I told you there'd be more football links today; but I never told you there'd be more Defensive Linemen on the depth chart. Don't you put that evil on me, Ricky Bobby.
Senior quarterback Tyler Hansen's highly efficient spring scrimmage on Saturday opened a few eyes - Defensive Coordinator Greg Brown's included. While giving Hansen his due, Brown was less than thrilled with his unit's play, primarily because the scrimmage came well beyond the halfway point of spring drills.
Including Monday afternoon's work, three practices remain before Saturday's Spring Game at Folsom Field (6 p.m., free admission).
"We couldn't make plays," Brown said of the scrimmage last weekend. "It really wasn't a case of broken assignments or not knowing what to do . . . it was a case of (the offense) made plays and we didn't. Simple as that. It was disappointing to be in the 11th practice and not show up and execute any better than that - especially when there's a crowd there to see what you've got.
"They run and play-action you . . . they're tough on the run, they stick it up in there and you're going to have to come downhill at them," he said. "They're coming at you tough; they're being taught tough. It's an NFL style attack; you jump the run too much and they'll hit you with play action. They're good, and they've got great ideas all across the board - the running game, the play-action game, everything."
Ohio State-Michigan? Whatever. Auburn-Alabama? That's a quaint bit of hate. Oregon-Washington? The ranting and raving from the rain-soaked adherents in green and purple fleece just doesn't compare. To what, you ask?
Well, the hottest rivalry in college football, of course. Utah-Colorado! (Cue "Psycho" shower scene music).
Doesn't do it for ya does it?
Think about your college football conference. Every game matters, but some matter just a bit more. Those are your rivals. You don't like them; they don't like you. It's a beautiful thing.
Now consider Utah and Colorado fans...Their new schedules include nine conference games with teams that, well, they just don't have any strong feelings about.
"I'm sure we can conjure up some kind of hate for [Colorado]," Utah's colorful offensive tackle Tony Bergstrom said. "Tell us they're Communists or something."
Tony, they are Communists...
Of course, not everyone fuels up on emotion. "I've been playing different teams my whole life," Colorado running back Rodney Stewart said. "I don't care who I'm playing against. I just try to do my job. It's just football." It is just football, but that's the good news for we lovers of rivalries. Football is too emotional and physical of a game for teams that regularly play to remain neutral about each other. No hate between Utah and Colorado and other Pac-12 teams? Just give it time.
There are eight men who go to work every day in the coaches' offices for the University of Colorado football program who have deep connections to the program. In some cases, those roots are dug in three or four decades, and it would probably surprise many to learn that first-year wide receivers coach Bobby Kennedy has been a Buff in his heart longer than men such Jon Embree, Eric Bieniemy, Darian Hagan and Kanavis McGhee.
Kennedy has his work cut out for his first year in Boulder. He has two players in Paul Richardson and Toney Clemons who were highly thought of wide receiver recruits coming out of high school. Every other wide receiver on the roster is considered a project in one way or another. With 13 consecutive games -- 11 against BCS conference schools -- this fall, it will be important for Richardson and Clemons to stay healthy and for Kennedy to coax as much as possible out of the others. "We're not a finished product by no means," Kennedy said. "We've got a long ways to go. But the neat thing is that they want to be good and they have a thirst and a hunger to be good. So that's half the battle."
A year ago it felt like every Colorado spring practice was held on April 1. The whole situation was a foolish joke. Dan Hawkins had the look of someone surprised to still be wearing the whistle on the CU practice fields. The lame duck coach's brief post-practice sessions with the media consisted of tired refrains...
The vibe has changed dramatically. CU football has a pulse again.
Before Saturday's scrimmage, it was difficult to find a parking space. After the session, some very young men walked off the field wearing smiles. The Buffs don't have very many players who could start for the Pac-12's best teams, but they do have a coaching staff that will demand that they get most out of their skills.
"The thing that has been impressive is they're willing to work and willing to learn. That's all you can ask for," offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy said. "Are we where we want to be? No. But the thing I like is every day we're striving for improvement."
"They're pushing us hard. Guys are getting a little fatigued. It's fun," Stewart said. "They're giving us a chance to show what we're made of."
Former Colorado offensive lineman Nate Solder will be the latest Buff to be honored with his name and number permanently placed on the facade of the Folsom Field pressbox, the school announced Monday. The ceremony honoring Solder will take place Saturday during halftime of the annual spring game, which is being held at night for the first time.
After The Jump: Go Buffs!