Davis Webb: Why It Matters

It was late.

Almost 11:00 p.m., to be exact, on Saturday, October 24, 2015.

At that moment, I was walking away from Oregon State’s Reser Stadium in Corvallis, basking in the glow of the still illuminated stadium lights.

Still basking in the glow of CU’s 17-13 win over the Beavers, the Buffs’ first conference victory in 707 days. The road win ended not only a 14-game Pac-12 conference losing streak, but a 13-game Pac-12 road losing streak.

We walked away from the stadium surrounded by mostly sullen (resigned?) Oregon State fans, turning down South Western boulevard on our trek of less than a mile to the home of my son-in-law’s parents, where would be spending the night.

The glow from the stadium lights soon faded, as did the glow from the victory. The title for the essay for the CU/Oregon State game came to mind quickly: “We’re No. 1(1)!”,  representing CU’s modest climb from the basement of the Pac-12 conference, moving one step closer to respectability.

It was a small – yet important – step for a program mired in the cellar of its new conference from the first day it donned uniform bearing its new logo in 2010.

The win provided some much needed momentum to the Colorado football program, giving the 4-9 Buffs and their fans some reason to believe in the future.

The momentum continued into the off-season, with the Buffs picking up a breath-of-fresh-air coach and recruiter in Darrin Chiaverini, and a Signing Day boost from two four-star signees in running back Beau Bisharat and wide receiver Juwann Winfree. Chiaverini also had a very strong hand in bringing about a commitment from one of his former players at Texas Tech, quarterback Davis Webb.

Webb committed to Colorado in late January, “signing” with the Buffs on Signing Day, though his signature was not the same as the Letter of Intent faxed in by members of the incoming freshmen Class. Instead, Webb signed a financial aid agreement, all he was allowed to sign until he actually graduated from Texas Tech in May.

Which left Webb “committed”, but still able to sign wherever he wished come graduation day.

The next three months, as has been well documented, have been a roller coaster ride for the Buff Nation. Webb used his own spring break to visit Boulder and take in a week’s worth of meetings, with all signs being positive.

Shortly thereafter, however, the strong bond between Webb and the Buffs began to loosen, with the former Red Raider quarterback visiting Berkeley and the Cal Bears. Rumors of Webb visiting Auburn proved unfounded, but the romance with the Bears continued.

Webb, for his part, remained silent, stating only that he was still committed to Colorado. “I’m a selfless guy, but I want to make sure this decision is selfish because I only have six months there”, said Webb in one of his few interviews since February. “I want to make sure I have a chance to compete and make an impact on a program, leave a legacy and get my master’s.”

With graduation for Webb now imminent – Saturday, May 21st – the reason for Webb’s hesitation has finally come to light: Webb is reportedly waiting to see if he is accepted to the Cal graduate school.

Presumably, if Webb is accepted by Cal, he will become a Bear instead of a Buff.

All of which leaves the Colorado program – and its fans – in a precarious position.

Do we still even want Webb – if he fails to qualify at Cal?

Do we want a player who waffled on his commitment to the CU program, leaving the Buffs hanging for three months?

Do we want a player who looks upon the University of Colorado as his backup? As his “fall back” choice?

Would such a player, coming to Boulder under these circumstances, actually hurt team chemistry with his arrival and presumed anointment as the starting quarterback?

The answers – yes; yes; yes; and hopefully not – reflect the current status of Colorado football.

If Webb cared about history, Colorado would be the clear choice over California:

— Colorado is 25th in all-time wins; Cal is 34th;

— Colorado has won 26 conference championships; Cal has won 14;

— Colorado also leads Cal in bowl games, All-Americans; weeks in the AP poll; NFL draft picks, etc., etc., etc.

If history doesn’t matter to Webb, there is  this: Colorado also offers Webb the opportunity to be a hero. The Buffs haven’t been to a bowl in almost a decade, while the Bears played in the Armed Forces Bowl (a 55-36 win over Air Force) last December. CU finished last season 4-9; Cal 8-5.

To put it bluntly … an 8-5 season in 2016 would not be met with much fanfare in Berkeley, while it would be cause for Mardi Gras worthy celebrations in Boulder. If Webb wishes to be noticed by the NFL – his stated goal – turning around a CU program (which appears primed for such a turnaround) would garner just such notice.

It has been reported that Webb became concerned, after his visit to Boulder, that the CU offensive line is too weak to support him and his desire to excel in his senior year. While it is certainly true that the Buff offensive line is the weakest link of the offense, Webb must also be cognizant of the fact that Cal lost the top six of its receivers from last season. True, CU hasn’t had a winning season in a decade. It is also true that the Cal coaching staff could only coax an 8-5 record out of a team with the NFL’s overall No. 1 draft pick at quarterback.

There is also the competition. Webb’s flirtation with Cal had me do something I have rarely done before – watch the Spring Game of another program. I watched the Calif spring game (played a week after the CU Spring Game), and it appeared to this non-professional observer that the Bears have not one, not two, but perhaps as many as four viable candidates for the starting quarterback position … even without Webb.

Meanwhile, at Colorado, the starting job behind center is there for the taking. Sefo Liufau’s recovery from the foot injury suffered last November is proceeding apace, but there are no guarantees Liufau will be ready to play come August. The Buffs’ other roster options – senior Jordan Gehrke, red-shirt freshman Steven Montez, and incoming true freshman Sam Noyer – do not present a significant challenge … at least they shouldn’t to a quarterback with designs on playing in the NFL in 2017.

So, does it matter if Webb spurns the Buffs for the Bears?

Yes.

It matters for the roster, as the Buffs need all the talent – and potential talent – it can find in its pursuit for a bowl game in 2016.

It matters for the depth chart, as even if Webb signs with CU, the Buffs are precariously thin at the quarterback position.

And it matters for the psyche of the Buff Nation.

Colorado has been the 98-pound weakling of the Pac-12 for all of its five seasons. It has finally managed to climb its way out of the gutter, all the way to No. 11 in the minds of the pundits and prognosticators.

The jump to No. 10 is more difficult.

Ten teams from the Pac-12 played in bowl games last season. For Colorado to ensure a bowl bid, the Buffs must find six or more victories on the calendar, and push their way past not only Oregon State but beyond another school or two (Arizona? Arizona State? Washington State? Cal?).

Losing what is, in essence, a recruiting battle to California would hurt the program. In part due to personnel concerns, but as much psychologically.

The CU program has enjoyed a small resurgence this spring. The Champions Center officially opened, the coaching staff was bolstered, the team won some Signing Day recruiting battles.

Some of that much needed momentum, however, would be lost with a defection by Davis Webb.

We want Webb, if for no other reason than we don’t want to spend the next four months wringing our hands over Sefo Liufau’s foot, and whether, even if healthy, Liufau has what it takes to lead the Buffs to a bowl game.

If Webb goes to Cal (as appears likely if he gains admission), we will put on a brave face … You can’t lose what you never had … Webb was a backup at Texas Tech … We only want players who bleed black-and-gold … We’re better off without him

But it will still hurt to be spurned by a player who helped foster some positive energy for the program this spring, a player who gave Buff fans reason to believe that 2016 would be the year the Buffs returned to its traditional winning ways.

Yes. It matters.

—–

51 Replies to “Davis Webb: Why It Matters”

  1. Sefo will have a huge (Trump sized, even) year, and it will not even matter who else is on the roster.

    Go Buffs!!

  2. Thanks for providing a forum for us Buff fans to voice our opinions Stuart. I enjoy reading yours and others thoughts. We have been through a rough decade and I believe this is good therapy for Buff fans as well as very informative. I for one am glad that the comments are not limited to just the Pollyanna views. As the old saying goes there is no “i’ in team but there certainly is in Davis. There has got to be doubts about how this team would react to Mr. Webbs actions over the last few weeks. I agree this little drama needs to be over and get on with preparation for next fall. Go Buffs!

    1. As I posted below………. “Que Sera, Sera, What Ever Will Be, Will Be……The Future’s Not Ours To See, Que Sera, Sera.”

      And, as The Beatles would say, “Let It Be.”

  3. No way Cal will let the admissions dept. keep him form enrolling. Of course he has to graduate and have his grades posted for transcripts, but the Cal Coach has already let greased the wheels for Webb. There will not be a chance he is not accepted, you don’t let that kind of humiliation happen to a student with this profile. Its different with undergrads where we don’t see their HS classes/grads, acts etc. till too late. For a grad student its you need this GPA to get in on the remaining classes, and he’ll hit those scores.

  4. Stuart, I completely agree with you. Recruiting is a dirty game and decisions have to be (to paraphrase the Godfather) business, not personal. That’s how Webb is looking at it and the Buffs can’t worry about pride and hurt feelings. If there is a ghost of a chance that Webb can help at the QB position, we need to keep trying to get him to come here.

    The real problem is that in 4 years, Mac has not recruited any QBs that are viable pac12 starters for next year. Sefo was recruited by Embree. Montez looks promising, but has no game experience and is not ready yet. Mac and staff know that if they don’t win at least four P5 games, they will all be fired and we start over with a new coach. Team chemistry is not going to matter because it’s all going to be blown up by the next coach. If I were coaching, at this point I’d do anything and everything to get to six wins.

    1. Stuart and Cricky, as Doris Day would sing, “Que Sera, Sera, What Ever Will Be, Will Be…The Future’s Not Ours To See, Que Sera, Sera.”

      Yes, Doris, whatever will be, will be…… Not worth losing sleep over it.

      Move on as if he is not going to enroll at CU because there’s not a damn thing we, or anyone else, can do to influence Webb’s decision. If he comes to CU fine, welcome him with open arms and let him prove (and earn) his starting position.

      End of story. Go Buffs.

  5. I want what is best for Colorado. If Davis Webb decides to be a part of it then great. If chooses to move on and go to Cal. then the best of luck to him. It looks like on paper he will bring 2 or 3 more wins with him that we wont get with our other QBs. That’s on paper! He could come in and be the White Knight or he could be harassed and sacked relentlessly with our suspect line. Who knows? It is all speculation and is great for an argument. Until he gets here
    (or doesn’t) I wont hold my breath. I would love to have him if just for the competition he would bring to help get the best out of Sefo, Gehrke and Montez.

    Shoulder to Shoulder — GO BUFFS.

  6. Frankly I’m tired of all the talk, if he transfers he transfers, if he doesn’t he doesn’t he doesn’t. Nobody is held down by every decision they’ve made in life, we are all free to change them. It would suck, yes. Everybody is so raw about it because we’ve been taking it on the chin as Buffs fans for many years now but one player will not make or break us.

  7. Hey Stuart. You know I like your site but, perhaps it is time for a little updating from a functionality perspective.

    Go Buffs.

    1. Always looking for suggestions, so if you have a specific suggestion, I’d love to hear it.

      Also willing to take donations 🙂

  8. There really is no basis to consider Colorado a superior program to cal. Cal has a) a larger fanbase, b) more national championships, c) far more NFL players, d) superior recruting for 20 years minimum, e) more revenue, f) nicer facilities, g) success that didn’t involve roiding out our players or hiring religious fanatics. You have legal weed. Congrats

    1. Let’s see:
      – A larger fanbase … debatable. More alumni, perhaps, but better fan base? Cal had declining attendance all of last year, going from 60,606 in the opener to 42,000, 41,000 and 45,000 the last three home games (in a stadium which holds 62,467) despite a 6-1 home record. CU had an average of just under 40,000 for home games (51,300 capacity), with a 2-4 home record. Give Buff fans a 6-1 home record, and Cal a 2-4 home record, and we’ll talk again about fan bases.
      – more national championships. Cal has four … three in the 1920’s; one in 1937 … all before the AP poll brought about a consensus national champion. Let’s poll 100 Cal fans and ask who the Bears beat in the 1921 Rose Bowl to win the “national championship” (I’ll help you out … it was Washington and Jefferson).
      – far more NFL players. Total NFL draft picks: CU – 266; Cal – 228 (Source: Winsipedia)
      – superior recruiting (see previous answer)
      – more revenue … True. Cal revenue last year: $85M; expenses $94M … CU revenue $67M; expenses $65M (Source: USA Today) … Isn’t the Cal educational system already running a deficit? Apparently the AD runs the same tight ship.
      – nicer facilities … um, no. CU just opened its Champions Center, and no, it’s not on a fault line
      – success … Cal has won one Pac 8/10/12 title in the past 40 years. In that same time frame, CU won conference championships in 1976, 1989, 1990, 1991, and 2001. Oh, and yeah … a national title.

        1. The facts are Colorado has a small fanbase and no recruiting base. The chances of Colorado returning to the roid fueled success of the past is zero. Cal may not be great either, but it’s clearly the superior program

          1. So what is your point? er Points? You hate Colorado. You been rejected by Colorado? A Buff stole your boyfriend? You really need Webb? Will you be crying if your blather is for naught? Are you really that goofy smiling bear? Or is this another (after being rejected by CU) wannabe situation? Jeeze we have fun on here and you come on here pretending you are something/body.

            Go back to your lil cave in the basement of your brother in law. You are just making a fool of yourself acting out your fanatic fantisies.

          2. My point is the article using Colorado’s supposed superior history as a reason why webb should pick Colorado is a bad argument. Is this so hard to understand? and no we don’t really need webb. I’m not convinced he even starts for Cal. Why do you keep talking about being rejected by Colorado? Do you seriously think a cal grad could be rejected by Colorado of all places? I never applied. Why would I? I had actual options and don’t like weed.

      1. So we averaged 10,000 more people a game and that means we don’t have a larger fanbase?

        You are seriously pulling the “it’s ancient history” card? The people living in the 80s?

        I’m taking about current NFL players. Congrats for having more in the 70s.

        How many recruiting classes of the past 20 years has Colorado been ranked higher than cal? Any?

        So we are more dedicated to football and that means we are inferior? Makes sense to me.

        Your facilities are inferior. Google it buddy.

        So you are a better program than Oregon then? Sonny dykes has the second worst winning percentage in program history, yet makes macintyre look like nick Saban.

        1. Interesting that you want to claim more national championships – talk about “ancient history” – but want to talk about current NFL rosters instead of historical numbers. Please make up your mind if you want to use historical numbers or current ones.

          P. S. … And by all means don’t forget to remind us about how Cal had the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft (and filled its stadium to 2/3 capacity) …

          1. I didn’t pull the tradition card. You did.

            Meaningless argument. By your theory south Dakota state has a better fanbase than Tennessee. the reason why you have one of the smallest stadiums in the power 5 is because your fanbase can’t support a larger stadium.

          2. I believe “more national championships” was in your first recitation. I guess chest-thumping about national titles in the 1920’s isn’t playing the “tradition” card.

            Your other email contained profanity and nonsense.
            We’re done with you now. Have a nice day.

        2. Casper, Having to post on an opponents website to make one feel better about ones self is a classic lacking-self-esteem basement troll syndrome who is a wannabe but cannot be. Clearly you were rejected from an academic standpoint by CU. Then snuck in to Cal, attended but left degree-less. So typical of the lower level trolls that come around here, wanting to be Buff, but cannot.

          Facts

      2. The following powerhouses currently have more NFL players than Colorado:

        San Diego state
        Louisiana tech
        Memphis
        Duke
        Iowa state
        Kansas
        Wake forest
        Central Michigan
        Toledo
        Southern Methodist
        Nevada

          1. Even your ghost sounds poorly educated. Even your ghost makes no sense. Go rally on with the three bears.. You are a fitter

        1. I was done with this Cal guy Oski in his 1st comments, Wants to bring up Cal’s history, but doesn’t want to hear CU’s, I am at a loss… BTW take Webb, he sounds like fine Cal material

          1. No, the author brought up CU’s history. I simply responded that if we were going to compare things that aren’t relevant to today that Cal can play that game too. BTW “we don’t want him anyway” is classic battered fan syndrome.

  9. Yo Stuart,

    I still don’t get where everybody seems to be getting their beliefs that Davis Webb has stabbed the Buffs in the back. His twitter page says he is committed to the Buffs. The big picture on his page is Folsom Field. He says NOTHING about Cal.

    Yes, we all know he visited at Cal, but that doesn’t mean a whole heck of a lot. Davis Webb cannot officially do ANYTHING until he graduates. He has to apply to be accepted at either CU or Cal. It’s part of the process and no big deal. Most people I know when they went off to college applied to numerous schools to broaden their options.

    Buff fans gotta quit hyperventilating over this, and they REALLY need to stop writing nasty stuff about the young man here and over at the Camera. All they are doing is showing all prospective players that the Buffs have a vocal minority of fans that make Boulder a less desirable place to play.

    I hate it when people who are supposed to be supporting my Buffs act like total jerks. That’s because the teams I really can’t stand have so many fans that act in such a reprehensible way. I don’t want Buff fans to be as rude as those from Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas A&M, and USC (for example).

    The next year is very important to whether Davis Webb has the opportunity to play in the NFL. It’s a big deal and could change his life. Whether Webb plays here or Cal or Timbuktu will not really have a personal impact on the folks sitting in the stands at Folsom or watching the Buffs on TV. In three to five years, none of these complainers will give Davis Webb a second thought. Why spend so much time spewing vitriol NOW when NOTHING can be done either way.

    Davis Webb will come to Colorado or he will not. We will see. But the Buffs and the Bears will go on no matter where Webb ends up. Everybody just needs to take a deep breath and put the matter in proper perspective.

    Mark
    Boulderdevil

    1. NFL? Webb? Please. The kid could not win the starting job at Texas Tech! It sounds like he’s getting a bit ahead of himself. We’ve been down this road before. Remember Connor Wood? It is unfortunate that CU hasn’t recruited a top notch QB prospect that has actually contiributed meaningfully to getting wins since Detmer and Stewart. That covers every coach from Little Ricky to Barnett to The weirdo from Idaho to Embo to Mac 2. Ochs came and went and Sefo has put up big numbers but few wins. Others like Klatt, Hessler, Pesavento, Moschetti had their moments but weren’t big time recruits. If Webb comes to CU and starts I’ll root him on like all the other Buffs on the field. If he goes elsewhere I will pay little to no attention to what he does.

      1. 83Buff,

        I appreciate the feedback… but remember that:

        Patrick Mahomes, the starter at Texas Tech, is expected to be sure first round pick when he goes to the NFL, and some think he could go in the Top 5. Webb has the skills to go in the first three rounds, he just happened to have someone even better follow him to Texas Tech.

        As Stuart pointed out, Matt Cassell is playing QB in the NFL despite NEVER even starting a game while at USC. The guy attempted a grand total of 33 passes in his entire college career. Why? He was the back up QB to not one but two Heisman Trophy winners in Matt Leinart and Carson Palmer.

        Despite never winning the starting job at USC, Cassell has managed to put together a nice 10+ year career in the NFL.

        Recruiting and even pro evaluation are tough nuts to crack. You can never tell how these kids will turn out. Aaron Rodgers is arguably the best QB in the NFL, yet he only had ONE division one offer coming out of high school, and went to JC before joining Cal. Kurt Warner was 3rd on the depth chart at Northern Iowa before his senior year. He was not drafted and played in Europe and the Arena Football League before moving on to becoming a great NFL quarterback.

        Give the kid a chance. Maybe it will help to have a QB that was not developed by Lindgren. Since it’s been a LONG time since the Buffs went bowling, what do we have to lose?

        Mark
        Boulderdevil

  10. Webb doesn’t even begin to understand the word commitment. Shame on him and his parents. Don’t want him no matter how good he is or isn’t. If he can’t support the team I’m not sure we should support him. Selfless my rear. Saying you are doesn’t make it so.

    Sefo has proven he isn’t the answer. Great leadership, average ability at best. Sure many place blame elsewhere but other QB’s have made their average O-lines look better, it isn’t always so one sided.

    Why not Montez? Many have made their “decision” based on one Spring “game”? I bet UCLA is glad they didn’t make their current QB decisions that way.

    Sometimes you have to play the hand you are dealt.

  11. Glad to see the posts so far in here(my apologies to Stuart). I especially like David’s post. I have been following the Buffs and college football for over 40 years and it bothers me immensely to see it become a professional money driven sport. Web is just looking for a bunch of minions to help him get rich.
    furthermore
    1. Sefo (and the rest of the team, of course) can take us to a bowl game. I dont doubt that a minute no matter how much Scott and maybe one other guy screech and moans.
    2. Webb is overrated. If he makes it to the NFL in any capacity other than a practice squad I will be shocked.

    1. No apologies necessary. I appreciate all of the comments posted by you and those below. We’re all Buff fans, and, as long as the comments are on the topic and respectful, they are more than welcome here.

  12. Stuart, I hear ya.That guy from Tennessee would have been a nice addition. Would be come part of the tame. I liked that. Too bad that decicision couldn’t stick.

    He is a nice player. All the hype and the self-hype aside.

    He committed, not binding, but he put the whole Buff Football in a corner. Spent no more time looking for another qb possibility> Not sure there even was one. But not relevant. A scholarship put on hold for a me me me guy. Don’t care good he is. Don’t need him. Don’t want him.

    As soon as Cal rejects him, CU should immediately pull the offer. Forget that guy.

  13. Good, objective piece, Stuart. I respectfully disagree. At this point, this saga has sapped any positive vibe DW brought with his signing. Do the Buffs want him if Cal rejects him? Sure my answer to your remaining questions are no, no and yes. This teams psyche has got to be important to its success. The players know what’s been played out all too openly for us to see. If DW comes to CU as his fallback, he’s got some serious fences to mend. Count me as someone who doesn’t think he has the makeup to get that done.

    Sayanora baby.

  14. Sefo will be healthy, stop acting like he might not be, he wouldn’t be working with Alex Brink if he wasn’t going to be. We’ll roll with what we have. Don’t need Tech’s backup QB. Nothing to suggest he was any better besides blind hope that something different would return better results. Sefo has led this team for three years and he is far better fit to lead it one final time, it’s not on him if the team just isn’t good enough.

  15. I respectfully have to disagree with your thoughts that Davis should be welcomed back with open arms. I just think it sends the wrong message to kids who have signed with the Buffs knowing that they are in this for the long haul to get this turned around. As an offensive lineman I’m suppose to bust my hump for a guy who wanted to find a better class of talent than me and my fellow teammates? That’s like asking a girl to prom, having her say yes and then no for someone else and then yes again because she was dumped. The players on this team do not deserve to be treated like this for a one year self absorbed brat.

    1. Gotta strongly agree with David on this. Webb SAYS all the right things to your face then stabs you in the back for a “better offer” and we’re supposed to love him? HA! His last year of stats weren’t appreciably better than Sefo’s and with his mental attitude, I’m not certain he fits in anyway.

      If you are a League caliber player, they will find you, even if you’re at North Dakota State and injured or at Harvard or riding the pines behind stars at U$C or UM. Exposure at a program like Cal ain’t that great, but maybe he fits with all those say the right thing/back stabbers there.

  16. And then there is the other 4 star QB who visited from Tennessee who Macintyre quietly showed the door. We just need a rope to get out of this downward spiral. I hope our defense has a record day against Cal if its the only game we win!

    1. Hey Rob, Explain, “4 star QB who visited from Tennessee who Macintyre quietly showed the door…..”

      A rope would be nice but a chain would be better

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