The good ship CU Football has a captain at the helm once again - Jon Embree arrived last night, along with his good buddy and Offensive Coordinator Eric Bieniemy, to officially accept the job as CU head football coach. Among other things, he promised at his press conference this morning to "restore the luster" that had faded from the program. I'll say this, after hearing him talk this morning I can say that he certainly does love his university. Now we get to the meat of the matter; can he actually do the job?
(We'll, we've all gotten our wish; a Buff is leading the team. From: the BDC)
Recruiting - Hawk's career uncertainty had put a damper on recruiting over the last few years, and Embree's first job has to be shoring up the weak 2011 recruiting class. I was pleased to read him immediately talking recruiting last night. Fresh off the plane he referred to:
"[...] a certain kid in-state that I want to go see at his house. I'm anxious. I've heard he is a very good player and had a very good season. I'd like to go see him and other in-state kids who are committed and the ones aren't. I want to go see them and see if they want to be a Buffalo." -linkI'm betting he's talking about Mullen standout RB Adonis Ameen-Moore who had been holding off on a decision on college until after his senior season concluded. It's good to see that Embree recognizes that love of university alone won't bring wins to Folsom, and that he needs to work quickly to salvage this years recruiting class to shore up the cupboard for future years. Grabbing Ameen-Moore would be a great first step...
Bieniemy is along for the ride - After nabbing over $500,000 and a signing bonus, Bieniemy is along for the ride. I knew we'd have to pay him big bucks, but daaaaaaaaammmn that's a big financial step for a university used to short changing their assistants. It's also a 5-year deal (same as Embree's) which hopes to guarantee some stability in the coaching staff. This sort of move is unprecedented in CU's athletic history and is an example of Bohn putting the cash where his mouth is. Earlier this year he promised to actually spend on assistant coaches, and he came through in a big way.
(Bieniemy got paid, and is ready to help get this thing back on track. From: the BDC)
My apologies to Austin Dufault and Levi Knutson - I've hammered Dufault and Knutson quite a bit over the last few years, but they're having pretty good season so far. Knutson is grabbing 11.5 points per game, shooting near 55%, and is providing some greatly needed on-ball defending for a team that has struggled with its defense at times. Coming off his disastrous sophomore campaign, Dufault is both scoring more, and rebounding more than in previous years; adding a much needed post-threat.
(Levi provided 22 big points Saturday night, and is looking better than ever this season. From: the BDC)
Knutson, who I would swear missed every shot in conference his sophomore year, dropped 22 points (6-8 from 3!) in Saturday night's blowout win against future Pac-12 foe Oregon St, and has earned my biggest mea culpa. I'm sorry Levi, I was wrong. I didn't think you could hack it at this level, but you've consistently been an offensive threat this year. CU needs you to knock down open looks off of kick-passes, and you've been there to answer the call this season. I wrote you off too soon, my bad.
Kenny Williams gets his man... again - White Sox GM Kenny Williams always gets his man. No matter how long it takes, if he wants you on the White Sox roster, he'll get you. You may be old a decrepit by the time you arrive (see Alomar, Roberto and Griffey, Ken Jr.), but he'll eventually find a way to land you. Luckily this time, the player Kenny grabbed isn't nearing the end of his playing days. Late last week, the White Sox signed their first big name free agent in years as they inked slugger Adam Dunn to a 4-year, $56 million deal (great write-up by the excellent Jim Margalus here). Kenny has been after Dunn for quite a while. Specifically, this past summer Dunn had been part of a rumored 3-team deal which would eventually send him to the southside. The Nationals GM ended up playing hardball (read: went back on a deal) and kept Dunn, so the Sox got "stuck" with flame-throwing Edwin Jackson. Now we get Dunn and Jackson, and the Nationals GM get's a couple of lame draft picks instead of field-ready talent (i.e. he's about to lose his job). The Sox now head into the season with a coveted left-handed power bat. Regardless of what Sox legend Paul Konerko decides to do, my Sox are looking like they're headed in the right direction.
(Big Adam Dunn should love the cozy dimensions of the Cell. Welcome aboard, Donkey!)
Bears save my bacon - We're getting down to the end in my NFL suicide pool, and I'm forced to start taking some risks; like taking the Bears on the road. Some might say playing the Detroit Lions, when they haven't won a divisional game in 3 seasons, would be a lock, but I know my Bears. Hell, they even trailed 20-14 in the 3rd quarter. With my season on the line, the Bears scraped and clawed their way to a 24-20 victory, and thereby keeping me alive for another week. There is only 51 people still alive in my group which started with thousands on the board. This one's gonna be close....