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Pac-12 Media Day Recap / Realignment (Speculation) Updates / Fall Camp Unit-by-Unit Preview

Stuart Whitehair, Brad Geiger and Neil Langland are back, and we are gearing up for the 2022 season. The Pac-12 Media Day is in the books, and Pac-12 commissioner George Kliavkoff didn’t mince words when it came to the Big 12 and possible additional poaching of Pac-12 schools. Kliavkoff said, “Let’s be very clear. No Pac-12 school is joining the Big 12″. Which, of course, is true until it isn’t true. We’ll break down the current options for the remaining Pac-12 schools, as well as what options Colorado has going forward.

We then turn our attention back to the Buffs and the opening of Fall Camp. Karl Dorrell, as you might have expected, downplayed the media’s projections of a last place finish for the Buffs, saying, “We know what’s there and there’s a lot of people who don’t know”. We take a unit-by-unit look at what’s expected from your Buffs out of Fall Camp, including the crucial decision of naming a starting quarterback.

Will the Buffs be better than the experts project? Are there All-Pac-12 players in the CU locker room which the pundits missed? Will there be any news of note coming out of the Champions Center during Fall Camp, or will Buff fans be kept in the dark until TCU comes to Folsom Field on September 2nd?

… Let’s find out …

The CU at the Game NIL Interview series is complete, but that doesn’t mean you missed your chance to listen to your favorite Buffs talk about the upcoming season. Here is the roster of interviews conducted this spring, with links to each interview …

CU at the Game 2022 NIL Interviews … Football 

CU at the Game 2022 NIL Interviews … Other Sports 

Latest episode …

Below is Episode 28 of Season 3 for the CU at the Game Podcast. You can listen to the podcast simply by clicking on the play button below, or listen it to it here at Buzzsprout, or at Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, IHeartRadio … or wherever you find your podcasts!

6 Replies to “CUATG Podcast: Pac-12 Media Day Recap / Fall Camp Preview”

  1. Neil has made some great points. He is the one writer who has the most access and knows the Buffs best. I believe we are going to be good, competitive, and if a bit fortunate, a bowl team. If I have to read another know-nothing Big 12 writer tell us why we should all turn and run to the cornbelt, I might puke. Disappointed in UCLA and maybe even USC leaving in two years for the BIG, but how many football championships in the Pac 12 have they produced in recent memory? Winning fixes almost everything in sports. When the Buffs start to win, we are on our way. Timing is good. If the coaches are correct, we are trending up. Go Buffs!

  2. A lot of us reading are old enough to understand that nothing is immutable. When I was a kid CU was in the Big 8 and the Big 8 had been around over a decade when I was born. I think the PAC-12 is done. I think CU, Utah and the Arizona schools join the Big 12 and Washington, Oregon, Stanford and Cal join the B1G. The rest join the MWC or something else. We will renew some of our old yearly matchups. Too bad Iowa State isn’t a perennial doormat anymore.

  3. The future of the PAC is determined by ESPN and FOX. Fox, can put a stranglehold on the West Coast viewership if they work with BIG to secure San Francisco and Oakland DMVs. ESPN, needs the West Coast Market. For content in alternative hours and to eat into Fox’s dominance of West Coast viewers.. Mmm, I think ESPN will secure the PAC and in the future combine PAC and ACC into a Super Conference. Owning the coast matters to advertisers. It matters to all the ancillary sports programming on ESPN and Fox’s air. It matters to all of Disney/ABC programming as does it to FOX. I think a bidding war will happen and the long forgotten PAC can finally get paid.

  4. Well I am glad Neil softened his pessimism just a smidge becuase I really don’t have time to picket down at Larimer Square (though I suppose I could grab a bite with a sign?). I actually think Neil hit it on the head though, we do not know anything, Dorrell and his team keep so much close to the vest, and they are treating Sanford’s offense like a state secret. But I think we can infer a lot from the tidbits we do see. Now will this all gel? That is the question e en for us die hard fans there is more than enough bad things that have happened to us that even the eternal optimist I am it is hard to believe but let me begin with a few nuggets that lead to a hypothesis that we might actually be good this year:
    1.a. Barnes and Roddick look jacked! Seeing them on the PAC12 network both look very big and very strong. Roddick says he is down to 303, but it look like a lot of that is muscle. Barnes looks like a middle linebacker now. The coach from Oklahoma agrees he sees a big development in his body. Oh and in the picture of the lineman with their shirts off, I think that is Amaya on the far right, looks like he has gotten some real size to him as well. Wiley is a bit hidden but he looks a smidge more developed Filip and brown look about the same. They were already big guys. But I have a feeling that guys that buy into the program are going to earn more playing time which will encourage more guys to work harder in the program.
    1b. Both Fontenot and Smith are playing at 200. If you want to run smash mouth football you need big backs that break arm tackles. 200 pounds running angry at you will fall forward a lot.
    1c. Perry is slimming down……this is contrary to what you might think my point is. But Perry needed to get more agile and quicker.
    So #1. Turley and the new strength and conditioning program are having an effect. It is not all just about throwing weights up, it is about making your body the best possible shape for what you need to do on the football field. They are paying attention to this during the off-season and guiding players there. And at least the players we are seeing and hearing about are buying in. If the whole team is, or a big enough portion is I think it will matter.
    2. Offensive scheme. I have rewatched a ton of our 2021 games during the off-season and the more I watch the more I become convinced how lost Chev was. During the season my big analysis point (which I am sure everyone knows….) is that Chev’s offense expected the ball to come out in under 3 seconds and with anticipation (meaning the ball is often in the air as the receiver STARTS their break) which Lewis just could not or would not do. And basically, I put the blame on Lewis. I liked the guy, he is so tough! But if you can’t anticipate you really shouldn’t be starting as a power 5 qb. That is still an issue with our qb, which I will get to later. But the more I watched the reruns I began to focus in on the run game. During the season, I just held that you cannot run into a stacked box (defenders have at least 1 more person in the box than the offense has blockers). But then I watched the Ohio State / Minnesota game and I saw how a real coordinator dealt with a stacked box and ran successfully into it. And I realized a couple of cool things:
    2a. Our version of the read option does not leave an unblocked lineman….. when I actually figured this out I was stunned. The whole purpose of the read option is to allow you to leave one defender unblocked because they have to account for the qb. But a good chunk of the time we did NOT! We either had this line,an covered up, or ran counter motion to block him but that takes the whole purpose of the read option away! As soon as defenses understood this was happening it is trivial to scheme to it. Combined with a stretch run concept most of our read options against a stacked box were doomed to fail. They could fill every gap, police the backside cutback and as long as they stayed reasonably disciplined and did not get blown off the line they were going to win that play. It happened occasionally but not often to run a friggin offense behind.
    2b. Chev kept asking our wide receivers to block safeties and linebackers….. they failed, a lot. I love the creativity of Samford’s Minnesota offense. I need better blockers. Let’s bring in an extra lineman or Two! Now the defense reacts by bring in extra linebackers but I like that match up better! We are running a play I have been practicing all year with 6-7 lineman, against a defense using linebackers that are not used to being on the field in this role and have only practiced it for a week.
    2c. Throw the damn fade. 5 steps and let your receiver go get the ball. Even if he is even. The only time Lewis would do it was if he had an offsides. I think we hit like 2 of the 4 times that that happened. One for a touch down. There were no interceptions……. It is the easiest, call in the world, especially against a stacked box….Minnesota ran it a couple of times.
    3. Let’s talk a little defense now…..and let’s start with alignment. The 3-4 is a good defense with the right people because it can attack from so many different angles. It provides confusing reads and can produce linebackers in coverage in weird spots. But man you have to have the right people for it. Rushing the passer and dropping into coverage are very, very different skill sets. The 4-3 is much simpler. It is more predictable but you have 4 dedicated lineman, whose first job is to stop the run and second job is to rush the passer. You don’t waste any time teaching them how to drop into coverage (except for some weird blitz combos). Instead you focus on them and the techniques necessary to do their job. They have a certain size and strength you are looking for. And don’t have this requirement to be big enough to hold up against the run but fast enough to drop into coverage and run with a tight end. The 3-4 aLso requires great blitzing middle linebackers. Landman as much as I loved him was a horrible blitzer. Perry was not much better and I never saw Barnes really exceed at it either. I think this scheme is going to really help us out. My biggest worry is the other end opposite of Lang. I am not sure we have this guy on our team which is why I think we brought in Main.
    4. Loosing Blackmon and Gonzalez is rough. Blackmon was steady and a solid cover corner. Gonzalez will play at the next level. That said, I LOVE Reed. His technique in coverage is better than Gonzolez as a freshman. I used to hate Gonzalez’s pass interference becuase he did not get his head around. Reed is in coverage running step for step with elite receivers deep and his head is around looking for the ball. He is not nearly the tackler Gonzalez was but hopefully he gains some size. I think Bethel is solid and Moore has talent and potential, but I also liked the true freshman Wiggins during the spring game. We will not be as good as we were last year, but it will not be a disaster. And I expect this will be made up with the fact that we should be better with our linebackers coverage.

    1. This is good stuff Rob, thank you. Stu, thank you for your podcasts as well, your time to do all of this CUATG for us is much appreciated!

  5. Agree with your comments about going to the big 12 now. Its not a matter of if but when the pac whatever you want to call it collapses. Thanks for all your podcasts, I enjoy them tremendously

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