Emma Coburn, one of two CU student-athlete-olympians. Seen here; winning. (Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images)
Recapping the Colorado Buffaloes Olympians and Offseason Football with news, links, and stories.
It's a rare and wonderful thing for a school to produce an Olympian. It's even rarer and more wonderful for a school to produce a pair. But it gets even better. The University of Colorado has placed two student-athletes in the London Olympics - and in the same event no less. How does veteran CU track and field coach Mark Wetmore explain it?
Before that, hear this: "I've never seen it before," Wetmore said Monday over the noon hour at a press conference for CU steeplechasers Emma Coburn and Shalaya Kipp. "There were maybe five collegians on the 2008 Beijing team; I've never seen two from the same event." Now he has - and from his team, to boot. As for Wetmore's explanation of why Coburn and Kipp are bound for London Town later this month as first-time members of Team USA: "It's a confluence of luck, talent and environment . . . a lot of things came together to make it happen.
The sheer red, white and blue magnitude of it all, said Kipp, registered during her victory lap at Eugene's historic Hayward Field: "You have the American flag and you realize you're going overseas and represent your country. That was pretty cool. In the airport little kids ask you for your autographs. That's kind of when it started to sink in, that you're going to do something really special."
In one breath, Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson says he believes he will play football this season.
In another breath, Richardson is more cautious and says it's a decision he will come to over time after consulting family, coaches and doctors if his knee allows it to get to that point.
And in another moment, Richardson acknowledges that despite his optimism about his speedy recovery from an injured knee, it might not be possible or wise for him to even try to play until 2013.
While Richardson sounds bullish about his prospects for returning this season, he says he keeps himself grounded and realistic "by reading stories about people who came back too soon and then re-injuring the same leg or hurting the other leg because they were overcompensating," he said. "Getting those stories and talking to my friends in the NFL that have suffered the same injury pretty much have done it for me."
Football training camp will be under way a month from today at Colorado along with the most anticipated quarterback battle since the late 1990s. It will be a three-man race between junior Jordan Webb, a transfer from Kansas, and third-year sophomores Nick Hirschman and Connor Wood, a transfer from Texas.
It remains to be seen how much of the battle fans and media members will actually be able to see. If coach Jon Embree's approach in spring ball holds up, fans won't see a thing until the season opener against Colorado State and media members will catch only glimpses at the end of practices.
There is another big reason why you can count on these coaches choosing the best leader if everything else is equal. There are going to be a lot of inexperienced players on the field around the quarterback this fall. The guy calling the shots in the huddle has to have that "it" factor this year more than others because of all the inexperience around him.
When Ringo said he could tell us who the quarterback will be; he didn't say it was in a generic 'I can't actually tell you his name' kind of way. I'll tell you who will be our QB next season: the one with the Buffalo on his helmet.
More football/olympian links after the jump, including scathing commentary on where Nebraska is that has nothing to do with their geography...
In honor of NCAA 2013's odd decision to make your nightmares come true by enabling the Heisman Challenge, we select the five worst fits between Heisman winner and current virtual football team.
4. ERIC CROUCH TO WASHINGTON STATE. Have you ever seen a quarterback be allowed to throw two footballs at once on a play just to improve some or any chance of it reaching someone's hands? With Pac-12 officiating and Eric Crouch on Washington State, this very thing could and should happen. For additional comedy, just play with Taylor Martinez and Nebraska and don't change a thing from what is actually in the game or on the field.
Kelly Smith, cross country/track & field, Director of Strategy and Planning at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine
Debbie Jacobsen, basketball, primary care physician and surgeon, team doctor for the Colorado Mammoth professional lacrosse team
Kate Fagan, basketball, journalist, formerly the Philadelphia 76ers beat writer for the Philadelphia Inquirer; currently a writer for ESPN-W
Crystal Ford-Adams, basketball, community relations/outreach for well-known companies such as Coors Brewing Company and Qwest (Century Link)
the Pac-12 announced the 48 student-athletes who have been named recipients of Pac-12 Postgraduate Scholarships for the 2011-12 academic year. Seven are football players:
blah blah blah...
Tony Poremba, Colorado
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If you are someone like me who likes college football much more than the NFL, you regularly feel left out in the world of fantasy football. You might participate in some NFL fantasy football leagues, but have trouble getting too into it because you don't follow the league nearly as much as you do the NCAA.
Colorado distance runners Emma Coburn and Shalaya Kipp won't allow themselves to dream of an Olympic medal being placed around their necks just yet, even though both will have a chance to earn one next month in London. The two Buffs chose the realistic route in discussing their historic achievement and their goals for the games at a press conference on campus Monday.
They are only the third and fourth CU athletes with remaining eligibility to become Olympians, but neither has come close at this early stage in their careers to running times that would earn them a medal. "I'm trying to stay focused on what I know I can achieve and I think if either of us were to dream beyond what is attainable it wouldn't work out," Coburn said.
"I think we would both fail. We're just focused on what we know we can do and what we've done in the past and I think that is the best way to go into it." Coburn, the top U.S., qualifier, would likely have to trim at least 20 seconds off her qualifying time to be in contention for a medal. Kipp would need to cut even more off her time. Coburn, of Crested Butte, finished first at the Olympic trials earlier this month in 9:32.78 and Kipp, of Salt Lake City, was three seconds behind her in third place finishing in 9:35.73.
Preseason position reviews: Offensive line - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN - We're in the 'we'll see' category, but then Ted says that it's one of our better groups. I'm guessing our other group previews to be about the same...
Colorado: The Buffaloes didn't run well (3.5 yards per carry) or protect the quarterback (31 sacks yielded) in 2011, but three solid starters are back, led by Bakhtiari. The Buffs have plenty of questions. The offensive line, along with linebacker, probably have the fewest.
Also, Boulder is really far away from Seattle...
Ranking the Pac-12 coaching jobs - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN - Worse than Utah huh, Ted?
10. Colorado: Cool stadium in a great town and a history of success that suggests the Buffaloes can win and win big. Coach Jon Embree, however, is the lowest paid coach in the conference. And state laws limiting multi-year contracts are an issue for any head coach trying to hire and maintain a staff.
This just underscores what we knew about moving into the Pac-12; being in a cool town just doesn't cut it anymore...
Today's installment comes from junior offensive lineman David Bakhtiari. A native of Burlingame, Calif., Bakhtiari played in nine games last season after playing in 12 contests as a redshirt freshman in 2010. He played a total of 630 snaps in 2011, while only giving up two sacks. He was named second-team All-Pac-12 by conference coaches and was a second-team Sophomore All-American by collegefootballnews.com. He considers himself a gym rat and enjoys lifting, basketball, swimming, waterskiing and snow skiing.
The thing that surprised you the most about the move from the Big 12 to the Pac-12 Conferences is:
Nothing was too surprising. In the Big 12, you would see more bigger, stronger guys (on the defensive line), and in the Pac-12, you would see more faster and quicker guys, but there is still the big strong fast dude on just about every team. I guess a big thing is that my parents get to go to more games since it is closer to home.
What is your favorite summer time activity? I don’t have too many because I’m pretty busy with workouts, but outside of workouts, I would have to say playing tennis. I grew up playing tennis, I love watching it and I’m pretty good at it.
I like that one of our biggest guys plays a nimble sport like tennis, it's just awesome.