Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, October 31, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: The Banana Stand comes through

We may suck at football, we may be struggling in soccer and volleyball, but those frozen bananas from the Cross Country Banana Stand are plentiful and delicious.  What football game?  This week it's all about the victorious runners.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Quick Post: Buffs picked 10th in Pac-12

I'm currently sneaking some paragraphs in on my Massive Basketball Preview, but I thought I should mention that the Pac-12 preseason media poll was released today.  The unsurprising results have CU pegged for 10th

I obviously think that 10th is crap.  Even if a lot of things go wrong, CU is destined for better than that.  Focus on departures all you want, and there will be a resulting drop-off, but CU is better prepared to handle roster turnover than in years past, and the Pac-12 is a slightly weaker conference than the old Big XII.  CU will do just fine this season, and should finish no lower than 8th.

For reference, last season's squad that appeared in the NIT Final Four and was so rudely rejected for the Tournament was picked 9th.  CU finished in 5th.  Keep under-rating Colorado basketball at your own peril.

Friday Beer Post: 2011 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - ASU Edition

Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"

Much of the Pac-12 resides in states where craft brewing is not only prevalent, but a cultural way of life.  Colorado, California, and Oregon have some of the strongest brewing traditions the nation has to offer.  Hundreds of breweries dot these states, showcasing some of the best brews in the nation.

The rest of the Pac-12, however, including the great State of Arizona, can be a little lacking in brewing culture.  I'm not saying that there aren't craft breweries in the state, just that they're not the quality of some of the others that dot the Pac-12 landscape.  So, note to Arizonans: work on that.

To the matter at hand... I was at a loss this week.  With Arizona lacking in high-profile brewing culture, what the hell am I supposed to use to select a suitable beer?  After a few frustrating minutes racking my brain, I just gave up and went the mascot route.  As is usually the case, I turned my eyes to the local craft brewing titans at Avery.  :What's that one Belgian with the devil on the label?  White Rascal?"  Shrugging my shoulders, I've picked Avery's White Rascal as my tailgate beer-o-the-week.

At least for my purposes they decided to put some sort of demon/devil thing on the label (Deviously Delicious!").  That's kind of like a Devil, right?  Possibly one who comes from the Sun?  A reach, to be sure, but what else can I go with?

I threw the question out to the twitter folk (follow me @rumblinbuffalo, btw) and none of the responses really struck me as appropriate.  I'm trying to stay away from reflexively naming an IPA each week, so Hop Devil from Victory was out, and the Demon series, also from Avery, is composed of beers far too large to be a "session" beer.  So White Rascal it is. 

I don't even like White Rascal.  Too Belgian for my tastes. (the Belgian people are ever so nice, but I just don't like the yeasts they use in their beer.)  However, I'm fully aware many people like that sort of thing, and that White Rascal is a hit in that community of White Ale fans.  It's a nice, light brew, tweaked with hints of orange and coriander, which compliment the style nicely.  Think of it like an unfiltered Blue Moon, only with balls.  Very refreshing, and a nice change of pace from typical tailgate beers.

While I may not personally like the style, this is a great brew.  Give it a try, you may even find that you like the taste of Belgian yeast.  It even comes in convenient cans, perfect for bringing to a tailgate.  Drink your beer, damnit!

Happy Friday! Go Buffs, Beat the Spread!

Quick Post: On Game 6 of the World Series

I enjoyed myself immensely last night.  What a game, what an evening of baseball.

But there's Joe Cowley and his tired, bitter ilk, bitching and moaning about the quality of the game.  It wasn't a well played game before the late-inning dramatics, the ratings are still going to be crap, the sport has been fucked by management who don't seem to know what they're doing, football will wash the memories of October 27th away before November even sets in, yadda yadda yadda.

Who the fuck cares?  Isn't the point of watching sports to be entertained, to be drawn into things you really have no right to care about?  I have little to no reason to actually care about this World Series, other than the fact that I really like baseball, yet I sat in breathless anticipation as the extra innings of Game 6 unfolded.  I imagine I experienced exactly what past generations felt when consuming Game 6's from '75 and '86; an overwhelming sense of mirthful disbelief as baseball proves again that anything, truly anything, can happen if you watch it long enough, and I better not go anywhere.

What could possibly be more entertaining than two consecutive innings featuring a team coming back from the brink of a 2-strike count with 2 outs and the season on the line?  That someone dropped a fly-ball in the 4th is of no concern when a team refuses to die in the 9th, 10th, and 11th.

Game 7 could suck terribly, a blowout with no inherent drama, and it will do nothing to diminish the magic that I immersed myself in while watching Game 6.  Save it for the time capsule, I'll want to see all of that again someday.

God bless this little sport.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

ASU Preview: A devil of a time

At last, the no good, lame month of October is coming to a close.  I knew going in that October would probably end with an 0-5 record, with a whole bunch of blowouts thrown in for good measure, but this has almost been worse than I could've imagined prior to the WSU game.  So far, the 10th month of 2011 has thumped CU to the tune of 176-60.  Woof.

Before the season started I saw at least a few opportunities for sweet, sweet victory in November, but now I'm not so sure.  At least there's fewer opportunities for a 40 point blowout.


The Sun Devil is an acceptably unique mascot; certainly better than their Territorial Cup rival Arizona Wildcats.  To take advantage of the unique aspects of having a Devil for a mascot, I unapologetically present this clip of the Robot Devil from Futurama.
(I got a hundred bucks on rectal exam bot!)

The Buffs are off to warmer climates, poised to hit the Valley of the Sun for the first time since 2007.  Kickoff is set for 4:30, but there's no TV coverage to avoid looking at this weekend.  If you really want to, you can join Mark Johnson on 850 KOA to agonize over the play-by-play.

Click below for my preview...

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Quick Post: Leaving games early

Yesterday, at his weekly press conference, Coach Embree praised CU fans for sticking it out and supporting the team last Saturday against Oregon.  Indeed, I was pleased to see a full stadium Saturday afternoon.  It helped that the weather on Homecoming was gorgeous, and that the ski slopes hadn't completely opened yet, but still, Buff Nation stepped up.

However, it's time to enter the confessional: I left at halftime Saturday afternoon.  Actually, it was more like I sprinted out of the stadium at halftime last Saturday. 

I had seen everything I needed to see Saturday, and found the prospect of a Big City Burrito far more enticing than the second half of a game that stopped being competitive with 13:24 to go in the first quarter. While it was Homecoming, the marching band, through the canceling of its traditional homecoming program, had made it abundantly clear that it wanted nothing to do with its alumni, so I didn't even have the prospect of playing some tuba like I usually do on Homecoming weekend. 

In all honesty, I got bored.  I showed up, sang the fight song, watched some Ralphie, and left.  I'm not proud of it, if fact I'm a little ashamed.

But, I have to ask, is it ever acceptable to leave a game early? 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

There's always money in the Banana Stand

Following on the heels of the recent announcement of the return of "Arrested Development," I went on a watch-binge of the television series.  A fantastic little show, I highly reccomend taking a peek if you have yet to be exposed to it.

One of the central lessons of the series is that "there's always money in the Banana Stand."  The father, George Bluth, meant this literally, having lined the walls of the little frozen chocolate banana stand with $250,000 in cash, but, if you watch the series in its entirety, you'll notice that, through thick and thin, that little banana stand is the only reliable part of the Bluth family's income.  They may disrespect it, forget about it, laugh about it, but that little stand is the rock that the family, and all their wealth, is built upon. 

The Cross Country program at CU is our banana stand, and there's always money in the banana stand.

Fall sports have been, shall we say, 'rocky' in Buff-land for some time now.  Specifically, this season has been flat-out terrible; prior to last Friday's win by the soccer team, CU had gone 0-for-2011 against Pac-12 schools in all sports.  Ah, but the cross-country team.  They've been, per usual, a shining beacon of hope in the fall portion of CU's sporting scene.

The mens squad is currently ranked 6th in the nation, having emerged victorious at the recent NCAA Pre-Invitational.  They're one of six Pac-12 schools appearing in the top-30 poll, and stand barely behind Stanford, who sit at 4th.  The womens team, also one of six Pac-12 schools in the top-30, had been sitting at 4th before a slightly disappointing finish at the same event, yet they still sit at a respectable 16th in the polls.

All told, the CC squad is, yet again, carrying the torch for fall success. 

I'll admit, talking CC isn't exactly in my comfort zone.  I'm the last one you'll find running on a typically beautiful Boulder afternoon, and it's hard to follow a sport that's rarely on TV and doesn't make for stadium viewing.  However, I do love my Universtiy, and CC is all we got going on right now that I can trumpet with any seriousness (at least until basketball tips off... in 18 days, btw).

This weekend, instead of paying any attention to the injured, woe-begotten football program playing ASU in Tempe, AZ, I'm going to focus on, of all things, the Pac-12 Cross Country championships being held down the road in Litchfield Park, AZ.  God knows this athletic department could use some good news, and hopefully the CC squads can provide it by staking claim to Pac-12 gold!


Monday, October 24, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: An uneventful weekend

Nothing happened this weekend.  CU/Oregon?  Naw, never heard of it.  This was a CU bye week, right?  Thank God for bye weeks!

Click below for the bag...

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Beer Post: 2011 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Oregon Edition

Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!" 

Oregon is one of the few states that can give Colorado a run for its money in the craft brewing industry.  All told there are over 150 craft scattered throughout the Beaver State, many of them amongst the best in the nation.  Widmer, Deschutes, Full Sail, Bend, Hopworks, and BridgePort all make their homes in Oregon.  The best, in my opinion, is Rogue.  Their Dead Guy Ale is one of my personal favorites, and it's my tailgate beer-o-the-week.

Originally from Ashland, Oregon (far southwest corner of the state), Rogue has since jumped north to the costal village of Newport.  They're known for producing some wonderfully flavorful and diverse ales, many of which have garnered world-wide acclaim. 

Dead Guy is theoretically a Maibock, which is a traditional German lager style, brewed with Rogue's proprietary ale yeast strain.  As the style dictates, this is maltier than your typical northwestern ale.  There's hops, to be sure, but the flavor and aromas from Dead Guy are more on the sweet/bready side.  If you don't like an onslaught of hops, which is typical from the region, this is a good beer to grab.

Grab a six-pack, and fortify yourself against the losing.  It's going to be a long Saturday.

Happy Friday! Go Buffs, Beat the Spread (baby steps)!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oregon Preview: Gordon, stop quacking!

Ideally, in some distant and hard to contemplate future, CU should be able to compete with the best in the nation.  The Buffs of this future would look at the visit of a top-10 team like Oregon as an opportunity to showcase all that is football in Boulder, possibly even upsetting the Ducks on national TV. 

But, this is not that distant future, this is the brutally painful present.  The only thing CU will showcase on Saturday is how far it has to travel before relevancy returns.

This season has flown off the fucking rails, speeding down a precipitously steep hill towards death and doom.  There is no saving it, no Denzel Washington coming to save the day, the season is lost.  And, just in time to administer the coup-de-grace, in steps the vaunted Oregon offense.  Unlike the fight'n Andrew Luck's from Stanford or the good-but-not-great boys from UW, these guys don't give a fuck, and will hang-a-hundred on you if given the chance.

Unfortunately, CU will offer them that chance on Saturday.


Quack quack quack quack, Mr. Ducksworth.
In the Mighty Ducks analogy, CU is poor Goldberg, tied to the net, destined to be pelted by many hockey pucks for the nation's amusement.  Oregon is Goldberg's friends and teammates, possessing neither compassion nor understanding as they abuse the helpless goalie.
If you're a masochist, or an Oregon fan, the game will kick off at 1:30.  If you can't make it up to Folsom, yet, bizarrely, still desire to watch the bloodbath unfold, you can tune in to the channel formerly known as FSN (Root Sports).  May God have mercy on our souls.

Click below for my preview...

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Quick Post: Big weekend for basketball recruiting

For some reason, I'm fascinated by this season's basketball recruiting process.  Usually, I abhor recruiting discussion, finding my time better spent on pursuits not involving the thought process of 18-yr old kids, but this fall has me jumping on every tidbit of recruiting information I can find. Maybe it's the open-ish narrative provided by Coach Abatemarco, maybe it's the fact that CU is actually grabbing some of the heavy-weights they're going after, maybe I'm just grasping at straws to distract myself from the impact crater that is the football program; whatever the reason, I'm enthralled.

I talked last week of the keystone spot in the '12 class; the point guard that would tie the whole group together and cement CU's place in the top-20.  Nominally, the discussion over the previous weeks had fallen at the feet of Messrs. Artis and Wallace.  Late last week, it became known that the CU coaching staff had cooled on Artis before any 'hard' recruiting got started, leaving Ty Wallace as the Buffs lone remaining high-profile target.
Wallace can soar, and would be the capstone of an already stellar 2012 recruiting class.
In short, Wallace is now a "must get."

Originally, CU had been scheduled as his last visit of the recruiting process (whether it's a good sign that he scheduled us last is for other people to decide), but has had to move his official visit to Boulder up to this weekend. Your thoughts, Coach Abatemarco:
Indeed.  I wouldn't expect a verdict from Wallace before he's completed all his trips, or, essentially, til the end of the month, but this is the weekend that will make or break CU's recruitment of him.

Go get him, Tad.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Suck for Luck Sweepstakes

While at dinner last night, the Fins/Jets game was forced on me.  Having been eye-raped by Monday Night Football, I can safely say the Miami Dolphins are plain awful.  Like, 0-16 awful.  Sure, they may screw up and back into a win or two, but I doubt it.  And that brings my mind around to the Andrew Luck Sweepstakes.

Having watched Luck the past two years, it's easy to see why 'experts' drool over him; he's got the tools, make-up, and pro-style offense experience to be an immediate impact at the next level.  Hell, if given the opportunity, I would think at least 1/3rd of NFL teams would play him this Sunday.  He's so good, with so much potential to be helpful right away, that it's no wonder that NFL teams, NFL fanbases, are openly talking about purposely losing to get the rights to draft him.  I can't remember any one player warranting/garnering that level of respect in my lifetime.
What would you do to get this guy on your roster?
So who's gonna end up with the shot to draft the great Andrew Luck?

Besides the Fins, there are currently seven teams have one or zero wins headed into week 7.  That list includes the Jags, Colts, Broncos, Vikings, Panthers, Cardinals, and Rams.  Of those eight teams in the midst of a great surge of suckage, five have QB's already in place who are supposed to be the future of the team (Jags-Gabbert, Vikings-Ponder, Panthers-Newton, Cardinals-Kolb, and Rams-Bradford.  The Broncos aren't on that list because I'm not an idiot).  That leaves two teams, the Dolphins and the Broncos, as the leaders in the clubhouse for Andrew Luck, while the Colts remain a wild card (Is Peyton Manning ready to train an heir-apparent?  I'll assume not).

Lo and behold, the Fins play the Broncos this weekend.

We know the Fins are bad and could desperately use a QB; they'll be tough to out-suck.  The Broncos QB situation is a mess, and could use the clarity provided by the best QB prospect to come out of college since Peyton Manning.  Throw in the fact that Broncos head John Elway is a Stanford alum, and I can't help but think he'd kill to secure the rights to his fellow Cardinal.

I took it as no small coincidence that the day after watching Luck destroy the Buffs live-and-in-person, John Elway allowed his Broncos to remove Kyle Orton, purportedly Denver's best hope to win this season, from the playing equation.  Now, throw in the trade of Brandon Lloyd, and the 'Donkeys' are in full on 'Suck-for-Luck' mode. 

But can they catch the Fins?  I doubt it.  Not only does Miami have a game advantage, but I have the feeling that they'll do whatever they can, even continue to start Matt Moore at QB, in order to get Luck to South Beach.  It wouldn't surprise me if the Fins only play with nine on offense this Sunday.  Barring some disastrous turn of events, like the Broncos forfeiting this weekend, Miami will enter week 8 with a two game advantage on the Broncos for the worst record in football.  Denver just isn't terrible enough, it seems.

But, hope is not lost, Broncos fans.  This race doesn't exist in a vacuum.  Any one of the other six terrible teams around football could stumble into the first pick.  If that were the case, with that team's QB situation sowed up, they might be inclined to trade, opening the whole thing up for a Herschel Walker type deal.  Wouldn't that be wonderful.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: Winless in Seattle (harf, harf)

It's cold and rainy today in Boulder Valley... figures... CU remains winless in the new conference; not just football, the whole athletic department is 0-for-the-Pac-12.  *sigh*

But, there's just 26 days left til basketball season starts... so we've got that going for us... which is nice. 


As promised, today's grab bag carries the title "Winless in Seattle."  I just wanted to get out in front of the Daily Camera sports staff who predictably went with "Defenseless in Seattle" in their wrap-up article.  Boulder Colorado: where the hack headlines are as predictable as the losing football.

Are you ready recap the weekend?!

Click below for the bag...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Quick Post: The official start of basketball season

Today will mark the start of CU's 2011-12 basketball campaign as the first practice gets underway in the new practice facility.  While I'm hard at work getting my bball preview ready (look for it in about 2 weeks), check out the first teaser articles from the main news sources:

Daily Camera

Denver Post

Friday Beer Post: 2011 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Washington Edition

Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!"

When I think the State of Washington, the first thing that pops into my head is apples.  Weird, I know, but those Washington apple commercials I saw as a kid must've made on hell of an impression.  Unfortunately, that means my thought process this week has veered straight off the beer cliff and into cider territory.  I'm so very sorry.  Slightly confused, yet unbowed, I'm naming Woodchuck's Amber Draft Cider as my tailgate "alternative alcaholic beverage"-o-the-week.

Hard cider's have gotten a bad wrap in modern days.  They used to be a core booze in the country, from the earliest colonial days on up to prohibition.   If it's good enough for the Founders (except for Burr, that dude was a pussy), then it's good enough for me. 

Having tasted exactly no other brands, I can safely say that Woodchuck produces the best American hard cider I've ever tried.  It's sweet and apple-y, with a knowing kick to it.  Hey, it's what you would expect.  If you think it's too girly for your manly tailgate, just remember that it probably contains more alcohol than your lame-ass Keystone Light.  Just, whatever you do, don't play beer pong with it.

One other thing I've noticed is that women love this shit.  Seriously, put a 6-pack of Woodchuck out, and watch how quickly you're surrounded.  It's the alcohol equivalent of taking a puppy to a park.  You're welcome.

Happy Friday! Go Buffs, Beat Washington!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Wasington Preview: Call of the Wild

By this point in the season, while the previews always pose interesting challenges, I could almost write a wrap-up before the game starts.  In fact, I've already started my Monday Grab Bag for next week; it's called "Winless in Seattle."  Here's a preview:

"Blah blah special teams disaster, blah blah penalties, blah blah screen game, blah blah team doesn't know how to win, blah blah blah. "

It's been the same for every weekend that CU isn't playing within it's comfort zone (whupping lil brother in Denver), and the whole thing is starting to get old.  I'm having trouble discerning genuine improvement anymore; maybe that's just the cynic in me, but I've reached a critical stage in watching the team this season.  Don't get me wrong, I'm still on board with Coach Embree and crew, but my heart is catching up to what my brain knew all along would be a long rebuilding process

Hell, I'm probably lashing out because of the helpless nature of being a fan, but my eyes are starting to glaze over whenever the football program is brought up.  I'm desperate for a bright spot, but as I said last week, I'm not sure that there's one on the horizon until October passes us all by.


Balto, the most famous Husky of all time.  That's all I got today.
Making their fist trip to the Pacific Northwest since that dreadful 2004 affair with Washington St, CU takes on the Washington Huskies, looking to somehow, someway halt the road losing streak in its tracks.  Kickoff is set for 1:30 MT, and the game can be seen on Root/FSN if you're so inclined.

Click below for the preview...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Artis vs Wallace

Since this is a lazy Wednesday, and I have no shame, I'm going to steal a topic of discussion from AllBuffs.

The word on the street is that the CU basketball program, already boasting a recruiting class ranked by many in the current top-20, has its eyes set on at least one more top-100 caliber player.  This focus has fallen on two exciting point guards from, of course, California: Dominic Artis and Tyrone Wallace.

Ty Wallace has been a primary target for CU for quite some time now.  He's grabbed interest from a litany of West Coast basketball powers, including the likes of Gonzaga, UNLV, and most of the Pac-12.  He's a taller guard, coming in at 6-4, 185, and might develop into a 'tweener', which is not necessarily a bad thing.  He's currently ranked in the lower quarter of the top-100 by all the major services.

Dominic Artis, after originally committing to UCLA back in July, backed out earlier this month to re-open his recruiting.  According to @YungCoach from Buffscoop, CU jumped on the opportunity provided by his decommitment, and began recruiting him hard.  Artis is an electric point guard who has shot up close to the top-50 in many recruiting lists.  The 5-11 distributor from Richmond, CA is considered the best PG in the West and is garnering national interest, which is not surprising when you get a look at this tape:

Obviously, as a Buff Basketball junkie, I'm just happy CU is being considered by these kids.  It's not every year that CU lands a top-level hoops prospect, let alone a possible trio of top-100 players.  I'd be beyond ecstatic if Coach Boyle was able to land either of these guards to round out the class.

That said, I'll take a stab at guessing what will happen. The depressing possibility remains that neither could end up in black and gold, but I'll work under the assumption that Coach Boyle will be able to cap off his already sterling 2012 recruiting class with one of these two outstanding point guards.  Artis looks like a phenomenal talent, but I don't see us being able to swoop in and land him; just too late in the game.  My best guess is that CU will be able to lock-in Ty Wallace.  Not only has CU been in on Wallace longer, but Ty is still scheduled to visit CU (his last scheduled visit) on October 23rd, just two weeks before NLI-day.

The addition of Wallace should be enough to solidify CU's status in the final top-25 recruiting classes, and send shock waves through basketball circles on the west coast.  This program is announcing its presence with authority; you're on notice, Pac-12.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The return of the Big Sky

They're baaack.  The Big Sky Conference, responsible for two of the more embarrassing days of the Dan Hawkins error (er, era), will once again send one of it's members into Boulder, looking for a paycheck, and an upset.  It's all part of a two-year dive back into D1-AA football, sending shivers up my spine as FCS teams, at least one of which will come from the Big Sky, will once again grace the CU football schedule.
Please let it be any Big Sky team other than Montana State. From:
On the surface, it seems like an easy proposition.  Schedule some weak opponent from the lower league, beef up your win-loss record with some extra "W's."  Texas Tech and Kansas State do it all the time; it's part and parcel of the modern non-conference schedule.  Especially considering the state of the program, CU could probably use some easier dates to ease the burden on Coach Embree and crew.

But, it's not that easy.  First, there's the anticipated loss in ticket revenue.  The leading assumption in the past has been that CU fans will only show up to see 'name,' or at least BCS, opponents.  While I think that's crap, it should become expected to show up regardless of the opponent, it's been the standard coming from Dal Ward for some time now.  Point in fact, these two FCS teams popping up on the schedule in 2012 and 2013 will mean CU will go two years without playing a major conference opponent in non-con play for the first time since 1948.

Second, there's always the chance the Buffs could lose.

What Buff fan doesn't remember the '06 and '08 dates with Big Sky opponents Montana State and Eastern Washington State?  The '06 home loss to MSU sits like a black stain on the history of the program, and the entirety of Buff Nation flirted with jumping off the 3rd Flatiron when EWU took a 21-7 lead into halftime in '08. While those performances, or lack there of, can easily be attributed to the anti-football ways of Coach Hawk, I'd rather just avoid that conference of Buffalo-killers entirely.
I'd also like to avoid EWU if possible.  From:
(BTW, Hawk's series of appearances on the ESPN show 'the Experts' chaps my ass.  He is the Matt Millen of coaching.  How do you take anything he says seriously?  "Well, when I was a coach..."  Shut the fuck up, program destroyer.)

I have to figure that the only reason that CU AD Mike Bohn is going through with scheduling another FCS opponent (after saying he would avoid it after the dueling Big Sky fiascoes) is that the rebuilding process is shaping up to be longer and more difficult than previously imagined, and that the financial flexibility afforded by the increase in conference revenues will allow him to spike a few home dates on the schedule to keep with the 6 home-game commitment.

Regardless, I approach the return of FCS squads, and those from the Big Sky in particular, to future CU schedules with trepidation.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Quick Post: Guy on a Buffalo Pt 4 - GoaB Strikes Back

I usually save these until Friday, or at least until EDSBS alerts me to a new episode, but I couldn't resist.  Buff Nation needs a pick-me-up, and what better than the continuing adventures of our hero, the Guy on a Buffalo. 

Check out the 4th, and apparently final, installment of the series that has swept the inter-tubes:

HE RODE THE BUFFALO INTO A SALOON!  I totally didn't see that coming.

Ride on, GoaB... Ride on...


Previous episodes:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Monday Grab Bag: Hooray, we kept 'em under 50!

Lucky for CU, the fight'n Andrew Luck's from Stanford got bored with tossing CU around and turned off the gas before they cracked 50.  I CLAIM VICTORY!

Today in the bag, I'll look back on the game, such as it was, from Saturday, continue to fellate the Luck mythos, and take a look around football nation.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, October 7, 2011

Friday Beer Post: 2011 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Stanford Edition

Each week throughout the football season I'm going to suggest a good beer for the ubiquitous pre-game tailgate. Let's be honest, with tailgates it's not always top quality that you're looking for. To steal a phrase from the heinous beer terrorists at Budweiser, you want "drinkability." (or what a real beer connoisseur calls "a session beer") So, be warned, these may not be "the best" beers around. But, in the words of Dave Chappelle as Samuel L. Jackson "IT'LL GET YOU DRUNK!" 

With the pleasure and pain of the Great American Beer Festival behind me (THANKS AGAIN RICO!), I'm back to normal service.  One beer, selected mostly for my ability to pseudo-logically tie it to the week's opponent, for you to enjoy at your tailgate.

As I mentioned yesterday, while Stanford doesn't officially have a mascot, they are indelibly tied to the image of the drunken tree dancing around on the sideline.  The only beer I can think of directly involving a conifer actually uses real spruce tips as a flavoring ingredient.  If you haven't guessed yet, I'm naming Alaskan Brewing's Winter Ale as my tailgate beer-o-the-week.

Alaskan Brewing does many things really well.  Their smoked porter is a thing of beauty, and their amber is a damn fine session beer; great beers from a great brewery.  Not to be outdone, their Winter Ale has quickly become a winter-time favorite for me. 

An English Olde Ale, brewed to be a "winter warmer," the brew is expectantly big and malty.  The addition of the spruce tips adds a sweet and woody character to the taste, giving it a unique feel, and helping it stand out from other winter offerings from the brewing world.  Luckily, it just started going on sale this month and I expect Liquor Mart/Superior Liquor will have it in stock on Saturday afternoon.

So grab a 6-pack or two; you're gonna need it 'cause this one's gonna get out of hand early.

Happy Friday! Go Buffs, Beat (or at least compete with) Stanford!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quick Post: Guy on a Buffalo Pt 3

He's back! GoaB is back just in time for Saturday!  Check it out:

It's funny how, just like the real-life Buffs, the episode ends with GoaB hurting.  We'll just have to wait and see how this all turns out...

BTW, my favorite comment from Youtube: "If the guy on a buffalo dies, then so does my reason for living."  Indeed.


Previous episodes:

Part 1

Part 2

Stanford Preview: Watch out for that.....

The Stanford Cardinal (singular, not plural) derive their current nickname not from this one tree located nearby, nor it's cartoon-ish manifestation that dances and gets into trouble, but rather from the color Cardinal Red.  That shit is lame; I'm much more comfortable associating the Stanford Cardinal with the drunken tree.
Unless you're a Cal fan, how can you stay mad at a mascot that goofy looking?

My inability to hate the drunken tree reminds me: I'm having a difficult time drumming up scorn for our new Pac-12 brethren.  I'm sure when USC rolls into town I'll be back to my hate spewing days of old, but, for now at least, my vitriol reservoir has run dry.  Can we at least sneak K-State back on the schedule so I have someone to rail against?


Lessons learned from George of the Jungle be damned, CU is headed straight for that tree.  Kickoff is set for 5:30, and you can watch the horror unfold on Versus... if you have the stomach for it, that is.

Click below for my preview...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

There's going to be an NBA season.... right?

Last week, I flippantly threw out the possibility that the NBA may not have a 2011-12 season.  Now, what was only last week a "gallows analysis" look at what would happen in the NBA lost its damn mind and canceled at least part of another season, may be very probable.

The preseason is now gone, and, should a deal remain elusive through Monday, the regular season will start to get trimmed as well.  Sure, few really care about lost preseason games, but we're starting to talk real, honest-to-goodness regular season dates.  This would hurt everyone: owners, players, team employees, advertisers, broadcasters, the guy selling a parking spot for 20 bucks... frickin' everyone.  This is no way for a league to operate, important labor dispute or no.

I had been conditioned, from being force-fed Billy Simmons' Stern-as-Godfather meme, that NBA Commish David Stern, in the parlance of the times, "don't give a fuck."  However, it's been Stern who has been moving towards a deal, bringing the owners close to what the players recently asked for.  It was the players who spiked the deal, holding out for more than what they recently asked for, and then had union executive director Billy Hunter up there saying that they it could be months before they talk again.  MONTHS!
This hasn't been the implacable Stern that I was expecting.  Rather it's the players who are playing roadblock.  From: ESPN
Our guys have indicated a willingness to lose games,” said Hunter.  Maybe it's just posturing, or maybe the players really don't give a fuck.  They probably should.  The owners have moved up from paying out 47% of basketball related income to a 50-50 split (with a chunk lobbed off the top).  It took over a year to get the owners to budge on that number and it's less than NFL owners got out of football's labor negotiations. 

While the players used to get 57% of BRI, lord knows they were never going to get anything close to that number again.  That number was insane, and was a root cause of much of "the Association's" financial woes.  I think the players need to take a closer look at what the NBA owners are offering.  Moving the owners up from 47% isn't the time to cut off negotiations; it's a number to work with. 

The owners have already given ground on a hard cap, salary roll-backs, and an opt-out clause, so all they're haggling over now is the final slice of the pie.  I'm usually a steadfastly pro-Union kind of guy, but it's time for the players to play ball and get this thing settled before we're all stuck watching Arena League Football in the dead of winter.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Coach Boyle is killing it on the recruiting trail

What was already an impressive showing on the recruiting trail for CU basketball only got better as the Buffs grabbed the commitments of two more players for the 2012 class.

Sunday night, word began to leak out that Detroit swing-man Chris Jenkins had announced his attention to don the black-and-gold.  Jenkins, who stands at a wiry 6-7, 190lbs, is known as a great outside shooter, and will probably be a long-term project for CU with a strong upside.  While his shooting skills may be needed off the bench, his wiry frame will keep from from gobbling up too many minutes early. 

Still, I like the pickup.  Our typical recruiting grounds had been the Front Range and California, so a kid from Detroit expands the recruiting base nicely.  Additionally, his height and athleticism compliment Coach Boyle's style, and lend to a high level of versatility when it comes time to play with the roster.  If his shooting is as advertised, that height can make him a deadly addition to the roster. While he may not get many minutes right away, I can see Chis as being very valuable as an upperclassman.  Additionally, I love the fact that Chris plans on studying Chemistry with an eye towards attending medical school.

Not 24 hours after Jenkins was listed as a Buff, the 2012 class was still getting stronger.  Word leaked out last evening that highly touted Southern California small forward Xavier Johnson had accepted an invitation to become a Buff.  Coach Boyle and staff had an in-home visit with him last evening, and, apparently, he liked what he heard. The 6-6 Johnson is a consensus 4-star recruit and is considered a top-100 player nationally.

A lefty, Johnson seems to be the real deal, a kid who has the athleticism, speed, and nose for the hoop that translates into a fantastic player.  He's got a nice soft touch on an improving jumper that should allow Johnson to form a great 1-2 punch with fellow top-100 prospect Josh Scott.  He's also known to have a great work ethic, and has shown the goods against elite talent, as can be seen here:

All told, CU now has 4 commitments, 2 of whom are top-100 players.  With the early signing period just over a month away (November 9th), CU is mere days away from officially sending shock waves through the basketball world.  Yet, recruiting isn't over. The Buffs are also rumored to be in the mix for yet another top-100 talent: Bakersfield's Tyrone Wallace

It's not every year that CU lands a consensus top-100 player, let alone two (or possibly three).  In fact, prior to the 2012 recruiting class, CU had yet to land one (although players like Chauncey Billups and David Harrison would've been at that level, had recruiting services been around back then.).  These are heady days for CU basketball, and the future is as bright as I have ever dreamed it could be.  I'm just happy to be along for the ride.

In summation, Tad Boyle is awesome.


ESPN's bottom line on Johnson - "Smooth wing that can score on the break and in the half court by getting to the rim and taking advantage of his size or showing off his nice middle game. Johnson finds a way to use his strengths to be productive. He must be more effective on the offensive glass. Due to his work ethic and physical attributes look for Johnson to climb the recruiting charts during the up and coming spring (2011) evaluation period."

On Jenkins -  "He's been improving nicely over the past few years and should continue to do so. He needs to get stronger but he has terrific length for the small forward position. We've tabbed him as a mid-major prospect with room to grow."

Monday, October 3, 2011

Monday Grab Bag: Tired of losing

I can't help but agree with Coach Embree when he says he's tired of losing.  It sucks, there's doubt about it, and Buff Nation may be seeing a lot of it for quite awhile to come.  But, I just can't stay in defeat mode until the team gets it shit together (if ever).  I take my cues from Monty Python:

Some things in life are bad,
They can really make you mad.
Other things just make you swear and curse.
When you're chewing on life's gristle,
Don't grumble, give a whistle,
And this'll help things turn out for the best, and...

Now, if only someone could let me know what that bright side is, I'd be in business.

Click below for the bag...