This season has been disappointing. Not that I expected CU to be a great team. But I really expected them to be a competitive team with a few wins under their collective belt; especially given their easy non-con schedule. What a shock September turned out to be! I believed the coach-speak when they said that the team was really buying into the culture in the 2011 season and that despite the record, they were showing true grit against a brutal schedule - playing many of the best teams in the nation. So I thought that 2012 would be a good building year in which we would show that we are up and coming. Maybe we wouldn't win many games; maybe we would be good enough for a bowl game based on the schedule; but we would show that we are tough, prepared, and good enough for folks to stand up and take notice of us - we'd play teams hard and make them fear us in the seasons to come. To be brutalized by Oregon, Stanford and USC is to be expected. But to be crushed by Fresno State and ASU makes me realize that this is just a wretchedly bad team; an incompetent team. And the Defense in particular just looks lost. They look like a squad without any direction - like a pickup team. Why? I think that the coaching staff would gain a lot of patience from CU Fandom by just honestly, candidly answering that question.
If it's on the coaches, then stand up, tell it like it is, take your medicine and let the fans know that you recognize the problem, think you have a solution, and then execute that solution. If that solution is nothing other than letting time lapse for another year while you drill into the heads of the players how they should function on game day (which is pretty much what they've been saying) then the results better be there next year. If it's a matter of coaching and not doing a very good job of it, then explain how, tell us what is going to be done to change that, and then show the results next year or go away.
But it isn't as if there hasn't been ANY kind of improvement. And that's what makes it so hard for me to evaluate this coaching staff. What improvement am I talking about? For starters I'll take the special teams. Under Hawk, special teams was very 'special.' Do you all recall how Hawk turned his head when Aldrich kicked a field goal? Ya. They were beyond awful. Now, they are fairly competent. Not where we want them, but we have a great punter, a pretty consistent return team, and we can make field goals with a certain amount of consistency. Tony Jones dropping the kickoff vs Oregon doesn't change my perspective on this. Shit happens. We get rocked on special teams now and again, but that's going to happen, and especially against the likes of USC and Oregon. But the trend is improvement from that squad. There has even been improvement within this season. The O-line has come a long way since the beginning of the season, and are now pretty OK. Not great, Not where we want them to be, but they are definitely improving. We have managed to find a running back that can get hit and gain big yards after contact. Our tight ends are a factor. Even our slow receivers manage to get separation, and Spruce is the next best thing since McKnight. All we need is a quarter back that can put the ball on the money more often than the receivers can drop passes. I won't even get into the QB mess even though I probably should, but that should be another post. So I guess what I'm saying here is that there really is improvement, and I believe Embree when he says that he sees it. If only we could say the same for the D. I don't even know where to begin there.
But here we are at 1-7, and Bohn made his announcement that there will be some changes, and the program is at a crossroads. Do we waste another year and keep with this staff and assume that this is just a season of unlikely but certainly possible growing pains? Embree is most likely not going anywhere although there have been plenty of coaches fired after their 2nd year. Should we keep the entire staff for the sake of continuity and the hope that next year's sophomores have finally 'bought-in' to what they are being taught and with the team, as a whole, start to assert themselves? If the administration were to fire this staff, and start with a new one in 2013, that puts us another 3 years out on a rebuilding process that started in 2005. But if we wait for 2014 that's just another year...and, that's another year. Choices, choices.