Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, September 13, 2010

Monday Grab Bag: Is it basketball season yet?

Woof, my ass still hurts after the Cal drubbing. Be sure to count the number of ways I call Hawk an asshat in this weeks bag....

Cal whups CU by 45 points - (I don't have the heart to write a full writeup tomorrow, so this will have to suffice). A senior laden team lead by a man fighting for his job and respectability shouldn't lay this type of egg, yet here we are. The Buffs came out ill prepared; the offense seemed absolutely befuddled by the aggressive 3-4 Cal defense, yellow flags flew all over the field, and, once again, the team seemed a step slow all day. By the time the Buffs looked up, they were in desperation mode. Tyler Hansen even tried to play Brifar by throwing a left-handed shovel pass that turned into 6 Cal pts; and thus the competitive portion of the game concluded.

It was the same performance as against CSU, only against a much better opponent.

It's the same old story; penalties, turnovers, and no preparation. Whats even more depressing is that the loss was almost entirely self inflicted. The Buffs gave Cal short field after short field to work with (through a series of poor special teams work, poor offense and penalties) and, if that wasn't enough, threw some penalties and turnovers-for-touchdowns in for good measure. The defense nobly tried to hold back the oncoming flood, but by the 7 minute mark in the 1st quarter, they were spent. With nothing left in the tank, the floodgates opened and the rout was on. Honest-to-God, by halftime my watch party had devolved into a games of Clue and Scrabble.

We may never know what would've happened if CU had shown up ready to play. While we looked slow and sluggish, how much of that was due to being morally defeated within 5 minutes? We probably still would've lost, but not by 45 points, and not in such an embarrassing fashion. None-the-less, we shouldn't be talking about wishing to have hung with a middle of the road Pac10 team

Devastating Performance - This is undoubtedly the most depressing performance by a CU team that I have witnessed since arriving on campus in 2002 (and believe me, I've seen some shit over that time). This isn't like losing to a legit outstanding Texas team in Houston when our coach had quit, or losing to Montana St cause no one knows where to line up; this is far, far worse. This loss may have erased all the goodwill that the athletic department had scratched and clawed to get over the last 6 months. Attendance will plummet and any enthusiasm or momentum that the move to the Pac12 would've brought may well have been washed away. It's going to be a long Fall....

(Talk about pictures being worth a thousand words, this one just about sums it all up. Head down, we trudge through a long dark corridor. Yeesh, this shit is depressing. From: TRR)

I cannot begin to tell you how glad I am that I didn't spend the money to travel west. To have spent $350-$450 on a weekend getaway only to get egg-on-the-face embarrassed like that would've been devastating to my already fragile psyche. It's not just that they lost big, it's the combination of factors; being embarrassed before our new Pac12 brethren, being embarrassed in front of over 7,000 CU fans who had circled this as the Western coming out party for the California fan-base, being embarrassed on national television, and being embarrassed when we're trying to negotiate a lower buy out from the Big XII. This is beyond bad.

You could hear the pity in the announcers voices; this is a devastating loss, and everyone knows it. At least we can now make the argument with a straight face that CU leaving the Big XII won't cause any lasting damage cause our exit will strengthen the league.

Could we still recover? - Sure. It's not the first time a football team has gone on the road and Wile E. Coyote'd it into a brick wall. Teams (including the '01 Big XII championship team) have recovered from devastating road losses before. Sometime shit just happens. However, I have absolutely no faith, given what the coaching staff has shown over the past 4 years, that we will see such a thing this year. Before the season started I figured a 4-8 season, and that prediction seems as likely as ever.

What happened to all the touch-ups? - We've heard time and time again over the past 12 months that all the team needed was a little touch up here and there; that CU was "this close" to being good. Instead we see the same penalties, the same lack of offensive game planning, the same lack of mental toughness. What little things have the coaches been working on?

I refuse to blame the players - I say coaches, cause that's who let Buff nation down Saturday. Sure, it's the players who have to execute, but preparation is the coaches responsibility, and its consistently lacking. It's not up to the players to game plan for an aggressive 3-4 defense. It's not entirely up to the players to mentally prepare for a BCS road trip. It's not entirely up to the players to fix mistakes like procedural penalties. That's on the coaches. Time and time again we've seen evidence of a lack of preparation; that the players aren't mentally prepared to face game day. These are 20yr old kids, it's not on their shoulders; it's up to the highly paid grown-ass men who "lead" them to get their heads in the right place, and the current staff has shown itself to be absolutely incapable of doing so.

Hawk has 2 and a half months left in Boulder - Well at least we now know that Hawk is finished. Barring a miracle run to the north title and a trip to the last Big XII championship, his ass is canned. Because of the coming general election, I highly doubt that Hawk will be fired mid season if it can be avoided. Bruce Benson and Phil DiStefano would rather eat a plate of brillo pads than make the amount of Hawk's buyout (and therefore athletic spending at the state's flagship university) an election issue. If anything, Hawk could be fired the day after the K-State game, giving the team a full two weeks to get over it and prepare for the final game. This would be an ugly move, and one I highly doubt Mike Bohn would go for. So, 5 minutes after the Nebraska game is more than likely the expiration date on Hawk's stay in Boulder. But that immediately brings me to the next question: who would want his job?

(I realize this shit is depressing, so here's a picture of bulldog puppies to cheer you up! They're so cute I almost forget how bad we lost this weekend!)

Hawk talked last year about arriving to find scorched earth where there should have been a football program. Most people rightly dismissed his ramblings as a desperate attempt to put his piss-poor record in better light. Well, the program certainly is starting to take on a scorched look now, and I wonder who would want to jump head first into this mess. If we can't find a real replacement, the Dan Hawkins hiring disaster may take decades (if ever) to recover from.

Pac10 commish says we're probably stuck in limbo for another year - More bad news: Pac10(12) commissioner Larry Scott puts the chances of CU entering the Pac10(12) conference next year at "worse than 50/50." And the hits just keep on coming. That was supposed to be the light at the end of the tunnel. Next year would be a whole new start, and whatever happened this year would be forgotten. Now, it looks like a long, dark road. Hopefully this is still just posturing, and that Beebe and the Big XII(X) will fold, but I'm starting to doubt that.

Sox season essentially over - In news that matters only to me: after last weeks stumbles in Detroit, and barring a 3-game sweep of the Twins and a minor miracle over the final 2 weeks, the Sox season is over. It's not that big of a shock, we were never that great of a team anyways, but it's still kind of sad to see the plucky southsiders crash at the end like this.

The problem is that with all of the win now attitude of GM Kenny Williams we have severely mortgaged our future with expensive veteran players. With the cheap control years of players like Floyd and Danks quickly coming to an end, how solid and financially viable will the Sox be in future years? The even more pressing issues of weather to re-sign WS heroes Buehrle, Konerko and Pierzynski are hanging mightily over the team, and the direction, and fortune, of my southside boys is in doubt. God only knows how all this is going to play out.

(Are these the last days of Cap'n Paulie in a Sox uniform? From: The Trib)

Calvin Johnson game winning catch that wasn't - Finally, in pro football news, yesterday a game winning catch by Detroit Lion Calvin Johnson was overturned because of a poorly constructed NFL rule. I understand that the rule states that he has to maintain control of the ball til he essentially gets on the bus (keeping two hands on it through the post game shower, buffet, and interviews); my issue isn't with the enforcement of the rule. My issue is with the construction of the rule. The purpose is sound (making sure the receiver "completes" the catch), but doesn't a receiver catching the ball cleanly, getting two feet, an ass, an arm, and a leg down while maintaining complete control of the ball show a "complete" catch? Only when he start to get up to celebrate did Calvin lose control of the ball. It's a cheap way to rob an outstanding receiver (and his teammates) of a cleanly caught game-winning touchdown. Also it cost me 9 fantasy points.

(Calvin deserved better. Chin up Megatron, you're still one of the best in the league. From: the trib)

Happy Monday! I hope everyone has a great week!


Eric said...

That was pretty bad. The upside to the trip was that it was a heck of a lot better than visiting say, Manhattan or Lubbock.

Looking forward to any thoughts you would have on who our next coach could be.

RumblinBuff said...

I really want to get out to Berkley at some point. I have both family and friends living in the area, I'm just real glad I didn't head out this time. Maybe in the next 2-4 years when we're out there for a conference game.

My preferred choice would be Michigan Man with a Michigan Plan Les Miles.

Sure, he's struggled a bit at LSU, but he knows the region (coached at Ok. St, coached here in the Mac years) and is a high profile name that is not only affordable and pallet-able to our fan base, but gettable as well. I'd imagine he'd like the opportunity for a fresh start.

Additionally, this is my preliminary shopping list: Brian Cabral (he deserves it, but he may be too old/entrenched in one mindset), Brett Venables (OU D-Coordinator, may be too expensive/un-gettable), and maybe someone like Pat Fitzgerald (Northwestern, played for Barnett) or Troy Calhoun (Air Force).

I'd love to be able to get a Jim Harbaugh (Stanford) or a Kevin Sumlin (Houston), but they're way too expensive and way to out of our reach.

Unfortunately, money will come into play. 1.5mil/yr may be our absolute limit, and that is probably way to little to get someone like the above list.