Pac-12 Media Day Notes and Quotes

July 31st

Full transcript of Mike MacIntyre’s Pac-12 Media Days press conference

Coach MacIntyre spoke to the press at the Pac-12 Media Days on Thursday. Questions varied, with Coach Mac discussing such issues as CU’s 13-game schedule; ending the series with Colorado State; recruiting in California; new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt; and moving into CU’s new facilities. Players discussed included Kenneth Olugbode, Stephane Nembot, Addison Gillam, Isaiah Oliver, Josh Tupou, Sefo Liufau, Nelson Spruce, Eddy Lopez and Justin Solis

From the Pac-12

COACH MACINTYRE: Kenneth Olugbode played for us last year, started every game. He was our leading tackler, defensive MVP. He played last year at 205 which is really small for a linebacker. He now weighs 220. He’s bench pressed and he’s bigger, and stronger, our whole team has done that. So it’s exciting to see our maturation process and what’s going on with our team.

Q. Coach, you guys didn’t get a Pac-12 win last year, but you were so close in so many games. What does that do this year for you to be that close? Is there a hunger factor that comes into play with that?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, it was. It was interesting. When I came to see you, everybody would come up and say I just want to see a full football game. I want to see a competition in the Pac-12, and we did that last year. We left a lot of games on the table, so to speak. Very frustrating. But our young men were very young, and just an example of our quarterback, he’s played a lot of games now. He’s set 51 school records last year, and we only won two games.

So our whole team is maturing and doing that. They are hungry about finishing. I think just all the guys we have back have played a lot. They’ve been in those situations. We had quite a few injuries last year, so even our back-ups have played a significant amount of plays. In our conference with all the great teams and us playing 13 games straight, we’re going to need all of them.

So we’ll win a lot of those close games we lost last year.

Q. With the stadium and the success near the end of last year, how do you see this program moving forward, and what all do you seek from it?

COACH MACINTYRE: We move into our football facility tomorrow, our overall athletic and new champions center into the football area of it, a $156 million complex. So we have commitment from our president, Chancellor, AD, all the way down. I feel like you can feel the surge of it. I really do. It’s not just me saying that. There are a lot of people around our program. So I’m excited about this fall and getting out there and getting it rolling.

Q. What’s been the personal challenge that you had for your team?

COACH MACINTYRE: Well, our personal challenge is for our young men to trust each other in the fourth quarter. We were ahead of a lot of games at halftime. The year before that wasn’t the case, and against very good football teams, highly ranked football teams with excellent players and excellent coaches. So our job is to finish the fourth quarter and trust each other in that Heat of battle, and just execute your job. Those are the things we’ve been talking about.

When you’ve been there before you can kind of relax and do that. The maturation process of a team, especially where we were with all the young guys playing, when you’re a freshman, you’re kind of just glad to be there and be on the team. As a sophomore, you kind of start playing, but you’re glad you’re playing a lot. You’re glad you’re starting. Now it’s kind of like I’m tired of just playing. I want to win, I want to be successful. I’ve seen that in them. I’ve seen their attitude and work ethic change. I’ve seen the overall maturity of our football team. If you’ve seen these guys, I mean, Stephane and Kenneth are a great example. Kyle’s seen them grow up, the way their bodies changed and their physicality, our whole team has done that.

Q. Why did you play 13 games last year?

COACH MACINTYRE: Well, we’re playing 13 games because we were playing Hawaii.

Q. No, I know that.

COACH MACINTYRE: The way the calendar falls we have 13 in a row. We picked up another game. We need to create some more revenue, so we get another home game, so it puts money in our budget and everything else as we’re building our program. So we’re going to play 13 straight. There are a bunch of teams that play 12 straight. Either they had the last game off or third game off. I don’t like bye weeks anyway. So hopefully we’ll stay healthy and keep playing, so we can kick our stride and keep the momentum going. But it is 13 straight.

Q. Coach, how better prepared is the program to handle that from when you first took over?

COACH MACINTYRE: I think we’re better prepared because we have more depth that’s played games. So if we have an injury that happens, it won’t devastate us as much because a lot of those kids have already played. Ryan Moeller, for example, has played in four or five games as the main safety. Now he’ll be competing for starter or back-up, and the other guys have all started. So we’re deeper at all our different spots. Even our offensive line is maturing and gelling with more back-ups which will help us.

Q. Talk about the Hawaii game, you’ve done it before, why do you schedule it in?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, the good thing about playing Hawaii the opening game, both teams will be excited and all of that, but you’re not in the middle of your season and it wears you out for the rest of the time. We’re playing them on Thursday night.

Q. Oh, it is Thursday night?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yes. So we’ll fly out Tuesday, play them on Thursday, and we come back and land at noon on Friday. Well, we have time to recover if before the next week. It’s not like you play Saturday night and land Sunday at noon, and you’re trying to get ready to go Monday. So I think the way we have it scheduled will be beneficial to us. But Hawaii has a new quarterback in Wittek from USC who is really a good player. They play really well what they call the rock. They play well on the rock, so it’s going to be a tough game for us, but we expect to win every game, so we need to start out doing that.

Q. How do you prepare for a team bringing in a new coordinator? They got the fellow from SMU. Will you be looking at SMU stuff from last year?

COACH MACINTYRE: They have a new defensive coordinator and offensive coordinator we’ll look at tape where they’ve been before, and put in our defense and offense, and it should be able to handle anything. They’re kind of the same way too. We’ve kind of made a few changes, so it will be a chess match probably early a little bit.

Q. I saw Isaiah Oliver listed on both sides of the ball on the roster, which is something he didn’t even do until late in high school, but really excelled in both. Is it a matter of it not being determined?

COACH MACINTYRE: No, we’re going to look at him at both sides of the ball early in camp and find out where he would fit the best to help us this year. He’s got so much speed and athleticism. Hopefully he’s ready to do that. So we’re kind of giving him an option. We talked about the it the other day, myself and him. And he’s all up for doing that.

Q. So you see him playing as a freshman?

COACH MACINTYRE: I’m giving him the best opportunity to try to play as a freshman with his speed and athleticism. So if he could help us quickly at receiver or at corner or that enables us to do what he can do on special teams, that’s what we’ll do. So I give all the freshmen a chance to play. Hopefully we don’t have to play a ton of them. But the better I can give them opportunities to what they feel most comfortable at coming out of high school, we’ll get them on the field quicker and be able to help us quicker.

Q. From what you’ve gathered in your time in the conference, what is the biggest challenge of recruiting in this conference?

COACH MACINTYRE: The biggest challenge in recruiting in this conference? Well, great question. I think that the league is so good.I think the positive recruiting in this conference is there are so many people that want to play in the Pac-12. There are a lot of kids in the south now that want to play in the Pac-12, the brand of it, the type of football, the type of energy and throwing the ball all around, that type of thing. But the hard thing is the conference is so good right now. Is everybody’s good; and we’re at the bottom of it right now. In our division, the Pac-12 south, everybody’s ranked in the top 25.

So when we beat a couple of those, we’ll jump to the top 25. I just think the conference is recruiting for itself in a way, but every team is making gains the way I see it.

Q. How do you see Sefo Liufau’s development going into his third year in terms of grass roots offense and ability to run the team?

COACH MACINTYRE: Sefo’s development is going well. He got thrown into the fire as a freshman. Last year he played well. We had a few mistakes here and there, but a lot of that wasn’t really all Sefo’s fault. We weren’t very good on defense. We had to keep putting pressure on him offensively to keep moving the ball down the field, keep trying to score to stay in the games.

This year will be better on defense. He’s more mature. Our lines are more mature. Our running backs are more mature. So I feel like we won’t have to put as much pressure on him. I still feel like he’ll have all the great numbers he has, and he’s an excellent leader. He’s 6’4 and a quarter. He’s 240 pounds. He has a good arm. He’s a good leader, and he’s extremely tough. He has the ability to escape in the pocket. He’s not a scrambler, but he has the ability to stay alive and make plays. He started running the ball a lot last year. He’s in better shape and better running capabilities this year right now than he was last year. So I see him coming along good. I think after this year’s over, everybody will say he’s one of the best junior quarterbacks in America. I really do.

Q. How has the relationship developed with Nelson Spruce specifically? I think Nelson did so well last year. Do you feel like Sefo and he —

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, for some reason Nelson had Sefo move into his apartment, so he could throw it to him more. No, they’re really close. They work hard all the time. They’re together. They’re young men that you never, ever, ever have to worry about, ever. Work ethics, school, what they’re doing, how they’re studying.

And Sefo and Nelson have a good timing relationship. Nelson’s bright. We can move him all over the place when they start trying to key on him, because he’s an excellent player. So I see a good relationship with those two guys.

Q. When did you first realize that Nelson’s father had been a body builder?

COACH MACINTYRE: I realized when Nelson was a junior in high school, because I tried to recruit him to San Jose State, but he didn’t come. So I’ve known about the family and all that. His dad’s a great inspiration to Nelson, and follows him closely and a really Goodman. Really like his dad.

Q. A family of Vanderbilt people, we all want to wish our best to your dad, and I hope he’s doing well.

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, he’s hanging in there. The MS has taken a toll on my dad’s body. But he’s living in Nashville still. He’s out at the Bellevue area at the Meadows.

Q. Okay, very good. Back to Colorado.

When Coach McCartney was there?


Q. The best teams he had there, he was able to get a pipeline out of California. Is Denver, is that enough to be your base there, or do you have to get back to California somewhere else?

COACH MACINTYRE: No, we recruit Colorado hard, but we recruit California extremely hard. We have a lot of connections there from the past and from our coaching staff now and from our players on our team. The biggest group of players on our team is from California. Then in our student body there are about 15 to 20% of the students at CU are from California. So we are working that pipeline. Playing in the Pac-12 has even increased that more.

Q. Is there a favorite aspect to the new facility that you’re moving into that you’ve enjoyed looking at?

COACH MACINTYRE: Oh, yeah, there are a lot of favorite aspects. I think the players’ favorite aspect will be the players lounge. It’s 7,000 square feet. We have Gatorade machines in there and a little eating area, and a barber shop, and a 15-seat theater, and we have a pool table and Ping-Pong table. I think there are six or seven different televisions in there that they can play all different games and watch all different things. It’s a place away from home that they’ll relax and hang out in. So I’m really excited about that. There are tons of other features.

One of the cool things for a football coach is for preparing a team and keeping a team moving in the right direction during the off-season and during the season. Our weight room is about 12,000 square feet, but it connects right to our indoor. In our indoor you can open up the glass. It has a six-lane track around it. You have a full indoor and an 85-foot season, so that turns into the whole weight room, and the whole ability to keep evolving our program. So I’m excited about that feature.

Q. How many times have you been able to sit them down and say back in my day our facilities were —

COACH MACINTYRE: I haven’t said that to them that much. All I tell them as we walked up — I walked to school back and forth in the snow in a hundred degree weather every day barefooted. That’s what I tell them.

Q. What is the plan in Colorado? Is it like a one-year plan or two-year plan to not just be able to play on the field but to actually start winning?

COACH MACINTYRE: I expect us to win this year. I really do. I think we’re right there, and definitely could have won a few last year and didn’t do it. I feel like our team has matured to that spot. Being a junior sophomore team, they’ve been there. The next year they’ll probably have the biggest junior-senior class they’ve had, and one of the biggest in the history of the school.

That’s how you develop a program. You have to build it and develop it. We’ll be able to red-shirt more kids the next year, and we just keep the cycle going to develop. So I see us being able to win a lot of the close games this year, and do better the next year.

Q. Where are you at with the CSU series? I know they’d like to get this thing home at home.

COACH MACINTYRE: Well, the CSU series, the way I understand it ends in 20. Then I don’t know when it’s going to go back together, because I know we scheduled Air Force which everybody wanted in the state to do. With us playing nine conference games, which is a great thing because I think all the major conferences should play nine and play a championship, period, it limits the amount of teams we can play out of conference. If you played eight, you could do that more.

So we’re a little bit stuck in the scheduling there on that. But I don’t know when it will kickback again, but I know it goes to 20. I’m worried about our first game, our second game. I think about the CSU game every day since we lost last year, so that’s going to be a fun game for all of us.

Q. Do the players love going to Bronco Stadium?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, the players do like playing in Denver. I think both sets of fans like it, but I think both sets of fans would rather have it on their home field, I think. But our players really love playing in the Bronco Stadium, and I’m pretty sure CSU’s players do too.

Q. Is it more important to you to seal off a big win against one of the high-profile members of the conference, or is it just improving your overall win total is against smaller teams or less prominent?

COACH MACINTYRE: Both. We want to do both. We want to keep improving our record, and we want to beat everybody we play. There are so many good football teams. I think it’s a great conference and we’ll have opportunities to do that, week-in and week-out, beat some really good teams.

Q. Do you sense that your team has accomplished what they think they earned last year?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, I think all teams are confident this time of the year. You are. Everybody’s healthy. You’re excited. But I think with our team maturing, going from teenagers to 20-year-olds, going from can we compete with these guys, knowing they can’t compete with them, now they want to. They’ve got the feeling, hey, can they beat us?

We can beat everybody now is the way they feel. I’ve had a lot of conversations with kids — the kids coming up to me and talking about it. Seeing their work ethic, and hearing the things they’re saying when they’re running and working out, and the way they’re pushing themselves. It’s a whole different level of accountability. When you have that rise in accountability, they feel the standards are have risen, and I see that.

Q. When you came on the job, the Pac-12 South wasn’t as difficult. What is your take on that? Because you’ve got to beat some dramatically good football teams?

COACH MACINTYRE: Right. This south division is no doubt about it has gotten better and better. There are a lot of good players and a lot of good coaches. So when you do accomplish some things in that south division, you really have made a hugely, not just a little leap, a huge leap. I think that’s a big measuring stick for us.

Q. You mentioned not having any bye weeks, and you get USC on a Friday in November. How does that change your preparation on a short week like that?

COACH MACINTYRE: On a short week thank goodness we don’t have to travel. It makes it harder when you’re traveling on a short week. We’ll look at our team when we get to that spot because I’ll cut practice back as the season goes along. On a short week that might be a week you don’t go in pads much if you’re beat up a little bit.

You just look at your team and evaluate it on Monday, get with a trainer, get with the guys, see where you fit, kind of watch their vibe and you’ll have to make that call. If you decided it right now, you might have a situation that’s not the same at that time. But definitely you’re a day shorter in practice, so you’ll have one less practice and one less pad type situation.

Q. With Gary taking the job at Oregon State, kind of a Mountain West/WAC, you’re seeing a lot of familiar faces?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, Sonny’s an excellent coach. Gary’s an excellent coach. They did a great job in the WAC, and I think they’re both excellent coaches. We see each other Media Days there. And Sonny and I, his dad was a coach, my dad was a coach, so there are a lot of connections there. Gary, I really respect Gary and what he does. He’s an excellent football coach.

Q. Surprised you’ve all landed in the Pac-12?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, I guess so.

It’s kind of funny, it really is. It’s good seeing them, but we both definitely on every Saturday we play each other, we want to beat each other. But I think we all respect each other well.

Q. The couple years comparison now that you’ve been in the Pac-12, the WAC was a decent league. Utah State got better. But what is the biggest difference between WAC/Mountain West and Pac-12 that you’ve seen?

COACH MACINTYRE: I think the biggest difference is the Pac-12 each week on both sides is really a battle. We play in the Pac-12 south, everybody knows. Well, two of the teams that Cross over to play us are Stanford and Oregon. So seven of the nine teams we play next year right now going into the season are ranked in the top 25. I think four of them are in the top 12. So it’s that caliber you play week-in and week-out. There is truly not even a breather. You can hardly breathe. You’ve got to keep pushing. But that’s exciting to me. It’s exciting to our coaches and our players. We came here to play against the best and beat the best, so that’s what we plan on doing.

Q. One other question on the schedule. Two years ago you had that game in Fresno that washed out. Did that hit the department hard? You lost a game there.

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, we made up that game with Charleston Southern, but you had to pay — it did hit a little bit. And then the Nichols State game was a way to add more revenue too.

Q. Addison Gillam had some injuries last year. How do you see his performance this year? Do you plan to keep him middle linebacker so he can get back to the first year he had with the program?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yes, Addison did get sick last year. He got hurt last year. It was kind of like a perfect storm for him. He’s had a really good summer, gained his weight back, got the smile back on his face, stayed healthy. He’ll have a better year than he did as a freshman. He’ll be, I think, a Pac-12 performer. I really do think he’s that type of guy. So I’m excited about seeing him back on the field, so I would say Addison is back.

Q. It was really interesting to talk to Stephane. He talked about one of the hardest things for him to learn coming to college football was the playbook and things like that. Can you talk about what it was like working with him and getting him up to speed?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, Stephane learning the playbook and everything, he’s an amazing young man. All he’s had to do and overcome to excel in college, excel on the football field. He’s truly an example of improving and working hard every day. Communication and understanding the terminology in football, it’s like a whole new language. He knows 13, I would say he knows 14 languages now. Just learning all of that and watching him grow and how hard he’s worked. The first year he was there, he would say I’m playing football to get my education. The second year about the second game he came to me and I could see a whole new look in his eyes. He loved playing football. He said I can excel at this. So he kept improving last year. Then this year you’re going to look out there and see a beast. He’ll play for a while in the NFL and then he’ll go there with his degree and go back and help Cameroon and be a success. He’s an amazing story. I think one of the things that college football is all about is how much he’s improved and what he’s done with his life.

Q. You lost Josh Tupou on defense. How are you going to make up for that personnel-wise, scheme-wise?

COACH MACINTYRE: Right. Losing Josh is tough. He’s a good football player. But one good thing for us is we sign quite a few guys in our signing class. Three of them are junior college linemen that were coming in. Then we red-shirted some linemen last year, and we have Justin Solis and Eddy Lopez who played last year.

So I feel good about all of those guys being able to play and improve. If we wouldn’t have gotten the junior college guys and all that type of stuff, we’d be in a little bit more of a hurt.

But Josh is a good player. We hate to have him not out there. But I feel like those other guys will be able to take up some slack.

Q. How important is it to your season to have the kind of improvement on defense that you had on offense last year?

COACH MACINTYRE: Right. I think that is the key. I really do. I think the way we improve on defense this year, I don’t know if we can jump from there to 37th. But if we can jump and stop teams in the scoring defense, be able to, when we get ahead, keep the lead and not just give up big plays, that our improvement will be the difference in our team this year. That to me, you’re exactly right. We need — national statistics, we need to improve our scoring defense. In the other area that we can drastically help our team, and I believe we can, and it comes on defense, we didn’t cause enough turnovers last year. And you’ve heard me  talk about that a lot. But now that we’re bigger and stronger, we’ll knock more balls loose. Now that we have more experience on the back end, they’ll make more plays on the ball. So we had three interceptions last year. We had a few called back that were picked off that they were called back. We had a ton that we could have caught. If we could just move that from three to eight and go from 15 interceptions to 10, we’ve changed our record dramatically. So we’ve got to do that.

Q. Schematically with a new coordinator, are there going to be changes you’re looking for?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yes, there will be some changes. We’ve gotten together and worked on it. He has a great expertise. Then bringing in Joe Tumpkin in that was a defensive coordinator at Central Michigan. We have two defensive coordinator type guys. It’s going to be good.

Studying our league and looking at our league and how our league plays. It’s a little different. I’m excited about what we’re doing and how we’re going to do it.

Q. I was talking to Coach Davie yesterday at the Mountain West, and he’s still upset about a replay call in the Boise game that he thought was wrong, and I think probably was wrong. Oregon State game last year, I don’t remember the specifics but I know you were upset at the end of the game. Are you comfortable with the whole challenge, procedure, replay, review? Are you comfortable with the way that is now?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, I am. I’m comfortable with the way we’re doing everything. In all the games there are different situations that happen, and you just hope certain situations don’t happen to you that cause the outcome of a game. But I am pleased with how we’re doing with everything there within the Pac-12. Everybody’s working at it hard.

Q. They’re going to show the replays in the stadiums as the officials are reviewing them. Is that a good thing? How do you feel about that?

COACH MACINTYRE: I think they’re just trying to be more transparent on that. I think it’s a good thing. I think it’s a good idea on that. I think it’s just being more transparent in what you see and how it’s done.

Q. You mentioned Stephane’s now 343 pounds, so he’s put on a good bit of muscle.


Q. How much weight has he gained?

COACH MACINTYRE: I think Stephane’s gained 15 to 18 pounds since the season was over of really good weight. If he took his shirt off, he doesn’t have an ounce of fat. Kind of like Kyle, not an ounce of fat on him. So he’s really improved and done well. Our whole team is like that, really. It’s exciting to see all the numbers that we’ve increased in the weight room and what we’ve done. That is one of the reasons we practiced spring practice early, so we have a lot of lifting cycle. At that stage I thought that was extremely important to do.

Q. You mentioned some changes on defense. Without giving away the playbook, are we talking about more multiple, more blitzing? What are you looking at specifically?

COACH MACINTYRE: We can’t do the exact same thing we were doing, so we’ve changed it up. We’ll be a little bit more multiple, but you can’t do too much either, because if you do too much, the kids are just standing there and not running to the football and reacting. So we’ve adapted the playbook more to be able to stop a lot of the Pac-12 offenses.

Q. Have you noticed, I know a lot of teams based off of what we see, were you doing that a lot more last year?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, we based a nickel most of our games because you can’t substitute. Most of the time there is ten personnel, I call it four wide receivers, eleven personnel guys, a tight end that plays wide receiver and might go back in the back field.

So to be able to match up with that, you really have to stay in a nickel-type principle. Now there are some teams we play that they’re not playing as much four-wide or eleven, and you won’t see as much nickel.

Q. That is the Pac-12 where you’re going to see a crazy different line every week?

COACH MACINTYRE: Exactly. Most of them are wide open, but you have a few that aren’t.

Q. In the spring you talked about defense, and you talked about just wanting to get guys, get a feel for what everybody could do with some of the concepts you were thinking about and putting in. Now that there’s been so much time between that, is there going to be a big learning curve for guys in fall camp?

COACH MACINTYRE: No, there won’t. One of the reasons I decided to do spring practice that way, and two, the NCAA new rule change where we could meet with the kids two hours a week after spring practice is over and in the summer. So we’ve been doing that and  showing them the tape of the spring and prospects of what we’re going to do and film from other teams that we’ve added in. So therefore we meet, go over it, talk. Then our kids went out and did their player-led practices and able to do all that.

Without that rule, I would have done it different.

But with that rule, we were able to take advantage of the strength side we needed. And being able to meet on all that, we kept it fresh in their minds and kept going over it, so it was like it was there.

Q. Jim Leavitt being who he is, how has he made the transition on defense easier?

COACH MACINTYRE: He has great expertise, number one. Number two, he has great passion and energy; and number three, he’s a grinder. He works at it hard. So he’s been with our defensive staff meeting a lot, with me, and then he’s had those — we were able to meet two hours a week with the kids and he’s been able to do that. I think his overall energy and expertise and effort, the combination of the whole has been exciting for us.

Q. Sometimes when you hear a guy described as a grinder, that starts, over time, that can wear players out.


Q. But he seems to have an opposite affect on players because he’s such an affable guy. Do you see that?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, I agree with you. But the way the NCAA rules are, we can only meet with them so much. So that doesn’t affect him. No, I’m just saying that he’s not going to leave any stone unturned. He’s going to make sure, if, for example, I learn a certain way and you learn a certain way and we’re not getting it, he’s going to find a way to make sure we’re going to figure it out. He’s not just going to say well, he doesn’t get it.

Also, as a staff they’re going everything fine-tooth comb, really great attention to detail. You can’t do enough of that.

Q. How nice is it for you to have a coach like Coach Leavitt who had been a head coach for so many years to lean on?

COACH MACINTYRE: It’s good. Jim was at Kansas State, and they helped turn that program around. He started the program from South Florida from scratch. So both of those he’s been kind of where we are right now. So when we talk about different things, he can give examples. So I listen intently to it. I like all of our stuff. I don’t want yes men on our staff. I want guys that bring things up over and over and over, and they do, then I have to decipher where we go from there. So he brings another expertise that’s been there and done it.

Q. You guys, I think your program has more Sacramento kids than anybody in the conference. But what is it about Sacramento that you like, and these five guys Carrell, Falo, Jones, (Indiscernible). How do they figure into the team?

COACH MACINTYRE: All of those guys are going to play a ton, and all of them are really good athletes. We have a recruiter up there, Clayton Adams that’s from Sacramento. Played at ARC, played at Boise, and coached at Sacramento State and coached for me at San Jose. We had recruited that area for a long time, and we have a lot of connections. So we know a lot of coaches. We know a lot of people. All of those young men are really good players. So we’ll keep recruiting the Sacramento area hard. There are some really good football players up there. So that is part of our connection.

Q. I live in Las Vegas, and it’s amazing how many kids are coming out of there. It has been a hotbed. Your presence in Las Vegas, is that appropriate?

COACH MACINTYRE: Yeah, we’re looking in there. But we’re spending a little bit more time in Arizona, California, Texas, and that area because of proximity of the team for playing. So it makes it a little bit easier to get them. But there are definitely good players in Las Vegas. There is no doubt.




July 30th

Coach MacIntyre and CU players’ videos from Pac-12 Media Days

Here are links to the press conferences conducted Thursday by CU head coach Mike MacIntyre and the two Buffs who accompanied him to Burbank, offensive lineman Stephane Nembot and linebacker Kenneth Olugbode.

Video of Mike MacIntyre’s press conference

Video of the press conference with Stephane Nembot and Kenneth Olugbode



Larry Scott Pac-12 Media Days press conference

The transcript of the remarks made by Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott to open the Pac-12 media days can be found here.

Some opening remarks:

We’ve made important progress. Starting this year, we’ll be increasing scholarship awards to take into account the full cost of attendance. We’ll be guaranteeing four-year athletic scholarships and providing assistance to former student-athletes who choose to come back and complete their degrees.

We’ve also made progress in ensuring student-athletes who are injured while playing sports get the medical care they’ve deserve even after they’ve left school.

In football, we’ve added spotters to better identify head trauma in realtime. Our medical staff and athletic trainers are sharing important data to track and fully analyze all sports injuries. And our conference is unique in spending $3.5 million dollars a year to conduct research on head trauma, mental illness, and other health and safety issues affecting our student-athletes.

There is more to do, however. We’re very involved in identifying ways to put more teeth into existing rules that limit the time demands that are placed on our student-athletes. Now, all of you know how competitive and driven our student-athletes are, and how difficult it can be to limit the time they devote to their sports. But it’s important to us that they have time to participate in the full spectrum of campus life, and of course, to focus on their studies en route to meaningful degrees from Pac-12 schools.

… For the first time this year, with the help of new technology, fans in our stadiums will watch replay reviews on the video board as our officiating crews are reviewing the plays in their booth.

Some of the Q and A:

… Q. Nine of the 25 most penalized tames last year in FCS were in the Pac-12. There seems to be a perception of overzealousness by officiating crews. I’m wondering if you think it’s a case of overzealousness, or if there’s a lack of discipline on the teams?

LARRY SCOTT: Well, it’s something we track and something we talk about regularly with our coaches. I don’t think it’s overzealousness, but there is a certain style of play in the Pac-12 that’s led itself to certain types of penalties, holding and others. And that is the very open, fast-paced, multiple plays, lot of throwing plays types of offense a lot of our teams are known for. We do tend to run more plays than other conferences.

… Q. Do you have a better gauge of how the Pac-12 Network will be distributed now that the DIRECTV, AT&T deal has gone through?

LARRY SCOTT: Yeah, we are delighted that our good partner AT&T successfully acquired DIRECTV. We’ve been looking forward to this because we have an excellent relationship with AT&T, have now for a couple of years. They’re a partner of all of our schools. They’re a partner of the conference. Their video service, AT&T U-verse distributes the Pac-12 Networks. They’re delighted with it, and obviously, they’ve now got to digest a $49 billion dollar acquisition, but I’m confident we’ll be a priority, and there will be discussions that take place hopefully very soon. I’m optimistic that we’ll have positive conversations. I can’t predict what may happen when because those conversations have not been able to take place heretofore. But I’m delighted for our partners, delighted for us.

… Q. Commissioner, with so many conferences merging and moving on to various conferences, do you see sometime in the future the Pac-12 expanding maybe in the Midwest or some other conferences that you guys may acquire?

LARRY SCOTT: Yeah, I do not see us expanding for the foreseeable future. We are delighted with 12 schools. It’s worked exceedingly well for us. Colorado and Utah were terrific additions, and our schools like playing each other. As a 12-team conference, playing nine conference games, this is an interesting distinction between us and some other conferences, our schools in any given division play the five other teams in their division, but they’re also playing four out of the six teams every year in the other divisions. And this is why I’m confident standing up in front of a room like this and saying no one’s got a tougher schedule than the Pac-12, and the Pac-12 Champion’s got the toughest road because there aren’t many misses that you can have within your conference, number one. Then you’ve got to win again in the Conference Championship Game.

On top of that, if you look at the non-conference games, our schools willingly choose to play just in the first few weeks of the year. We’ve got games against Notre Dame, we’ve got Texas, we’ve got Texas A&M. We’ve got Michigan State. We’ve got Michigan. We’ve got Northwestern, Virginia. We’re playing all the major conferences. That is part of the spirit and the history of the Pac-12, like the competition both within our conference and taking on all-comers in terms of national competition.

Pac-12 Media Poll released

From the Pac-12 … USC was chosen as the favorite to win the 2015 Pac-12 Conference football title in a preseason poll vote of 45 media members. The Trojans received 21 of 45 votes to earn the preseason favorite pick. USC collected 254 points for the top spot in the South Division, holding 32 of 45 first-place votes. Defending Pac-12 champion OREGON holds the second-most Championship votes, as they garnered 17 votes for the Pac-12 title. The Ducks also picked up 262 points to lead the Pac-12 North. Additionally, ARIZONA STATE tallied three votes for the Pac-12 crown and amassed 200 points for second in the Pac-12 South.

STANFORD was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 North Division, collecting 231 points with eight first-place votes. The Cardinal garnered one vote as the Pac-12 Champion. In the South Division, UCLA was picked to finish third with 180 points and collected six first-place votes, ahead of reigning South Division winner ARIZONA, which tallied 155 votes for fourth place.

The media poll has correctly selected the Conference Champion in 29 of 54 previous polls, including 12 of the last 15. Following are the results of the preseason media poll (points 6-5-4-3-2-1, first-place votes in parentheses):


1. Oregon (37)…………… 262

2. Stanford (8)…………… 231

3. California……………… 174

4. Washington…………… 129

5. Washington State……… 89

6. Oregon State…………… 60


1. USC (32)………………. 254

2. Arizona State (7)…….. 200

3. UCLA (6)………………. 180

4. Arizona………………… 155

5. Utah……………………. 105

6. Colorado………………… 46  … (Basically, out of the 45 media members who voted, one voted CU 5th; the rest picked the Buffs to finish last)


Others receiving votes: Oregon (17), Arizona State (3), UCLA (2), Stanford (1)

The 2015 Pac-12 Championship Football Game will take place Saturday, Dec. 5 at 4:45/5 p.m. PT and will be telecast to a national audience on ABC or ESPN. 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:USC is picked to win the Conference for the first time since 2012.



July 29th

Coach Mike MacIntyre’s ESPN interviews

Here is a link to an eight minute radio interview Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre had with ESPN’s Ivan Maisel.

And here is a link to a six minute video interview.

Notes and Quotes

Some Mike MacIntyre quotes as he made his way through the ESPN “Car Wash” Wednesday morning:

– “We broke 105 school records last year, and only won two games. That shows you how good the Pac-12 is”

– On the new $156 million facilities: “We stole everybody’s good ideas and put them in ours”

– “We’re not at the bottom. We’re in the middle of our journey”

– “Each conference should have nine games and have a title game. Notre Dame needs to get into a conference”

Notes from the CU Media Day press packet:

– Season ticket renewals are running at an 87 percent clip. Counting new tickets, CU is about up to the number of season ticket sales as last year – 18,126 – with six weeks still to go before the home opener;

– Attrition (all known for some time) … Walk-on quarterbacks Will Fischer-Colbrie and Ty Gangi have transferred; wide receiver Elijah Dunston and defensive end Markeis Reed have given up football due to injuries … defensive tackle Josh Tupou not a member of the team, status for 2016 uncertain;

– All freshman recruits qualified and are in Boulder … Transfer running back Aaron Baltazar is finishing up junior college courses, and “will join the team in August”;

– Colorado improved in 33 major team statistical categories in 2014, after improving in 29 from the 2013 season last fall;

– The Buffs held the lead in the second half of six of their ten losses in 2014, and in the fourth quarter in three of those six games. In CU’s eight losses in 2013, it was in the game only twice in eight losses, and in only three of 11 losses in 2013;

– Colorado was out-scored by 126 points overall in 2014 – awful, until you compare that figure with past years. In 2013, the number was 154, with the two-year total of 2011-12 being 556 points


Colorado Pac-12 Media Days press release

From … The calendar may still say July, but college football fans know the season is just around the corner.

Thursday, the Pac-12 jumps into the national spotlight when the conference opens its annual Media Day at Warner Bros. Studios. “Media Day” is actually a two-day event that will bring media from all over the nation to meet with the conference’s 12 head coaches and two players from each team.

Colorado head football coach Mike MacIntyre will be joined by offensive tackle Stephane Nembot and linebacker Kenneth Olugbode on center stage Thursday. The Pac-12 Networks will air live from the event on Thursday and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. both days.

Thursday, Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott will open the event with his annual address to the media at 10 a.m. Immediately after Scott’s session, the Buffs will go live on the Pac-12 Networks from 10:50 to 11:05 a.m., the first team on the docket after Scott’s address.

The broadcast will be available on all seven Pac-12 networks and will be free (no authentication needed) on the Pac-12 Now app and at

The Buff contingent will then take the stage later Thursday for the “traditional” media day interviews at 1:50 p.m.

Friday, the Buffs will participate in the television-specific portion of Media Day, when they will spend the morning conducting interviews with the conference’s television partners (Pac-12 Networks, ESPN and Fox). Also Friday, the media will hear from David Coleman, Pac-12 Vice President of Officiating; and Lydia Murphy-Stephans, Pac-12 Networks President.

While there, all student-athletes will also have the opportunity to attend the Jimmy Kimmel Concert Series.

MacIntyre, CU’s 25th head coach, is entering his third season at the Buffaloes’ helm. While Colorado finished just 2-10 in his second season at CU, the Buffs set more than 100 offensive records and showed that they had begun to close the talent gap, with four of their conference losses coming by a combined 15 points, including a pair of double-overtime defeats.

Nembot and Olugbode were the two recipients of the team’s Eddie Crowder Award in spring football, presented by coaches to players who displayed the most outstanding leadership during spring drills.

Nembot, a senior, started all 12 games at right tackle last season, the second straight year he started every game for the Buffs. Nembot played 988 snaps last season for the Buffs, tying for the team high, and missed just eight snaps over the course of the entire season. Athlon Sports named Nembot to its second team All-Pac-12 preseason squad.

Olugbode, a junior inside linebacker, also started all 12 games for the Buffs last year and led the team in tackles, racking up 83 total (57 solo).

The Buffs report for camp Tuesday, Aug. 4, and begin practice on Wednesday with an 8:35 a.m. workout. While the final fall camp schedule has not yet been released, practices tentatively scheduled as open to the public are the Aug. 5, 6, 7, 8, 15 and 21 workouts.

Colorado opens the season Thursday, Sept. 3, at Hawai’i in an 11 p.m. contest (7 p.m. Hawai’i time) against the Rainbow Warriors at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu. The game will be broadcast nationally by CBS Sports Network.

To keep tabs on all the Pac-12 Media Day sessions, follow along on social media at #GoBuffs and #Pac12FB.


How to watch Pac-12 Media Days (Thursday and Friday) on Pac-12 Networks (for free online)

From the Pac-12 … The 2014 Pac-12 football season produced a Heisman Trophy winner, six postseason bowl game wins and many #Pac12AfterDark late-game heroics. What will the Conference of Champions do for an encore? Football fans will get their first taste of the 2015 season July 30-31 during 2015 Pac-12 Football Media Days with a chance to watch free on Pac-12 Now and

[Related: Pac-12 Networks coverage details of football media days]

Pac-12 Networks will provide live coverage of both media days on site from Warner Bros. Studios in Burbank, California. The head coach, one offensive player and one defensive player from all 12 teams will visit our Pac-12 Football Media Day Special set, spilt across two days. Various experts, such as Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman, San Jose Mercury News‘ Jon Wilner, Sports Illustrated senior writer Pete Thamel and conference luminaries also will be featured in the broadcasts.

In addition all 7 Pac-12 Networks, Pac-12 Football Media Day Special will be available for fans to watch free on the Pac-12 Now app and on No TV provider username and password will be required for either of the Pac-12 Football Media Day Special shows, starting Thursday, July 30 at 9 a.m. PT, and resuming Friday at 9 a.m. PT.

The schedule includes:

Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott – 10:00 a.m. (MT) Thursday

CU head coach Mike MacIntyre – 10:50 a.m. (MT) Thursday

Buffs Kenneth Olugbode and Stephane Nembot – 11:04 a.m. (MT) Thursday

Other teams on Thursday … Arizona State; Oregon State; UCLA: Washington; and Stanford

Teams with coaches and players on Friday (starting at 10 a.m., MT) … Utah, Arizona; Cal; USC; Oregon; and Washington State

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