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Random Thoughts –  Drinking the Kool-Aid Edition – Volume XXX

Buff Trivia Question of the Week … Which of the following was not an accomplishment by Laviska Shenault in 2018?

  • Against Arizona State, Shenault had two receiving and two rushing touchdowns, becoming the first Buff to ever have multiple rushing and receiving touchdowns in the same game;
  • Shenault had 112.3 receiving yards per game, best in the Pac-12;
  • Shenault had 9.6 receptions per game, best in the nation; or
  • Shenault had six receiving touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns, the only player in the nation with at least five of each.

Drinking the Kool-Aid … 

It’s now officially summer (despite the fact that it snowed here in Bozeman on the solstice).

And with summer comes all the trappings of the season – outdoor activities, sunscreen, vacations … and drinking Kool-Aid.

While the toddler set enjoy the Tropical Punch (hopefully not the unsweetened variety, which is basically colored water), fans of college football drink another variety.

Colorado fans are no different. The Buff Nation, despite cheering for a team which has posted losing records in 12 of the last 13 seasons, is brimming with optimism.

Mel Tucker is not discouraging the confidence, telling Buff faithful across the state that his team is going to compete for championships.

“We’re going to play good, sound, solid football,” Tucker told an alumni gathering this week in Colorado Springs. “We’re going to play fast and we’re going to play physical. We’re going to be contact tough. We want to wear people down so we can win in the fourth quarter –  that’s what you should see and when fans look on the field. They should notice a difference and say that this is a better football team, a better coached football team, better prepared football team than what we’ve seen in the past.”

Tucker has been beating that drum since December. “The expectations I have are extremely high. We’re here to win championships,” said Tucker at his introductory press conference. “That’s OK with me.”

And having spent six months with his new staff and new team hasn’t changed Tucker’s confidence.

“I’m highly motivated to be the best football coach I can be,” Tucker told the Daily Camera. “I’ve always been like that. I’m also confident because I’ve been there and I know what it takes. I know what the steps are you have to take to put yourself in a position to win. There’s a process that has to take place. It’s a lot of moving parts. There’s a lot of people involved. You can’t do it by yourself.

“I have the experience and I’ve seen it done. I’ve been a major part of it getting done and executing that plan and being part of that process. That gives me confidence that I can implement those things here.”

If only Tucker could get the rest of the college football world to buy in …

As Buffs are being counted on as guaranteed “W’s” by the opposition … 

You know about the national preseason rankings.

A sampling:

  • College Football News has CU as the No. 62 team in the nation;
  • SB nation has CU as the No. 68 team in the nation;
  • Athlon has CU as the No. 69 team in the nation;
  • Lindy’s has CU as the No. 73 team in the nation;
  • Phil Steele has CU as the No. 80 team in the nation; and
  • CBS Sports? Buffs check in at No. 91

You get the idea.

And no one, as in no one, seems to have Colorado finishing anywhere but in last place in the Pac-12 South.

The Pac-12 South division is, at least theoretically, up for grabs. Utah is the defending champion, but is still trying to win over converts. USC? The Trojans can’t be down for long with all that talent, right? UCLA under Chip Kelly? Ditto. The presumably laughable hire of Herm Edwards at Arizona State led to a second-place finish last season, and Arizona has Kahlil Tate.

Every team in the Pac-12 South has a chance at the division … except Colorado.

When team sites rate their schedules, Colorado is always counted on as one of the easiest games on the list.

When Washington State’s schedule was reviewed, the Buffs came in at No. 9 in difficulty (ahead of only Northern Colorado, New Mexico State, and Oregon State):

Can the Buffaloes re-emerge from the Pac-12 South cellar under first-year head coach Mel Tucker? Colorado wants to carve out a rugged defensive identity with Tucker at the helm. If the Buffaloes are successful, it should take some pressure off an offense that’s been mediocre at times in recent years.

The Buffaloes have struggled to finish drives against Washington State, totaling just 48 points over the last four games in the series.

How about UCLA? You know, the UCLA team which finished 3-9, and lost to Colorado, 38-16, last season?

GoJoeBruin had the Buffs as the second easiest game of the 2019 UCLA campaign (again, ranked ahead of only Oregon State on teh schedule):

Colorado is another team in transition. Even though the Buffaloes beat the Bruins pretty badly in Boulder last season, it came before their epic collapse as they lost seven straight games to end 2018. That forced CU to fire Mike MacIntyre and bring in Mel Tucker to try and lift Colorado, but will they have enough to beat the Bruins in early November? With UCLA improving and possessing home field advantage, this should be one of the less challenging games for the Bruins.

Fake News … 

Laviska Shenault apparently has the Cornhusker faithful concerned.

So much so that a Nebraska fan posted some fake news this past week. A tweet went out, purportedly quoting Shenault as saying the following in an interview with KCNC-Denver:

“The most fun I’ve had in a game was at Nebraska, their defense was a joke and it was fun seeing all the fans go home angry,” the alleged quote read. “Looking forward to having my way with that secondary again this year.”

Problem is, there was no such interview, no such quote.

Shenault doesn’t talk that way in interviews.

Compare … In “After Long Spring, Buffs WR Shenault Aiming For Fall Camp“, posted this week by Neill Woelk at CUBuffs.com, Shenault was succinct:

“I’ll be ready for the fall,” he promised. “That’s all that needs to be said.”

Far from blowing his own horn, Shenault plays down his accolades.

“It’s exciting that people look at me in those ways,” he said about all the preseason hype, including his being named the No. 2 wide receiver in the nation by USA Today. “That’s the good thing. But as far as it getting to me, that’s not going to happen. At the end of the day, it’s just what people are saying. It’s exciting to be in this position, but you want to be able to back it up. I know how much work I have to do to get there.”

Pass the Kool-Aid.

Buff Trivia Question of the Week … Which of the following was not an accomplishment by Laviska Shenault in 2018?

  • Against Arizona State, Shenault had two receiving and two rushing touchdowns, becoming the first Buff to ever have multiple rushing and receiving touchdowns in the same game;
  • Shenault had 112.3 receiving yards per game, best in the Pac-12;
  • Shenault had 9.6 receptions per game, best in the nation; or
  • Shenault had six receiving touchdowns and five rushing touchdowns, the only player in the nation with at least five of each.

Answer … Trick question. All of the above were accomplishments by Shenault during his abbreviated 2018 campaign (thanks to Dave Plati for the stats, which can be found in the Shenault article linked above)

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7 Replies to “Random Thoughts – Drinking the Kool-Aid Edition”

  1. Looking at “The over-under win totals for nearly all of the FBS teams for the 2019 college football season.” on cbssports.com and those of you that understand betting let me know if I’m reading this correctly.
    Colorado: 4.5 (Over -108, Under -108) bet $108 to win $100 either way.
    Nebraska: 8.5 (Over +164, Under -194) Bet $100 to win $164 or bet $194 to win $100.

    What I read from this is, the odds makers low return on bets on the Buffs means they are not sure of their 4.5 and are only giving a 92.5% return on your bet either way; maybe not attracting a lot of bets on an unsure guess.

    Meanwhile, Neb’s 8.5 (a possible over statement) is paying a nice return of 164% if they go over so the odds makers are betting they won’t. And on the under, you have to bet (risk) almost twice as much at $194 to win only $100, so does that mean they see more of a risk in Neb not making the 8.5 games they are predicting? Compared to if they predicted 7 or 7.5 games maybe the payout would have then been better? So a higher game win total, but skewed the number with the odds?

    Assuming the odds makes used the early projections win totals from “usual suspects of know it alls” what does that does that tell us about the odds makers thoughts on the early ranking of Neb?

  2. I arrived as a freshman at CU in 1985, one year after Sports Illustrated named Folsom Field “the most beautiful place to watch terrible college football in the country”. It was the year that Coach Mac switched over to wishbone/flexbone (whatever you want to call it) and we went from being a laughingstock to a winning program. People used to have a good chuckle at Coach Mac’s expense when he did things like declare Nebraska to be our rival and when he dared to chase the same kids to play in his system at CU that Tom Osborne and Barry Switzer were pursuing to play for them in Lincoln and in Norman – right up until he started getting some of them to come to Boulder. On Coach Mac’s watch, the Buffs transformed from a soft team to a team that played with swagger and confidence and punched people in the mouth (figuratively speaking) on both sides of the ball. The players bought into what the coaches were selling and proved it with their play on the field against what was year in/year out one of the country’s toughest schedules. They stopped hoping for success and, instead, did the preparation necessary to attain it.

    I might be 100% wrong (living in New Jersey almost 2,000 miles away from campus) but I get the sense that Coach Tucker is cut from the same cloth as Coach Mac in terms of his preparation and in terms of his ability to disseminate his message to his players – directly and through his assistants. I also get the sense that he is unafraid to make himself the person who is accountable if and when things go sideways.

    Will that translate into a winning record in 2019? I’ve no clue. I’m just a simple country lawyer. I’m sure as hell not smart enough to prognosticate about college football. I simply hope that 2019 is a season we can enjoy.

  3. All in, however think this year should be judged more than solely on w/l’s. Not sold on Montez..seems more of the same…inconsistency which saps his aggressiveness and playmaking ability. What I would like to see is the team develop the identify that Coach Tuck is attempting to instill. Tough, well coached, well disciplined team.
    Those Tuck era UW teams we used to beat up on? Still remember after putting up 50+ hearing the players it was the toughest/strongest team they faced. That identify is still in place at Madison and has served them very well.
    So All in On Tuck for at 3 years (2nd yr. w/his 1st ‘true’ class) unless we look like Embree’s Buffs.

    1. The same part of “more of the same” just might be the predictable play calling, forcing the ball into Jay etc. Montez is still a level ahead of those behind him. You are “stuck” with him so you might as well support him. The year following the coming season I am pulling for Senstrom or the freshman to get the nod. Besides being a Colorado guy, I think I read where Senstrom won an award as a player on the scout team.

  4. All Inon the kool-aid
    Being old school all I needed to hear a few months back was that the practices are designed to be harder than the games. Anyone that has been through that will see that it translates on game day.
    Recruits see that as well when visiting

  5. Count me in.
    This is indeed going to be a special season.
    Players know good leadership when they see it. Buffs are gonna shock the PAC 12 and the nation this year.

  6. Nebraska……..wow. A State full of people whose entire egos are dependent on a bunch of kids playing 12 games in the fall. Of course that makes it so much more fun to beat them. Bumper corn crop and high corn rices? Bumper truck stop profits? Finally fall in love with the girl a couple farms down the road? None of it matters if the corn goes down the football hole. You wonder how Shakespeare would have written about the desperation there.
    Back to the Buffs and Mel Tucker. Tucker says we are going to wear them down in the 4th Qtr. If all the physical talk comes halfway true the Buffs should win at least a fair share of the close games….and god forbid we suffer another explainable sickening blowout like the one at Oregon State where if the team quit on MM he must have quit on them first. That game hurt more than the Nebraska win felt good. Hopefully it made Nebraska feel worse about losing to us. Even so you have to give Frost credit for considerable improvement as the season went on.
    As for Tucker and the CU Buff’s lamentable coaching choices since the railroad job on Barnett….even a blind squirrel finds an acorn now and then….right?

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