Random Thoughts – Volume VIII – January 20, 2019

Buff Trivia Questions of the Week … 1) Who is the only Buff player on the four remaining teams in the playoffs who has a chances at a Super Bowl ring?

2) In addition to offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy of the Kansas City Chiefs, what other coaches in the conference championship games have CU ties? (there are three)

Offensive Line musical chairs …

This week, the Buffs lost the sole returning captain from last season.

CU confirmed Thursday that senior offensive lineman Aaron Haigler, who graduated in December, has decided to give up the sport and not play his final year with the Buffaloes.

A 6-foot-7, 295-pound guard/tackle, Haigler played in 36 games over the past three years, with 27 starts. Going into the 2019 season, only senior offensive lineman Tim Lynott has more career starts, with 33.

Haigler, the only junior captain last season, had started several games at tackle and guard during his career. He was in the starting lineup for 20 of CU’s 24 games over the last two seasons.

With the offensive line a weak link last season, losing a starter is never a good thing.

That being said, you have to respect Haigler’s decision. He earned his degree, and, as an elected captain, has obviously earned the respect of his teammates.

Playing football is tough. Playing along the offensive line is brutal.

All Buff fans can do is thank Haigler for his year’s as a Buff, and move on.

The other offensive lineman who reportedly left the team this week was sophomore Frank Fillip. As a freshman, Fillip played in eight games last season, starting two (Oregon State and Arizona). Fillip was one of three true freshmen to earn starts last season.

Message boards had stories this week that Fillip was going to transfer.

Reports, however, of Fillip’s demise, have apparently turned out to be greatly exaggerated.

Later message board postings indicated that Fillip was not intending to transfer … more reason to wait for confirmation on stories this time of year.

While there has been attrition from the 2018 roster, and there will continue to be, the core of the team which opened the 2018 season with a 5-0 record has largely remained in tact.

Fingers crossed for news about losing other former starters over the next few months …

Darrin Chiaverini is saying all the right things …

Have you ever been demoted?

Not fired, but retained in a lesser position?

Seems to be an uncomfortable role to play, answering to a superior who is holding the job you used to have.

Welcome to the world of Darrin Chiaverini.

Offensive coordinator and play-caller last season, Chiaverini this season is back to coaching just the wide receivers (while maintaining his role as the recruiting coordinator).

If there is any bitterness, Chiaverini is not expressing it.

“I’m excited to be a Buff,” Chiaverini told the Daily Camera. “I’m a Buff for life and obviously getting a chance to be retained and be on coach Tucker’s staff, I’m really excited. I’m excited to work with coach Johnson.

“It’s a different role, but I’m a football coach and I can adjust to anything. I’m excited to be here and help those guys.”

Sounds good, but Chiaverini is in a tough spot.

If the Buffs are successful on offense this year, it will look as if he failed this past season.

Good for the team … but bad for the future career of a coach who certainly has aspirations of again being an offensive coordinator, and perhaps as a head coach.

“I think as a coach, you’re self-motivated, just as I was as a player,” he said. “I never needed anybody to push me as a player and I don’t need anybody to push me as a coach. I’m going to work hard, do my job and I’m going to support coach Tucker and support coach Johnson. I’m going to continue to coach my position at a high level and continue to bring top players to Colorado. That’s my role right now and I’m going to do the best I can at it.”

Considering Chiaverini is a former CU player, and has a son on the team, we’ll trust that “Coach Chev” will do everything in his power to make the Buff offense successful this fall.

Even if someone else gets the credit …

Basketball woes …

Colorado will take on Utah this afternoon (4:00 p.m., MT, ESPNU).

The game between the Buffs and the Utes will pit a CU team which is 10-6, 1-3 in Pac-12 play, against a Utah team which is 8-8, 2-2.

Tip-off will take place as the NFC championship game between New Orleans and Los Angeles is winding up, and right before the kickoff of the AFC championship between Kansas City and New England.

Here’s guessing that the folks at ESPN won’t be excited about the ratings.

Still, it’s a vital game for the struggling Buffs.

If the Buffs can find a way to beat the Utes (a big “if”, with McKinley Wright still a question mark with his injured shoulder), the Buffs and the Utes will both be 2-3 in conference play, tied with Oregon (the Pac-12 preseason favorite to win the conference).

It sounds crazy, but the Buffs would be only one game out of fourth place in the conference, with games against Stanford (9-9, 2-4) and Cal (5-13, 0-6) next week. Both are on the road, but both are winnable games.

After the next three games on the road (including this afternoon against Utah), CU will have only four road games – and seven home games – remaining.

You never know …

Unfortunately, the Buffs have a six game losing streak on the road against Utah to overcome. Overall, Colorado has lost eight of its last nine games to the Utes.

“We’ve played well there and not won. We’ve played poorly there and got blown out,” Boyle said. “We haven’t come up on the winning end. I don’t even know what our record is over there. We’ve lost more than we’ve won, that’s for darn sure.”

Here’s hoping for a bit of revisionist history Sunday afternoon.

Tip of the CU at the Game hat … 

— To the CU ski team, which won the Montana State University Invitational in Bozeman this weekend. It was a bounce-back for the team, which finished third in its own invitational, which had been contested over the past two weekends.

— To former Buffs Drew Lewis and Juwann Winfree, who improved their NFL draft stock this past week at All-Star games. Outside linebacker Lewis has become “an intriguing middle-round pick”, according to one report, while Juwann Winfree had a “spectacular 22-yard touchdown catch” to help his all-star team post a 10-7 win in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.


Buff Trivia Questions of the Week … Answers: 1) Who is the only Buff player on the four remaining teams in the playoffs who has a chances at a Super Bowl ring? … Defensive back Ken Crawley, in his second season with the New Orleans Saints. 

2) In addition to offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy of the Kansas City Chiefs, what other coaches in the conference championship games have CU ties? … Joe Bleymaier QB/PG Analyst Kansas City – QC/MacIntyre Staff, 2013-15 … Moses Cabrera Str/Cond New England … Asst. S&C Coach, 2010 … James Hardy Str/Cond Asst. New England … Asst. S&C Coach, 2008-16


4 Replies to “Random Thoughts – Vol. VIII”

  1. I wish Haigler nothing but the best as he moves on. That said, the optimist in me sees the strong probability that the O-line will be better going forward. Kapilovic is a solid upgrade in coaching and here’s hoping that guys like Moretti will be another year stronger and healthier. Kary Kutsch could factor–and perhaps we have a coming out party for Kanan Ray who was a high 4* recruit with 13 other Power 5 offers coming out of high school. Fingers crossed

  2. YooHoo Go Buffs…………
    Hagler. When he signed he was listed at 6’7 and between 230 and 250 lbs. The young man gave it all for the Mighty Buffs. Going out at 295. Lotta hard work to get there.

    But talent behind him is good. And they came into the fold already big.
    Sophs or below
    Jynes rsf 6’3 310
    Roddick rsf 6’4 300
    Ray rs 6’4 280
    Sherman rss 6’4 290
    Purcell rss 6’4 290
    Moretti rss 6’4 295
    Lytle rss 6’7 315
    Filip rss 6’7 280
    New guys
    Wiley and Johnson the two colorado oline guys will be redshirting for sure. Senn at 6’7 285 will also redshirt.
    Sauvao at 6’2 315 may get a shot.

    What is the oline gonna look like? Sheesh. There is no question the oline coaching has been upgraded. As has the OC position (Sorry Chev…its back to the future for you) So I would expect the Oline to be better as well as the offense. MFHCMT is not gonna let this be a piece of mouse poop.

    Looking forward to it.


    Note: Wonder if the spring game is gonna be another carnival like it has been the last many years?

  3. Regarding the piece about Coach Chiaverini, I disagree with the comment, “If the Buffs are successful on offense this year, it will look as if he failed this past season.” His career certainly wasn’t boosted by last season’s results, yet his future isn’t ruined either.
    The Buffs failed under Coach MacIntyre – team sport under a ‘team’ of coaches, and the responsibility rests with the person in charge. Coach Chev’s “aspirations of again being an offensive coordinator, and perhaps as a head coach” can still be realized, particularly if the team is successful with Coach Tucker.

  4. They hit the iceberg. I will be shocked if they win another game this season. I have played against men’s rec teams that were better organized. Remember how, during football season, we started looking forward to hoops? sigh

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