Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, April 9, 2012

Monday Grab Bag: Alright, fine, I'll talk about football

I hope everyone's Zombie Jesus Day was enjoyable.  Look for the second (and final) part of my basketball season wrapup either Wednesday or Thursday, with a special edition of the Friday Beer Post on Friday in anticipation of Saturday's Spring Game festivities.

Today in the bag I'll finally get around to talking some football, recap my Masters experience, and talk about baseball's opening weekend. 

Click below for the bag...

Spring football notes - 

With the Spring "Game" only a few days away, I figure now is as good a time as any to at least mention those in pads.


I know most in this country, particularly those in Buff Nation, are perfectly fine talking FOOTBAW in the spring time.  I, however, can't stand the idea of talking about a sport completely out of season.  (Just see how much baseball I talk in December: i.e. none at all.)  Even if CU was winning 10+ games a season I still wouldn't care.

This spring in particular has me rolling my eyes in boredom.  Not only is about a third of the team not on campus (the massive freshmen class won't arrive until the fall), but, left without depth on the defensive line, scrimmaging efforts are cut-short at best.  Most position questions, particularly those on defense, simply have no chance at being answered this spring.  At this point I'm much more interested in everyone staying healthy.  Call me when it's August.

That being said, Saturday night marks the end of spring practice with the Spring Game.  Instead of a "Black vs Gold" variant, depth issues will keep it to the lighter fare of an "offense vs defense scrimmage."  If that excites you, the event kicks off at 5pm on the 14th.  The second annual alumni flag football game is set for 3:30.  As far as I can tell, there is no garage sale scheduled (the best part of the "game" last season).

Things to watch for:

QB competition - John Schrock apparently made some waves earlier this spring in the battle to replace Tyler Hansen.  Still, I would consider him a long shot to see major minutes this fall as the #1 QB spot should go to either returning sophomore Nick Hirschman, Texas transfer Connor Wood, or potential Kansas transfer Jordan Webb.  However, since only Wood and Schrock will see minutes Saturday (Hirschman is injured and Webb isn't yet a part of the team.), this is the best chance the walk-on Schrock will have at staking a claim to a slot on the depth chart.
Schrock continues to make waves within the program.  Will he eventually get an opportunity to see the field, or is he destined to be a backup.  From: the BDC.

RB depth - Replacing Rodney Stewart, the school's all-purpose yards record holder, is a seemingly herculean task.  Sophomore Tony Jones is most likely the one tabbed with giving it a go come fall, but the question consuming me is if there's any quality behind him on the depth chart.  The Buffs got into trouble in the past couple of years relying too much on Speedy, and, were he to come out of the game, production would drop off sharply.  I'm interested to see how backups Josh Ford and D.D. Goodson look before the freshmen hit town in the fall.

Familiar faces on the sideline - For only the second time since 1989, the program returns the entire coaching staff from the proceeding year.  You can take it either way (good for continuity, or a negative result from poor performance), but it at least means that every player should know what is expected of him.  That means the Spring Game should be more about execution than installation this year.

Masters - 

The Masters (in my opinion, the best of the majors on the PGA Tour), was capped off with a thrilling sudden death duel between Louis Oosthuizen and eventual champion Bubba Watson.  Both made a mess of their tee shots on the second playoff hole (the actual 10th tee box), but it was Bubba who saved with a semi-miraculous second shot out of the woods and onto the green.  With Louis taking a pair of extra strokes to first find the green and then the hole, all Bubba had to do was 2-putt his way from 6-feet out to victory.
The rest was a beautiful scene.  Bubba reached down to grab the winning putt out of the 10th hole, broke down in his caddies arms, and tearfully hugged his mom.
It was honestly a very touching moment.
I usually watch golf, particularly the Masters, with a numb sense of acceptance.  I know I shouldn't care, I don't play the sport afterall, but I'm oddly drawn to the spectacle.  This time, I couldn't help but be moved by the narrative of Bubba Watson's victory.  Jim Nance spun it well: the death of his father before he could win a major, the birth of his child weeks before, the outsider nature of his game.  It's hard not to get caught up in it all.

Once again, the Masters delivered.

Baseball's first weekend - 

Yes, baseball is back, and just in time to spoil my mood.  Both the Rox and Sox got off to losing starts in Texas, dropping two of three to the Astros and Rangers respectively.  The Rox opening series loss was especially galling, as the Astros are a terrible ballclub; the series win gave them their first over-.500 record since the middle of '09 (!!!!!!!!).  My Sox dropping a series at the home of the 2-time defending AL champs is nothing to be ashamed of; in fact, I'm just happy they won a game while in Arlington.
Huzzah!  A win!
Elsewhere in the majors, the media darlings of the northeast, the Yanks and BoSox, both stumbled out of the gate to a 0-3 record (for the first time since the 60's).  The resulting media meltdown may now commence.

Happy Monday!

No comments: