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Random Thoughts – Brendon Lewis Edition – Volume XXIV – May 12, 2019

Buff Trivia Question of the Week … Quarterback Brendon Lewis is rated as a three-star prospect by both Rivals and 247 Sports. Rivals has Lewis as a 5.6 rating, while 247 Sports has him as a 0.8842 prospect. Which of the following CU quarterback recruits from the past decade had the highest ratings?

  • Blake Stenstrom, Class of 2018
  • Tyler Lytle, Class of 2017
  • Sam Noyer, Class of 2016
  • Steven Montez, Class of 2015
  • Cade Apsay, Class of 2014
  • Sefo Liufau, Class of 2013
  • Shane Dillon, Class of 2012
  • Stevie Dorman, Class of 2011
  • Nick Hirschman, Class of 2010

CU Board of Regents at a crossroads – vote on Kennedy went from 9-0 to 5-4 “with no new information”

Mark Kennedy was appointed as CU’s new president on a 5-4 vote by the Board of Regents. The hire was not universally well received, and it not a stretch to say that the CU athletic department has a great deal at stake when Kennedy takes office June 15th.

Adam Munsterteiger did a podcast with Regent Heidi Ganahl, who served as co-chair on the search committee. The podcast, which can be found here, is 16 minutes long, but should be listened to by every Buff fan.

Some highlights:

— The Board appointed co-chairs, including one Republican and one Democrat, hoping to gain some bi-partisan cooperation (which of course, in the end, didn’t work out). A 17-member search committee was selected, with the committee finding a search firm to sift through over 180 candidates. The committee did a “deep dive” on 30 candidates, with ten finalists being interviewed at DIA. Then six final candidates were interviewed by the Board of Regents;

— The vote of the committee was 9-0 in favor of Mark Kennedy as the final candidate. It wasn’t just the Regent Board who came up with Kennedy as the finalist, it was the search committee (a total of 17 individuals, including the two Regent co-chairs);

— Why Kennedy? “A mix of things. He has political expertise (former state legislator). He has business experience (treasurer of Macy’s; Pillbury; Accenture). He also has educational experience (President of North Dakota; ran a department at George Washington; taught at Johns Hopkins). Having all three aspects to his resume was very important to us … He’s had a 40-year career, with his higher ed experience because he wants to make a difference”;

— Vote of Regents went from 9-0 to 5-4 in two weeks … “It was shocking to me how quickly those votes turned to ‘no’s’ based on no information that I saw. There was a lot of feedback from the community, with the most vocal feedback coming from the CU-Boulder campus”;

— On Kennedy’s view of sports: “We actually spent a lot of time speaking with him. We’ve all asked him: ‘How do you feel about athletics? How do you see the role of football going forward, knowing that there are some members of the Regent Board who aren’t big fans?’ Kennedy is a strong supporter, he absolutely believes in athletics.”

— On the New York Times articles and the anti-football faction on the Board of Regents: “I think it’s been bubbling for awhile … Those Regents are focused on spending money on academics. I don’t think they thoroughly understand how stand alone the athletics budget is, and what it brings to the university … Politics is pretty involved here, too. My hope is that we can hold the (Republican) majority in 2020 with Regent John Carson, because if he loses his seat, I don’t think it’s going to be pretty for athletics.”

Matchups with Florida and Missouri gives CU more Power-Five non-conference games than any other Pac-12 school … 

The University of Colorado has added two Southeastern Conference teams, one an old rival dating back to its days in the Big Seven, and a brand new opponent to its future football schedules.

The Buffaloes will renew their rivalry with Missouri, as the two last played in 2010 when both were members of the Big 12 Conference.  The series will resume in Boulder on Sept. 20, 2025 and again in Columbia on Sept. 7, 2030, the latter in the 40th anniversary year of the infamous “Fifth Down” game in 1990.  The Tigers become the third former conference rival to appear on CU’s future schedules, joining Kansas State and Nebraska; the Buffs also faced Oklahoma State in the 2016 Valero Alamo Bowl.

CU and the University of Florida will initiate a home-and-home series for the first time on the gridiron, agreeing to meet in Gainesville on Sept. 9, 2028 and in Boulder on Sept. 8, 2029.  The Buffaloes last played in the state of Florida in 2009, facing off against Florida State in Jacksonville; at present, this would stand to be Florida’s first true non-conference road game outside of its state’s borders since a trip to Syracuse in 1991.

Thoughts … 

On Missouri … No problem with taking on a former rival, and games against Missouri, as with the games against Nebraska and Kansas State, will be well attended. My problem with taking on Missouri in 2030 is that, as noted above, it will represent the 40th anniversary of the 5th down game. If CU wanted to have fans remember the national championship season of 1990, why have the controversial game against the Tigers be the reminder? How about a home-and-home with Illinois in 2029 and 2030? Two great games between top ranked teams in 1989 and 1990 (with the Buffs’ loss to the Illini representing the only loss of the 1990 title season). The Buffs also played Texas and Notre Dame in both 1989 and 1990. Either one of those opponents would have brought in even more fans to Folsom … and fonder memories.

On Florida … If adding the Gators to the schedule will help Mel Tucker recruit in the southeast, it will mean that Tucker is still the coach well into the mid-2020’s – which would mean that great things are happening in Boulder (and that Tucker hasn’t been lured back to the SEC).

Florida fans have been non-plussed by having such a “lower tier” Power-Five program. Seems a bit high-and-mighty for a program which hasn’t played a non-conference, home-and-home series outside of the Sunshine State since facing Memphis State in 1988-89. The Gators haven’t played a non-conference road game outside of Florida since traveling to Syracuse in 1991. (Florida has also announced a 2030 and 2031 home-and-home with Texas).

On the rest of the Pac-12 … The same week the Buffs announced home-and-home series with Missouri and Florida, Arizona State announced a 2021 game … against Southern Utah (a Big Sky conference team which went 1-10 last season).

In the next decade, Colorado has Power-Five non-conference games against eight Power-Five opponents: Nebraska, Texas A&M, Minnesota, TCU, Georgia Tech, Missouri, Kansas State and Florida.

Meanwhile, many teams in the Pac-12 are taking an easier path to success.

Pac-12 Power-Five non-conference games (from FBSchedules.com): 

  • Arizona … (5) Texas Tech; Mississippi State; Kansas State; Nebraska; Virginia Tech
  • Arizona State … (6) Michigan State; Oklahoma State; Mississippi State; Texas A&M; LSU; Texas
  • California … (3) Mississippi; TCU; Auburn
  • Oregon … (7) Auburn; Ohio State; Georgia; Texas Tech; Oklahoma State; Baylor; Michigan State
  • Oregon State … (3) Oklahoma State; Purdue; Texas Tech
  • Stanford … (6) Notre Dame (annually); Northwestern; Kansas State; Vanderbilt; TCU; Boston College
  • UCLA … (5) Oklahoma; LSU; Michigan; Georgia; Auburn; Wisconsin
  • USC …  (2) Notre Dame (annually); Alabama
  • Utah … (1) Baylor (Utah does have annual games scheduled against BYU through 2024)
  • Washington … (3) Michigan; Ohio State; Michigan State
  • Washington State … (3) Wisconsin; Kansas State; Kansas

So, if you want to do a little bragging on your Buffs this Mother’s Day, remind those s gathered around Mom this weekend that your Buffs, the University of Colorado, has scheduled more Power-Five non-conference opponents in the 2020’s than any other school in the Pac-12.

Go Buffs!

Buff Trivia Question of the Week … Quarterback Brendon Lewis is rated as a three-star prospect by both Rivals and 247 Sports. Rivals has Lewis as a 5.6 rating, while 247 Sports has him as a 0.8842 prospect. Which of the following CU quarterback recruits from the past decade had the highest ratings?

Answer … Every quarterback recruit who signed with CU in the past decade has been considered to be three-star quality by both services. At Rivals, two quarterbacks, Sefo Liufau in 2013 and Shane Dillon, in 2012, came in with a 5.7 rating. At 247 Sports (formerly Scout) none of the quarterback recruits had as high a rating as does Brendon Lewis’ 0.8842. The closest was Shane Dillon, with 0.8810. (In case you were wondering, the last four-star quarterback recruit at Colorado was Bernard Jackson, who was a four-star recruit as part of the Recruiting Class of 2003).

Here’s the breakdown of the last decade of CU quarterback recruits:

  • Blake Stenstrom, Class of 2018 … three-star … 5.6 Rivals; 0.8609 247 Sports
  • Tyler Lytle, Class of 2017 … three-star … .5.6 Rivals; 0.8597 247 Sports
  • Sam Noyer, Class of 2016 …  three-star … 5.6 Rivals; 0.8534 247 Sports
  • Steven Montez, Class of 2015 … three-star; 5.5 Rivals; 0.8469 247 Sports
  • Cade Apsay, Class of 2014 … three-star … 5.6 Rivals; 0.8446 247 Sports
  • Sefo Liufau, Class of 2013 … three-star … 5.7 Rivals; 0.8746 247 Sports
  • Shane Dillon, Class of 2012 … three-star … 5.7 Rivals; 0.8810 247 Sports
  • Stevie Dorman, Class of 2011 … three-star … 5.5 Rivals; 0.8259 247 Sports
  • Nick Hirschman, Class of 2010 … three-star … 5.6 Rivals; 0.8653 247 Sports

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