Real Hope … Or Just More Hype?

Okay, class. Time for a quiz.

Which of the following quotes came from Mike MacIntyre after the first day of practice this week?

Choice No. 1:

“Yes, I definitely think we can win every game that we play. That’s what we want to do. I feel like we’re maturing. I think we’re competing better. I feel like we’re starting to understand the intensity and focus it takes to be successful week in and week out. The old saying, ‘You have to bring you’re A-game’; you better bring all you got every game or you don’t have a chance. That goes for any team in our league. I think that that’s important and in our conference and with the teams we’re playing, anybody can beat anybody. So, we have to be ready anytime we play. I do think we have good athletes and I think we’re getting more mature”.

Choice No. 2:

“To really be a good team and a good leader sometimes you have to kind of put the blinders on and just keep going. People don’t think you can do it and then all of a sudden it happens. You see it happen all the time. It’s amazing how that happens in sports. I think that’s one of the great things about sports. It’s not a sure thing every Saturday that this is going to happen so I think that’s exciting. We’re really excited about this season. Our players are working extremely hard and thinking they can go toe to toe with anybody they play. That’s what we want to do.”

Choice No. 3:

“Our kids took advantage of our meetings this summer and stayed in shape so I feel good about where we are. Guys are bigger, stronger. We have guys that lost 10 pounds of fat and gained like eight or nine pounds of muscle, which is pretty amazing. Our strength shows, our stamina shows, so now we just have to keep working to polish it up.”

Sort of a trick question.

All three of the above quotes are from Mike MacIntyre.

All three of the above quotes are from the first week of practice.

Here’s the thing … one of them is from the first week of practice in 2013, one from the first week of practice in 2014, and one from this week.

Now, go back and figure out which quote is from Mike MacIntyre’s first fall practice, in 2013, when the former San Jose State coach was coming in to try and raise the Titanic, making something good out of a team which had gone 1-11 in 2012 … and had looked terrible in doing so.

One of the quotes is from last fall, when the Buffs, fresh off of a 4-8 season – but a 1-8 Pac-12 campaign – were trying to build on a modicum of momentum.

And one of the quotes is from this week, with optimism for 2015 over-shadowing the fact that the Buffs are entering the season on an eight game losing streak.

Not that easy, is it?

The moral of the story is to not get too wrapped up in the hype of positivism which comes from the post-practice quotes.

It’s not Mike MacIntyre’s fault, it’s just the nature of the beast. You expect the head coach to accentuate the positive, at least publicly. Every team is undefeated in August; every team has an equal shot at a title.

And the upbeat talk is not confined to the coaches. “You can just feel it,” linebacker Kenneth Olugbode said. “You can feel that everybody is ready to go out there and work and get Ws this year and get over that hump that we struggled with.”

… Which, of course, begs the question: So the Buffs weren’t “ready to go out there and work and get the W’s” last year?

“I think it was the case”, explained Olugbode. “But maybe the drive and passion wasn’t as much as it is now”.


Understandable hype. No one expects the players and coaches to condemn themselves to a losing season in August.

It’s left to us as fans to take a step back and try and be objective.

We have to remember that CU has been 100th or worse in the nation in both total defense and scoring defense … for the last four years in a row.

We have to remember that CU has been 10th, 11th or 12th in the Pac-12 in scoring offense in every year the Buffs have been in the conference.

We have to remember that CU is 4-32 in conference play since joining its new conference. That’s 4 wins and 32 losses, folks, with half of those wins coming four years ago.

That being said, I am more optimistic than I was at this time last year, even though the Buffs are coming off of a two-win season instead of a four-win season.

Perhaps because it’s Coach Mac’s third year. Perhaps it’s because I believe new defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt was the most important recruit of the 2014-15 off-season. Perhaps because it’s just time for the ball to start bouncing CU’s way again.

Even though there was bowl talk in Boulder last fall, I wasn’t buying in.

Here’s what I had to say last August, in a (hopefully) prophetic article entitled, “Buffs Still A Year Away“:

“Would close losses be frustrating? Hell, yes. It would be agonizing to be that close to a bowl game, and still come up short.

“But CU has to get closer to the rest of the Pac-12, in both talent and experience, before it can expect to start winning those games.

“2014 is all about being competitive. It’s about getting close. Knocking on the door.

“2015 can then be the season when the Buffs kick the door in …”

We’ll see.

Oh yeah … In case you were wondering about the timing of the above quotes, the first quote is from August, 2014, the second from August, 2013, and the third from this week.

How did you do on the quiz?


4 Replies to “Real Hope – Or Just More Hype?”

  1. like most of anything else it takes time to get good at it . but in this case things have to be done now not year from now . so all that can be said is ya we are going to be 12 and 0 , hope that is way things turn out

  2. Hadn’t really thought about the preseason hype, but maybe that’s because every year for the last decade has turned out disappointing results. These kids can play so much differently based upon their emotions that Mac can only try to make things better by building them up.

    1 correct out of 3 on the quiz.

  3. While all three are generic coach speak, I thought it was pretty clear which was from which year and that there is a greater degree of confidence in this year’s quote vs. previous years.

  4. I thought for sure the first two quotes were from first year coach Bobo who coaches the sissies up the road but the 3rd quote was obvious because I never go more than 2 hours without checking my favorite website’CUATTHEGAME’…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *