Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

UPDATED: Post Labor Day Grab Bag: This is the new sound... just like that old sound

19... it's now 19.  Sigh.

Were there positive signs Saturday night? Sure, but I'm definitely feeling the after-affects of a Hawaiian gut punch.  I don't care who the coach is, losing hurts, and 19 straight road loses, a stigma that stains the program and its national profile, hangs around our collective necks like a big-damn albatross.  I want it gone.

Today in the bag I'll be looking back at the game from Saturday night, action around the nation, more expansion rumors, and the effective end of the road for my Sox.

Click below for the bag...

Half-assed recap of yet another road loss - I'm starting to get used to this, which is not OK.  It wasn't an embarrassment on the level of some of the previous 18, but many of the flaws shown Saturday night were just as glaring as if CU had fallen by 40 points.  O-line play, penalties, running on first down: all were problem areas Saturday evening.
Tyler was chased all over the field Saturday.  What happened to the O-Line?  From: The BDC
Yet, almost in spite of themselves, the Buffs found themselves a drive away from turning the tables on the reeling Warriors.  With the 3rd quarter winding down, a Hawai'i fumble led to a Will Oliver field goal which cut the Warrior lead to 7.  At that point, CU had two great chances to tie.  But it wasn't to be as a 3-and-out and a near pick-6 (Sandersfeld, catch the damn ball!) went for naught, and the game was all but finished when Hawaii pushed through for their 25th through 31st points.

Statistically, it was a little ugly.  CU only rushed for 17 net yards (due to Tyler being sacked 7 times), and was out-gained overall 343-240. The CU secondary, which had been a worry point headed into the game, was able to corral the vaunted Hawai'i air attack, but a deep drop in coverage combined with an over-aggressive pass-rush allowed Warrior QB Bryant Moniz to break loose time after time.  This allowed the Warriors to flip the script on the Buffs, jumping on the "Mighty Mo" train for 121 net rushing yards and 3 big scores, including a demoralizing 57 yard scamper in the 2nd quarter.
Might've wanted to spy him at some point.  From: the BDC
But all was not terrible.  The freshman kickers played well, the Hansen-to-Richardson connection is shaping up nicely (2 TD's), the D-line got to the quarterback (5-sacks), and the team got better in the second half. 

Disappointing loss aside, the team will have to look to these bright spots and fire it up for the Cal Bears and the 2001 reunion.

Darragh O'Neil -  The fact is, the kid is a stud.  Faced with keeping his team in the game when the offense sputtered, the freshman stepped up and kicked out of his mind.  He totaled 7 punts, 4 inside the 20, with an average of 45 and a long of 56.  It's been a while since you could look at those kind of number from a Buffs punter.  Considering his background, he's like found money, which makes it all the sweeter.  4 years of consistent punting?  You mean how it used to go around here?  I'm down.

I have a proposition to make.  Every time this kid blasts a  50+ yard punt on the road, the house must do a round of car bombs.  Everyone cool with this?  Great.

Notes from around the nation - 

Auburn v Utah St - The Aggies whupped the national champs in their own building.  They may not have technically "won" the game, giving up 14 points in the final 2 minutes to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, but they were, by far, the better team on the day. 

Notre Dame v South Florida - The fight'n Darrel Scott's went into a rain-soaked Notre Dame Stadium and put the Irish on their heels.  A early-game fumble-6 by the Irish propelled the USF Bulls, lead by the progeny of former ND legend Lou Holtz, to victory.

Maryland v Miami - OH MY GOD!  KILL IT WITH FIRE!

Oregon v LSU - The Ducks looked a little lost in SEC country.  That offense doesn't work so well when the D is much, much faster.

Boise St v Georgia - Congrats go to the Broncos for winning their Super Bowl.  I hope they enjoy their 3rd place finish in the BCS.

UPDATE 9/6 - Texas vs Rice - Kudos to the Rice Marching band for making a statement about conference expansion.

Pac-whatever expansion talk - 

OU, OSU, UT, Tech, Mizzou, and KU were all linked to potential moves to the Pac-12 over the past week.  Texas may be talking to the ACC (the fuck?), Mizzou may have multiple options (SEC?), the Big East may get a "western division," and OU is trying to drag OSU wherever they end up.  My brain is starting to hurt from the avalanche of egotism and scheming.

At this point I think Larry Scott is going to put all the 9 remaining Big XII schools names in a big-ass hat, shuffle them around, and then have some Nor-Cal hippie pull four out for inclusion in the Pac-12.  (This crazy lottery scenario, btw, is the only way Iowa St stays in a BCS conference when the Big XII dies)

I'm starting to realize that, regardless of how awesome the Pac-12 situation turned out, any further expansion will not help CU.  Teams have realized that Larry Scott isn't crazy, that he can deliver on all of wild cash-dollar promises, and they all want in on the party.  The advantages that CU scratched an clawed to earn in 2010 are about to be washed away in a torrent of Big XII Johnny-come-lately's.  I'm not happy about this.

What I am happy about is the oncoming Lone Star abandonment of Baylor.  Despite their best (Lol) efforts, I don't think there's any way this ends up well for them.  Considering the cheap-shots lobbed our way during the last round of expansion, and the less-than-satisfactory way they weaseled their way into the Big XII, I don't think this Texas-sized ignore-a-thon could've happen to a more appropriate set of people.  Politicking giveth and it taketh away.

I rate it schadenfreude-tastic!

Season's over *clap, clap, clap-clap-clap* - The 2011 White Sox season died right about the time the Detroit Tigers dumped 18 runs on them en route to capping a triumphant weekend sweep.  There is no coming back.  It's over, and I'm slowly coming to terms with that.

This Sox crew was never all that good, having too much money and pride dumped into players who performed at levels usually reserved for utility infielders.  However, I still latched on to the faint hope that they could use the spark provided by a crew of talented youngsters to stay in contention for at least a few more weeks.  Nope, this season is O-VAH!

Happy Monday!


Aaron Jordan said...

What do you think about the fact that CU had to pay to leave the Big XII, and now a bunch of the Big XII might be coming with us?

Do you think Texas and company knew they were going to leave in the next year or two and just let us take the first step, or is this actually a recent development?

I am really disappointing about this from an academic standpoint. We fit so well in the Pac 12 academically, and without CU the Big XII academic achievements are abysmal, and now schools like Oklahoma will go back to bragging on their website that their conference produced 17 astronauts.

RumblinBuff said...

Well, we never paid, we never received revenue distribution. An accounting distinction, but an important one.

I don't think the Pac-12 will expand unless forced to. There's really no juice in getting the Oklahoma schools (small media markets, niche fan bases, OU is overly skilled). Texas would be financially beneficial, but I don't think anyone really wants the hassle, and the network is a major impediment.

This is a recent development because the rest of the Big XII is finally coming to terms with the realities of the Longhorn Network.

The academic reasoning is another factor. The Pac-12 is proud of their academic standing (Wash St excluded), and wouldn't jump into a partnership with OSU lightly.