Covering University of Colorado sports, mostly basketball, since 2010

Monday, September 30, 2013

Quick Post: Charleston Southern, October 19th. Book It!

After weeks of speculation, the hole left in the schedule by the rained-out Fresno St game has been filled by *drumroll* CHARLESTON SOUTHERN!


Wait, what? 

Yes, the Charleston Southern *checks wikipedia* Buccaneers will be coming to Boulder on October 19th.  Hawai'i, SDSU, et al declined the opportunity to collect a quick paycheck, so the Buffs had to dive back into the FCS pile.  I guess it's better than nothing, especially when considering that CU stood to lose multiple millions in ticket and advertising dollars if the schedule remained light.  No word yet on how much the Buffs had to pay, but I'm sure it was a discount over what the FBS teams were turning down.

For those concerned with bowl eligibility, the NCAA has granted Colorado a waiver, allowing for a second win over an FCS team to count towards the six wins required to make a bowl.  So thanks to both Charleston Southern and the NCAA for being cool about this.

I'm not even going to pretend I know anything about this other CSU, but a quick look at their schedule shows they're 5-0.  While not in the FCS top-25, that has to count for something, and over the next few weeks, I'll be checking to see if they're as good as their record would indicate.

Monday Grab Bag: Ah, I remember this feeling!

I'm fighting the urge to go back to dismissing the football team after this weekend's result.  They're still exceeding expectations on the season, even though they missed a good opportunity to make a statement.  Next weekend isn't going to be much better, but I remain hopeful that CU can creep up on a team or two once the calendar slips past the first weekend of October.

Apropos, the first basketball practice of the season started at 7am this morning.  Tad and the boys are back in business... #IsItNovemberYet?

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Today in the bag, I'm recapping the rough afternoon in Corvallis, celebrating the volleyball upset over UCLA, and saying goodbye to Lane Kiffin.

Click below for the bag...

Friday, September 27, 2013

Friday Beer Post: 2013 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Oregon St 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!"

Just a short drive up US 20 from Corvallis, OR is a wonderful little brewery famous for a pale ale worthy of our attention.  That beer, Mirror Pond Pale Ale from Deschutes Brewing, is my gameday beer-o-the-week.

Not an adventurous pick, it's a strong offering from one of the few states that can hold a candle to Colorado when it comes to craft brewing.

Named after a key stretch of the Deschutes River in Bend, Mirror Pond Pale Ale is a great example of the now omnipresent northwestern pale ale style.  Strong Cascade hop flavors dominate the profile, but not so powerful as to venture into the hop-freak categories.  A Gold Medal winner from the 2010 GABF, it's a much beloved member of the craft beer community.

A few of these will do nicely when paired with good friends and a comfortable view of the big screen.

Happy Friday!  Go Buffs, pound the Beavers!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

2013 Oregon St Football Preview

If, before the season, you had suggested to me that the Buffs would still be undefeated heading into Week 5, I would've told you that it would require an Act of God. No offense to the team and their effort, but the non-conference schedule seemed guaranteed to produce at least one loss.

A 1000-year rainfall event later, and here we sit, proudly cheering on one of only 29 squads still unblemished by defeat.

Scheduling asterisk aside, regardless of what happens this Saturday, the team can be proud of how they've performed to date.  They've looked invested, competent, and - above all - dangerous.  As much as I could've hoped for headed into the season.

But now comes the task of exceeding expectations.  From here on out, any winning the team does will begin to push the needle past those preseason hopes.  Hell, a bowl game is still a theoretical possibility.  However, still without a 12th game against a beatable opponent, CU's best path to bowl eligibility would include a stunning road upset in-conference.  Oregon St provides the first such opportunity.

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It has been 21 days since CU last took the field in anger.  My anticipation level is through the roof, and I have to agree with Coach MacIntyre - it feels like an entirely new season is starting this weekend.  Opening day is back!

Kickoff from Reser Stadium in Corvallis, OR is set for 1pm MT on Saturday.  Coverage can be seen on Pac-12 Networks, or heard on 850 KOA.

Click below for the preview...

Monday, September 23, 2013

Monday Grab Bag: Game week, finally

After two consecutive bye weeks the natives are getting restless.  By Saturday, it'll have been 21 days since the last time CU took the field in anger.  I can't imagine how it must feel to be in the course of the season and face a break of more than a fortnight between games.  Players play, and I don't fault the kids for being desperate to get back on the field.

I'm starting to convince myself that this will be a blessing in disguise for the team.  By the time week five starts they'll be fresh and eager, while a team like Oregon St has had to slog through three-straight weeks of close games.  Rhythm counts for a lot, but so does health. CU hasn't hit in weeks, leaving the two-deep clean, and ready to rock.

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Today in the bag, I'm taking a look back at my bye week picks, looking in on the soccer team on the eve of Pac-12 play, and making usual trip around the world of football.

Click below for the bag...


Friday, September 20, 2013

Friday Beer Post: 2013 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Bye Week 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!"

Bye weeks mean no football, at least for our CU heroes. I'm not going to run out to the store to buy something special for just any old football - it has to be the Buffs!  Accordingly, my beer pick this week is simply whatever is in my fridge.

Let's see... *rummages*... AHA! My gameday beer-o-the-week is Autumn Ale from Breckenridge Brewery.
Seasonally appropriate, at least.  Good job, roommates!

A nice, beautifully dark ale, Autumn has a strong malty backbone.  Toasty, chocolate-y, it'll go perfect with the cooling nights of fall.  Not really hoppy, per se, it does feature some light bitterness, but this beer is all about the malt.  Mostly, it's a smooth drinking, larger body beer that is a nice change of pace from my typical fair.

At 6.7 ABV, don't just go diving into a six-pack.  Sit back, put your feet up, and enjoy the slow pace of a college football Saturday from the comfort of your couch.


Happy Friday!  Go Buffs, beat [data not found]!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

2013 Football Bye Week Preview

For the second straight week, the Buffs will be spending their Saturday away from the gridiron. That means there's no game to preview, no opponent to obsess over.  Those of us in BuffNation will have to turn elsewhere for our sports fix.

While there is a full slate of games to consume from around the country, it's actually a pretty soft week.  Only one top-25 tilt and a lot of early-season fluff.  Hell, the schedule is so light that ESPN's College GameDay is at the home of FCS behemoth North Dakota State this week.  Fucking Fargo, dude.

Shrugging off the milquetoast schedule, I've selected the seven most... interesting games from the weekend for a quick teaser.  Seriously, though, consider taking a hike or something, because Week 1 had more juice than this bunch.

(Lines presented are from Bovada via ESPN as of 2:30, 9/17/2013)

Pac-12 - 


Arizona St @ Stanford  - Saturday, 5MT, FOX - Stanford -9, O/U 48.5

This is it, the only top-25 matchup of the weekend. I mean, "Pac-12!" and all, but that's weak.

The Sun Devils come in off of a highly suspect win over Wisconsin.  No other team in the rankings was as unconvincing last week, and not many are giving them much of a chance Saturday.  Stanford has yet to play anyone of importance, but they should have no trouble with the win and the cover.
A win's a win, right?
As a side note: the Sun Devils have selected the Oct 12th game vs CU as their 'fan's choice game'  They're leaving their uniform choice for the clash up to the internet, which is always a good idea.  If you care, you can take a look at the options and vote here.  Basically, you're picking a pant/helmet color.  Somewhere, Oregon is laughing.


Utah St @ USC - Saturday, 1:30MT, ABC - USC -7, O/U 50.5

I believe in Chuckie Keeton.  I don't believe in Lane Kiffin.  It's that simple - Utah State should cover with a solid chance to win outright.


Oregon St @ San Diego St - 5:30MT, CBS Sports Network - OSU -11, O/U 55

This is interesting only from the perspective that Buffs play OSU next Saturday, and SDSU might wind up on the schedule at the last minute.  On paper, the Beavers should roll, since the Aztecs have looked awful through two season-opening losses.
Mannion should have a field day in San Diego.

Utah @ BYU - Saturday, 8:15MT, ESPN2 - BYU -7, O/U 61.5

Ah, the Holy War.  One thing's for certain - it'll make for one hell of a nightcap. *chortle*
GET OFF THE FIELD, MUSS!
Cheap puns aside, this should be a good game.  Neither team is perfect, but this is, annually, one of the most interesting matchups in the region.


Other games of interest - 


Boise St @ Fresno St - Friday, 7MT, ESPN - Fresno -3, O/U 68

Even though the Broncos haven't been their usual barn-storming selves this season, this is the marquee game of the season in the Mountain West.  Presumptively a conference title game preview, BSU and FSU will show off two of the best offenses in the West under the Friday Night Lights. I'll take the over - there's no reason that those two teams can't crack 70.
Derek Carr and BSU QB Joe Southwick should put up buckets of points tomorrow.
Of course, I'll be rooting for Fresno this week.  How can you turn your back on a team willing to help out in a time of need.  Thank you @FSAthletics, and go Bulldogs!


Tennessee @ Florida - Saturday, 1:30MT, CBS -Florida -17.5, O/U 47.5

I only find this game interesting because I'm following missed connection Butch Jones.  Watching Florida chalk up points against 'Food Cart' should be fun.
Ah, memories.
Outside of that, however, I have no interest.  What was once one of the best rivalries in the South just doesn't rate in 2013.


Colorado St @ Alabama -  Saturday, 5MT, ESPN2 - Alabama -41, O/U 51

For your amusement, feel free to check in on the lambs being lead to slaughter Saturday afternoon.  I normally don't bet on spreads that large, but that over/under may have some potential.  Alabama put up 49 on A&M last week, and there's no reason they can't match that against the Rams, even if they spend three quarters trying not to embarrass the competition. 
Yeah, good luck with that little bro.
If CSU can somehow manage a field goal, you're in the money.


GO BUFFS!  CRUSH THE RECRUITING TRAIL!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Monday Grab Bag: Rain, rain, go away!

With Saturday's scheduled tilt with Fresno St. postponed, the CU athletic department spent a good portion of the day helping out those effected by the 100-year flood.  Players and staff passed out meals to first responders and displaced families, using up the food that would've gone to high paying donors on a typical football Saturday.  For families suddenly without power and a dry bed, the lunch came as a nice diversion from an otherwise difficult week.
Lending a helping hand.  From: the BDC.
It's a no-brainer, helping out the community in a time of need, but it needs to be noted that the athletic department handled the situation with class.  Good job, everyone!

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Today in the bag, I'm talking about the scheduling headache created by the postponement, 'Money' Mayweather staying perfect, and my weekly trip around the world of football.

Click below for the bag...


Friday, September 13, 2013

Quick Post: CU vs Fresno St postponed.

 The word is out: CU vs Fresno St has been postponed.
This is for the best.  As much as anybody might have wanted to get a momentary escape from the flood, it just wouldn't be smart to tie up resources for a game.  People have died, people are still missing.  No sense diverting cops, firemen, and paramedics to a football stadium.  There will be other gamedays.

The game can, and probably will, be made up later.  When it does, the sun will shine, Boulder will put on it's finery, and we will have our community moment.  Till then, it's best for everyone to stay inside, and stay safe.

Good on the administration for making the right decision.

Friday Beer Post: 2013 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Fresno St. Edition - UPDATED

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!"


As the rain continues to pour down on Boulder, it's hard to think of football.  I live a block from Boulder Creek, and I can't help but continuously peek in that direction, expecting to see a wall of water headed my way any minute. I also can't help but think about the displaced, the people who have had their lives up turned this week by flood waters.  My prayers are with you all.

In spite of the flooding, the game is still on. If you absolutely must go, tailgating will be severely limited by where your spot is located.  Franklin Field, especially, will be closed, and I would expect other areas will be blocked off as well. If you do make the trek to Folsom tomorrow, be safe, be smart, and remember: it's just a game. The game has been canceled due to the flood.

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There are no breweries from Fresno that distribute to Colorado, so I have to widen my gaze a little bit.  With Boulder currently only accessible by boat, I'm reminded of a fantastic pale ale from Eddyline Brewing in Buena Vista.  That beer, River Runners Pale Ale, is my gameday beer-o-the-week.

Named after a local raft guiding company, River Runners Pale Ale is exactly what you would expect from an international style pale ale.  You get a lot of hops on the palette, but there's enough balancing malt to assure you they know what they're doing.  It's not as bitter as many in the pale ale family, so don't immediately dismiss it if you're wary of hoppy beasts.

Only available in man-cans (16oz), Eddyline just started wider distribution of the brew after it was awarded a gold medal at the 2012 Great American Beer Festival.  I know I'd try to capitalize on that sort of coup.

My suggestion: grab some River Runners, plop down on the couch, put on Pac-12 Networks, and take your mind off the storm for a few hours.  It's what I'll be doing.

Go Buffs!  Stay dry, and beat the Bulldogs!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Quick Post: Videos of #BoulderFlood

These videos are of Boulder Creek in and around Scott Carpenter Park.  Videos were taken around 2:30pm on 9/12/13.

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More rain tonight... Stay safe.

2013 Fresno State Football Preview - UPDATED

I cannot relate how stunned I was when Ralphie failed to run last Saturday. It defies words. The whole thing felt completely out of place - I would've expected such a disaster to have happened during last season's tour de fail, rather than in this season of renewed hope. Colorado Buffaloes football without the team running out behind their namesake is like baseball without beer, or a cowboy without a horse.
The slogan is 'run Ralphie, run' for a reason.
Friend of the blog @BupsJones did some digging, and confirmed that Ralphie IV had refused to complete her run at least once in '03 (a 31-22 loss to the hated Corn), but, as far as anyone can tell, the current Ralphie's record had been spotless up to this point (besides, of course, that little misunderstanding at the '08 Spring Game).

As the story goes, wafting smoke from the players' entrance spooked Ralphie to the point she refused to make her traditional entrance.  Given a stubborn mascot, the handlers told the players to run out without her, and the game was started under a cloud of uncertainty.  Coach MacIntyre even admitted that the incident played a part in a slow start for the team.

The powers that be assure me that Ralphie will get both her public workouts in on Saturday.  She'd better, because I never want to see the team run out at home without a buffalo leading the charge ever again.

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The Fresno St. Bulldogs sit on the fringes of the top-25, and a win this weekend in Boulder should be enough to get them into the rankings for the first time since 20042008.  Expect a motivated, talented club to hit Boulder.  It'll be a good test for a Colorado team riding high on confidence.

Kickoff from beautiful Folsom field is set for 12:05 MT on Saturday.  Television is set for regional coverage on Pac-12 Networks, with Mark Johnson and the radio call on 850 KOA. Game has been canceled due to the flood.

Click below for the preview...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Grab Bag: That winning feeling

This weekend marked the first full football weekend of 2013.  Between a normal slate of college action and the NFL's opening week, there was absolutely no reason to leave your couch.  I'm sure I'll be sick of it, and ready for basketball by the end of the month, but, for now at least, it's good to have football back in my life.

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Today in the bag, I'm talking a perfect 2-0 start in football, continued success in soccer and volleyball, and my weekly trip around the world of football.

Click below for the bag...


Friday, September 6, 2013

Friday Beer Post: 2013 Gameday Beer-o-the-week - Central Arkansas 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!"

The most famous athlete to ever matriculate through the University of Central Arkansas is, undoubtedly, Scottie Pippen.  The six-time world champion, seven-time All-Star, and member of the NBA's all-time top-50 list was completely overlooked coming out of high school, and never received a single Division-1 scholarship offer.  Undeterred, he chose to walk-on as a manager at UCA - a local school that, at the time, was in the NAIA.  A growth spurt and a pair of All-American campaigns in '86 and '87 would catapult him into the NBA Draft, which eventually lead him to Chicago and the Michael Jordan-era Bulls.
Pippen in purple.  From: ESPN.
As a young basketball fan growing up in the Chicagoland Area, I couldn't help but fall in love those Bulls teams of the early 90s.  How can you avoid following a local team that consistently brings home trophies?  Pippen, even more than Jordan, was my favorite player on those teams.  MJ would get all the press and endorsements, but Scottie's well-rounded game spoke to me in a way the flashier Jordan's never did.  Case-in-point, I owned a Bulls #33, never a #23.

In honor of Pippen and those Bulls teams from my youth that I loved so dearly, I'm naming the official beer of Pippen's first years in Chicago, Old Style, as my gameday beer-o-the-week.

I've long thumbed my nose at Old Style for being unworthy.  Swill for Cubs fans too ignorant to drink something different from their fathers.  Still, for reasons unknown, I decided to give it a try over the summer.  Possibly a miss-guided sense of nostalgia for something I've never had.  I honestly don't know.

What I discovered is that I like it better than PBR.  ... Yep, that's all I got - it's better than America's ironically terrible hipster lager.  To my tongue, Old Style tastes like water with a faint touch of malt.  Mostly just water though.

On the plus side, it's great for beer pong, because you can lose, and lose, and lose, but not mind, because it doesn't taste like anything.  An improvement over that 'please, no more PBR' feeling that I usually get at the table.  For that, and that alone, it gets a thumbs up from me.  Plus it's 'our great beer, and they can't have it!' Screw you, New York and Los Angeles!

Happy Friday!  Go Buffs, beat the Bears!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

2013 Central Arkansas Football Preview

Folsom Field. Night kickoff.  There isn't a better set-piece in all of sports.  Doesn't matter the opponent.

I think we in BuffNation sometimes take for granted how truly amazing football in Folsom is.  I've been to plenty of stadiums across the country, and I've yet to find a venue that can compete with the intimate feeling of a fall Saturday at the corner of Folsom and Colorado.  There may be larger venues, gaudier venues, venues that play host to better teams (venues with better bathrooms), but there is no college stadium on this continent with more soul.

CU could've lost by 50 last week, and I'd still be excited about the game this weekend, if only because of the opportunity to get back into Folsom, and soak up the atmosphere.

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Kickoff from beautiful Folsom Field is set for 6pm MT.  If you aren't able to make it up to Boulder, I hope you don't have DirecTV, because televised coverage can only be found on Pac-12 Networks.  For those so inclined, Mark Johnson will have the radio call, as always, on 850 KOA.

Click below for the preview...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Quick Post: Basketball schedule finalized

As a reminder that basketball season is only 64 days away, the University of Colorado made things official by releasing the complete 2013-14 men's basketball schedule yesterday afternoon.  As expected, highlights include non-conference matchups against Baylor, CSU, Kansas, and Oklahoma St, along with big home conference dates against Oregon, UCLA, and Arizona.

The substance of the schedule has been known for weeks, so the real news here is the complete list of tip-offs and television coverage.  Once again, every game will be televised this season, including 11 dates on the ESPN family, and 14 on Pac-12 Networks.  The only drawback to that is, to accommodate television, game times are spread all over the map.  CU will play home games anywhere from 10am (yeouch!) to 9pm this year.  That coffee stand is going to get a workout...

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Tuesday Grab Bag: "You ARE the University of Colorado... Let's start the run tonight."

... and now, a sigh of relief...

How else is there to put it - the Buffs looked good Sunday.  Not everyone-gets-a-trophy good, like they have been for so long, but genuinely good.  The kind of good that you expect to see from a BCS school.

I actually can't wait for this Saturday to see them play again.  I want to get back into Folsom Field and watch this team continue to grow.  If that doesn't say everything you need to know about the current state of the rebuilding process, I don't know what will.

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Today in the bag, I'm recapping the win over CSU, touching on the strong weekend from the entirety of the athletic department, and take a spin around the world of college football.

Click below for the bag...