“It Just Doesn’t Matter … “

Bill Murray is an American institution.

For some, Murray has chops as a dramatic actor, with an Academy Award nomination for best actor for Lost in Translation, and other award nominations for movies like Rushmore and the Grand Budapest Hotel.

But for most of us, the Bill Murray we know and love was the comedic genius who owned the 1980s.

Caddyshack made Murray a household name in 1980. That iconic film was followed in quick succession by hits like Stripes (1981) … Tootsie (1982) … Ghostbusters (1984) … Scrooged (1988) … What About Bob? (1991) … and who couldn’t watch Groundhog Day (1993) over and over and over again?

But Murray, who was a Saturday Night Live icon in the 1970s, had his first leading role in a 1978 movie called Meatballs.

Meatballs is a fun little movie about summer camp counselors and their misfit charges. The story builds to a showdown between Murray’s North Star campers and Mohawk, a camp for rich kids. The two camps are pitted in a two-day competition of Olympic-style events. At the end of the first day, North Star is getting crushed – again – with no chance of winning.

This leads us to the following clip, a pep talk for the downtrodden North Star campers …

And the relevance to our Buffs, and the nightmare which has become the 2021 season?

I think you know where we’re going here.

Substitute “prized recruits” and/or “top-notch coaching staff” for “good looking girls”, and then insert “USC” or “Oregon” for “Camp Mohawk” … and you have CU’s plight.

The University of Colorado football program chose the exact wrong time – in the late 2000s and early 2010s, just as realignment was taking shape – to become irrelevant, and the Buffs and their fans have been paying for it ever since. The move to the Pac-12 – which could have happened for Colorado in the mid-90s, when CU was a top ten team – now has the look of a disastrous move. Not that CU shouldn’t have made the move – it made sense from any number of different perspectives – but for what has happened to the program since 2010.

In the first ten seasons as a member of the Pac-12, the Buffs have finished higher than fifth in the South division only twice, and are considered nationally to be on par with the likes of Kansas and Vanderbilt – a dead weight program which should be subject to relegation to a Group of Five conference.

This for a program which, until a few years ago, still ranked in the Top 25 nationally in all-time wins.

This for a program which is only of only 24 schools nationally – and one of only three schools in the Pac-12 – with both a national championship and a Heisman trophy winner.

This for a program which, between 1915 and 2012 never – that’s right, never – finished alone in last place in conference play.

And now, if the Buffs don’t finish last in the Pac-12 South, it’s considered a decent season.

Over the past 15 years, every time the Buff Nation allows itself to believe that the program is emerging from the mire, and is back on track towards relevance, the Buffs fall back into the muck.

The Buffs entered this fall with a reasonable enough track record over the past five years … 29 wins, 27 losses. Not shout-from-the-mountain-tops good, but at least perceived progress. The Buffs earned Top 25 rankings in the 2016, 2018, and 2020.

Again, that’s not great, but it’s not bad.

CU appeared to be back on the periphery of national relevance. Not there, but getting there … and that had its fans excited about the future of the program.

Then September, 2021, happened.

The Buffs have not only been bad this year, but they have been historically bad.

Colorado came into this weekend ranked 129th – out of 130 teams in the FBS – in scoring, posting 13.8 points per game. Only the mighty WarHawks of University of Louisiana-Monroe, at 13.2 points per game, are worse.

To give CU’s struggles some perspective, let’s take a look at the national rankings for scoring … Virginia Tech came into the weekend 99th in the country in scoring, at 23.5 points per game. Assuming that the cutoff for the top 100 nationally will end up somewhere around that mark at the end of the season, Colorado’s offense would have to average over 30 points over its last seven games just to break the Top 100 nationally.

Anyone see the Buffs getting out of triple digits nationally in scoring offense by season’s end?

Nope. Me, neither.

Same goes for CU’s production in total offense. The Buffs are, again, 129th in the nation, at 239.6 yards/game, kept out of the cellar by, once again, Louisiana-Monroe. Here, the numbers, if anything, are even more depressing. The 128th-ranked team in the nation, winless UMass, is averaging 270 yards/game … pause … So yes, CU could be averaging 40 yards per game more in total offense right now … and still be ranked 129th nationally.

What would it take to break into the Top 100 nationally by the end of the season? CU would have to average 433 yards of total offense per game over the next seven games.

Never gonna happen.

What’s adding to the depression of the Buff faithful is that there is no end in sight. There is no news coming out of the Champions Center to give hope of a change in trajectory.

Calls for change – not just modifications – but wholesale change, have come from far and near.

One of the biggest donors for the program, Kelli Brooks, has been busy on Twitter:

  • October 2nd … The BYE week seems like a logical time for leadership to show their commitment to @CUBuffsFootball by making the changes that are so obviously needed. We will all be watching to see what gets done in the coming days. #BeBold #DemandExcellence #FixIt 
  • October 6th … We are all still watching to see what gets done during the BYE week
  • Followed by … The silence out of Boulder is deafening….. And discouraging…..

“We’re evaluating everything right now,” Dorrell said at the beginning of the bye week. “We had a long staff meeting yesterday. We got a chance to talk through a lot of things that we’re trying to address, whether it’s from our staff or from a personnel perspective. We’re doing all those things right now. Nothing is concrete right now. We’re still going through an evaluation period.

“We have some time this week to kind of work on some things we need to work on and … if we need to make changes, we’ll do, but we’re going to kind of work through that in probably a methodical process here.”

Not exactly the kind of talk to give you goose bumps, is it?

“There’s still a lot to play for,” Dorrell said. “We play this game to compete and win. Obviously, we’ve been on the shorter side of winning, but there’s things in front of us that we can control; at least that we can try to address and to play better and to get ourselves in a position to win. That’s the competitive spirit that most coaches and players have.”

Now, maybe, just maybe, there are changes in the works, and they just haven’t been announced.

Maybe, just maybe, there will be a new play-caller for the Arizona game.

Maybe, just maybe, there will be a new quarterback on the field.

Now, you can’t lay everything at the feet of offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini and quarterback Brendon Lewis, but change has to start somewhere.

And it has to take place now, during the bye.

CU’s most winnable games on the remaining schedule are coming up next on the schedule – v. Arizona and at Cal. Win those two games, and there is renewed hope, if not for this season, at least the future of the program under Karl Dorrell.

Lose those two games … and we’re looking at a program which has returned to the dark days of the Jon Embree era. A 1-11 season – with the only win coming over an FCS team – will be staring the Buffs right in the face.

Now, back at Camp North Star, Bill Murray’s charges – thanks to his pep talk – rallied in the second day of competition, giving the team a chance at defeating the hated spoiled children at Camp Mohawk. The comeback was sparked partially due to Murray’s speech, and partially due to … cheating.

So, one could argue, there is always the Arizona State path to success. The Sun Devils are the favorites to win the Pac-12 South, with a 3-0 record in conference play for the first time since 2012. ASU has yet to receive any punishment from the NCAA for its blatant disregard of recruiting restrictions during the pandemic. And those are violations which were almost guaranteed to be exposed. Who knows how many violations ASU committed which may be more difficult to uncover?

Arizona State and its head coach may still face the music at some point … but ask a Sun Devil fan today if they care.

Winning puts a shine on everything.

Meanwhile, back in Boulder, the Buffs are the lovable losers … again.

Not advocating the Buffs cheat to get ahead mind you. But, as they say, you are what your record says you are.

And the University of Colorado has, once again, fallen to the bottom. Not just the bottom of the Pac-12, not only the bottom of the Power Five conferences, but to the bottom of the 130-school FBS.

Murray: “It just doesn’t matter if we win or if we lose”

… unless it does.

—–

8 Replies to ““It Just Doesn’t Matter … “”

  1. With the hostile take over of college sports, AKA NIL, the “haves” will bury the “have nots”, which CU is by its lack of institutional support (multi year contract limitations=muti limited staff). We have never been a recruiting magnet either, with NIl, we will be worse, but if we stop competing with the “haves” for the 4 and 5 star brats (that never really turn out that good for us), to the over looked and lacking scholarship offers kids who can be coached. Kids who can learn the discipline of the triple option or a modified RPO. Lets recruit players that are single minded (runblock 90% of the time), instead of highly specialized, we can compete for them since these athletes have two choices, play for the service academies, or hang up their cleats. We shift recruiting from 12 WR to 4, and bump the RB/Qb room to 12, linemen that just want to attack, and a QB who can toss it as needed to a wide wide TE 2-4 times a game.
    We may not win national championships, but we will be a headache for every other team that has to scheme for us. What will their prizes 5 star pass rushing DE do when there isn’t a pocket to collapse? Imagine an offense that just chips away at them for 7-10 minute drives, using a hurry up so they cannot substitute, their top 25 recruiting class will be watching from the sidelines.
    PS- the master of the option is already on the staff, Mr Hagan, and Fisher DeBerry as a consultant. Go poach Navy’s coach Ken (and his Polynesian connections) to CU and lets be “uncommon” in a environment we cannot compete in. Facts are facts, especially when they span 15-20 years.
    Dont believe me, look back at the last AFA vs CU game.
    Neil Cowley, PT

  2. Bill Murray one of the great ones. It also got me thinking about the SNL casts of the 70s and how that started a pipeline of talent that went on to make great movies for decades.

    Back to the Buffs. This season, I think, has been one of the more puzzling to me. The apparent maturity of the O-line and success of last season, Chev saying how they will need to score 30+ points this season to win games, etc. I think we all thought that meant a little more dynamic play combined with execution, right? I’m not a football expert but I saw red flags all over the UNC game with the pressure they put on our QB and our WRs not able to get open. The running game success covered up a lot in that game. It appears the coaches thought they could score 30+ points with the same vanilla offense design but with better execution. And it appears their thinking hasn’t changed.
    I will say however there was a lot of preseason talk about the difficult schedule, and I think that was mostly correct because TAMU-Minn-ASU-USC was a pretty tough stretch of games against quality teams.

  3. Bill Murray was great at those types of comedic rants. Thanks for posting the video.

    I can’t help but trace this mess back to the tragic 70-3 loss to Texas. My understand is that Barnett had a new contract ready to sign, but Bohn pulled it after that loss. Barnett contends he had a very good to great recruiting class coming in. Maybe he did, maybe not. But the rest is on Bohn’s shoulders. First, he tries to hire Butch Jones who proceeds to embarrass himself and CU and Tennessee. Then he lands on Hawkins followed by Embree followed by false hope and many tears streaming down the face of MacIntyre. The coaching has been bad. But the underlying part that is not really mentioned is the absolute ineptitude that Bohn demonstrated at fund raising. That may be the real key to why we have been so bad. He couldn’t keep up. Rick George came in an seemingly overnight got stuff done, but is it too little too late? Maybe the only big investment left was to match the Michigan State offer and keep Tucker in Boulder. He seems like the real deal. Regardless of how we feel about his departure, is there any doubt that if he stayed CU would be better?

    1. Barnett was toast before the Texas game. The players knew it too hence the embarrassment. The admin (above Bohn), the non football contingent in Boulder along with their politically correct attitudes that are completely foreign in the rest of the football world all being cheered on by the Denver Post gave Barnett no chance. Bohn was probably “following orders.”
      As long as we are moping over coulda shoulda woulda with dinner bell Mel, Shrout, Chev etc. its possible the CU football program was cursed from that point on, and continues to be, for those in power not telling the rest of the hysterical world to shove it and sign Barnet anyway?
      Giving the woman 2 million to go away who was handing out condoms was almost the last straw for me.
      ASU is the exact opposite of the CU situation motoring on like nothing else is happening. The NCAA has ruled the big cheaters always win in the face of their minimal penalties. If you are going to succeed in the highly competitive and ultra expensive world of college football these days you better have a roster of attorney’s with a more aggressive attitude than Nate Landman and the unwavering will to use them.

    2. Hey 83. I understand not liking Bohn for his hiring of football coaches. But, by the same token, he did a lot for CU (and some of your thoughts are mixing up the facts).

      Mike raised more money for CU athletics than anyone before him. He set the foundation (ok, call it a dream) for the Champions Center, etc. that Rick was able to bring to fruition, seemingly overnight. But there was a foundation there to build from.

      Barnett’s days were numbered, and 70-3 certainly helped seal the deal, I’m sure. It’s almost as bad as the OSU loss MacIntyre fell to. Heck, maybe worse. But that’s splitting hairs.

      He hired Hawkins, who at the time was one of the hottest coaching prospects out there. It didn’t work out.

      He hired Tad, which has worked out very, very well.

      The Butch Jones scene was during the search that landed MacIntyre. And, in hindsight, probably worked out in CU’s favor. But it’s another indication of what we saw Mel pull. CU’s not a job a lot of people seem to want (ask the dudes who declined before Karl).

      MacIntyre did actually elevate the program from what it was when he got there.

      So, here we are. I’m going to be like many and hope that Karl can take what he knows and translate it through to the field. I don’t think we have a choice. But if we’re two or three years down the road, and not at least roaming in the top 30-ish with occasionally breaking through for conference titles, and at least the potential of making the playoffs? Then I’d say it’s time to move on from Rick, and Lance, in addition to Karl. Rick would be hard to push out b/c he’s killing it with his #1 job (or has been) of raising and managing money. Lance? Seems easier to replace. And then there’s Phil. I think Bruce brought him a long way in seeing the light of sports as the front porch. I’ve no clue how things are w/ the last pres nor the new pres. I guess we’ll find out.

      Go Buffs

  4. Completely confused by the developments on the field the past three games. However, the smart money in Las Vegas had 4.5 wins as the over/under for this team. I, on the other hand, saw a high number of returning players, a quarterback with bowl game success and a quality qb transfer. The injury at quarterback was devastating in that the play calls would be forced to moved away from his running threat because, as a result of the injury, he could not also get injured. He is not a pocket passer. Each quarterback had a different style (not the ideal combination). Same holds true with the current two quarterbacks (opposite strengths). Coach Dorrell’s style of offense is not Coach Tucker”s offense and, also, type of quarterback. Big personnel problem brought about by the injury. Nevertheless, I saw BIG things in store after the A & M game (look at that team’s result yesterday vs. Alabama).

    Coach Dorrell is likely loyal to his offensive coordinator due to their long history. Also they are very limited due to the quarterback injury. Difficult situation.

    Regarding the program’s history and recruiting, Coach McCartney highlighted the obvious benefits of Boulder. He was mystified how it could not be “sold.” Unclear how others have not taken a page from his recruiting playbook. Great place to go to school and play football.

    Despite the painful offensive numbers, I hold out hope that Coach Durrell (who has never had a losing season) can get the team to three wins within the next two games. We will see. On a dangerous note, Arizona seemed to play hard vs. UCLA.

  5. Loveable losers? Does that include VK?
    just kidding VK.
    and I dont know about the rest of you wallflowers but during my time in Boulder it was almost impossible not to get a good looking girl.
    and if I had to give up either the good looking girls or the Buff’s winning ways back then? I had better plead the fifth on that one.
    and after pounding in it how bad the Buffs are right now along with the distinct possibility of being relegated to the minors I am wondering, Stuart, why my carnival barker’s invitation to the battle of the basement dwellers was to harsh to post.

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