CU at Pac-12 Media Days

July 26th

Larry Scott likes CU athletic director Rick George – “I love his approach”

From the Daily Camera … Pac-12 Conference commissioner Larry Scott said he was ‘thrilled’ to see Colorado begin the first phase of its $143 million facilities project in and around Folsom Field this spring.

He said prior to breaking ground on the project, CU had definitely fallen behind in a conference in which every school has either recently completed similar upgrades or is in the process of completing them now.

“It’s huge and I do believe it will be a game-changer for the program,” Scott told the Daily Camera.

While Scott continues to be a big fan of former CU athletic director Mike Bohn and credits Bohn for providing much of the leadership that led to CU leaving the Big 12 and joining the Pac-12, he said current CU athletic director Rick George has been another game-changer in Boulder.

“I love his approach,” Scott said of George. “I think he comes with a unique vantage point and a very positive one and he’s got a real genuine and passionate connection to Colorado given his roots. But his experience in a variety of professional sports and dealing in a world of media marketing is a really good fit for Colorado, especially at this point in time where there needs to be a transformative agenda. You need some bold and progressive thinking to be competitive with the other Pac-12 schools and have Colorado reach its full potential.”

Scott said it’s good to see Colorado moving in a positive direction after several coaching changes in football and plenty of financial challenges that are the result of switching conferences and a decline in football ticket sales.

Scott said CU and Pac-12 officials knew ahead of time the transition between conferences would be a financial burden for the CU athletic department that would take several years to work through. Buyouts of coaching contracts and less ticket revenue compounded the challenge.

“We all knew going in eyes wide open they had some financial challenges, but I think for Colorado and for the Pac-12 it was very much a long-term decision,” Scott said. “We felt the Pac-12 was the right home for Colorado. Their fan base would react better, recruiting would be better, academically it would be a better fit. Those are all decisions you make with the long term in mind so the fact that it was going to take a few years to transition some things, get on a solid financial footing, get some plans in place was to be expected.”

July 24th

Mike MacIntyre Pac-12 Media Day press conference


Opening remarks … It’s an honor and privilege to be here at Pac-12 media day. I have two phenomenal young men here with us that represent our football team really well and two of our captains. We’re excited about the future at Colorado. The future is now for a football coach always. But our new football facility, our $143 million football facility we’re building has already broken ground. You’ll see it. Our first game playing Arizona State, you’ll see they’ve already changed the stadium, and it will be ready next April.

So things are moving well, and we’re excited about our future. We’re ready to get ready with the process of practice, which we start on August 1st. So it’s not far away. The hard work we’re going to have to do to be successful this year in the Pac-12, which I think is the best conference in the country, and definitely the best conference with the best quarterbacks, no doubt. It’s going to be fun for us.

I’d like to introduce, Nelson Spruce, our wide receiver. Phenomenal player for us No. 22. He’s from Westlake High School here in the LA area. He is not only a great football player, a phenomenal young man and great student.

Juda Parker is from Hawaii. He plays defensive end for us and has moved into defensive tackle, No. 56. Another one of our team captains and does a great job for us and excited about these two guys.

On whether rebuilding San Jose State makes it easier to try the same with Colorado … I’ve worked the plan before, so I have faith in the plan and what we’re doing. I was able to bring a lot of our staff with us. Not only on the field, but a lot of our auxiliary staff, and strength coach, and academic coordinator and offset that type of thing. I feel like we’re moving in the right direction. It’s exciting what they’re doing there at Colorado with our program and all the facilities. So I feel good about the way everything’s headed. It’s just a process. I see us improving and getting bigger, and stronger and making big gains.

On how the players deal with all of the losses … It’s just working hard every day. You set goals in practice and meetings, and they reach those goals and you get more confident and then it happens. You know, it’s not something you dwell on every day. I try to dwell on the positives more than I do any negative type of situations. I feel like the young men are buying into that. Our seniors and captains and all those guys are excited about what’s going on and have a very good attitude.

On the wristband he was wearing … It says “Uncommon”. It’s our slogan for our team this year. We wanted — we don’t want them to do the common things. We want them to do the uncommon things. For example, it’s common to skip a class or skip a workout or take the easy way out on different situations. We want them to be uncommon in everything they do, every single thing they do. I’m seeing that throughout our team. Want them to be uncommon men. One day want them to be uncommon father, uncommon husband, all of that is the process of that, and that’s what we’re built to.

On the difficulty in moving up in the Pac-12 rankings … I think it’s relative to every league. You always see guys rise up and move on. Last year I think in the SEC, Auburn won three games the year before, and Missouri won five games, and nobody in the world picked them to be in the championship game and they were. I think college football is unique in that way. You’re still dealing with really, really young men that have a lot of maturing to do, a lot of different things. So a lot of things can happen. But we’ll move up eventually. I hope it’s this year. But we’ll keep moving up. We’ll do it. I think it’s all a process of building it. I think you see it all the time. Every year you see some people move up and work at it, and people come out of the woodwork, so to speak.

On where CU has improved … I think we’ve improved in a lot of areas, but specifically on the football field we need to be able to play better on third downs, both sides of the ball. That’s not where you go and it’s just unbelievable. But you have to improve three or four percent from where you were last year. Get two more first downs than you did the year before. All of a sudden you’re in drive, going into the red zone, getting into the end zone one more time a game, two more times a game type of thing instead of kicking a field goal. That is a big, drastic change. It changes momentum. But the red zone area of emphasis we have, and third down areas of emphasis we have, we need to improve in those areas.

On where CU will improve this year … I don’t know yet, because we have to go through fall. Spring you’re experimenting and doing things and trying to find out your strengths and weaknesses, trying to get guys in playing position, competing at different positions. Going into the fall, you have a few competitions at positions, but you’re really trying to shape your offense and defense and special teams completely. I think that we’re going to be better at running back. I think we have more depth there. I think we’ll be better. We’ll be a little better in the secondary. I think we have more depth there. I think we’ve got linebackers that can run and tackle people in space in our league. So on the defensive front, I think we’ll be good inside. We’ll be young on the outside. But they’re calm and athletic kids. Offensive line wise, if Jeromy Irwin had come back, he would have started for us last year. Stephane Nembot has gotten better with a year under his belt. I think we’ll be improved everywhere. Now we just have to make a difference and get a lot of those games in the fourth quarter and win them in the fourth quarter.

On the improvement of quarterback Sefo Liufau … Number one, just more repetition helps you. Two more plays a game, he sees the right thing and gets to the right window. The other thing is us as a coaching staff really look at things that he did really well and he’s really good at and tweaked our offense to put that in there to help him. Jordan Gehrke also has some things I’m very excited about Jordan. So I think we have two good quarterbacks in case anything happens to Sefo. And Brian Lindgren does a great job with the quarterbacks after he’s been around those guys for a year now, he has a good feel of their strengths.

On playing CSU in the season opener every year … I think it sets the standard all through fall camp that we’re pushing for that game. There is a lot of excitement around it. There is a lot of intensity around it. So I think it pushes your team knowing they’re getting ready for that game. So I like that factor of it. Would you always want to play your big rival, in-state opening game every year? I don’t know if you would or wouldn’t. But the way that our guys are approaching it and doing it, it’s a fun game last year. I know it will be a fun game this year. So I think it adds intensity to our practice, and a lot of anticipation by our fan base.

On whether he senses frustration in the CU fan base … They don’t always tell me the frustration, but I do sense a great pride, a striving to be the best again. I also sense in them the understanding of the people that talk to me about how they realize it was down and how they want to get it back, and they see all of these things happen and they want to see it happen. So I see a lot of pride in the program. I guess you see some of the frustration because they want to be good again, and we will. And I think they see it going in that direction with everything not just the facilities, but the team focus, the atmosphere, all of the things that are going on. I think they feel like it is building back towards the right way.

On whether he feels pressure to succeed for CU athletics to succeed … No, growing up in the business, understanding that through my dad. I understood that since I was a little kid how the football program helps out the school really. Especially if the school is down a little bit or trying to grow and kind of grab new heights, so to speak, again. That is an area that gets it. Understand, I know I talk about my dad a lot. But my dad went to Vanderbilt, and they averaged about 12,000 people a game, and when he left they averaged 40,000. So all of a sudden, same way with us. We’ve got to do better on the football field, and pack the stadium all the time, and that helps every sport. So that’s kind of how it works and I understand that. So I think that’s part of it. I enjoy being able to hopefully in some way help the other sports. There are a lot of great coaches at our place. Lot of great kids need that benefit, and I’d sure like to help out on that.

On using true freshmen this year … I think we’ll use some, for sure. But I think we’re more of a sophomore laden team now with two of our captains being sophomores. So I think we’re in that process. That’s a good thing and a bad thing. A good thing in the fact that you’re young and they’ve got some game experience already. The bad thing, they’re still young and you’re still going to have some ah-hah moments. But there is nothing that can replace experience, and I feel good about those men and what they’re doing.

On the late addition of Travis Talianko … Travis is a big safety that can run and hit and do a lot of good things. Can play on every special team and can also play safety. He’s an athletic young man who played at St. Francis High School in LA. He played both ways, so he brings a lot to the table for us. Intelligent guy who I think will help us this fall.

On sorting out the defensive backfield … The good thing is, what I would like to do more than we did last year, when you play those fast-paced teams, I’d like to substitute more and they’re fresher because they’re running on receivers after two or three plays and your guys are tired. So if we can get enough good coaching and feel confident, we’ll be able to play more guys and keep them fresher. You knock one more ball away because you’re fresh can make all the difference in the world. So I’m hoping they’ll be able to play more people on defense. That’s one of the things we looked at too. We didn’t play enough because we didn’t feel like we could. Now I feel like we have an opportunity to do that. That is one of the reasons to move Juda (Parker) inside, he can be a good pass rusher inside on guards and stuff. Then we have guards and stuff. Then we’ve got length outside of defensive end and we’ll rotate them. So I’m hoping to play more people on defense.



Pac-12 Media Day interview with Coach MacIntyre on the Pac-12 Networks

CU head coach Mike MacIntyre was interviewed Thursday at the Pac-12 Media Days. The interview on the Pac-12 Networks was conducted by Mike Yam, Rick Neuheisel and Curtis Conway from the Network.

The video can be seen here.

The transcript of the interview:

On CU’s 2014 schedule … “Well, that’s the Pac-12. Top to bottom, it’s the best in the country. Our kids are excited about playing in it, and as a coach your excited about playing in it, so you just go play them”.

On his weight loss this past off-season … “I’ve lost 55 pounds, and I’ve needed to. I feel great, I really do”.

On the pressure to improve on CU’s 4-8 season of a year ago … “I have an excellent coaching staff, with great experience. This past off-season was to look at the strengths of our football team, and ways to help us improve, and we’ve done that. You have to tweak your schemes a little bit, but you still have to keep it simple. I learned a great lesson from Bill Parcells – knowledge equals confidence equals playing fast. So if you over-scheme it, they don’t have enough knowledge. If they don’t have confidence, they don’t play fast. So, it’s a process. You want to win. You want to win every single game, but you’ve got to keep the process in play, and eventually the wins will come”.

On who will replace Paul Richardson at wide receiver … “Paul’s hard to replace, and you’ll see him playing a lot on Sundays playing for Seattle. But, we had a young man, Bryce Bobo, who had a good spring. We have some other young men who will think will do well. We signed a young man named Shay Fields who I think can run like the wind. So I think we’ll do it a little bit by committee. But we have a great receiver in Nelson Spruce. He’s very bright, and he can play all of the positions. He’s sharp enough that he can move around, and Sefo Liufau is sharp enough to move around, and Brian Lindgren is smart enough to know how to use that. So we’ll use Nelson in different ways, but we’ll be using more of a committee approach to replace Paul”.

On how much the new facilities will help recruiting … “It’s extremely important. What happens is, it’s not really important what we (the coaches) say, but when they leave talking about it, when the high school coaches are talking about it, the alumni from the University of Colorado that they know that say, ‘hey, they really are committed to getting it done. They really are going to win in the Pac-12. They are putting their money where there mouth is. Those types of things help before we even walk in the house or even run into the kid. So I think it’s a much bigger aspect than you really think it is – underlying, it makes all the difference”.

On Spring game star, cornerback Ahkello Witherspoon … “Witherspoon is a unique story. We were recruiting him when were at San Jose State. He was 5’8″. He played point guard; he played corner. He was a 4.0 student, but we thought he was a little bit too little. We kept in touch with him when we went to Colorado, and he went to Sacramento City Community College. Well, the next time I see him, he’s 6’2 1/4″, 18-months later, 190-pounds, and we got him. A great player, and great kid, and a great story. So many people late bloom”.

Can Witherspoon be a ‘lock-down’ corner, or will he be used with zone coverage … “He can play on his own, but he’s still young, so you’ve got to protect him some. You don’t want to get him with the ‘toast mentality’, you want him to play aggressive. But he’s long, he’s athletic, like Greg Henderson, our other corner. Kenneth Crawley improved a lot last year, we have good safeties. I’m excited about the maturity level in our secondary, which you’ve got to have in this league”.

On where Sefo Liufau ranks in the hierarchy of Pac-12 quarterbacks … “I think Sefo has all the tools to be a great quarterback. You know he’s 6′ 2 1/4″, 230-pounds, he’s very intelligent. He’s a heckuva basketball player. He’s really improved on his accuracy, and some of the things he’s been doing with Coach Lindgren, so I think he’s going to be a very, very good player. The one thing about Sefo is that he never sees the rush. He doesn’t worry about it. He knows the pressure is coming, but he’ll sit it in there, he’ll take a hit, he’ll move – you can’t teach that”.

On Liufau standing up to UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr (and the team’s response to that), and being a team captain though only a sophomore … “I saw that play, and I said, ‘wow’, and you could see that the team respects him, they realize what he is all about … And we have a really good player behind him, Jordan Gehrke, so I feel good about him also”.

Juda Parker and Nelson Spruce interviews

CU defensive end Juda Parker and wide receiver Nelson Spruce were interviewed on the Pac-12 Networks by Mike Yam, Rick Neuheisel and Curtis Conway from the Network. Here is the transcript of what they had to say:

On his ability to sing, Juda Parker said … “One of my favorites is Nat King Cole’s ‘Unforgettable’ “, going on to sing a few lines for his interviewers.

Nelson Spruce, on replacing Paul Richardson … “First of all, you’re not going to replace a guy like Paul. We’ve got a deep corps of receivers. We’re going to see guys step in and make plays. I think our passing game is going to be a little more efficient. We’re not going to necessarily have that big play threat that you saw with Paul, but I don’t think we’re going to slow down at all”.

On “re-committing” to a new coaching staff (for Parker and Nelson, their third) … Spruce: “Coach Mac came in, and instantly we saw a culture change. There was an adjustment period, when you get a whole new staff, and there is going to be a little bit of skepticism. But I think at this point the team has all bought in. We had a good year last year, and we’re going to just keep progressing”.

On which position he would rather play, in the slot or outside, Spruce said … “I started out at Colorado working out of the slot, and I became comfortable there. Then these past two years, I’ve been working more on the outside. I feel comfortable in both scenarios, I think I’m going to be working a little bit more on the inside than on the outside this year. So we’ll see we’re I’m needed”.

On CU’s change in defense, Parker said … “Whenever you have a new coaching staff, and had the kind of past that we’ve had, coaches really wanted to get down to the fundamentals, get down to the basics with all of us. So, if we can get in the right position, execute with the basic scheme in our first year, then that helps us to be a lot better (now). The guys have really bought into the coaching scheme, and, defensively, we’re finding our identity, who we are as a defense. We want to think of ourselves as relentless, ball-hawks in the secondary, a swarming type of defense – 11 hats to the ball. That’s who we are going to strive to be”.

On how hard it was to buy into the new coaching schemes on defense, Parker said … “Change is a part of life, so it was easy for me to buy-in. As far as me being one of the veteran guys, I’ve really had to talk to the guys one-on-one and say, ‘hey, at the end of the day, it’s about us. We are Colorado. We’re the guys who came here on scholarship, and the guys have really done a good job of buying in and trusting the coaches and trusting in each other as players. We’re taking it to the next level, trusting each other, trusting the coaches, trusting the system. We’ve been doing a great job over the summer, and I’m really excited for the season”.

On goals for the 2014 season, Spruce said … “It’s something we always talk about, it’s getting to a bowl game. It’s been years. It would show a lot for a program to get a .500 season, getting to a bowl game would be huge, for our seniors especially”.

On CU’s place in the Pac-12, Spruce said … “We’re going to be more competitive this year. We had some games that got away from us in the past few years. But we’re at the point now where we are confident in our system. We had a good year last year, and this year we’re going to be in every game going into the fourth quarter, and it’s going to be up to us to decide how we are going to do this year”.




July 23rd

Oregon picked to win the Pac-12 by the media

From the Pac-12 … OREGON is the favorite to win the 2014 Pac-12 Conference football title in a preseason poll of media members who cover the league. The Ducks were listed in the top spot of the North Division by 37 of 39 voters participating in the poll, collecting 232 points. Twenty-four of the pollsters picked Oregon to come out on top in the Pac-12 Championship game. UCLA received the second most Champion votes with 13 pollsters picking the Bruins to win the Pac-12 Championship game. The Bruins were the top choice for the South Division by 37 of 39 voters participating, collecting 231 points.

2013 North Division winner STANFORD was picked to finish second in the North Division, collecting 192 points. USC was picked to finish second in the South Division after tallying 181 points, just ahead of reigning South Division winner ARIZONA STATE, who tallied 163 points and was predicted to finish third.

The media poll has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 28 of 53 previous polls, including 11 of the last 14. Following are the results of the preseason media poll (points 6-5-4-3-2-1, first-place votes in parentheses):

North DivisionSouth Division
1. Oregon (37)2321. UCLA (37)231
2. Stanford (2)1922. USC (1)181
3. Washington1423. Arizona State (1)163
4. Oregon State1254. Arizona119
5. Washington State875. Utah82
6. California416. Colorado43

PAC-12 TITLE GAME CHAMPION: Oregon (24 votes)Others receiving votes:  UCLA (13), Stanford (1), USC (1)

The 2014 Pac-12 Championship Football Game will take place Friday, Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. PT and will be telecast to a national audience on FOX. The Championship game will match the winner of the North Division vs. the winner of the South Division at Levi’s® Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

POLL NOTES: Oregon is picked to win the league for the fourth time in five years, and fifth overall (2001, 2010-11, 2013–14).



2 Replies to “CU at Pac-12 Media Days”

  1. Stuart, do you have Kyle Ringo write the choice that is so negative.

    Most of them seem to be taken verbatim from his articles in


  2. Yo Stuart,

    Looking forward to the upcoming fall camp and the season. I’m thinking the CU offense is going to be remarkably better and more dangerous. Richardson was an amazing guy to watch, but what will make CU a better team is to have 4-5 guys with 40+ catches instead of one guy with 83 and another with 50.

    Sefo has blossomed before our eyes from a true freshman kid into a MAN. If our offensive line can come together with added strength and conditioning to protect him and keep him healthy, Sefo will be on his way to becoming one of the most feared QB’s in the conference by the end of his sophomore season.


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