Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Baylor Preview

Last weekend I threw my head up to the sky and rhetorically asked why we don't have a men's soccer team. With a men's soccer team, I figured, we could go and find someone, anyone, on campus other than Aric Goodman to attempt field goals. Apparently, the team was already 2 steps ahead of me.

Earlier this week it was announced that former soccer player Marcus Kirkwood would get the first kicking opportunities Saturday night. Kirkwood, a soccer player from high school, has never played a down of 'Murikan football in his life. He's also 6-6 and looks disturbingly like Lurch in his official CU photo.

(Not trying to be mean, just saying "hey, dude looks like Lurch." From:

It's hilarious to watch him answer reporters questions in the video on Buffzone; he obviously wasn't ready for, or expecting, the attention. He's absolutely surrounded by reporters in that video! That just shows the level of desperation the entirety of Buff Nation, including the media, feels towards our kicking situation. I don't know how the gigantor-lefty from Arvada will perform the first time he's in front of a football crowd; what I do know is that he can't be much worse than Goodman is/was. At least we're trying something new...

Bear-ing Down

(Hey TubaJohn, you may not want to read the next few paragraphs; I'm going to whack your alma mater around a bit)

It's awkward that I'm looking forward to this game. Why should a CU grad give two shits about Baylor? CU has historically done 3 things well: 1) send shit into space 2)have hot girls on campus and (current difficulties aside) 3)play football. Baylor excels at precisely 1 thing: existing in an area full of crazies. When you think Boulder, CO you think mountains, hot chicks, all the marajuana you could possibly smoke, a general "librul" attitude, and a kick-ass school. When you think Waco, TX you think Dr. Pepper, one of the great shit-hole towns this country has to offer, and the ATF burning down those Branch Davidian people. You tell me who's got the better life?

Yet, here we are treating this game like a rivalry. It all stems from Baylor alum Buddy Jones getting his panties (little girlie pink ones too!) in a bunch over Baylor not being thought of in any conference realignment plan. In a series of emails Jones, a Texas lobbyist, whored himself and his school out to anybody and anyone who would listen in an attempt to keep Baylor significant. Buddy could see the writing on the wall. It's only by the grace of former Texas Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock that Baylor is even in the Big XII to begin with. He knew without immediate action, and without powerful friends in high places, that Baylor would've been left behind. So he decided to pick on the school with the fewest ties to Texas: CU.

Working behind the scenes, Mr. Jones, with the support of the Baylor administration, lobbied hard to keep the 6 Big XII South teams together. Jones goes and spins some bullshit (they pile it high in Texas) about how Baylor is better than CU in Women's Basketball (no one cares) and that Baylor's Baptist leanings should make them attractive to other conferences. (Baptist following? Did he honestly think the hippies in Berkley were going to think that was a selling point?) It was a lot of big talk coming from a school without a bowl appearance in the Big XII era. Additionally, somehow (*cough* Baylor *cough*), the news of our academic progress report got slipped to the press a few days early. Baylor was doing everything they could to stay remotely relevant (if you think being the local whipping boy is being relevant). They, along with the other small-fries of the conference, even offered larger cuts of the financial pie to UT, A&M and OU to stay.

In the end, UT decided to stay in the Big XII, and so the dissolution that Baylor feared never occurred. Let me make this clear: UT decided. This was about money and money alone. At no point in the process did UT ever consider Baylor's (or for that matter A&M or Tech) interests. What UT wanted, UT got; namely more money. I guess it worked out for Buddy, for now...

Still, fuck those guys. That piss-ant little private school can suck a bag of dicks. I thank God every day that I don't have to live in that God-forsaken shit-hole.

(TubaJohn gets a pass; he's the only cool thing to ever pass through Waco)

The Game

Unfortunately for CU, in a game filled with prideful implications, we aren't playing your father's Baylor Bears. Somehow (I suspect with large bags of weed) Coach Art Briles has lured some talent to Waco. I watched them lose to Tech last week and saw a surprisingly big team with speed in a few key areas. This will not be an easy game for CU.

Offensively, Baylor relies on multi-talented QB Robert Griffin III. The kid is blazingly fast; he almost made the '08 Olympic team as a hurdler. Watching the Tech game Saturday, I was also impressed by his arm; much stronger than I had thought. RG3 can sling it with the best in the nation. He's improved dramatically as a passer from his freshman year; for the year he has 13 TD passes and only 2 picks. He is a special player, and can almost beat a team on his own. While CU has some speed in the linebacking corps that will help, no one is going to be able to keep up with RG3 on their own; it will take a team effort to keep him from busting the game open. If it's not Griffin, the Bears look to RB's Jay Finley and WR Kendall Wright to keep the chains moving; but, really, it's the Robert Griffin show.

(RG3 is legit. From: SI)

Defensively, the Bears can be gotten. In the two games in which they played offenses who knew what they were doing (TCU, Tech), BU gave up a average of 45 points. In that Tech game alone, they gave up 635 yards of offense (!). Tech hasn't even been Tech since the coaching switch, and they threw up those stats. You can find holes in Baylor's defensive backfield if you look for them. TCU and Tech QB's combined to complete 63 of 82 passes. As efficient as Tyler has been this year, he should be able to find open receivers all over the field. Safety Byron Landor, DE Tevin Elliot and LB Elliot Coffey make the Baylor defensive machine go.

Prediction Time
Speaking of Tyler, I think he will be real fired up for this game. Hawk slapped him in the face last week by pulling him for Cody, and I think Tyler is legitimately mad about it. I expect him to have a pretty darn good game; especially considering Baylor is susceptible to efficient passing attacks. You may not realize it, but Tyler is completing over 65% of his passes this year.

I also really like the way our defensive line is playing. Josh Hartigan is emerging as a good DE, and the boys up the middle, Pericak and Cunningham are playing really well together. Overall the defense has been good this year, and have been left out to dry by the special teams. Additionally, while Griffin has the potential to be an all-world QB, I think our fast defense has the potential to stunt him a little bit. Ron Collins is a good D-coordinator, and I'm excited to see what he has up his sleeves for this week.

(Puppies... that mean's there is depressing shit ahead...)


I really don't like the injuries to Anthony Perkins and Brian Lockridge. Perkins would've been a huge help this week; keeping track of Griffin and helping in run support (whatever freshman ends up replacing him will struggle). Lockridge helps Speedy stay fresh and effective, and the move of Will Jefferson to RB isn't exactly making me do cartwheels in anticipation. CU needs that run game to keep the ball out of RG3's hands. Combine that with our piss-poor special teams, and I just don't like the Buffs chances.

You're not going to like this, but I think CU loses at home to Baylor.

Yes, CU plays better at home, and, yes, CU plays better in night games. But this won't be your typical night game. Usually CU plays marquee opponents under the lights who bring in large numbers of fans who would otherwise skip the game; for Baylor I'm expecting those fans to stay home and an otherwise under-whelming crowd. Additionally, expect a massive hangover from the Missouri game, and, unlike Hawaii, I expect Baylor to be able to capitalize on that hangover to put the Buffs in a deep hole early.

The chants of "Fire Hawkins" will be quite loud Saturday as the Buffs fall: BU 31 - CU 17.

I feel so dirty typing that...