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Random Thoughts – Vol. II – On Being a “Dude”; What’s Wrong with Boyle’s Boys?

New Coach up at Ft. Fun

Colorado State has hired former Temple and Boston College coach Steve Addazio to lead its football program.

Addazio, who was let go by Boston College last month, will take over a Colorado State program that’s had a rough go of it in recent seasons. Mike Bobo posted three consecutive 7-6 marks during his first three seasons, but fell to 7-17 the last two years which led to his dismissal.

Addazio has been a head coach the last nine seasons, spending the previous seven at Boston College. He’s 57-55 in his career, and went 44-44 at Boston College, never winning more than seven games in a season but failing to attain bowl eligibility only once.

This past season, the Eagles went 6-6, gaining bowl eligibility, but the up-and-down season also included a 48-34 home loss to Kansas in September.

Addazio is perhaps best known nationally for his “Be A Dude” videos. Check out this mixtape, and ask yourself if you would be excited to have this dude as your head coach:

There were several other names who were rumored to be in the running for the CSU job. Former Tennessee head coach Butch Jones made his second foray into the Centennial State this decade, but left, once again, without a job. Former Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson was also interviewed, but didn’t make the final cut.

Perhaps the candidate who would have energized the fan base the most was Ohio State assistant head coach Tony Alford. A former Ram, Alford was a 1,000-yard rusher and Doak Walker Award nominee for CSU in 1989. Though an Urban Meyer disciple, Alford has never been a head coach, and so was disqualified under the criteria established by the CSU hierarchy.

Addazio has been criticized by a number of former players, including former BC running back Andre Williams (who felt snubbed by Addazio when he returned to campus) and Josh Keyes, who accused Addazio of trying to get Keyes cut by the Atlanta Falcons. While not a disqualifier, it certainly won’t help 2020 CSU season ticket sales that Addazio brings some baggage with him to Ft. Collins.

The Buffs play in Ft. Collins to open the 2020 season, and then won’t play the Rams again until a home-and-home for the 2023 and ’24 seasons. Before he can worry about facing big brother in the opener, though, Addazio has to worry about shoring up the CSU Recruiting Class of 2020, which is currently ranked 119th in the nation, sandwiched between Old Dominion and Harvard.

You can count on the Ram Nation rallying behind Addazio over the next nine months, and the new head coach is guaranteed a sellout in his first game as CSU’s head coach.

After that … it looks like it’s going to be a struggle for the Rams going forward. Addazio might be able to find his way if he hires some assistants who can recruit the west (Addazio, like Mel Tucker, has never coached west of the Mississippi).

But the slide of the past few seasons in Ft. Collins (3-9 in 2018; 4-8 in 2019) may well continue …

What’s wrong with Boyle’s Boys?

The CU men’s basketball team entered this past week as the No. 24 team in the nation, according to the Associated Press poll. The CU women, meanwhile, remained undefeated, and were ranked No. 32 in the latest AP women’s poll (in the “others receiving votes” category).

Considering that the five-week poll run by the Buffs is second-longest by the program in over 20 years (second only to spending six consecutive weeks in the polls during the 2013-14 season) and considering that the women’s team was even mentioned in the polls after being picked to finish dead last in the Pac-12 by both the conference media and coaches, there should have been free-flowing champagne in the basketball offices at the CU Events Center, no?

No.

Why not?

Well, because we don’t live in a vacuum, and those in the basketball offices – along with their fans – have eyes, and can read a calendar.

The national ranking of the men’s team has been over-shadowed the past week as the Buffs have looked anything but NCAA tournament-worthy. CU lost to No. 2 Kansas, 72-58, in a game in which the final score was nowhere close to the reality of the blowout. Then the Buffs lost, at home, to Northern Iowa, before looking awful in defeating a terrible CSU team on Friday night.

“Our attention to detail is just not not good enough right now,” said Tad Boyle after the 79-76 loss to Northern Iowa. “It  was really evident tonight by the way we guarded … They deserved to win. We did not.”

Then after squeaking out a 56-48 win over Colorado State, there was still no cause for celebration. “I’m not sure how we won that game tonight, especially after looking at the stat sheet” said Boyle, whose Buffs turned the ball over a season-high 21 times and shot 17-of-45 from the field (with star McKinley Wright going 1-11). “There’s some eye-popping numbers that say we probably didn’t deserve to win”.

The Buffs will likely fall out of the polls on Monday, but will have a chance at redemption this week. After what will hopefully be a warm-up game against 3-7 Prairie View A&M on Thursday, the Buffs will travel to Chicago to take on No. 14 Dayton (Saturday, 4:30 p.m., MT, CBS Sports Network). The Flyers are 8-1, with their only loss coming in overtime to Kansas … the same Jayhawk team which toyed with the Buffs last weekend.

With finals week this week in Boulder, it’s going to be tough for Tad Boyle and his coaches to rally their charges for a tough game against Dayton next Saturday … oh, and the Pac-12 opener against a top ten Oregon team looms right around the corner.

As for the women’s team, a 9-0 start is very impressive.

But …….

We’ve seen this movie before.

Last season, the Buffs opened 10-1, with the only loss coming on the road against a ranked Miami team.

Then … the bottom fell out when Pac-12 conference play began. The Buffs went 2-16 against the Pac-12, finishing the season 12-18 after bowing out in the first round of the conference tournament.

This season, the Buffs open Pac-12 conference play with three games on the road, including a swing through Eugene and Corvallis, against No. 3 Oregon and No. 4 Oregon State. Currently, the Pac-12 has four teams in the top ten nationally, including No. 1 Stanford (so yes, the Pac-12 boasts three of the top four teams in the country).

If the CU women’s team can find its way to anything close to a .500 record in conference play this spring, it will be an impressive season.

So, if you are wondering why there isn’t a great deal of confetti strewn about the Keg right now, it’s not because the men’s team being ranked – and the women’s team being 9-0 – is not worthy of celebration.

It’s because we can see what’s coming.

Getting excited about Signing Day …

Meanwhile, there is plenty to get excited about when it comes to the football team this week.

Wednesday is the beginning of the early Signing Period. Technically, the Signing Period runs from 7:00 a.m., local time on Wednesday through midnight on Friday, but all of the excitement will be Wednesday morning (Program Notes: “The Ticker” will begin operation here at CU at the Game at 6:30 a.m., MT, on Wednesday; Mel Tucker’s press conference will be at 1:00 p.m., MT, Wednesday).

Now, if you read my “Recruiting Ratings Rant” on Friday, you know that CU’s Class of 2020, despite the biases of the recruiting ranking services, is stacking up to be one of CU’s best – if not the best – in at least a decade.

When comparing apples to apples – how the CU Recruiting Classes stack up against prior years as rated by the same services – the Class of 2020 is shaping up to be an exceptional Class:

  • 2010 CU Recruiting Class ranking … Rivals: 66 … 247 Sports: 57 … four-star prospects: 1 (Paul Richardson)
  • 2011 CU Recruiting Class ranking … Rivals: 74 … 247 Sports: 64 … four-star prospects: 0
  • 2012 CU Recruiting Class ranking … Rivals: 36  247 Sports: 39 … four-star prospects: 2 (Ken Crawley; Yuri Wright)
  • 2013 CU Recruiting Class ranking … Rivals: 67 … 247 Sports: 68 … four-star prospects: 0
  • 2014 CU Recruiting Class ranking … Rivals: 63 … 247 Sports: 74 … four-star prospects: 1 (Shay Fields)
  • 2015 CU Recruiting Class ranking … Rivals: 70 … 247 Sports: 69 … four-star prospects: 0
  • 2016 CU Recruiting Class ranking … Rivals: 65 … 247 Sports: 69 … four-star prospects: 2 (Beau Bisharat; Juwann Winfree)
  • 2017 CU Recruiting Class ranking … Rivals: 32 … 247 Sports: 35 … four-star prospects: 2 (K.D. Nixon; Jake Moretti)
  • 2018 CU Recruiting Class ranking … Rivals: 51 … 247 Sports: 53 … four-star prospects: 0
  • 2019 CU Recruiting Class ranking … Rivals: 45 … 247 Sports: 44 … four-star prospects: 2 (Jaren Mangham; La’Vontae Shenault)

Compared to …

  • 2020 CU Recruiting Class ranking … Rivals: 28 … 247 Sports: 32 … four-star prospects: 3 (Brendan Rice; Ashaad Clayton; Christian Gonzalez)

The above listings, though, got me to thinking: How were some of CU’s stars of recent years rated when they signed with the Buffs?

Let’s take a look:

Laviska Shenault (Class of 2017) … considered to be a four-star prospect in the eyes of 247 Sports; considered a three-star prospect by Rivals. Shenault had other offers from … all over the country, including an offer from Alabama. Other Power-Five offers came from Arizona State, Arkansas, Iowa State, Kansas State, Kansas, LSU and Oklahoma State.

Nate Landman (Class of 2017) … considered to be a three-star prospect by Rivals and 247 Sports. Landman had other offers from … over a dozen schools, including Washington State, Oregon State and Arizona from the Pac-12. Other offers came from schools such as Pittsburgh, Colorado State, San Diego State and Nevada.

Steven Montez (Class of 2015) … considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout . Montez had other offers from … Air Force, New Mexico State, and UTEP, and was attracting attention from New Mexico, Oklahoma State, Tennessee and Stanford.

Ahkello Witherspoon (JC Transfer – Class of 2014) … Witherspoon was not rated by Rivals, and did not even show up in the Scout database when he committed in December of 2014. Witherspoon had other offers from … no one of record. Witherspoon reported that he had offers from Fresno State, UNLV, Utah State and Idaho State.

Sefo Liufau (Class of 2013) … Liufau was considered to be a four-star prospect by Rivals when he committed, but later was lowered to three stars. Liufau also received three stars from Scout. Liufau had other offers from … no other known schools (Liufau committed in April of 2013, an early commit at the time). UCLA and Washington State were heavily recruiting Liufau, and he also had interest from other Pac-12 schools, including Washington, both Oregon schools, and Stanford.

Phillip Lindsay (Class of 2013) … Lindsay was considered to be a three-star prospect by both Rivals and Scout. Lindsay had other offers from … only Utah. Like Liufau, Lindsay was an early commit (March 23rd), which may have impacted his offer sheet. There was reported interest from Texas A&M, Boise State, and Colorado State.

(If you want to check out the recruiting rankings of other Buffs from the past decade, just click on the “Archived Seasons”, and click on the season of choice).

So … this just in … Recruiting is an inexact science. Analysts can measure height and weight, and review game film and statistics, but they can measure heart and desire, and can’t predict injuries and coaching changes.

That being said, having a dozens of players on your rosters rated as four-star prospects gives you better chances at success than a team which has no four-star prospects on the roster.

And that’s why we’ll be checking in Wednesday morning to see if all of the efforts from Mel Tucker & Co. in recruiting their first full Class will bear fruit.

All signs are pointing toward an exceptional Signing Day … I can’t wait!!

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6 Replies to “Random Thoughts – Vol. II”

  1. The McCaffrey family is dead to me. Send a kid to Stanford, alma mater…I get it. Michigan and Duke, the big house and a big education…totally understand. But send one to Nebraska and you and your family can now take a long walk on a short pier!

    1. I pretty much agree. Its kinda funny, though, how it hasn’t worked out at Linkin like the big time experience they thought it would be. If I ever run into Ed I might ask him why he didnt take a coaching job at Chadron or Kearney.
      Some where in the govt warehouse that passes as my garage there is n an unopened box of “Ed’s Os” I bought when Ed was a Bronco. When I run across them again they get fed to the birds.

  2. Was the CSU AD leaning entirely on Urban Meyer? I almost feel bad for the dudes….er the rams.
    I said almost
    Now that McCaffrey has left Valor who will their next star studded coach be? Way past time to put these private schools in their own separate conference.

  3. He looks more like Dud than a Dude. However, all it will take is a win against the Buffs in the opener and he would start out the season as a Dude. Though very unlikely that Rams will win, the Buffs will be well served not to buy into this being a bad hire. We will be starting a QB with little FBS experience on the road against a sellout crowd that hates us. A bowl next year will be a stretch. Hope the game is taken seriously by CU. Now, if we get a great grad transfer QB through the portal, that would help a lot IMO.

  4. They really put themselves in a tough spot with the gotta have HC experience requirement, eh? Feeling burnt by Bobo not having HC experience and his (reported) lack of program administration. He’ll probably end up being fine back in an OC role.

  5. It just cracks me up that northern Colorado hired Ed McCaffrey, which is much more of an exciting splashy hire than Addazio.

    Overall this is an awful hire for the lambs. None of my csu buddies were happy. It’s telling that Bobo landed a job as an OC so quickly whereas this was effectively Addazio’s best and only shot at a job this season.

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