|One of the best defensive minds in the country is now heading the Buffs 'D.'|
I have no doubt that this played a part in CU's ability to hire a coordinator who would, otherwise, be considered for some very high profile gigs. Colorado offers an opportunity to rebuild his image, while Leavitt offers a major upgrade over former DC Kent Baer. As to the 'South Florida Incident,' I also have no doubt that MacIntyre, a man who's first season was dedicated to the CARE slogan, wouldn't have signed Leavitt unless he truly felt that there was no possibility of a repeat scenario developing.
It's not a perfect marriage, but one that fits with the current state of Colorado football. Of the available targets, CU grabbed the biggest they could find, and one that projects to help the defense out dramatically. Off-the-field issues could be something to watch, but, for the time being, I'm pretty happy with the move.
Welcome aboard, Coach Leavitt!
Today in the bag, I'm talking Saturday's basketball implosion against Utah, the noise surrounding the RMS, and the football recruiting class
Click below for the bag...
Turnabout is fair play -
Back on New Year's Eve 2011, CU played their first ever Pac-12 basketball game against a very un-Pac-12 opponent. Facing off with fellow conference neophyte Utah, the Buffs thrashed the rebuilding Utes 73-33. It wasn't even that close. Colorado flat embarrassed their neighbors to the west, rubbing their nose in the realities of high major basketball. Snide jokes were made, I proclaimed it a statement win, and everyone rejoiced.
There's no laughing now. It took them just over three years, but the Utes have managed to return the favor. A listless and indifferent CU squad was upended at home by the visiting Utes Saturday night, suffering through a 79-51 humiliation on their own floor. Nothing went right, from another pregame benching (due to a normative starter - Wes Gordon - failing to show up to shoot-around on time), to the horrendous offensive performance (under 30% shooting for the game), and the effortless defensive letdown (Utah shot 58% from the field, 59% from deep). There was one team on the court who looked like a Pac-12 squad, and it certainly wasn't the one with 'COLORADO' splayed across their chests.
|Josh Scott's healthy return was about all the positive you can take from Saturday's game against Utah. From: the BDC|
Without Askia Booker (out with a pair of hip pointers) bouncing around the backcourt, the Buffs were left with nothing from their guards. The starting trio of Jaron Hopkins, Xavier Talton, and Tre'Shaun Fletcher combined for 12 points and no assists in 69 total minutes. College basketball is built around guard play, and CU just doesn't have enough of it right now if Booker is out or off his game. As a result, the wide-eyed, fearful offensive set returned, with no one willing to step up in Ski's absence. Boyle's teams have never, with one major exception, been explosive, but averaging .63 points per possession 3/4ths of the way through a home game is inexcusable, even against a fantastic defensive squad. That Pitt game last March was far more telling than I wanted to admit; the lack of substance on the ball has been, and will continue to be, an issue against competent teams, one that looks to factor into the plans for next year, as well.
|Without Ski, the backcourt was a mess. From: the BDC|
Most fans left in droves early into the second half, but I did not. I sat through all 40 minutes of that debacle, more stunned into inaction than anything else. The lesson learned is this: there's not just 'something wrong' with this team, it's completely broken. We could all be in store for a very long final month of the season.
On the RMS... again -
Last week at the annual recruiting luncheon, CU Athletic Director Rick George (he of strong jaw and gallant virtue) announced a new plan for the coming football season. Buying tickets to the uniformly loathed Rock Mountain Showdown in Denver would no longer be a compulsory part of getting season football tickets. Instead, fans can choose to purchase additional tickets to home games in Folsom, skipping the Mile High mess altogether. My reaction:
The ploy is clear: undermine the game in Denver, allowing the fanbase to vote with their feet, while still filling CU's coffers, rather than those of outside entities. It's part one of an offensive by George to change the basis by which the annual series is played. No longer content in giving away Colorado's bargaining position for... really nothing in return, the AD will now be looking to play the game on campus, as part of a 2-for-1 deal, or not at all.
BuffNation has been near-unanimous in their voice on this issue for as long as I've been here: a yearly neutral site deal is not what's best for CU athletics. The AD gives away a valuable home date for a headache game that isn't that great of a payday, and one that falls far short of maximizing value for the space. In a time that Colorado is looking to its financial future, and it's an easy call. Control your influx of cash by getting full value for the weight of the brand. If outsiders can't understand it, then too bad.
|Rick George has a plan, and it doesn't include the RMS. From: the BDC|
The 2015 football recruiting class -
Last week marked the yearly dive into the hopeful waters of recruiting for the Buffs, as they put the finishing touches on their 19-man class for 2015. Here's a quick summary of the names to keep in mind:
|19 new Buffs, including big Tim Lynott from Parker. From: AllBuffs|
The biggest Signing Day noise, however, was made in the offensive backfield, where CU grabbed the surprise signature of Patrick Carr. Rated as one of the top-15 runners to come out of Texas this cycle (and a four-star by ESPN), Carr is a solid 5-9, 190 lbs, and looks to contribute to a growing stable of running backs. Originally an Arkansas commit, Carr's reversal was a major news item last Wednesday, and instantly gave credibility to the work the coaches have been doing on the trail.
|Patrick Carr is happy to be a Buff! From: Twitter|
On defense, one name to look out for is tackle Jordan Carrell. The 6-3, 275 lbs transfer from American River College in California was named as a Junior College All-American in 2014, and could make an immediate impact on a line that was frighteningly porous last season. With true freshman I'm usually much more cautious, but it's perfectly reasonable to expect Carrell to play a big role this season.
|Jordan Carrell, coming to an offensive backfield near you. From: Rivals.|