Sorry for no post yesterday. I started to write a recap trust me but I couldn't finish. It was a re-run, sounded exactly like every other recap I had done on this site for the last year and a half except for the fact that West Virginia tried to give the Buffs the game with four turnovers. Of course, the Buffs gave it right back to them with three turnovers and three missed field goals. The post game article immediately turned to (again) "I don't know where we go from here" and I wanted throw my computer out the window. Doesn't that sound like what we have been saying for a while now?
Reality has officially set in. And it might be reality for years to come.
It is like one person said in our live game thread two nights ago, "give me one player in the Dan Hawkins era who has actually improved and gotten better?" I threw out Brad Jones as a possibility but when you think about that, how many players can you say that this coaching staff has taken with raw talent and molded them into a better football player? How many players have come in heralded and really reached their full potential? That comment was incredibly powerful. It is powerful because the players the Buffs are playing with now, who are starting now are probably the players that are going to be starting next year and the year after that. Will we see improvement?
Speed and tenacity are two of the most visible traits this Buffs' team is lacking. The team doesn't play inspired, doesn't play angry and doesn't seem all that concerned. When was the last time a Buff player absolutely decleated someone? Or the last time an opposing teams players was visibly injured by a crushing Buff hit? The Buffs are a very soft football team. After four years, speed is something that should have been corrected through recruiting. But their will certainly be an excuse for that, I am sure of it. In fact, the only thing the Buffs do well is provide excuses and have comments like this:
"The other side of it is, I was proud of the way they battled. ... That's our best effort, by far," said Dan Hawkins.
We are satisfied, in fact "proud" with battling, scrapping, effort, playing good competition? Coach, you should be absolutely livid. Four turnovers should equal wins in college football, almost regardless of who you play. To be given the ball four times from turnovers as a Big 12 team should equal a win 100% of the time. But only the Buffs would miss three field goals, give up big plays and turn the ball over three teams to less than stellar West Virginia team and be "proud" of the way our guys battled. That line doesn't work anymore. I know a bunch of people who pay to go to Buff games who are not "proud" of anything.
All I know is that right now Mike Bohn and Dan Hawkins have a big problem on their hands. Your program is being tuned off. Your program is creating an apathetic fan base that is starting not to care. Remember after the first two games of the season, all the "Fire Hawk" threads and "this isn't acceptable" fan posts? Must have been 20 in the first two weeks of the season. That was a fan base angry on all accounts. That was a fan base who cared and were tricked into believing progress was occuring, that Dan Hawkins recruited speed and that we were going to see exciting football in 2009. Now, on October 2nd, maybe one or two fan posts will go up. This program is headed down a dark, dark path and something needs to happen soon to shake things up. The fans are starting to become disinterested and that only means less attendance and less money going into the program. Next, you are going to see players leaving and quitting football all together. Then you are going to find that getting a decent coach in here will be hard to do the longer this continues. You have to do something before this gets completely out of hand.
Does this definition describe any of you: An apathetic individual has an absence of interest or concern to emotional, social, or physical life. They may also exhibit an insensibility or sluggishness. 1. absence or suppression of passion, emotion, or excitement. 2. lack of interest in or concern for things that others find moving or exciting.
Apathy is a very dangerous route to go. This season has been long and tiring after four weeks and is completely taking the enjoyment out of college football, something that many others find moving and exciting.
The writers over at CollegeFootballNews had a couple very intelligent paragraphs about the Buffs in their recap that just straight up tell the truth about this program right now:
But more than the apparent talent gap is the inability to come up with the big plays needed to change games. Good teams make their own breaks, and every time there's something big and important happening in a Colorado game, it's almost always happening for the other team. As good as Stewart was this week, he wasn't Noel Devine. Even though the Buffs came up with four takeaways, they didn't seem to hurt as much as the three interceptions. When the Buffs needed a clutch field goal, unlike last year in the overtime win over the Mountaineers, Aric Goodman didn't come through. — Pete Fiutak
2. For the record, Colorado just doesn't have A-list, big-boy-table talent to compete at the highest levels of the Big 12. West Virginia owned a tougher line, faster setbacks and a defensive front that could generate more pressure. But if recruiting — and not necessarily X's and O's — is the main problem in Boulder, it doesn't change the bottom-line reality: Dan Hawkins, a decent man in a cutthroat profession, hasn't done his job well and shows no signs of emerging from his present-day struggles. Good people fail. Bad people succeed. Another pair of life's harsh realities. — Matt Zemek
Sometimes, the truth hurts. Good people fail. Bad people succeed. Another pair of life's harsh realities.
more links after the jump...
The University of Colorado is exploring naming rights opportunities for Folsom Field that could pump millions into an athletic department badly in need of additional revenue outside its traditional sources.
Buffaloes need to think big - Boulder Daily Camera
Kyle Ringo on the lack of big plays by the Buffs:
CU players and coaches say they have that capability, too, but they haven`t proven it like their opponents have. While its defense has given up 11 plays of 40 yards or more through nonconference play, the CU offense has produced just two plays of 40 or more yards and the Buffs didn`t score on either of them.
Rebs: homecoming kings - The Denver Post
On a positive front, Buff commit Danny Spond continues to prove why he is a great talent:
If it seemed like the University of Colorado-bound senior was everywhere — including escorting his Homecoming Queen candidate across the field at halftime — it was because he was. In an evening that ended early because of the lopsided nature of the game, Spond threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. Playing safety on defense, he also intercepted a pass that led to a score.
"That’s our best effort, by far, and that’s a very good football team right there," Hawkins said. "Athletically, I think those guys can match up with a lot of football teams on our schedule, and our guys are starting to figure out what it takes to compete at that level."
But the fact this morning is that Colorado is a struggling team with a turnover-prone quarterback, no playmakers on offense, no speed on defense (the CU secondary's attempt to tackle Bradley Starks on his 48-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter was comical, as was its efforts to lay a finger on Noel Devine, who had 220 yards on 10 per carry) and forthcoming games against top-20 foes Texas and Kansas en route to an unavoidable 1-5 start -- i.e. exactly who we thought they were.
After the game, Buff head coach Dan Hawkins did his best to sound upbeat. "I thought this was our best game by far, no doubt," he told KOA radio. "Our guys battled and scrapped." But trouble is, CU fans are no longer content to hear "battled and scrapped," not in the fourth game of the head coach's fourth year. With a meeting with No. 2 Texas dead ahead, 1-3 looks very much like 1-4 -- and we won't even hazard a guess as to what happens the week after when Kansas visits Boulder. Simply, there are issues that should have been solved by now. While we were less than impressed with the play of WVU's Brown (148 yards passing and his share of missed receivers), he at least brings to the table the ability to run.
Buffs need balance from top playmakers - The Denver Post
Same old story, different day:
Until the clock showed 6 1/2 minutes remained in West Virginia's 35-24 victory Thursday night, only one Colorado wide receiver had a catch. Scotty McKnight.
Analyzing CU’s loss in Morgantown : All Things Colorado Sports Colorado
A good assessment by Tom Kensler of the Denver Post:
*** It’s impossible to tell from the pressbox, but those missed field goals by junior Aric Goodman must be psychologically devastating for the team. Goodman has a good leg and, on the surface, at least, he appears confident. But against a quality opponent, CU can’t afford three misfires. Aric is a good guy and class act, and Buffs fans should be pulling for him. But at some point, Colorado may be forced to try someone else, perhaps walk-on Ryan Aweida. I’m sure recruiting a kicker for the 2010 class has become a priority. With CU’s tradition of producing All-American kickers and punters, I’d think the Buffs could – or at least should — land a good one following a national search.