The Ralphie Report Mailbag: Markques Simas, 2010 & 2011 and the Corn

Yesterday we had a few people ask some good questions, something I love and I encourage all of you to do. If you have a thought that we haven't covered in the offseason so far that needs to be addressed, please shoot us an email at theralphiereport@gmail.com. Nothing makes us happier than to write about things that are of interest to you and this is the purest way to do that. So PLEASE email us! We have the "top 10 questions coming into fall" this week as well so their will be good discussion coming your way. On to the questions from you, our loyal readers:

Q: Hi, I was wondering what you're expecting statistically out of WR Markques Simas this year. Do you think he'll be Colorado's #1 wide receiver and a 1,000 10 TD type of guy? There aren't many wide receivers at CU and someone has to catch the ball, right?

Thank you for your thoughts.

A: I think he will be Colorado's #1 receiver and has the potential of being a 1,000 yard guy but he might not have the supporting cast to achieve those sorts of numbers. I worry about the lack of wide receivers around him as well as the quarterback spot. This should be a running team first and a passing team second. Also, in Dan Hawkins three years at Colorado, no receiver has gone over 555 yards and 5 touchdowns. Those are some sobering stats and while many players are returning on the offensive side of the ball, doubling those numbers in a subsequent year would be an amazing feat.

Simas also has some things to prove before we should anoint him however. We hear good things but have never seen him on the football field when it counts. Does he have the desire to be great? Does he have the explosiveness to be a great playmaker? Those are a few questions that he has yet to answer due to his inexperience.

I am thinking Scotty McKnight will get his usual 550 yards, 4 - 6 TD's. Markques Simas, I am looking for him to end up hopefully between 600 and 700 yards, I would consider that a success in his first collegiate season. Andre Simmons has a chance to put up these types of numbers but I worry about the learning curve that he will face if he qualifies. He will have roughly a little over a month to completely acclimate himself to college life in Boulder and the playbook.

To go a little further into the passing game, I am excited to how new offensive coordinator Eric Kiesau utilizes the athletic ability in OT Nate Solder and OT Bryce Givens in the screen game to get downfield and make blocks. I think Darrell Scott's pass catching ability is under rated and will be a great addition to the offense this season. Throw in an athletic back in Brian Lockridge who poses matchup problems as well. I think you will see an increase in yards receiving there as well as tight end. I expect big years from Patrick Devenny and Ryan Deehan, that is if the offense comes full circle and Kiesau can get the wheels going in the right direction. Colorado has three great tight ends and they should be able to really get good production out of them if the running game is what we all think it will be.

read more after the jump...

 

Q: Obviously this is a big year for Dan Hawkins. Where do you see the program in a year or two? When he was
first hired, I thought Colorado would take a step up from the Barnett era and become the type of program Oklahoma State and Texas Tech have become.

A: I could write a five pages on this one talking about the disadvantages, advantages, recruiting, the scandal, coaching contracts, etc. that would impact results on the field.  In my opinion and in a short and concise manner not fully taking into account all of the external impacts, the program can go three ways, I will put percentages on it for what I think happens:

15% - the Buffs join the likes of Oklahoma St. Cowboys and Texas Tech Red Raiders of the last two years and emerge as a top 10 to 20 team. North title contender in 2010 and 2011. 9 to 10+ win team. This would be nice. I have a hard time justifying this sort of team right now but their is always a possibility in 2010 and 2011.

70% - the Buffs show improvement but they are usually second in the North (still not bad at all). Perpetual 6 - 8 win team, maybe 9 wins in 2010 and 2011. I put a higher percentage here because I am a huge believer in three things in college football for success, or football in general for that matter: an strong quarterback, a pass rush (especially in the Big 12) and play makers. Offensive lines are certainly important and so is team speed but when I look at a team, getting to the quarterback and solid quarterback play is crucial. Nick Kasa, Forrest West, Conrad Obi, Edward Nuckols, Curtis Cunningham, etc. might be the answers on the defensive side of the ball but I am still waiting to see if we fill the void of those three spots. If the Buffs do, they can be a team perennially competing for the North. My feeling is that one or two of these voids will be filled but when you look at the schedule the next two years, I get a sick feeling to my stomach. In 2010 the Buffs have Georgia, Hawaii, Colorado State and @Cal in the non conference and they play Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas Tech from the South. Baylor is on the rise and QB Robert Griffin is going to continue to improve. Then you throw in Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri (who will be improved in 2010) all on the road. That is a bear and will probably be one of the top 5 hardest schedules in the nation next year. In 2011, the schedule gets a little easier but still difficult @Hawaii, Cal and Fresno State for the non-conference.

That makes this year huge when you look at what could possibly happen if the Buffs don't get it going and moving in the right direction. Colorado needs momentum, a few things to go there way because it won't get any easier next season. Throw in a 5 or 6 win season this year, I am scared to think about what happens in the next two seasons. Perception is big in the eyes of donors, fans, current players, current coaches, future recruits and usually year four is when you need to see growth on the field, not just off the field. Wins, wins, wins is the name of the game in 2009. Progress in the offense, opportunistic on defense, energy in Folsom...they need to come to fruition. It will be hard to convince me that another year of experience in 2010 will offset the increase in difficulty the schedule.

Its a big year.

The other 15%...let's not talk about that one.

Q: Thanks for the updates, it really keep us true Buff fans going in the summer. I did read Corn Nation's thoughts on rivalries. It was a slam fest on the Buffaloes of course. But there were somethings that were interesting on what was said. They said that the Husker fans don't tailgate as much at the home games, well I have no clue what they were talking about, I have several Husker friends, who love to tailgate, they know how to tailgate for sure, so I didn't get that. Then it was said Colorado fans feel they are better than NU. Well with the tradition NU is better, but Colorado has a good tradition. I do feel CU has more talent than NU right now. With a real good season, the talent will only get better for CU. Total respect for NU. I think its a awesome rivalry.

A: Yeah, we were going to do one of those rivals posts but we are really busy right now...which is too bad because it is a fun idea. Good thing is we will get our shots in on Nebraska soon enough.

When I read their post, I laugh as they supposedly aren't our rivals but they are awfully concerned about the Buffs and what we do. They call the Buffs elitist but in all reality, they think they are too good for any rivalry especially the Buffs...who is elitist now?

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