Recapping Colorado Buffaloes and Pac-12 News, Links, and Stories
Jon Embree Press Conference - CUBuffs.com - Some clipped quotes from the presser are after the jump
Still, CU and Utah haven't played football since Sept. 22, 1962. And what's more, Utah will be CU's first opponent on the day after Thanksgiving against someone other than Nebraska since 1995. So forgive me if I'm fighting symptoms of Husker withdrawal - and I think, for at least a season or two, some Buffs followers, even a few Buffs players, would admit to something similar.
"There's something special about Nebraska, definitely . . . something there with the Nebraska rivalry. You can't explain it, it's crazy," offered CU quarterback Tyler Hansen on Tuesday morning. "I think anytime you're playing the day after Thanksgiving there's something special about it . . . but given time, I think maybe this (CU-Utah) will evolve into something else. You never know."
In the pass-happy Pac-12 Conference, Colorado's defense is used to seeing top-notch quarterbacks. Andrew Luck. Matt Barkley. Nick Foles. All of them might wind up as first-round NFL Draft choices next spring.
This week, the Buffs (2-10, 1-7 Pac-12) have to tangle with one of the Pac-12's best running backs. Utah's John White leads the conference -- and ranks fifth nationally -- with 1,377 yards. He figures to be one CU's toughest challenges on the ground during Friday's game in Salt Lake City.
Is Hawai'i shaving points? Is Lee Corso shaving vocabulary? Is Andrew Luck shaving-period? Find out after the jump...
Lee Corso saw something the rest of us couldn't: a Saturday during which chaos would assert itself and three more top-10 teams would fall. For that, let us forever treasure Eff It Weekend.
C is for Cursing. A note of thanks, then, for Lee Corso. Iowa State defeating Oklahoma State was the punch that started it, but the brawl only really matured to a full-blown riot when, in the middle of the sport's unofficial pregame meeting, Corso tossed the most precious of profanities like a garbage can through the window of a supermarket. Sure, he had to apologize. You have to apologize for most of the really fun things in life, Lee.
All of the madness unfolding this weekend was random, but in the narrative we'll suture over all these events, there was something in this, Corso. There had been too much order, and if the universe can't stand one thing, it is too much of that. Verse 11, Chapter 19 from the Book of Corso: "F--- It," he said, and the whirlwind was unleashed on college football unceasing 'till midnight. For that and Kirk Herbstreit's reaction shot, we all owe you, Lee Corso. This was the first 100% fun Saturday I had all year, and it began with college football's flagship program running completely off the rails on what was supposed to be a routine Saturday.
Gracias from the bottom of my f------ heart, Lee. This is the most compassionate moment you will ever treat me to, because seriously, in regards to the matter of college football 2011, "f--- it" is the most appropriate sentiment of all. ...
Reviewing the numbers that mattered in Week 12 of college football, from Fitzgerald Toussaint's rushing yards, to Iowa State's ball control, to Oregon's costly, wasted trips inside USC's 40.
An anonymous letter has raised allegations that University of Hawaii football players are involved in a point-shaving scheme, but police said Tuesday that they don't have enough information to launch an investigation.
Over the years, Mark Wetmore's Colorado Buffaloes have developed a reputation for peaking at the right time, for running their best when it counts the most. It appears they did it again this year when scoring an upset victory over Stanford to win their first-ever Pac-12 title. But is that reputation earned? In each of the last four years, the Buffs's finishing position at the NCAA Championships was equal to or lower than their poll position entering the meet. Even this year's Pac-12 win wasn't that big an upset, as Stanford was only two positions higher in the last pre-meet national poll (and the Cardinal was significantly weakened by Ben Johnson's DNF).
As with their male counterparts, the Colorado Buffaloes women's team has a reputation for peaking at the right time. Could they pull off the upset this year? It would be a historic upset if they did. The Buffs are currently ranked #6, and no women's team ranked below #3 has won the meet in the sixteen years for which poll data is available. But one of the voters in that coaches' poll gave them a #1 vote, so at least one person on the panel believes it's possible. Like virtually all contending teams, Colorado has run only three major meets: an invitational, their conference championship, and their regional championship. Their only loss in those was a fourth-place finish at the Pre-National Invitational, and they pulled off a massive upset to win the Pac-12 Championship over then-#2 Washington.
With his brilliant collegiate career coming to a close Friday afternoon, I thought it would be a good time to consider the legacy of one Rodney Stewart. He's come a long way from the unheralded and mostly disregarded recruit from the much-hyped '08 recruiting class.
Doomed to toil at the football backwater that is Eastern Washington, Speedy jumped at the chance to sign with a BCS school when CU came calling late in the process. He showed up on campus and, to the shock of most outsiders, immediately took hold of the running back job. Darrell Scott and Ray Polk be damned, Speedy was so good even Hawk couldn't ignore his talent, and significant playing time was awarded early.
By the 3rd game of his collegiate career, Rodney Stewart was dropping a 28 carry, 168 yard performance on #21 West Virginia on national TV...
On The Utah Running Game – "The back [John White] is a physical back. He runs through tackles well. You can’t arm tackle him and he has enough speed to finish it once he gets through. They do a good job setting it up with their quick passing game. They mix a little bit of the spread stuff. It will be a challenge. Defensively once again, we have to tackle. It is bitter sweet seeing them kind of hitting their stride especially offensively because of [offensive coordinator] Norm [Chow]. Norm is a good friend of mine and I know he has been maligned a little bit, so it is good to see that he can still coach."
On If He Feels This Rivalry Is Forced On Both Teams – "A little bit. It’s funny, [Utah head coach] Kyle [Whittingham] and I were talking about that when we were in New York, if it is or if it isn’t. They have BYU that has been their bitter rival and they play them every year. Whether or not they see us as their rival and vice versa, and as I’ve said a few weeks ago, that stuff works itself out. If it is going to be Utah, then it will happen. If it is not Utah and someone else, then it will happen. I think that all remains to be unseen."
On Not Playing Nebraska The Friday After Thanksgiving – "I like playing the Friday after, I would rather it be home all the time. I think there is something about Thanksgiving. I have been fortunate enough to play in a Thanksgiving game in the NFL, or at least coached in it. There is just something about playing in that time frame, playing on Thanksgiving day or the day after. It makes it special, it gives it a uniqueness and I think it is good for the kids too, we’re out of school right now, it gives them something that makes it a little bit special so it is not a normal routine for them."
On Seeing A Different Shade Of Red Than Nebraska – "Yeah it will still be red, but it won’t be the Big Red I guess. I’m sure when we get to the stadium we will see a lot of red. On tape, it looks like a lot of their fans wear black. That is a color I guess in their scheme. So there might be more black than red in the stands, maybe that might help us too."
On If He Is Going To Try Anything Special This Week To Help His Players End The Road Losing Streak – "No, it is an issue that I have talked about since day one. Let the players know, let the seniors know what is at stake for them. We’ve talked about it every week about the opportunity that presents itself. We’ve done special stuff for five or six games. They just have to play. At some point as a player, it is not about what the coaches are doing, you just have to out there and play."
There is no Nebraska fight song pumping through the stadium this week as the Colorado football team prepares for its season finale. The scout team isn't wearing mock Nebraska uniforms and helmets, and there won't be any fiery speeches from former Buffs or CU coaches about what the opportunity to play the Cornhuskers meant in their day.
The day after Thanksgiving won't provide the annual opportunity for CU players to unleash years of angst and hatred directed at their nemesis and rival. Colorado has no end-of-the-season rivalry game to look forward to any more. It's the one major downside of moving to the Pac-12 Conference, and you will have to pardon the Buffs, especially the older players, for missing the Cornhuskers just a bit this week.
Go Buffs! Let's beat the hell outta