over the course of the last month; all require a minimum 3.0 grade point and those honored are selected internally by the Pac-12 office.

Colorado placed eight cross country performers combined on the first-, second- or honorable mention teams. Three earned first-team honors with a combined grade point average of 11.98 out of 12 — sophomores David Emmert, Ben Saarel and Mandy Ortiz. Emmert, an Aerospace Engineering major, and Ortiz, majoring in Integrative Physiology, both have 4.00 GPAs, while Saarel owns a 3.98 in Engineering Physics.

Ten football players earned recognition, led by junior wide receiver Nelson Spruce. In addition to setting over two dozen records on the field and being selected as team’s most valuable player, he was a first-team academic choice with a 3.64 grade point average in Finance. CU had five players on the first- or second teams, tied for the fourth-most in the conference.

The women’s soccer team had nine student-athletes honored on its Pac-12 Academic team, all earning honorable mention status. It’s the fifth straight season at least eight Buffs have made the team; senior Darcy Jerman, a Marketing major, made the team for a third consecutive year. The Buffaloes were also honored with an NSCAA Team Academic Award for the third straight year, posting a team grade point average of 3.23. And three volleyball players made their unit, led by junior Nicole Edelman with a 3.54 grade point in Business.

Our own Dr. David Clough, in his 10th year as our Faculty Athletics Representative, has been appointed as a member of the NCAA’s brand new Committee on Academics, a group that will report directly to the NCAA’s Board of Directors. This new 20-person academics body replaces two previous groups that oversaw academics in a move to streamline and better coordinate efforts. Dr. Clough, as many of you have known, is one of the leading experts on the NCAA’s Academic Performance Program.

Update on Larry Zimmer
Larry Zimmer, the voice of the Buffs, remains hospitalized after falling ill on October 4 following the CU-Oregon State game. He missed the remainder of the season and while he still plans to return for the 2015 season, he has not yet been able to return home and begin rehab due to assorted complications that have arisen. He celebrated his 79th birthday in November in hospital care, but we’re hopeful he can rebound because his 80th can be done right next year, as it falls on the day we host USC Friday night in Boulder. We’d love nothing more than if all in attendance at Folsom Field could sing happy birthday to him.

And lastly, I want to again congratulate the nine newest members of the CU Athletic Hall of Fame; it was a most enjoyable evening on October 30 inducting the group as our 10th class, and we’re looking forward to making it an annual affair instead of every two years as it has been up until now.

A reminder that you can check the progress of our construction and learn more about our Sustainable Excellence Initiative by visiting, with additional information on how you can support us in a number of areas at (and you can always call the Buff Club office, 303-492-2200).

Here’s wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year. Go Buffs!

Collaboration and Unity,

Rick George
Athletic Director



December 17th

... CU in a few minutes …

Darragh O’Neill and Greg Henderson will play in the East-West Shrine game

From the Daily Camera … University of Colorado punter Darragh O’Neill is the second Buffs player to accept an invitation to play in the 90th East-West Shrine Game Jan. 17 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

O’Neill, a senior from Louisville who played at Fairview High School in Boulder, was the Buffs’ punter for four consecutive seasons and averaged 44.1 yards his senior season. He was CU’s special teams player of the year.

O’Neill joins CU defensive back Greg Henderson, who previously accepted an invitation to play in the East-West game.


Junior College Defensive Linemen Nathaniel “Blake” Robbins  and Jordan Carrell are officially Buffs

It’s National Signing Day for Junior College transfers, and the two defensive linemen Colorado were expecting to sign have sent in the appropriate paperwork.

The bios for both players can be found under “Welcome to the Black and Gold” here at CU at the Game

Tweets from Coach MacIntyre:

Coach Mike MacIntyre@CoachMikeMac 2m2 minutes ago

Congrats Jordan Carrell 1st Team JC All-American DT welcome to the Buff family!!

Coach Mike MacIntyre@CoachMikeMac 1h1 hour ago

Congrats Blake Robbins!! Welcome to the Buff Family


December 16th

… CU in a few minutes …

Colorado State has sold less than half of its bowl ticket allotment … Utah has sold out its allotment

The Coloradoan is reporting that Colorado State has sold 3,358 tickets to this Saturday’s Las Vegas Bowl, including 2,688 to the public and 670 to students. This is out of an allotment of 8,500 tickets.

The University of Utah, meanwhile, has sold out its full allotment of 7,500 tickets for the game.

Last season, CSU distributed around 5,000 tickets for the New Mexico Bowl, but that figure included tickets gave away to the marching band, comp tickets for players, and tickets for administrators.



“An Uncommon Experience” released by CU Video

Okay, here you are, checking out a CU website on a Tuesday in December, with the basketball teams off until next week, and the football team off for the next nine months.

This just in … you are a Buff fan!

This being the case, you deserve to spend 14 minutes today enjoying the latest CU Video. “An Uncommon Experience” reflects the theme this year for the CU football team. Coach Mike MacIntyre & Co. asked the team to be “Uncommon”, both on and off the field. The highlights in the video are great, but the look into the day-to-day life of CU football players, along the Daniel Munyer’s interview and some of the speeches given by coach Mac … Well, you’ll be proud you are a Buff!

Thanks to CU Video for once again producing such a quality video for the Buff Nation!




December  15th

… CU in a few minutes …

College football attendance down nationwide

From … Major college football home attendance in 2014 dipped to its lowest average in 14 years as many schools continue to struggle to fill seats.

Football Bowl Subdivision crowds for home games averaged 43,483 fans per game, down 4 percent from 2013 and the lowest since 42,631 in 2000, according to a analysis of NCAA attendance data. This marked the sixth straight season crowds were below 46,000 since they peaked at 46,456 in 2008.

The biggest increases among Power Five schools: Texas A&M (21 percent), Maryland (14 percent), LSU (11 percent), Mississippi State (10 percent), Rutgers (9 percent), Florida State (9 percent) and UCLA (nine percent). Texas A&M, LSU and Mississippi State expanded their stadiums this season. Maryland and Rutgers were new Big Ten members.

The biggest decreases in the Power Five: Purdue (28 percent), Pittsburgh (17 percent), Virginia (15 percent), Kansas (10 percent), Arizona State (9 percent) and Oklahoma State (8 percent).

Pac 12: Crowds dropped 2 percent to 52,758 and they are down 10 percent since peaking in 2007. Pac-12 attendance leader UCLA ranked 19th nationally. Only four of 12 conference schools had an increase: UCLA, Arizona, Utah and Washington State. A couple of schools’ decreases were very minor.

… Pac-12 schools …

UCLA: +9%
Arizona: +6%
Washington State: +4%
Utah: +3%
USC: -1%
Oregon: -1%
Oregon State: -2%
Colorado: -2%
Cal: -3%
Stanford: -6%
Washington: -6%
Arizona State: -9%



December 11th

… CU in a few minutes …

Colorado seventh in the Pac-12 in assistant coaches salaries

The USA Today has published its annual list of salaries for assistant coaches, and the University of Colorado coming in just with under $2.6 million is salaries this fall. The amount is fifth in the Pac-12 amongst the public schools (USC and Stanford don’t have to report), so it is a fair bet that CU is actually seventh in the conference in assistant coaches’ pay.

Offensive and defensive coordinators Brian Lindgren and Kent Baer are the highest-paid Buff assistants, with base salaries of $457,500 for Baer and $455,000 for Lindgren, making them the 84th and 85th-highest paid assistants in the nation.

Total for PAC 12 staffs:

Oregon – $3,277,584
Washington – $3,250,032
UCLA – $3,184,100
Arizona State – $3,111,620
Colorado – $2,595,500
Arizona – $2,498,650
Utah – $2,420,000
Oregon State – $2,347,200
Wshington State – $2,309,124
Cal – $2,081,600



December 10th

… CU in a few minutes …

Rick George gets it – “We’ve got to win football games”

From the Daily Camera … Colorado athletic director Rick George spent Monday night in New Jersey watching LeBron James play basketball along with some CU donors and Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge.

On Tuesday night, George attended the National Football Foundation’s annual awards dinner in New York.

No matter where he is these days, George’s thoughts are never far from two goals, continuing to raise money for the athletic department’s facilities project and helping his football program win more games.

After taking a week to digest the CU football season in its entirety, George shared his thoughts on Year Two of the Mike MacIntyre coaching era in Boulder and his expectations going forward during a telephone interview with the Camera.

Earlier this year, George, in conjunction with a group of advisers numbering more than 30, set a goal for the football program to reach a bowl game in 2014. That goal along with others for every program in the department were published in George’s long-term strategic plan. The football team obviously fell well short of that goal, finishing 2-10 and winless in the Pac-12 Conference.

“The season didn’t go as I expected it to go,” George said. “I expected us to win more games than we did. We did make improvements in a lot of ways, but at the end of the day we need to win football games and we’ve got to improve on that.

“We’ve got to continue to focus on how to get better and translate those close losses into close wins. We’ve got to win football games.”

Remainder of the article can be found here



December 8th

… CU in a few minutes …

CU Video Production: “Forever”

Down about your Buffs? Need a Monday pick-me-up?

Here is a link to an eight minute presentation from CU Video entitled, “Forever”.

From the intro … FOREVER is what it’s like to be a Colorado Buffalo, on and off the field. All of the amazing experiences, our beautiful campus and the city of Boulder.

Former Buff and retired NFL player Lawrence Vickers describes in his own words what being a Buff is all about. His passion for being a Buff, his teammates, the University of Colorado and Boulder is evident throughout FOREVER.

… Enjoy! …



December 5th

… CU in a few minutes …

Jon Wilner gives Mike MacIntyre a “C-minus” for the 2014 season

Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News has published his grades for the Pac-12 coaches for the season. Not surprisingly, the coaches who have their teams in the Pac-12 title game, Oregon’s Mark Helfrich and Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez, received A’s. (Rich Rod getting an “A+”. Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre, despite a winless season in conference, and a 2-10 record overall, did not receive the lowest grade. In fact, five Pac-12 coaches received grades equal to or lower than MacIntyre.

Here’s what Wilner had to say about CU’s head coach:

Colorado’s Mike MacIntyre
Grade: C-
Comment: Has the youngest team and the least-talented roster in the league (by far), yet the Buffs competed in every game and were oh-so-close four times (Cal, UCLA, Oregon State and Utah).

Washington’s Chris Petersen also received a “C-” for his efforts in his first campaign in Seattle, while Stanford’s David Shaw and USC’s Steve Sarkisian received grades of “D+”. Mike Riley, who just received a new job at Nebraska, earned a “D” for his most recent season at Oregon State, with Washington State’s Mike Leach earning a “D-” for his third season in Pullman.



December 4th

… CU in a few minutes …

Tweet from the Florida athletic department … , we are pleased to officially announce our new head coach…Jim McElwain

ESPN: McElwain to Florida a done deal

From ESPN … Jim McElwain’s representatives and Colorado State have cleared up the issues surrounding his buyout, and McElwain has agreed to become the next head coach at Florida, sources told

Barring any last-minute snags, Florida is expected to announce McElwain as the Gators’ coach later Thursday.

The deal had been hung up before Thursday morning as Colorado State refused to budge on McElwain’s $7.5 million buyout and Florida had refused to pay the entire amount. It is unclear at this point if Florida agreed to pay the full buyout amount of the schools settled on a smaller amount.

McElwain, 52, was in his third season at Colorado State. The Rams (10-2) have won 16 of their last 20 games dating back to last season. That’s after losing 27 of 36 games in the three seasons prior to McElwain’s arrival in 2012.

He was named Tuesday as the Mountain West Conference’s Coach of the Year.

Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley was looking for somebody with a strong offensive background, and McElwain fits that bill.

The Rams are 13th nationally in total offense (497.8 yards per game) and had the country’s second most efficient quarterback in Garrett Grayson, who’s thrown 32 touchdown passes and only six interceptions. Colorado State’s top receiver, Rashard Higgins, led the country in receiving yards per game (149.1) and receiving touchdowns (17).



December 3rd

… CU in a few minutes …

Deal to make CSU head coach the new coach at Florida stalled

From the Orlando Sentinel … After two days of negotiations, it remains unclear whether the Gators will land top coaching target Jim McElwain after negotiations over potentially reducing his $7.5 million buyout slowed the process.

“CSU has not budged an inch on the buyout,” a source told the Orlando Sentinel Wednesday afternoon.

For days, all signs pointed to the hiring of Colorado State’s McElwain to replace Will Muschamp.

The biggest sticking point was McElwain’s buyout. The source said there was no team meeeting with players despite reports to the contrary and CSU officials who once thought McElwain was on his way UF are unsure whether he will in fact take over as the Gators’ next coach.

A flight plan was filed for the plane that carried UF athletic director Jeremy Foley and athletic department administrators to Colorado. The plane is set to return to Gainesville at about 7 p.m. McElwain was not on board.

Colorado State officials have declined to comment to local reporters, while UF’s official Twitter account posted the following message at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, “We’ve had very productive conversations with Coach McElwain and his wife Karen and those continue.”



Nelson Spruce named 2nd-team All-Pac-12 Conference; six Buffs earn honorable mention recognition

From the Pac-12


First Team Offense
QB, Marcus Mariota, Jr., Oregon (3)
RB, Javorius Allen, Jr., USC
RB, Devontae Booker, Jr., Utah RB
WR, Nelson Agholor, Jr., USC
WR, Jaelen Strong, Jr., Arizona State
TE, Pharaoh Brown, Jr., Oregon
OL, Jamil Douglas, Sr., Arizona State
OL, Jake Fisher, Sr., Oregon
OL, Hroniss Grasu, Sr., Oregon (3)
OL, Andrus Peat, Jr., Stanford
OL, Max Tuerk, Jr., USC

First Team Defense
DL, Henry Anderson, Sr., Stanford
DL, Nate Orchard, Sr., Utah
DL, Danny Shelton, Sr., Washington
DL, Leonard Williams, Jr., USC (2)
LB, Hau’oli Kikaha, Sr., Washington
LB, Shaq Thompson, Jr., Washington
LB, Scooby Wright III, So., Arizona
DB, Ishmael Adams, So., UCLA
DB, Su’a Cravens, So., USC
DB, Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Sr., Oregon (3)
DB, Damarious Randall, Sr., Arizona State
DB, Jordan Richards, Sr., Stanford

First Team Specialists
PK, Andy Phillips, So., Utah
P, Tom Hackett, Jr., Utah (2)
RS, Kaelin Clay, Sr., Utah
AP/ST, Shaq Thompson, Jr., Washington

Second Team Offense
QB, Brett Hundley, Jr., UCLA
RB, D.J. Foster, Jr., Arizona State
RB, Royce Freeman, Fr., Oregon
WR, Vince Mayle, Sr., Washington State
WR, Nelson Spruce, Jr., Colorado
TE, Austin Hooper, So., Stanford
OL, Jake Brendel, Jr., UCLA
OL, Steven Gurrola, Sr., Arizona
OL, Nick Kelly, Jr., Arizona State
OL, Kyle Murphy, Jr., StanfordOL, Jeremiah Poutasi, Jr., Utah

Second Team Defense
DL, DeForest Buckner, Jr., Oregon
DL, Kenny Clark, So., UCLA
DL, Owamagbe Odigihizuwa, Sr., UCLA
DL, Dylan Wynn, Sr., Oregon State
LB, Myles Jack, So., UCLA
LB, Eric Kendricks, Sr., UCLA
LB, A.J. Tarpley, Sr., Stanford
DB, Erick Dargan, Sr., Oregon

DB, Troy Hill, Sr., Oregon
DB, Anthony Jefferson, Sr., UCLA
DB, Fabian Moreau, Jr., UCLA
DB, Steven Nelson, Sr., Oregon State

Second Team Specialists
PK, Zane Gonzalez, So., Arizona State
P, Drew Riggleman, Jr., Arizona
RS, Ty Montgomery, Sr., Stanford
AP/ST, Charles Nelson, Fr., Oregon
JuJu Smith, Fr., USC

RS=Return Specialist

AP/ST=All-Purpose/Special Teams Player (not a kicker or returner)

(2) Two-time first team selection

(3) Three-time first team selection

Offensive Player of the Year: Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon

Pat Tillman Defensive Player of the Year: Scooby Wright, LB, Arizona

Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon

Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: Adoree’ Jackson, DB, USC

Scholar-Athlete of the Year: Taylor Kelly, QB, Arizona State

Coach of the Year: Rich Rodriguez, Arizona

Honorable mention …

COLORADO: DB Greg Henderson, Sr.; QB Sefo Liufau, So.; OL Daniel Munyer, SR.; PK Will Oliver, Sr.; P Darragh O’Neill, Sr.; DL Josh Tupou, Jr.



December 2nd

CU in a few minutes …

Arizona up to No. 7 in College Football Rankings; Utah up to No. 23

… While it will take an interesting combination of events, but Arizona, with a win over Oregon in the Pac-12 championship game, could find its way into the first edition of the College Football Playoffs … Meanwhile, Utah’s four-point win over Colorado impressed the panel enough to move the Utes up in the rankings, from No. 25 to No. 23 …

From ESPN … TCU moved back into the College Football Playoff rankings’ first four, and leapfrogged undefeated Florida State in the process.

The Horned Frogs were ranked third, one spot ahead of the Seminoles, in the rankings released Tuesday night, the final set of rankings before the 12-member committee selects the four teams for the inaugural playoff tournament on Sunday.

Alabama and Oregon remained No. 1 and No. 2, respectively. Ohio State was ranked fifth and Baylor, which defeated TCU on Oct. 11, was sixth.

TCU routed Texas, 48-10, this past Thursday to win its sixth straight. Florida State held off Florida, 24-19, in Will Muschamp’s final game as the Gators’ coach, but still slipped a spot in the CFP rankings despite winning its 12th straight this season (and 28th overall).

Each of the top six teams are in action this weekend. Oregon faces Arizona (No. 7 in this week’s CFP rankings) in the Pac-12 championship game on Friday. Alabama plays Missouri (No. 16 CFP) in the SEC championship game and Florida State faces Georgia Tech (No. 11 CFP) in the Dr. Pepper ACC Championship Game, both on Saturday.

Ten Buffs named to All-Pac-12 Academic teams

From … The 2014 Pac-12 football All-Academic teams were announced on Monday and 10 Colorado players were honored.

Junior wide receiver Nelson Spruce led the way, earning first-team honors, followed by sophomore running back Michael Adkins, senior wide receiver Tyler McCulloch, senior punter Darragh O’Neill and senior placekicker Will Oliver who each received second-team honors. Senior wide receiver D.D. Goodson, redshirt freshman Derek McCartney, junior offensive tackle Stephane Nembot, sophomore linebacker Ryan Severson and senior tight end Kyle Slavin all received honorable mention nods from the conference.

Colorado’s five players on the first or second team tied for the fourth-most of any team in the conference, with only Stanford (9), Arizona State (7) and California (6) finishing with more.

Spruce, who made a conference all-academic team for the third-consecutive year, now adds one of the conference’s highest academic honors to the number of honors he has received, and surely will still receive, for his athletic prowess on the gridiron this season. The record-setting receiver sports a 3.64 GPA during the fall semester and is majoring Business-Finance.

Spruce was honored on Sunday at the annual CU football awards banquet as the team’s most valuable player during the course of the 2014 season. He was also honored earlier this fall by being named as one of 10 semi-finalists for the prestigious Biletnikoff Award, handed out annually to the nation’s best receiver (he did not advance to the finalist round). Even more honors are expected later in the month as the conference releases its All-Pac 12 football teams which honor the conference’s best players at every position.

McCulloch earned second-team honors for the first time after receiving honorable mention nods during both his sophomore and junior years. He has a 3.43 GPA and is majoring in Communication. He will graduate this May.

Oliver’s latest recognition for his academic efforts is the third of his career. He was a first-team performer last season and a second-teamer as a sophomore. He has a 3.76 GPA and is majoring in Business-Finance. He will be graduating in May with a master’s degree in accounting and a bachelor’s in finance.

O’Neill was also honored for the third time as he made the second-team for the second consecutive year after receiving honorable mention honors during his sophomore year. He sports 3.85 GPA and is majoring in accounting. He will graduate in May with a master’s degree in accounting.

Adkins, a first-time honoree, has a 3.33 GPS and is majoring Business and is one of only 13 underclassmen in the conference to garner either first or second team honors.

Nembot was honored for the third time after making the second-team each of the last two years. Goodson was an honorable mention selection for the third-consecutive year. McCartney, Severson and Slavin were all honored for the first time in their college careers.


December 1st

... CU in a few minutes …

Full transcript of Coach Mike MacIntyre’s end-of-season press conference

Cliff notes:

Nelson Spruce coming back next year … not a real surprise, but good news nonetheless

– Offensive lineman Marc Mustoe has decided to graduate, and will not return next season, even with a year of eligibility remaining

– Safety Jered Bell, who tore his ACL in August, is likely to receive a sixth year of eligibility from the NCAA

– Emphasis on filling the Recruiting Class of 2015: “a couple secondary guys, a couple more receivers, a running back and looking in the linebacker area”

– On whether he believes Sefo Liufau can take the Buffs to the next level: “Yes I do, I definitely think he can”

– He does not foresee any changes in the coaching staff this off-season

– Defensive lineman Samson Kafovalu, who left the team this summer (academics) is expected back in January (if this works out, it would be huge boost for the defensive line next fall, with Tyler Henington and Markeis Reed also coming back from injuries)

– Quotable quote on next year’s team: “We’re right there knocking at the door. We used to be not even on the doorstep. So, we’re knocking at the door. So, we’ll knock the door down and here we go. So, I’m excited about the future and optimistic about everything and so are our young men. They don’t believe it’s a pipe dream anymore, they believe that it could be reality. I think when I was first saying that to them, they were like ‘yeah, yeah, yeah.’ Now, they really believe that it could happen. So, a little extra work, a little extra effort, a little extra focus makes it special.”

Here is the complete transcript from the press conference, From …

Opening Comments

“Yesterday, we had our football banquet. Those banquets are always exciting, but also sad at the same time. We said ‘bye’ to 21 seniors. We said ‘bye’ to some good football players and some really fine young men that I believe, 100 percent, have set the foundation for our program. They have really done a lot and done all I’ve asked. I really, really appreciate those young men. So, we’re ready to go to work and start on the future. We had a team meeting this morning and the guys are in the weight room right now as we speak. I just left the weight room with them and we’re working for the 2015 season today. So, we’re excited about the future and we’ll keep pushing along. We named (wide receiver) Nelson Spruce the most valuable player, I think everybody would have thought that. He shattered a bunch of records and he’ll be back next year and he’ll ending holding probably every CU receiving record and probably a lot of Pac-12 records. I look forward to seeing the All-Conference (teams) come out. I definitely expect him to be a first-team All-Conference player.

(Linebacker) Kenneth Olugbode was named the defensive player of the year. (Quarterback) Sefo Liufau was named the offensive player of the year. He broke a bunch of records also. (Punter) Darragh O’Neill was named the special teams player of the year. Ryan Severson won our non-specialist special teams player of the year, he plays on four (special teams units) and he had a good year doing that. (Defensive end) Derek McCartney and (wide receiver) Shay Fields…..Derek McCartney won the freshman defensive player of the year and Shay Fields won the freshman of the year on offense. We had other awards that were given out and a lot of young men deserved them. So, that was how that wrapped up and now we’re getting ready for the next season, it’s already here on us. We actually went out last night after the banquet. I was at houses last night already recruiting, so that’s already began. As soon as I leave here, I’m heading out again. So, it’s that time of the year. It’s an exciting time.”

On Evaluating The Just-Concluded Season
“What we’ll do is…….right now, all of the coaches are everywhere. So, we don’t really have time at this point to look at the season. We’ll look at the season December 15, when it’s dead period for recruiting. So, we’ll spend that whole 7-8 days leading right up to Christmas to evaluate the season. Our graduate assistants and quality control are breaking the season down for all the different things we want individually and schematically. So, when we come back on the 15th, we’ll dive in on that hard. We’ll look at our pros and our cons, we’ll look at different things that we need to fix, we’ll talk deeply about positions and players, different things we want to do, how to utilize guys better, how to evaluate. So, we’ll go through an extensive process for 7-8 days there before we have a few days off for Christmas. Then, we’ll crank it back up after Christmas and we’ll start looking at what we want to do.

We’ll start looking at other ideas. Last year, offensively, I had them study extremely hard with what I call ‘run-action pass’ which we put into our offense last year, where we’re reading the run, throwing passes and doing all that type of thing that a lot of teams were doing. That tremendously helped our offense as a whole. That was the basis of our offense this year and that’s why it took off. That was something I wanted to do and (offensive coordinator) Brian Lindgren and them bought into it hard. We really studied it and it really helped develop our offense and took it to another level, especially in the running game. So, we were always able to get a good run most of the time or we could get a little short pass, that helped us a lot. So, that’s one of the things we added. We’ll tweak some things on offense, we’ll do a lot of fixing on defense and keep moving forward.”

On How Far Along He Already Is In The Recruiting Process Compared To The Previous Two Years
“We’ve had one and a half classes since I’ve been here because the first year when I got here, we had three weeks to recruit. There were some guys committed and we went and found some other guys which was good. A lot of those guys ended up being very good players. Last year was our first full year of recruiting. We were able to redshirt some of those young men. I feel like, yes, we are farther ahead this year than we were last year because we were able to get on juniors the year before and now we’re ahead. Being ahead on sophomores and juniors, you kind of get ahead of the curve so to speak. I feel good about what we’re doing. We hopefully have some kids coming in here in January that we’re excited about too. So, we’ve got a lot of things that we’re working on to help our team for starting spring practice and that type of thing. So, we feel good about it. At this time, you just keep pushing and keep going. There’s a lot of things that pop up with all the different coaching changes. I got a couple of phone calls last night  because of coaching changes at 11 at night from kids. So, there’s all kinds of things that happen.”

On Whether They Are Close To Filling Their Allotment Of Scholarships For This Recruiting Period
“It all depends. That’s always a fluctuating thing, it’s not exact. Two seniors came to me last week, (offensive linemen) Brad Cotner and Marc Mustoe, and decided to forgo their fifth year. They’re going to go ahead and graduate. So, those types of things happen. They’re young men who have done a lot, but they’re continuously hurt here. So, that gives you two more scholarship numbers that we weren’t thinking we had. So, there’s issues like that that come about from time to time.”

On What Positions He Might Try To Address Through Recruiting
“Well, we’re addressing a little bit of everything, but we need to get a couple secondary guys, a couple more receivers, a running back and looking in the linebacker area. So, we’re kind of hitting all those areas, you have certain numbers at each area though. When you say that, it might be two at that position because that’s the numbers you have at that position. We have some kids that hopefully……..Jered Bell, it looks like for sure he’ll be able to come back. That hasn’t been ok’d but we think it will be. If something happened where it became a glitch with that, then you would sign another (defensive back). That’s what I’m saying, it always kind of fluctuating. There’s not just a set number. But, I’m excited about what’s going on with recruiting. Our staff does an excellent job. We did a lot of that this summer when we did all of those camps. Our guys worked extremely….We didn’t have a day off in June. We worked extremely hard because that’s the lifeline and we feel like we found a lot of young men that are athletically….They can fit what we want and we’ve seen them. That’s a big key of making sure you don’t make mistakes athletically.”

On Addressing The Team’s Defensive Issues During The Offseason
“Well, I think one of things that will help us on defense is that we’ve played a lot of guys. So, I feel like in the secondary area we are going to have more depth and more experience. We have a lot of guys coming back that I think can do some things and I think they’ll play better. We’ve got to get bigger at our defensive end areas. Those kids have to…..they played a lot, but they have to put on 10-15 pounds. They’ve got to go from benching 280-300 to benching 350-400. That type of process we have to make athletically. Then, defensively, we have to keep working at our scheme and keep looking at what things hurt us, things that happened. Was it schematically as we look back through the season or was it mistakes or did we not teach it well enough or is it experience? We had a couple plays hit us Saturday that had hit us before that we kept working on, but a lot of the kids that were new hadn’t had that happen to them in a game, where the other guys had and we’ve been practicing and working on it. So, that’s a process that we have to look at, and schematically is everything we’re doing the best for the Pac-12? Some of it is and some of it might not be. We’ll go back and look at it and look at other teams’ offenses in the Pac-12, we’ll study that again.  We’ll just kind of look and see things that could fit that the best.”

On Whether He Still Thinks Quarterback Sefo Liufau Will Be Able To Take This Program To The Next Level
“Yes I do, I definitely think he can. He’s broken a lot of records and done a lot of great things. I think, as the team around him gets better, especially as we get better on defense, it doesn’t put as much pressure on him to always having to be making plays and always having to go score. In our league though, a lot of games are still going to be like that because the league is so good. But, you’d like to be in opportunities where you can run the ball and be a little safer with the football and not have to be as aggressive because we’re up a couple scores. We get very, very disappointed….We’ve got to be able to cause more turnovers. That’s very disappointing. That’s probably the most disappointing thing to me this year defensively. We’ve got to look at that.  I still think us getting bigger and stronger will help that, but also I think we’ve found some things that we need to coach better and do better to be able to help that happen. So, that gives him an easier field to score on. We score on defense, we do some things like that, it kind of changes the dynamics. I think that will ease our way as far as not having to be as aggressive offensively, which makes it tougher on the quarterback.”

On Why He Thinks It’s Been Difficult To Get “Five-Star” And Upper-Echelon Recruits To Visit The University Of Colorado
“I don’t know. We’re working at it as hard as we can. There’s guys out there that are very interested in us and guys that I think are really good football players. I really don’t ever look at a ‘star’ until…….you see it but I’m watching the film, I don’t go look at the ‘stars.’ We look at all of them. It’s amazing when we go through and watch guys, other schools will too, you’ll see guys that are ranked high and you’ll go ‘He’s not even going anywhere.’ That’s as the process gets going. At the beginning of the process, there’s ‘stars’ everywhere and it kind of changes. So, I think that we just recruit as hard as we can in the areas that we recruit. We also go where we have contacts and that type of thing in other areas and just keep pushing it. You’re also looking at the character of the young man at the same time. That’s important to us too. (We look at those) that want to be here at the University of Colorado and want to fit into our system and are excited about what’s going on. So, you just keep working. What happen is, as you get enough guys here and as you get enough guys committed and enough guys working then, the ‘W’s’ start to take care of themselves. What’s interesting is: I laughed at it last year and I’ll laugh at it again this year, Minnesota, they’re winning and doing all kinds of things and I don’t think they had anybody above a ‘three-star,’ I don’t think. They still keep winning and they’re beating everybody and they’re doing a good job. It’s just the process and keeping it going. Eventually, the more games you win, then you’ll have more and more situations like that. But, I also heard  (TCU head coach) Gary Patterson say last year, he said he’s tired of…..he’s going to recruit the guys he’s always recruited before because he felt like he got out of his realm. They dipped and then he went back to his realm of recruiting the guys that he thought fit TCU and that were hungry and had a chip on their shoulder. I think you’re seeing that change back (with them). He said that about two years ago I think, a year and a half ago.”

On Recruiting The Top Talent In State
“I feel like we’re doing a good job of recruiting in the state of Colorado. We’re getting out everywhere, we’ve been to a bunch of games, we’ve been to a bunch of schools. We went out hard in May , we’re out in schools today in Colorado. Last night, we were in homes in Colorado. So, there’s a very big emphasis on that. Just the population of the state makes it a little bit harder in having ‘BCS  numbers.’ Nothing knocking on that, it’s just that’s the way it works out. That’s why you see California and Texas and places that are more populated, the state of Florida, having more players. There’s more population. So, I’m excited about what we’re doing here. There are a lot of good football players in this state, so we just keep combing it and keep working at it.”

On “Selling” The University Of Colorado To Potential Recruits And Whether The Process Is Becoming Any Easier
“I think that now that we’re out there in the Pac-12 more often, out in that geographical area, I think it helps us because they know we’re playing against them and they’re going to play in those areas. I think also, our new facilities and that type of thing and, us going around and being a part of different satellite camps and all that type of thing…..we’re out there meeting more kids and meeting more parents and working with them. That’s helped a lot. It’s always a fine line there on recruiting. Sometimes, it’s not always a perfect science. You’re talking about 17-year old kid, so you really try to dive in and find out as much as you can about them besides just how fast they are and how far they can jump and all that type of thing. So, we’re really trying to dive into that. It’s great when we get them on campus and we get them around our kids. That’s our biggest selling point. I know a lot of people say that, but I believe that here we really talk to our kids about guys we want to bring in. So, that’s important to us.”

On Whether He Foresees Any Turnover Among The Coaching Staff This Offseason
“No, I don’t. But, in the world of college football, things always seem to……..Different jobs open, different people have different opportunities. So, we’ll see how all of that evolves. Last year, nobody on our staff left at that time, but you never know on that side of it. Because I was an assistant coach at different times and had different opportunities and you have to weigh them out.  But, I do know that the guys like it here, they enjoy it here, they enjoy living in the Boulder area, they’ve felt very comfortable in the community, their families like it here and that type of thing. So, we’ll just see how all of that unfolds.”

On The Off-Season Conditioning Program And How The Team Will Get Better Because Of It
“I feel like we’re in excellent condition. I think that’s one of the reasons that we do a lot of a lot of things on the conditioning side of it. I think our team does an excellent job of conditioning. I think that’s why we are able to play full games and have a lot of energy and all that throughout the whole game mentally and physically. But, we’ve got to get stronger, more powerful, you can’t say bigger though. Some of our guys are big enough, but they have to reshape it a little bit more. But, some of our guys do need to get bigger in different positions. I think that will help us be more powerful, like running a tackle back into a quarterback or come off a block and knock a ball loose. Offensively, (it will help us) dent the line a little bit better, be a little bit stronger, hold the line of scrimmage with the quarterback so a defender is not back in his face then there’s another foot there instead of the ball sailing high and everybody’s yelling at the quarterback when he couldn’t follow through, they can’t see that. Those types of things will make a big difference and if that happens throughout our team, all of a sudden, you’re a little bit more efficient, you score a little bit more, you play a little bit more defense.

So, all of those aspects…..Our goal this off-season is to get bigger and stronger. The ‘bigger’ word there is….I don’t want them all 300 pounds if you understand what I’m saying, but there’s a couple of guys that need to go from 170-185. That different strength will make a big difference. The situations there are along the line with….. our whole football team needs to get more powerful. So, the best word I would say is more powerful. That’s different for each guy, but we’ve got to get more powerful. That’s a big emphasis. That’s one of the reasons that I’ve changed the way that we’re doing spring practice too. So, we’re going to have that set up where we’ll be able to lift four days a week throughout the whole time after they get back. Then, when they’re home, it’s a big deal for them. I think our team is more committed that when they’re home, they’ll do the things to come back and be in shape. We’ll have conditioning tests and weight lifting tests when they come back, which we haven’t done before because I think they’re at the point where I think they can handle all that. Understand that it is 365-days a year of getting better.”

On The Health of Linebacker Addison Gillam After Suffering Potentially His Third Concussion Of The Season On Saturday
“I don’t know if it was a concussion or not, they’re still looking into that. He was really dehydrated. He had to give him a lot of fluids before the game, so they’re still trying to decide exactly what it was. He might have been dehydrated and kind of just…..So, I’ve got to talk about (head trainer) Miguel (Ruedas) and them some more. After the game, they weren’t sure if it was a full concussion or it was other symptoms. They were trying to figure it all out.”

On Whether There Is Now Any Concern Over Gillam’s Football Future
“No, there is no concern over his football future. Not anything we know right know, no. Definitely, we were concerned about him being sick like he was with the bronchitis which really cut him off. Hopefully, that cannot happen again and (we can) take care of all that.”

On Whether He Is Excited About Any Of The Players On The Scout Team Who Might Be Taking On A Bigger Role Next Season
“Yeah, there are quite a few young men that I’m excited about doing that. I’m not going to throw out a bunch of names, but there are some guys that we felt like athletically can help us. They just needed to put on some strength and some weight. We didn’t feel like just dabbling with them a little bit playing. So, we’re looking forward to seeing how they do this off-season and get out there in spring practice. But, I’m excited about the (offensive) line and the (defensive) line and the receiving corps and that type of thing. Those are guys that I think can help us.”

On How The Team Will Benefit From The Return Of A Number Of Players On Defense Who, For A Variety Of Reasons, Missed Significant Time Last Season
“(Samson Kafovalu) will be back in January. The return of (defensive ends Kafovalu, Tyler Henington and Markeis Reed) will help us a lot. Samson would have started, Tyler Henington would have started, (safety) Jered Bell would have started. There’s three starters right there that will be back that have a lot of experience. So, I think all three of them are good Pac-12 football players. So, I’m excited about those guys getting back. Jered and Tyler probably won’t be able to do a lot this spring, but they’re ahead of their schedule. They’re moving around good. They’re always competing in the training room. I see them in there messing with each other as far as who is farther ahead. Samson will be able to go this spring, which will be great.”

On Where Expectations Should Be For The Program Heading Into Next Season
“I’ve said along, and it’s not a cop out or a phrase or anything, we’ve got to continue showing improvement. I do believe that we have shown improvement. Now, we didn’t win as many games as we want by any stretch of the imagination but, I believe that’s a process that happened. I also believe when the whole schedule thing comes out, we’ll have played what has to be one of the top ten hardest schedules in America. I know there’s a big hoopla, I said something on some radio (station) after they asked me about it. I told them what I thought. I still think the Pac-12 South is probably the toughest division. You could say the SEC West would be, but if they’re not 1-2….It’s 1-2 whichever way you want to flip it, in the entire country. People that we’re playing against are the best week in and week out. So, I think that’s important to understand what we’re competing against. We will eventually bust through and be one of those guys that is doing really, really well in the Pac-12 South.

So, I think (we need to) just keep showing progress, just keep moving. We definitely need to win more games and I definitely believe we will. We’re right there knocking at the door. We used to be not even on the doorstep. So, we’re knocking at the door. So, we’ll knock the door down and here we go. So, I’m excited about the future and optimistic about everything and so are our young men. They don’t believe it’s a pipe dream anymore, they believe that it could be reality. I think when I was first saying that to them, they were like ‘yeah, yeah, yeah.’ Now, they really believe that it could happen. So, a little extra work, a little extra effort, a little extra focus makes it special.”

On Spring Practice Being Moved To Mid-February
“We’re moving spring practice to Friday, February 13th. We’ll start then and we’ll finish March 15th, Selection Sunday (the day the NCAA selects their men’s college basketball tournament field). That will be a lot of fun for the university because I know our men’s and women’s teams will be selected. So, we’ll have the (spring) game that day and when it’s over, we’ll be ready for selection and I think they’ve got a big deal here for that that they’re orchestrating for that day. It’s going to be an exciting day for CU. I’m excited about the way we’re doing that. My main mentor, (Duke head coach) David Cutcliffe, convinced me that was…So, we’ve been looking at that. I thought about doing it last year, but I didn’t think we were quite ready for it. I think we’re definitely ready for what we’re going to do. The main reason is, I’m able to keep that lifting going and we’re not going to break that cycle and we’ll be able to get more powerful as a team.”

On Whether There Is An Ethical Code That Fellow Coaches Abide By In Terms Of Going After A Recruit Once The Head Coach At The School That That Recruit Had Previously Committed To Is Fired or Resigns
“Usually, those kids contact you. That’s usually what happens. Then, you’ve start talking to them and you start recruiting them and that type of thing. Usually you let those kids contact you and you go from there.”

On How He Feels Like The Team Performed Offensively And Defensively In Both The Red Zone And On Third-Down This Season
“I definitely think we improved offensively in both those areas. Defensively, there were times this year that, I have to go back and look at it exactly but, we got better on third-downs, we really did. We didn’t get better in the red zone like I would have liked. In our league, like it or not, they’re going to kind of move the ball some. We’ve got to get better in the red zone. So, that’s something that…..Number one, I think that if you get more powerful, stronger and more stout down there, that helps you. Then, secondary-wise, you’ve got to be able to play the different routes and the different things that they’re doing. You’ve got to knock a ball away and that type of thing, not let them come into the end zone with it, you’ve got to be able to understand the different schemes better and do a better job with that. So, that’s an area that we still need to keep focus on. I still think that we need to cause more turnovers on defense and get better in the red zone on defense. Offensively, we need to keep putting it together and cut down on our turnover ratio. But, I think, us getting better on defense will help that on offense. It always does and that’s what we need to do.”



Report: CSU head coach talking to Florida about head coaching vacancy

From Yahoo Sports … Colorado State coach Jim McElwain has emerged as a leading candidate for the Florida vacancy, multiple sources told Yahoo Sports Sunday.

McElwain and Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley discussed the Gators job Saturday night, sources said.

Information has been gathered on McElwain by Florida officials since the school announced two weeks ago that Will Muschamp would not return as coach, sources said. It is unclear how many other candidates may be involved. Sources said Mississippi coach Hugh Freeze was among those on Florida athletic director Jeremy Foley’s radar, but McElwain’s name may be at the top of the list.

The 52-year-old McElwain is finishing his third season at the Mountain West Conference school. The Rams are 10-2 this year and were one of the strong possibilities for a major bowl bid from the “group of five” conferences outside the Power Five until being upset by rival Air Force on a field goal on the final play Saturday.

Meanwhile … Colorado State won’t comment

The Coloradoan hasn’t been able to get Colorado State to confirm or deny the story.

From the Coloradoan … “CSU doesn’t comment on speculation about its coaches,” CSU President Tony Frank said Monday through a school spokesman. “The fact that Mac’s name is being tossed around in such discussions is a great tribute to him and his staff and team, and it reflects positively on how far our program has come and where it is going.”

Or … Is Chip Kelly a candidate?

From CBS Sports Philly … According to a source with direct knowledge of the situation, University of Florida Athletic Director Jeremy Foley will contact Eagles head coach Chip Kelly as early as Tuesday of this week to “kick the tires” on Kelly’s interest in returning to the college scene.

The source went on to say, “Foley does not plan to officially interview Kelly yet, but will simply gauge Kelly’s interest and make his first pitch.”

Kelly’s name has been brought up before with other college coaching vacancies, but this source actually had the AD ready for action with a timeline.



November 30th

… CU in a few minutes …

Post-season Football Award winners named

From …  Junior wide receiver Nelson Spruce was named the University of Colorado’s 2014 Most Valuable Player, highlighting the team’s annual senior banquet Sunday morning at Folsom Field’s Byron White Club room in the east stadium.

Spruce essentially replaced Paul Richardson, who declared for the NFL Draft after his junior season; Richardson had wiped several of CU’s longstanding receiving records from the books in 2013, and Spruce came along and one-upped him in taking over most of those marks.  Spruce becomes one of only a handful of non-seniors to earn the team’s MVP honor, named the Zack Jordan Award, as prior to last year, no junior had won it since 2002.  Spruce is just the seventh wide receiver to be Colorado’s MVP since the award was created in 1959.

Spruce set or tied 20 school game, season or career receiving records, including single-season receptions (106) and receiving touchdowns (12), and consecutive games catching a touchdown pass (seven); his 19 receptions at California were six more than ever recorded before in a CU game and also tied the Pac-1 Conference record.  The 106 catches overall enabled him to become just the seventh player in conference history with 100 or more, and finished as the fourth-most ever in a season.  The 1,198 receiving yards were the second most in a season at Colorado, where he will enter his senior year in 2015 second in all-time receptions (205), sixth in yards (2,294) and fifth in touchdowns (19).

One of 10 semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award (presented to the nation’s top receiver), he earned 57 first downs, 56 by receiving, which was also a team record, and his 12 touchdowns covered 370 yards, or just under 31 yards per; four of those covered 71, 70, 66 and 54 yards.

With Spruce claiming the MVP honor, the coaches gave the nod for the John Mack Award for the most outstanding player on offense to sophomore quarterback Sefo Liufau.  He set or tied 39 single game, season or career records, as he finished his sophomore season with 325 completions in 498 attempts for 3,200 yards, 28 touchdowns and a 65.3 completion percentage, all CU single-season records (the latter for 200 or more attempts).  He also set the season mark for total offense (3,336), as well as the most 300-yard passing and 300-yard total offense games in a season (5 of each).  He has at least one TD pass in 20 straight games (each one of his career), which is the fourth longest current streak in the NCAA.  Career-wise, he will enter his junior year sixth in passing yards (4,979), seventh in total offense (5,148) and tied for fourth in TD passes (40).

The team’s Dave Jones Award for the outstanding defensive player also went to a sophomore, which has happened numerous times, as inside linebacker Kenneth Olugbode was afforded the honor.

Olugbode completed a fine sophomore season with 13 tackles (11 solo) in CU’s 38-34 loss to Utah; that enabled him to become just the seventh underclassman to ever lead CU in tackles for the season.  He finished the year with 84, which included 58 solo stops; he also had eight tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage, with a team-best seven tackles for zero,  seven third down stops, three passes broken up and two fumble recoveries.

Senior punter Darragh O’Neill claimed the Bill McCartney Award for special teams achievement, as he enjoyed his finest season in becoming just the third player in school history to lead the team in punting for four seasons.  He averaged a career-best 44.1 yards per punt, third in the Pac-12 Conference, with a healthy net of 39.5 yards, a top 20 figure nationally.  A specialist at pinning opponents inside-the-20, he had 27 this season, second in the league and his percentage of kicks doing so, 42 percent, currently 11th in the nation.   He finished his career with CU records for punts (281), yards (12,001), inside-the-20 kicks (95) and those that also were inside-the-10 (34), with his average of 42.71 the ninth-best.

Sophomore linebacker Ryan Severson was the recipient of the inaugural Special Teams Belt Award, presented to a player who graded out the best in the coverage portion of the game.   He finished second in CU’s special teams points standings with 25, with 16 of those earned from coverage duties, including eight tackles, three inside-the-20, two first downfield credits that altered returns, a forced fair catch, a downed punt and a caused penalty.

The Scout Team Awards were presented to a pair of hard-working walk-on performers, wide receiver Joseph Hall (offense) and defensive end Aaron Howard (defense).  The coaches selected the players who contributed the most to the weekly preparation on their respective scout teams over the course of the entire season.

The Lee Willard Award for the most outstanding freshman was shared for the first time since 1998, as wide receiver Shay Fields, a true freshman, and defensive end Derek McCartney, a redshirt frosh, were honored.

Fields set a CU freshman record with 50 receptions, zooming past the old mark of 39 that had stood since 1982.  He tied the mark for the most catches in a first game of a CU career (eight), and set the records for the most in the first two (14) and three games (21).  He was second on the team in receptions, yards (486) and touchdowns, both overall (5) and via receiving (4). His yardage total was the second-most ever by a Buff rookie, and a 75-yard touchdown he scored at Arizona was the quickest score in a game in CU history (12 seconds in) and the second longest reception by a freshman.

McCartney was in on 32 tackles this season, 21 of the solo variety, which included four-and-a-half quarterback sacks, tied for the second-most by a freshman in school history.  He also had four tackles for zero and another for a loss, giving him 10 total at or behind the line of scrimmage, and added two forced fumbles, a recovery, two passes broken up, five pressures and for third down stops in starting all 12 games.  After this semester, he will have passed an incredible 88 hours toward his degree in Integrative Physiology.

Placekicker Will Oliver was honored with the Dean Jacob Van Ek Award for academic achievement.  A three-time Pac-12 All-Academic team member and CU’s nominee for the prestigious National Football Foundation’s William Campbell Award, he owns a 3.76 grade point average in Business (Finance sequence).  He is also working toward his Master’s in Accounting on a concurrent basis.  Oliver finished his career with 279 points, second all-time at Colorado, and was second in field goals made (50) and attempts (69), first in both extra points made (129) and attempted (131), second in PAT percentage (.985) and third in field goal percentage (72.57); he set the school record with 102 consecutive PAT kicks made.

In all, 68 players earned letters this season, including 21 seniors and 26 cited as first-year lettermen with 15 of those players freshmen (five true).  The lettermen broke down into 29 offensive and 33 defensive players, five specialists and one two-way performer (redshirt frosh George Frazier, who played over 100 snaps at fullback and tight end, and nearly 200 at defensive end).

The complete list of CU award winners announced Sunday; all awards were selected by the coaching staff unless otherwise noted:

Zack Jordan Award (most valuable player): WR Nelson Spruce

John Mack Award (outstanding offensive players): QB Sefo Liufau

Dave Jones Award (outstanding defensive players): ILB Kenneth Olugbode

Bill McCartney Award (special teams achievement): P Darragh O’Neill

Special Teams Belt Award (coverage unit achievement): ILB Ryan Severson

Lee Willard Award (outstanding freshmen): WR Shay Fields, DE Derek McCartney

Dean Jacob Van Ek Award (academic excellence): PK Will Oliver

Offensive Scout Player of the Year: WR Joseph Hall

Defensive Scout Player of the Year: DE Aaron Howard

Derek Singleton Award (spirit, dedication and enthusiasm): WR Wesley Christensen

Tyronee “Tiger” Bussey Award (inspiration in the face of physical adversity): OT Jeromy Irwin

Tom McMahon Award (great dedication and work ethic): TE Kyle Slavin, DB Richard Yates

Eddie Crowder Award (outstanding leadership): OG Daniel Munyer

Offensive Trench Award: OG Kaiwi Crabb, OT Stephone Nembot

Defensive Trench Award: DT Josh Tupou

Hammer Award (hardest legal hit of the year): TE Sean Irwin

Best Interview (selected by team beat media): WR Nelson Spruce




10 Replies to “Colorado Daily – December, 2014”

  1. Stuart, on PAC-12 notes you stated, “Football coaching updates, from (bear in mind that new coaching hires, especially where defensive coordinator positions will be involved, will have an impact on the hiring of CU’s new offensive coordinator.”

    For some reason, I wasn’t able to post a comment under that heading…. but, didn’t you mean “defensive coordinator” instead of “offensive coordinator” ?

    If it’s the OC, you must have some inside info no one else has.

    Well Stuart, have a good New Year filled with laughter, love, good health and prosperity….. and thanks for such an insightful, well researched site… I really enjoy it.

    1. Sorry, my bad … yes, CU is looking for a defensive coordinator, not an offensive coordinator.
      I’ll have a post tomorrow on the final four candidates … unless one gets hired in the meantime!

  2. Stuart,

    Any chance Mac replaces Baer will Penderhgast (former USC Defensive Coordinator)? He has Pac 12 experience and would be an upgrade. If Pendergast is not an option, who are the potential candidates?

    Thanks again for all your hard work this football season on the daily updates and post game breakdowns.

    Better days are ahead for Buff fans!

    Happy Holidays,

    1. Clark,
      That is certainly a name which is being thrown around (though not necessarily by anyone in the know). It would be a great get for CU, and a “splash hire”, even at the coordinator position, would be a refreshing positive move by the CU administration.

  3. Lets see here Florida , Michigan , Nebraska , all open HC jobs. Now it is CSU ,
    Michigan , Oregon ST.

    So CSU Mc Elwain to Florida

    Oregon ST Riley to Nebraska
    Now it leaves CSU , Michigan , Oregon St with open HC jobs. CSU should promote from within before Mc Elwain robs them of coaches.

  4. Losing Coach McElwain would be a big hit for CSU. Florida’s interest in him is understandable, not only because of his success in Fort Collins, but because of his history at ‘Bama. He knows the SEC.

    Presuming Brady Hoke is fired at Michigan, when was the last time that 3 high-profile college coaching jobs were open at same time as Nebraska, Florida and (presuming Hoke is let go) Michigan shall be?

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