Four Months Down; Five To Go

On February 18th, we welcomed into the world the newest member of the family, Maya.

Maya is our eighth grandchild, but, significantly, is our first granddaughter. After seven grandsons, my wife finally had a little baby granddaughter to fuss over. A few days after Maya was born, Lee was on a plane to Boston, where she could help out around the house, and spend some quality time with her new grandchild.

Me? I stayed home with the dogs and the cat.

My wife can’t get enough of the little ones, but for me, all babies do is cry, eat, poop, and sleep … and then wake up and cry some more.

Oh, and they all look like Winston Churchill.

Give me a toddler or an elementary school kid over a baby any day of the week.

The reason for the digression is that we just posted a new podcast, “Coach Prime’s First 100 Days / Notes and Quotes from CU’s Spring Practices“. In doing the math on how long Coach Prime has been CU’s Coach Prime, I couldn’t help but notice from the date CU hired Deion Sanders (December 4, 2022) to the date of CU’s first game of the Sanders’ era (September 2, 2023) is almost exactly nine months.

While Coach Prime isn’t exactly giving birth to a new program, the gestation period makes for interesting comparisons.


Our oldest son got remarried a few years ago. He already had two sons from a previous marriage, but he and his new wife wanted a child of their own. Being on the older side, there were complications in getting pregnant. There were some disappointments along the way, but that made the announcement of the pregnancy last summer all the more joyous.

The Buff Nation lived through its own set of mixed emotions as the wait for the announcement of a new head coach dragged on and on last fall. CU coach Karl Dorrell was fired on October 2nd, five games into the 2022 season. Two months later, Colorado fans were still waiting for the introduction of their new head coach. Other schools fired and hired with comparative speed, determination and confidence. Meanwhile, out of the Champions Center, there was nothing but silence.

CU athletic director Rick George had told us at the press conference confirming the firing of Coach Dorrell that the next time he spoke with the press would be the announcement of the new head coach. While George held true to his word, it was a frustrating time for Buff fans. First, because at the same press conference relieving Coach Dorrell of his duties, Chancellor Phil DiStefano stated he saw no reason to change CU’s admission policies for transfers – a gut punch to CU fans hoping for better days ahead with a new coach. Second, the impatient days awaiting the new coach were filled with some of the worst football in Colorado history, as the Buffs limped to the finish with November scores of 49-10, 55-17, 54-7 and 63-21.

The speculation as to who might be willing to take on the worst job in the Power Five varied from the ridiculous to the sublime. The list included former coaches, with names like Bronco Mendenhall, Bobby Petrino, Tom Herman and Gary Paterson being bandied about. There were also current coaches, like Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Troy Taylor (Sacramento State) and Blake Anderson (Utah State) in the mix. Other names, like Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters and Kansas City offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy, had CU ties.

As the search dragged on, and no press conferences were scheduled, the name of Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders crept into the conversation. Then, when CU’s season ended on November 26th, and there was still no announcement, Buff fans put all of their eggs of hope in the Coach Prime basket. We were told that the deal was done, but that Coach Sanders wanted to coach the SWAC Championship game the following weekend before making his decision public. CU fans were tracking planes, hitting refresh on Twitter every fifteen seconds, and paying rapt attention to the SWAC title game, watching Jackson State dominating Southern, 43-24.

Finally, in the late hours of Saturday, December 3rd, the good news we had been waiting for broke, with Coach Prime not only making his way to Boulder late that night, but also taking a midnight tour of the Champions Center. The press conference on Sunday, December 4th, was one of the most amazing in memory, with Coach Prime dazzling the press and the pundits.


As older parents, the chances for issues with the baby were significant increased for our son and daughter-in-law. Along the way, they took every test imaginable, checking and rechecking on the health of the baby as she developed. Everything went well along the way, with the baby showing ten fingers and ten toes and growing the way she was supposed to. Still, the parents were nervous, anxiously checking off important dates along the way, hoping that their little girl would be perfect.

Buff fans are currently living through the gestation period of the 2023 Colorado football roster. It’s evolving, and all appears to be going according to plan. The roster has faced a major overhaul, with over half of the roster already being flipped.

In retrospect, there is another date from last year which is almost as December 4, 2022. On May 18, 2022, some six months before Coach Prime was hired, the NCAA Division I Council eliminated the 25-man initial counter limit for at least the next two seasons.

The 25-man limit was created in 2011 to curb oversigning, a practice that became popular in the late 2000s. Houston Nutt signed 37 recruits to his 2009 recruiting class at Ole Miss, and the 25-man limit was born shortly thereafter.

If the rule hadn’t been suspended, the new coaching staff wouldn’t have been able to create a completely new Colorado football team. Can you imagine what the 2023 season would have been like with 25 new Coach Prime imports … and 60 returning players?

“We comin’ ” might have had to be replaced as a slogan with “We comin’ … in 2025”.

Now, with Coach Prime given free rein to rework as much of the roster as he wants, there remain three more “ultrasounds” for the Buff Nation to watch for during this gestation process.

The first will be the Spring Game, which will take place at roughly the halfway mark between Coach Prime’s hiring and his first game on September 2nd. Played before a sold out Folsom Field and a national television audience on ESPN, the new Buffs will be under the microscope. Will Shadeur Sanders show himself to be a Power Five quarterback? Will CU’s offensive and defensive lines take turns showing adequate progress? Will Travis Hunter take the first steps toward being a household name?

Will the Buffs escape injuries at critical positions?

The second test will come as the Transfer Portal reopens in late April and early May. Coach Prime has repeatedly stated that he isn’t done “shopping” for transfers, and Buff fans will be anxiously waiting to see if he will be able to continue working his magic … or whether the luster has already started to fade. A quality backup quarterback willing to sit behind Shedeur Sanders and a dominant pass rusher are tops on the shopping list … but they may not exist in the Spring Portal.

The final test will come during Fall Camp. The experimentation will be over; game-planning will begin. The two-deep roster will be solidified, with the depth chart receiving greater-than-usual scrutiny.

The 2023 Buffs will certainly have ten fingers and ten toes … but will everything be perfect?


Maya took her time coming into the world. There was talk about our granddaughter being born on Valentine’s Day, but Maya took her sweet time, not arriving until the 18th. It was a long and difficult labor, but, in the end, mother and child were fine. 

How will the 2023 Colorado football team debut? Short of playing Georgia in Athens or Ohio State in Columbus, it’s hard to think of too many more difficult places for a brand new team to find its way in the college football world than on the road against a team coming off of a national championship appearance. True enough, TCU is not a true blue blood, and the Horned Frogs are losing a great deal of starting talent from their 2022 team, but here’s guessing that Coach Prime would much rather be making his debut against in Denton against North Texas rather than 37 miles down the road in Ft. Worth against TCU.

Colorado is a 17.5-point underdog to TCU. Finishing three scores behind your opponent is not the way you want to open your Power Five coaching career, but that’s the way Vegas currently sees the game as playing out.

Will Coach Prime’s Buffs surprise? Will the Buffs stumble to a 1-4 September start under the new coaching staff?

How healthy will Coach Prime’s “baby” be on September 2nd?

Nine months between the debut of Coach Prime in Boulder and his first start as CU’s head coach.

Five months done; four months to go …

4 Replies to “Four Months Down; Five to Go”

  1. I am just amazed that the spring game is sold out. I have been a regular attendee for the past 10 years except for Covid. And in all of those years I was able to wander all over the stadium to watch specific elements and hear the coaches coach etc. I suspect I will end up sitting in my regular seats.
    There is no doubt this is a new era in football at CU. The energy and buzz is just flat out different. Access to the program is unprecedented through the three YouTube channels. To continue your pregnancy metaphors we get these little ultrasounds to check in on the development. But now it’s like an ultrasound a couple of times a week. But just like an ultrasound it is hard to judge the image. It looks good, but we probably won’t know for sure until much later. Many babies are born and struggle a bit at first but then grow into very strong kids and young adults. I could see that here. But I could also see us coming out shot like a cannon….. can’t wait to find out.

  2. Interesting approach and analysis.
    Our twins took 40 weeks
    Then C section.
    14 lb boy
    11 lb girl
    Whatever it takes go Prime Boys

  3. First of all congrats on the new one. I have 4 granddaughters and one grandson. Only one looks like they may become an athlete but not one in team sports. She is more inclined to endurance sports which is in line with the area we live in.
    The way I see it, if Prime succeeds he will be giving birth to a new program. It may not have completely flatlined but some were actually talking about pulling the plug.
    And what if there were no eggs other than those to put in Prime’s basket? I lived in fear of the hiring of another has been carousel rider but it was entirely possible even they weren’t going to take over the worst team in D1.
    So far it has turned out beyond anyone’s expectations. If Prime takes us to the promised land a statue of RG should be placed right next to his.
    so far and if. The 17.5 point underdog from Vegas has to be because of the doubt on the lines. That is my fear too. If Lewis can time play selection to confound the opposing D as fast as he wants the players to go we may be able to outscore some teams. On the other hand is the front seven on D which is going to have to step up big time.

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