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Colorado Daily

September 4th 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Former Buff Alex Kelley to compete in Strongman competition September 26th

From the Daily Camera … Sitting around during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic this spring, Alex Kelley needed something to do.

“During quarantine, I got really bored,” said Kelley, who played center for the Colorado football team from 2012-16.

Browsing through YouTube, Kelley stumbled across a History Channel reality show, “The Strongest Man in History,” in which four of the strongest men in the world travel around the globe taking on historic feats of strength.

“I had a concept of Strongman (competition) and I always thought it was these guys who were 6-feet-10, 500 pounds who could bench press a car,” Kelley said. “I’m like, ‘I’m not that big; I’ll never be able to do that.’

“I watched this show and it kind of brought it all together, like, ‘Oh, they’re big and they’re strong, but I feel like I can do that. I feel like I can be one of those guys.’ That’s how I stumbled upon the world of Strongman.”

A three-year starter for the Buffaloes, Kelley is now putting his athletic focus on excelling in Strongman competition, while also balancing his day job as a special education teacher at Fairview High School.

Kelley will compete in the Tournament of Titans in Denver on Sept. 26.

Continue reading story here

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September 3rd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Sports Illustrated: Why football matters 

From Sports Illustrated … The Isidore Newman School football team had its first practice in helmets on Monday. It had been a long wait. The season’s timetable was thrown off, like everything else in life, by the coronavirus.

Cooper Manning was driving by the prep school in Uptown New Orleans the day of that first practice. His two sons were on the field at the athletic complex, which bears the family name. What he saw as he rolled by made him laugh, a timeless and endearing family portrait of sorts.

“My dad has his car wedged up against the fence, watching practice from 100 yards away,” Cooper says. “He’s 71 years old, and he’s like an eight-year-old trying to watch through a hole in the fence.”

That would be Archie Manning. He was there spying on two of his grandsons, Arch (a quarterback of rising renown) and Heid (a freshman center). As the pater familias of America’s greatest gridiron clan, Archie has played more football and seen more football than just about anyone alive. He played in the NFL for 13 seasons, then watched sons Peyton and Eli win two Super Bowls apiece. Yet he still hungers for that next season.

“I just decided I’d ride by Newman,” Archie says, heeding the game’s eternal beckoning. “It’s just pure. We spent so many years going to NFL games, and before that college games. We went to Arch’s games last year, and it was wonderful to be back out and be part of everything that goes into a Friday night. The spirit of the kids, the band, the cheerleaders, homecoming.”

At the granular level, this is why football matters, and why people persist in playing it even now, amid a pandemic that has shut down so many other facets of life. It is ingrained in the annual rhythms of millions of Americans, a family anchor, a community touchstone. It shouldn’t matter this much—but for many, it does.

“So many people come up to me and say, ‘We’ve got to have football,’ ” Archie says. “I’m not putting football in front of health and safety, but I think it would help a lot of people if we can get through this and play.”

Continue reading story here

*Video – Emotional testimonials: CU Fight Song*

I received this as part of an email from the Buff Club this morning … a nice way to start your day!

 

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September 2nd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Stewart Mandel Mailbag: What’s going on with the Pac-12? 

From The AthleticThe Big Ten looks like no one is in charge, as Presidents/ADs/coaches can’t get on the same page. The SEC/ACC/Big 12 look like the Wizard of Oz, asking everyone to avoid looking behind the pesky numbers of COVID cases on their campuses and in their locker rooms. What’s going on with the Pac-12? Are they ready to just drop sports to see if anyone notices? — Joel G.

In polar opposite to the Big Ten, everyone in the Pac-12 was on board with postponement. You have not heard one iota of public dissent from anyone connected to the conference, perhaps because most people on the heavily-impacted-by-COVID West Coast had resigned themselves to the likelihood for some time. Take this comment from Stanford coach David Shaw a couple of weeks ago when Mike Greenberg asked him how his team took the news. “What I experienced from my (players) was gratitude,” he said. “Gratitude to our administration, gratitude toward our process, to say you made the decision not based on money … we made a decision based on the medical evidence we have right now.”

Now, an Ohio State or Nebraska fan reading that right now might say well, those eggheads never cared about football to begin with. I wouldn’t say that’s true of the players, but it’s no secret the affinity most Pac-12 fans have for college football is not nearly as rabid as it is at many Big Ten schools. There’s little-to-no political pressure to play like there is in many of those states. And the economies in the major cities most of these schools are located in — Los Angeles, the Bay Area, Seattle, Phoenix — are not going to be devastated by no fall football the way they might in State College, Lincoln, Iowa City and Ann Arbor.

But obviously, the Pac-12 going dark this fall is only going to exacerbate the visibility and exposure issues it has even during a normal season. I don’t believe it will affect recruiting all that much, seeing as high schools in the region aren’t playing either. It’s just a buzzkill for programs like Oregon, which has been building considerable momentum since its Rose Bowl win, or Arizona State, where Herm Edwards and Jayden Daniels had just started awakening a long-sleepy fan base.

But give oft-maligned commissioner Larry Scott credit. He and the conference have handled this crisis spectacularly compared with his counterparts in Chicago. Nobody was caught off guard. Everyone’s being looped in about spring plans. Also, Jon Wilner recently reported that the league is planning to take out a massive loan to help its schools deal with the loss in football revenue.

It frustrates me to no end seeing so many schools out there cutting sports teams and implementing layoffs knowing that money is going to come back and then some in the coming years as TV deals come up. The Pac-12 will likely see a 40-50 percent bump in TV revenue by 2025. It can survive this setback. But if the ACC, Big 12 and SEC play full seasons this fall, the league better have a plan ready to start playing in January before people forget UCLA and Cal still exist.

Continue reading story here (subscription required) …

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September 1st

... CU in a few minutes … 

Why CU could be one of the schools to benefit from extra year of eligibility 

From 247 Sports … College football roster construction underwent a massive change last week when the NCAA Board of Governors announced the 2020 season would not count against a player’s eligibility clock.

Programs can carry up to 85 scholarship players in normal circumstances. Under the new rules, the 2021 season could conceivably see up to 110 scholarship players on a roster. The impact of this shift will reverberate widely: Financially, structurally and from a pure depth chart perspective.

For now, college coaches across the country look at this change as an overwhelming positive.

“It’s hard not to like,” a FBS Director of Player Personnel told 247Sports. “We get some good seniors back … and a year of development for younger players.”

This rule benefits everyone in many ways. But with every rule change there are some programs more greatly advantage than others. Let’s examine the types of schools that stand to benefit the most.

Continue reading story here

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August 31st

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU Recruiting Class taking shape despite disadvantages: “No excuses, no explanations” 

From the Daily Camera … From his days as an assistant football coach at Arizona Western College in the early 1980s to his many roles in football administration and admissions offices, Bob Lopez has worked to find football players and students that fit within a team or academic institution.

“Recruiting has always been a part of my life,” he said. “I’ve always loved it.”

Four months into his new role as Colorado’s director of player personnel and recruiting coordinator, Lopez has had to adjust to a new way of going about the job, however, because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“What you knew about recruiting, a lot of that has gone out the window because of how this thing has changed in terms of the calendar and just the whole aspect of it,” said Lopez, hired by first-year Buffaloes head coach Karl Dorrell in February.

… “The calendar has really thrown us for a loop,” Lopez said. “It’s thrown everybody for a loop, not being able to have coaches travel and for prospects to come visit us. … Part of the strength of Colorado and Boulder is getting them here, so they can see it themselves. As much as we feel like we’ve done a great job with the virtual visits and we’re trying to show them through video what this place is like, it doesn’t do it justice.”

Continue reading story here

Winter ball? Weather in Boulder in January/February not much worse than November/December

From the San Jose Mercury News … The path to playing Pac-12 football in the winter or early spring resembles the 3,000-meter steeplechase.

The obstacles are foundational to intercollegiate athletics (eligibility and health/safety).

And identifiable with big business (TV broadcast windows).

And intrinsic to a global pandemic (community spread and testing efficiency).

The hurdles are indisputably real unquestionably daunting as the Pac-12’s football working group — it spent months plotting a revised fall season that was ultimately shuttered — pivots to modeling a possible winter/spring season.

But one obstacle cited frequently in the public realm is, in reality, a mirage: The weather.

If the Pac-12’s northern campuses are capable of hosting games in November, they’s perfectly able to host games in February … and perhaps even late January.

The weather is hardly ideal, but it’s far from prohibitive.

We looked it up.

On the data below:

*** high and low = average monthly temperature (taken from usclimatedata.com)

*** inches = average monthly precipitation (taken from usclimatedata.com)

*** hours = daylight on the 15th of the month (taken from timeanddate.com)

BOULDER
November: 54 high/29 low/1.24 inches/9:57 hours
December: 45 high/21 low/0.94 inches/9:21 hours
January: 47 high/22 low/0.76 inches/9:39 hours
February: 48 high/23 low/0.82 inches/10:42 hours

Continue reading story here

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August 30th

… CU in a few minutes … 

CU’s Performance Nutrition Team has handled its challenges well

From CUBuffs.com … When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, virtually every operation in the University of Colorado Athletic Department had to undergo significant changes.

Social distancing. Small groups. Enhanced sanitation procedures. Testing.

All those procedures and more had to be incorporated into the department’s daily routine when CU student-athletes were first allowed back on campus in mid-June.

But while every department had to undergo significant changes, there was one that could not take shortcuts or reduce its services in any way, shape or form.

Student-athletes still had to eat — and CU’s Performance Nutrition Department still had to make sure a process existed that would ensure every student-athlete was not only eating, but maintaining a solid nutritional plan at the same time.

The Buffs’ PND has met that challenge in every respect.

Understand, the task of feeding 250 to 300 student-athletes on a daily basis while maintaining nutrition standards is never easy. It requires providing healthy food that tastes good while also meeting a variety of nutritional needs for the entire spectrum of student-athletes (think everyone from a 110-pound cross country runner to a 330-pound defensive lineman).

But under normal circumstances, meals are served in a “fueling station” manner — a variety of foods served buffet style in a central dining hall.

The pandemic, however, changed everything. Student-athletes gathering to eat in a centralized location was out of the question. Buffet-style serving stations were impossible.

But student-athletes still had to eat — which meant Associate AD for Performance Nutrition Laura Anderson had to develop a plan that would meet all protocols and still provide nutritious and tasty meals for the Buffaloes.

“It was challenging, to say the least,” Anderson said. “Nothing about our operation was set up to operate like we’re currently operating. Individual meals, curbside delivery, orders by phone — we had to change virtually everything.”

Continue reading story here

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August 29th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Criticism for Big Ten/Pac-12 even considering changing back to fall schedule: “This is nonsense”

Related … “Consequences of Pac-12 or Big 10 reversing course and playing in 2020” … From NBC Sports

From 247 Sports … Not even a month after announcing it would not be playing football this fall, the Big Ten is looking at options to take the field in the next few months. On Friday, news began to leak that the Big Ten was looking at different possibilities that would allow them to play football earlier in the year than a spring season.

The reports stated that the Big Ten was eying starting its 2020 football season on Thanksgiving week. If that were to be the case, the league could finish its season in time to ensure a full 12-game schedule in 2021.

On his Friday night edition of SportsCenter, host Scott Van Pelt was highly critical of that thought. Van Pelt said that the Big Ten starting a season as the normal college football season was coming to a close would be, “nonsense.”

“This week, eight Nebraska players filed a lawsuit to try to overturn the Big Ten’s decision to cancel the season,” Van Pelt said. “But unfortunately, lawsuits and parents writing letters and the President (Donald Trump) tweeting aren’t gonna get us Big Ten football this fall, but maybe Thanksgiving. I can’t say this more clearly; this is nonsense.

“How the hell are you gonna not play in the fall but start in November at Thanksgiving, while the season with teams who are going to start in September is still going and it’s marching towards its playoff? Just think it through. You can’t do that. ‘No, no no, no, no, see, we’re playing for the Old Oaken Bucket and Floyd of Rosedale and Paul Bunyan’s Axe.’ Cool, have fun with a pig trophy. We’re playing for the championship trophy, you know? You can’t start the season with the other one coming down to its most important games. You would be taunting yourself.”

Continue reading story here

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August 28th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Report: Pac-12 looking at a six-game spring season

From 247 Sports … The Pac-12 has a plan for a six-game football season starting in winter, according to sources.

The schedule would consist of five conference games and then hopefully a final, sixth game against a Big Ten opponent. That might potentially include a inter-conference, Rose-Bowl-like championship game.

The season would start Saturday, February 6th, and run through March 13th, with no bye weeks.

There would be a two-week period from March 13th to 27th that would be left open for any games that had to be postponed and rescheduled.

Most close to the situation believe this plan would give players enough recovery time between the winter season and the fall season of 2021.

It could also conceivably provide an option for seniors with NFL Draft aspirations to play the winter season, since the Draft is commonly in late April.

The preseason would consist of a long ramp-up, providing enough time for each program to deal with any COVID-19 complications.  The first phase could start as early as September 21st and as late as Oct. 19th. It would include 15 practices limited to small groups of players on the field over the course of 34 consecutive days.

The second phase, which would include full practices, could start as early as Nov. 22nd, and run for 10 weeks leading up to the first game scheduled for Feb. 6th.  Pre-season camps usually last about 4 weeks, but this would be an extended version to provide programs more time to adapt to any adversity. The week of the Christmas holidays would be a discretionary week that each program could utilize to also help deal with COVID-19 issues or for make-up practices.

The viability and timing of every conference program starting each training phase is dependent entirely on compulsory COVID-19 guidelines and protocols from the local county and individual university.

According to sources, the Pac-12 and Big Ten are in discussions about the two conferences matching up their teams for the final week of the season March 13th.  That could include a Rose-Bowl like game that features the champions of each conference.  It’s unknown how each conference would go about matching up its other respective opponents.

It’s uncertain which games each team would play in its five-game conference season. A source speculated that each team’s five conference opponents would be among those that were originally on its 2020 conference schedule and the most travel-convenient. For UCLA, that would most likely mean a conference slate against USC, Stanford, Cal, and probably two more games against Utah, Colorado, Arizona State or Arizona.

It’s not known how committed the Pac-12 is to this six-game scenario, but sources are saying it’s the primary schedule the conference is focused on at this time.

BuffsTV takes a fresh look at CU’s 1990 season

BuffsTV has put together a compilation of videos and highlights from the 1990 season, including an interview with Eric Bieniemy after the Nebraska game, and fresh highlights and game tapes. Enjoy …

For more … Here is: “A Look Back: A Game-by-Game Snapshot of the 1990 Season“, which I put together for the CU at the Game Archives this summer …

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August 27th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Eight Nebraska players file lawsuit against Big Ten

Related … “Big Ten: ‘No merit’ to lawsuit filed by Nebraska players” … from 247 Sports 

… How to win friends and influence people. Think the rest of the Big Ten thinks that this is clever? … Also have to like the fact that eight players have signed on. The other 77 scholarship players? Good thing they got the long-snapper to sign on … 

From CBS Sports … Eight Nebraska football players have filed a lawsuit against the Big Ten. By doing so, the players hope to force the conference to reverse its previous decision to postpone its football season until 2021.

The 13-page suit was obtained by the Omaha World-Herald. Represented in the complaint, filed in the District Court of Lancaster County, are linebackers Garrett Snodgrass, Garrett Nelson and Jackson Hannah; offensive linemen Ethan Piper and Brant Banks; safety Noa Pola-Gates; wide receiver Alante Brown; and long snapper Brig Banks.

The suit claims the Big Ten’s “arbitrary and capricious” decision should be overturned because it didn’t follow established guidelines and was “unjustified” based on flawed medical information. The players’ attorney, Mike Flood, said the lawsuit “isn’t about money or damages, it’s about real-life relief.” Moreover, Flood argued that athletes followed the safety guidelines set forth by the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

In all, the suit raises three counts against the conference:

  • Wrongful interference with business expectations — that the season represents an opportunity for players to work towards a career in football and develop brands for name/image/likeness use later.
  • Breach of contract by not holding an actual vote within its Council of Presidents and Chancellors.
  • Declaratory judgment by either not actually voting on the decision or being unable to produce evidence of a vote.

Continue reading story here

Tyler Lytle: “As soon as (football) comes back, I want to be as ready as possible”

From the Daily Camera … Throughout his first three years on the Colorado football team, Tyler Lytle didn’t get a lot of playing time, but he learned some valuable lessons.

The main takeaway: There’s always something to work on in an effort to get better.

“When you think you’re getting better at something, something else falls apart,” the Buffs’ junior quarterback said. “It’s kind of like a golf game. It’s like finally figuring out the short game and then your driving goes out the window. It’s always constant improvement in all aspects.”

Eager to finally get a true shot at the quarterback starting job, Lytle has more time on his hands to work on his game than he imagined.

After the Pac-12 made the decision on Aug. 11 to postpone the fall sports season until after Dec. 31 because of the coronavirus pandemic, Lytle had to shift gears mentally. Instead of battling senior Sam Noyer and true freshman Brendon Lewis for the starting job in preseason camp this month, Lytle will spend the next several months – at least – perfecting his craft even more.

“I had three years to really adjust to college football and figure out what I needed to work on,” said Lytle, who has been a backup to Steven Montez, now in the NFL, since coming to CU. “You never stop that, really.

“Through these past three years, size and strength was kind of a big thing for me I’m at a good weight right now. I’ve gotten a lot faster, so I’m continuing to improve my body, improve the mental aspects of the game.”

Continue reading story here

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August 26th

… CU in a few minutes … 

Pac-12 Networks furloughs 88; Network on “hiatus” until spring

From The Oregonian … The Pac-12 Networks laid off a line of hard-working employees on Wednesday. Just let them go, one by one. Another 88 staffers joined a Zoom call together, per a source, and were informed at once that they were being collectively furloughed.

The network’s entire digital team was laid off. Those in charge of social media, the website and the app were all told their services were no longer needed. Don’t bother using any of those platforms, they’re on auto-pilot it appears.

I have to wonder if the Pac-12 Conference presidents and chancellors might be as well today.

Before a single job was lost the big bosses should have looked hard at the double-dip salary that commissioner Larry Scott is currently enjoying. Scott made $5.3 million last year. In July, Scott announced a “compensation reduction” of 12 percent. It’s presumed to include Scott giving up some bonuses. A stronger, more inspired leader would have cut his base salary in two today and saved some of his staff. But we all know that’s not what Scott is.

Mark Shuken, head of the Pac-12 Networks, keeps his $840,000-a-year management job in case you’re wondering. Larry Myers, in charge of network content, stays on, too.

One staff member who was let go said that trio, “will keep their big salaries while they kick working-class employees out into a pandemic job market.”

That’s sobering stuff.

… The conference just waved a white flag when it comes to network programming. There’s no reason to advertise on it, watch it, or think it knows what it’s doing. Be clear, it’s on hiatus.

… The commissioner is on borrowed time. His contract is up in summer of 2022. He’s become ineffective as a leader. Maybe the Pac-12 CEO Group asked him to take a 50 percent pay cut and he pushed back. It’s silly that Scott’s 12 percent cut in compensation was trotted out months ago as if it were some grand leadership gesture.

That salary reduction felt light.

Today’s news makes it land with a thud, though.

Read full story here

To Play or Not to Play: The Great Unknown brings about Gamesmanship

From SportsIllustrated … It’s less than 10 days until the FBS football season begins.

A week and a half until Central Arkansas plays at UAB and South Alabama travels to Southern Mississippi.

Seventy-six schools have vowed to push ahead and take their chances with the pandemic.

Fifty-four have opted out, unwilling to risk making the virus rear its ugly head.

Rather than respect each other’s decisions on a  major health issue, the great divide has done just the opposite.

The stance for each side is this: we’re right and you’re wrong.

Huddle up.

Or huddle break.

In actuality, no one really knows what the next step should be.

If they did, there would be universal acceptance of it.

They’re guessing that the contagion is either to be feared or that it has been feared too much.

This great unknown has brought out some untimely gamesmanship.

For one, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves, who sounds a lot like a character in a John Grisham movie, couldn’t help himself.

He’s on the side of the SEC, ACC and Big 12, which have chosen to push ahead and play, even while there’s no clear evidence that it’s safe to proceed.

Again, nobody knows.

In telling his constituents they can’t tailgate, party or hold rallies at Mississippi, Mississippi State of Southern Mississippi football games, Reeves tried to lessen that disappointment by pointing to the college game’s more cautious members to the north.

“I’d still rather be in the SEC with no tailgates,” he said, “than the Pac-12 or Big Ten with no football.”

So what if Reeves is wrong and plenty of players, students and fans get sick from hanging out together?

Oops.

On the other side, the Pac-12 braced for the backlash to opting out on its season almost from the beginning.

Washington coach Jimmy Lake was defiant in defending the stance of the two conferences that backed away.

“If other teams are playing and we’re not playing, I go back to my previous answer,” he said, repeating his point. “The Pac-12 and Big Ten have led the way into going to conference schedules only. We’ve led the way into keeping the health and safety of our staff and players as a No. 1 priority.

“I expect all three conferences to follow suit.”

In other words, you’re making a mistake and we’re not.

Continue reading story here

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August 25th

… CU in a few minutes … 

The Camera’s Brian Howell proposes a six-game spring season

From the Daily Camera … To start, a couple of notes about this plan:

1. This includes everybody. I know the ACC, Big 12 and SEC, as well as the AAC, Conference USA and Sun Belt, are striving to play this fall, but I believe it’s only a matter of time before they shut down, too. I’d be shocked if those schools play this fall, and if they do, I don’t think it’ll be more than a couple of games. Even if those conferences do play, my plan works just fine for the Pac-12, Big Ten, Mountain West and MAC.

2. Let’s forget this idea of crowning a champion and having any kind of bowl season or conference title games. Every single plan I’ve seen has included some sort of championship method and I would scrap that idea. If rosters are going to be impacted by numerous opt-outs – which is almost a guarantee, and we’ve already seen some impact – let’s treat a potential spring season for what it would actually be: a glorified exhibition. There’s nothing wrong with that, and it’s OK if we don’t have a champion this year. Basketball has to live with that, and so can football.

We were told last week that the decisions to cancel were rooted in the health and safety of the student-athletes. Whether you believe that or not, that’s going to be the basis of my plan: a six-game, conference-only schedule from Feb. 6-March 13.

The basic details:

  • Fall practices: 15 sessions, broken up in two periods before and after Thanksgiving break.
  • Training camp: After a two-week holiday break and one week of workouts after returning to campus, teams start a three-week camp Jan. 11.
  • Regular season: The first weekend of February could be massive, with college teams kicking off Feb. 5-6, and the NFL wrapping up with the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. Then, college takes over for five weeks, through March 13.

In the Pac-12, each team would play the teams in their division and one cross-over game. For the cross-over games, match teams based on the 2019 standings (South champ vs. North champ, South No. 2 vs. North No. 2, etc.). In addition to facing South foes Arizona, Arizona State, UCLA, USC and Utah, the Buffs would meet Washington State.

This plan would:

  • 1. Allow schools to recoup some of the money lost by not having a fall season.
  • 2. Give players a chance to play and shake off the rust from a 13 or 14-month layoff without taxing their bodies too much.
  • 3. Provide a four-and-a-half month break after the season to rest, recover and prepare for an on-time 2021 season. For many teams, who end spring drills in mid or late April, this would be a longer offseason than normal, but much needed after a tougher spring.
  • 4. Football to finish just in time for the college basketball teams to get their deserved time in the spotlight for March Madness. The regular season would end March 13 and NCAA Tournament Selection Sunday is scheduled for March 14.

Continue reading story here

College Football Playoff to go on without Big Ten/Pac-12

From CBS Sports … College Football Playoff executive director Bill Hancock chuckled at Monday’s redefinition of the CFP’s promotional tagline: Who’s In? Who, indeed.

Apparently, not the Big Ten and Pac-12. For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic put the entire 2020 college football season in question, the CFP seems to moving toward some basic conclusions. On Monday, it announced the dates of its CFP Rankings shows set for this fall.

If there is a season, the College Football Playoff will take place as scheduled. The CFP Selection Committee will consider only the 76 teams set to play this fall, Hancock said. Those include teams from the ACC, BIg 12, SEC, American, Conference USA and Sun Belt, along with a few independents.

The CFP more than hinted as much in a tweet that used the hashtag #2021Miami. Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida, is the site of the CFP National Championship set for January 11, 2021.

Not just the title game but the dates and hosts for the CFP semifinals and New Year’s Six bowls remain in place. The Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl will serve as the semifinal sites both with games on Jan. 1, 2021.

There is likely to be only one playoff despite the Big Ten and Pac-12 attempting to play in spring 2021. It’s unclear how it would even work if a second playoff was added this spring. That committee source was asked about two playoffs, one each after fall 2020 and spring 2021.

“We made the decision,” a member of the CFP College Football Management Committee told CBS Sports. “We’re moving forward with the plan as originally scheduled [to play this fall].”

Another member of the committee suggested no such decision had been made. Neither committee member wished to be identified because of the sensitivity of the situation.

“These are unusual times. There could be unusual outcomes,” the first committee member said. “But right now, we’re on the path that has been laid out previously.”

The committee is comprised of commissioners from the 10 FBS conference plus Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick. It “manages the day-to-day operations of the company,” according to the CFP website.

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August 23rd

… CU in a few minutes …

Pat Rooney: It may be a lonely fall, but Pac-12 made the right call

From the Daily Camera … What now?

That is the unanswerable dilemma facing hundreds of Pac-12 Conference athletes, coaches, and athletic department personnel. The stark reality of no fall sports — no football Saturdays at Folsom, no NCAA tourney runs for Colorado soccer and volleyball, no national title chases for the CU cross country programs — has settled in like a bad meal after last week’s announcement by the Pac-12 suspending all athletic competition until Jan. 1.

Maybe all those CU teams, along with the men’s and women’s basketball teams, will get to play a winter-spring schedule eventually. Yet while athletic director Rick George vowed CU will not cut any of its athletic programs, a hammer that dropped at Iowa on Friday, it nonetheless is shaping up to be a long, cold autumn and winter on campus.

… We’d all love to see college football kicking off on a beautiful Saturday afternoon, but the early returns haven’t been promising. At Notre Dame (playing as a full ACC member this season), North Carolina, and North Carolina State, officials have quickly pivoted from opening the classrooms for the 2020-21 academic year to going with online-only classes after alarming coronavirus spikes.

At the University of Georgia, a group of faculty health experts penned an editorial in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution warning their institution is in “grave danger that is made doubly acute because we are operating blindly.” In South Bend, the student newspaper The Observer ran an editorial with the headline “Don’t make us write obituaries.” In North Carolina, university system president Peter Hans issued a statement placing the blame on the rollback of in-person classes on students for having the audacity to behave like college students.

It’s a mess, any way you cut it.

Continue reading story here

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August 22nd

… CU in a few minutes … 

Karl Dorrell: “I feel like I should be doing something right now”

From the Daily Camera … Not in August.

This is the month of football’s annual rebirth, when college football teams around the country battle the heat to go through the grind of preseason camp;  when analysts across the country break down backup linebacker competitions going on in NFL camps; when high school teams are gearing up for Friday night lights.

“Right now I feel I need to be in full-on football mode, because that’s what I’ve done the last 33 years,” Dorrell, 57, said during yet another Zoom call this week. “Even though it’s like this period of time where we’re not playing a game, I feel like I should be doing something right now because I’m so used to being in training camp or playing a game.”

Hired on Feb. 23 to coach the Buffaloes, Dorrell is in his 33rd year as a coach. Add in his playing days – one season in the NFL, four years at UCLA, four years at Helix (Calif.) High School, etc. – and Dorrell is probably closer to 50 years of annual falls on the gridiron.

Given that history with the game, it’s not much of a surprise that Dorrell’s tone is a bit more despondent than it was in the spring and early part of the summer.

… Six other Football Bowl Subdivision conferences are pushing forward and going through camp. The NFL, where Dorrell has worked the previous five seasons in 11 of the previous 12, is in camp and preparing for its season.

“That’s really hard,” he said. “In the back of our minds we’re like, ‘Well, that should be us. We should be attempting play.’”

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NCAA eligibility ruling solves some problems, creates new ones

From the Associated Press … For the college athletes who are heading into a season of uncertainty brought on by COVID-19, the NCAA’s decision to not charge them a year of eligibility — no matter how much they play — brings peace of mind.

And happy parents.

“My mom’s more excited about it than I am,” said running back Deshaun Fenwick, who is heading into his third year at South Carolina. “When I call her later in the day she’s going to tell me I can stay and get my master’s.”

The decision does not come without complications. Paying for all those extra scholarships will be tricky for schools tightening budgets and some athletes might find their coaches aren’t so eager to welcome them back. Plus, the backlog of athletes cycling out of college could mean fewer opportunities for the next wave coming from high school.

“We’re trying to create flexibility like we’ve never seen in college athletics,” said South Dakota State athletic director Justin Sell, who is a member of the Division I Council.

College administrators have gone through this already. The recommendation made by the Division I Council earlier this week, and approved by the Board of Directors on Friday, mimics what was done in the spring after the pandemic canceled seasons in sports such as baseball, softball and lacrosse.

Seniors will be permitted to return next year and not count against a sport’s roster or scholarship limits. Underclassmen will get access to a waiver they can use to extend their careers, but beyond the 2021-22 academic year, those athletes will count against scholarship and roster limits. So Clemson junior quarterback Trevor Lawrence, who started as a freshman, could conceivably play a full 2020 season and two more.

And while the NCAA is giving back the eligibility, no athlete is guaranteed financial aid or a scholarship. Those decisions will be left to the schools.

The big difference between applying this model to fall and spring is football, where FBS teams can have up to 85 scholarship players and the FCS limit is 63. Those scholarship can range from $30,000 per year to pushing $80,000 at a private school like Notre Dame or Stanford. With colleges and their athletic departments facing massive revenue losses as a result of the pandemic, funding extra scholarships will be challenging.

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Back from the transfer portal, Sam Noyer is ready to compete: “I just felt it was the right opportunity”

From the Daily Camera … When Sam Noyer put his name in the NCAA transfer portal last winter, he figured his time with the Colorado Buffaloes was done.

After a coaching change and a few months of pondering his future, Noyer is back – although it’s unclear when he’ll actually be able to compete again because of the coronavirus pandemic pausing football until at least January.

During a virtual press conference Thursday, the fifth-year senior quarterback spoke to reporters for the first time since deciding to rejoin the Buffs in the spring to battle for the starting job.

“I just felt like it was the right opportunity and the right time to compete with Tyler (Lytle) and Brendon (Lewis),” Noyer said.

That was not on his mind last winter, though.

“I had some other schools lined up and, to be honest, I really did not think I would come back to Colorado,” Noyer said.

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August 21st 

… CU in a few minutes … 

Tyler Lytle: “As soon as we come back, I want to be ready”

From CUBuffs.com … One of the more anticipated position battles in years for the Colorado Buffaloes has been put on hold.

Buffs fans will have to wait.

Under normal circumstances, CU would be midway through fall camp at this point on the calendar and the contest for the starting quarterback spot would be at its zenith. Speculation among fans about who was leading — veteran Tyler Lytle, veteran Sam Noyer or true freshman Brendon Lewis — would be hot and heavy and the topic would no doubt be a daily question for head coach Karl Dorrell and quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf.

But with the season now delayed until at least Jan. 1 — and any camp preparation to be adjusted accordingly — CU’s quarterbacks will return to what they have been doing for most of the summer.

That would be strength and conditioning, meetings, and a few more allowed hours per week of work on the field. The NCAA this week passed legislation that will allow teams not scheduled to play this fall to have 12 hours of workout time per week, including five hours of on-field work.

That schedule will begin Monday and stay in place at least until Oct. 4, when a possible change will be revisited.

It means a long, tedious fall of more preparation, a task that will be made even more difficult if three of the Power Five conferences who still plan on playing are actually on the field on Saturdays.

“This is going to be my first fall without football since I was 6 years old,” Lytle said in a conference call with reporters Thursday. “It is tough. I’ve had to wait my turn to be able to compete. (But) I’m still here and I’m going to be here next year. Just have to be patient and see what they decide what football’s going to look like over the next year, whether it’s in winter, spring, fall. I just have to keep being patient. That’s all I can do at this point.”

For Lytle, “patience” has proven to be a huge test in the bizarre circumstances presented in 2020.

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Dorrell to rely on “leadership council” instead of captains

From the Daily Camera … Dorrell told Buffzone this week that Lytle, Noyer and senior linebacker Nate Landman are among those who have stepped up as leaders. But, they are three of many.

“There’s been a number of guys that have been real positive about the work ethic and what’s in front of them and trying to be encouraging to other members on our team,” Dorrell said. “We haven’t pinpointed directly who those leaders are yet. We’re going to work on that. That’s part of the process this fall with our leadership and training workshops that we’re going to do, but it’s good to see that there’s some encouragement, guys that are wanting to do things the right way.”

Dorrell said the staff probably won’t name captains this fall, but could have a leadership council.

“It won’t necessarily be three or four guys, but it’ll be maybe 15 to 20 guys that we’ll have on this council that is a cross section of our team that through discussion will arrive to some really good solutions for our team,” he said. “I think that’s the process we’re going to go through right now. We’ll see if captains can emerge once we get through those steps.”

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34 Replies to “Colorado Daily”

  1. I am happy to see Ento in the NFL. Never met him or know anything personal about him but I always thought he was under appreciated and under used while he was a Buff.

  2. If the PAC 12 is playing by itself (no other Power 5) in January, it will have resigned itself to irrelevancy for years, maybe decades, to come.🤧

  3. I honestly don’t see any point in playing 6 games in the Spring. I guess if it fulfills the TV contract then they have to do it, but from a fans point of view, it seems fairly meaningless, kind of like 6 scrimmages. No real PAC12 championship, just 6 random games followed by no bowls.

  4. I was surprised to see the corn cob players (players on more than one level) include the phrase…”that the season represents an opportunity for players to work towards a career in football”
    We all know thats exactly why a lot of football players everywhere are there in the first place with education being further down the priority list, most likely behind girls and a few other sideline college things.
    To me, however, that would be a weak argument considering that the school admin’s priority is education and they aren’t under any obligation to make sure a player gets a chance at the NFL. Then again this is Nebraska where a strong argument could me made for the reverse:-)

  5. To me it looks more and more like the PAC 12 is sinking into irrelevancy. The Big 10 has the money to weather this but the PAC 12 could be pushed so far back as to be a non entity in the Power 5.

  6. I guess Brian has to write something in these tough times. Slogging through through his mostly captain obvious article it appears he is leaning slightly towards playing. Can’t blame him as he might be looking at a furlough with the shutdown.
    The NHL and NBA are doing it right. Its quite a bit harder to use that tack with football with the roster and team numbers. If there was some more cooperation and planning between all the team and conference they could agree on the parameters of a travel “bubble” for all game locations.
    Following the NHL and NBA guidelines the PAC could designate 2 stadiums, play 3 games a day in each stadium giving each conference team a game each week. Without fans you wouldn’t have any home games advantage and you wouldn’t need huge stadiums.
    All of this appears moot, however, because there are too many complacent, spoiled and selfish people in this country who wont accept common sense and hardly unbearable guidelines even out of respect for their fellow neighbors, citizens and the elderly (yup that last one was me) Add to that a president who overtly discourages many of these guidelines. Without them early on we could be having normal football.
    So let the games begin. Pack the stands. It is what it is.
    one more thing
    Thanks for the Saban quote Stu. The guy is already a legend, has the money of a 1 percenter and he still whines…especially about a level playing field. In spite of his accomplishments he is still a huge ass. I havent tuned into any SEC games for a while and will make it a pint not to now. Maybe I will watch an OU game because of their offense.

    1. What I think will be interesting will be if/when a team has to quarantine their o-line pod or wr pod. Won’t that be like jv playing?

      I also wonder where mrs saban is these days? My guess is not in Tuscaloosa. Maybe isolating on a yacht somewhere?

      Go Buffs

  7. Pleased but not at all surprised to see Viska making a favorable impression on his new teammates and coaches. Hope he stays healthy. Looking forward to seeing what he can do in the NFL.

  8. Herb Orvis, RIP. He was as I remember the most Fieriest Pass Rusher and active DE I had ever seen and he was playing for CU. I think that Herb was one of the first really great players that CU finally recruited after the Grandelius Scandal and after Eddie C. had finally turned the program around. He was tall and lean but boy did he have a motor. Great CU Player.

    1. I got to watch Herb play as well…and play basketball. My intramural team had to play a team made up of football players. The only 2 I remember were Herb and JV Cain (RIP as well) These guys were all goliaths compared to us. We had a guy at 6″2″ but at 6 feet and 175 lbs I was the stockiest guy on our team. Needless to say unless we had a real fast break no one went anywhere near the basket. No blocking out and certainly no taking a charge. We lost of course and a few of the football players took glee in trying to squash us like bugs but Herb and JV always exhibited nothing but sportsmanship.

  9. sowaddaya think?
    Berry decided to go to the SEC where he thinks he can play sooner? Good luck with that.
    or did he see the Alfano comeback trail? If Alfano does do a turn around I will give him extreme credit.
    and Berry?…….pffft

  10. “Whatever conference(s) decides to play football this fall will be taking a ridiculously high risk they may soon regret. I know and have talked with some of the best plaintiff’s lawyers in the country this week, and they’re praying the SEC, Big 12 and/or the ACC are greedy enough to stay the course. If things go sideways, the plaintiff’s Bar will immediately get their hands on the internal financial analyses of the schools (a FOIA layup), get the conference financials through the discovery process, and then just stand in front of the jurors and point to the conferences that decided not to risk the health of their student-athletes. Good Lord, I’d hate to be the lawyers defending those cases.” — Why Klatt shouldn’t stray from his lane…doesn’t take much true business insight/experience to understand this (from SI today, after my post).

    1. Yup. Canceling the fall season isn’t about safety. It’s about liability and establishing precedence about whether college football players are amateurs or not.

  11. The bigger question in my mind is ‘Spring’…haven’t heard any thinking around how this would work. You are going to have anyone that has a draftable grade today sit out, everyone else will probably play (2) truncated seasons in 2021 (or spring NCAA/fall full NFL)?. Doesn’t seem feasible or wise. Any ideas on what the current thinking is??

    1. Rick George’s press conference – definitely looking at spring football (wouldn’t have postponed without that being part of the equation; CU’s budget is based upon a ten-game schedule).
      If CU and the Pac-12 goes with a conference only schedule in the spring, and perhaps reduces the 2021 schedule to conference only (and starting in late September/early October), I can see it happening.

  12. So if the SEC & ACC are the only 2 football conferences playing, will their respective winners meet in the National Championship and will it count?

    1. They will certainly think so, especially if the Big 12 joins in.
      Alabama, Clemson, Oklahoma … and the No. 2 team from the SEC (Georgia?).
      There is your playoff lineup – book it!

      1. Ground hog day. I havent watched any of the playoffs with the exception of LSU’s win last year, for a few years….and only then to watch the unbelievable and unbeatable Joe Burro in his final college triumph.

    1. Disagree, an example of someone that is not nearly intelligent enough to have the microphone on any topic other than football. Outliers abound everywhere and in almost every scenario…how would you feel as someone that had the power to prevent loss of life if you went ahead knowing that? If god forbids one of your students/staff has long term health complications…let alone what the legal/financial implications could be?? Litigation on this could run for years, as more, more data, long term side effects, etc. come to light.
      Absolutely a short term hit for Universities, but in the long run it is the most prudent move financially and morally.

      1. Well said, I want to watch college football also but it is just being selfish for my entertainment purposes. Lawyers are plenty ready to start representing covid victims especially when they can go after colleges and the NCAA. Better to wait this out. Let the good ole boys down south be the giunnea pigs

        1. David, & iriebuff I totally agree. I’m very disappointed that the Buffs can’t play this year. But what kind of year would it had been as there are so many unanswered questions, would it be like the MLB Marlins and Cardinals are experiencing? What kind of a football game would it be if 3 or 4 of the Buffs starters that play almost every snap were quarantined? Are the long term unknown medical effects something to be concerned about? And ah yes The Lawyers, The Lawyers. One could go on and on with many more of these kinds of issues that may never have a true answer.

          As a fan I feel cheated but that is not the issue here. Think of the players and how they feel, they want to play and some will not ever play for the Buffs again. Some may never play football again particularly those that might just have had a great Senior season following a so so Jr. or Soph season. This I guess can best be summed up as one of life’s most unfortunate situations for these young men. Better though than the millions back in the early 1940’s that had to go off and fight and possibly die in a World War.

      2. Agree. Hardest for players and feel for them. I’m glad that our conference and others are putting healthy and safety as priority number one. I have a family member in a senior care home in Texas. It has been a scary ride with lockdowns and people dying. Texas has totally mismanaged the coronavirus and now we have the Big 12 conference saying it will play this Fall? That is not a surprise but puts the priorities in all the wrong places. I am proud of CU in many ways and how we are handling this adds to that pride.

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