Earlier this spring CU wide receiver Bryce Bobo told the world through his Twitter account that he needed at least Bs in two classes this summer to be eligible to play for the Buffs this fall. Coach Mike MacIntyre said he is expecting Bobo to be eligible
"The new facilities are a big part of the future of our program," Mac Intyre said. "Our players are taking a lot of pride in what is going on. They see tangible evidence every day. It's a great attitude adjuster, and there's a different attitude around campus."
Still, despite a mountain of reason for doubt, I believe MacIntyre can lead a transformation of this long-horrific football team. He's wise enough to refrain from promising a rapid revival. He was standing on the sideline during last season's 1-8 Pac-12 disaster. He knows the immensity of his task.
If the University of Colorado is allowed to give its football players $9,000 a year in additional spending money, allow athletes to consult with agents without jeopardizing their eligibility and provide medical coverage that goes well beyond athletes' playing days, will CSU still be able to compete with their rivals?
"Well, there is no other way to go," he said. "You can easily be negative. There's no doubt about it. I always look at it as you're persevering. I'm with the kids every day, I'm with our coaches every day, I'm around our program. There is a lot of things to be optimistic about. I feel like our team is improving. I feel like our strength is improving. I feel like our attitude on our team is improving, our academics is improving, our culture is improving, our facilities are improving. So I don't see anything going backwards.
3. Colorado (64 points): Three-time all-conference pick Mason Crosby -- also a consensus All-American in 2005 -- accounted for nearly all of Colorado’s point production at place-kicker. He went on to become a sixth-round draft pick and has set several franchise records as a member of the Green Bay Packers. Mark Mariscal also added some points by winning the Ray Guy Award and becoming an All-American and all-conference selection in 2002.
You might have noticed that the SEC and Big 12 just announced projected data for the current fiscal year. The Pac-12 does no such projections and only last month released its 2012-13 figures, after taking the maximum number of IRS extensions.
The Buffs weren’t Pac-12 members yet in 2010, so we won’t draw from that season. (And let’s be honest, does anyone really want to relive the 45-17 loss to Nebraska?). Colorado hasn’t had many wins as a Pac-12 member. The come-from-behind win at Wazzu in 2012 was pretty spectacular as Jordan Webb rushed for a 4-yard touchdown with nine seconds left in the game for a 35-34 win. But last season's 41-27 win over Colorado State stands out because it was a win over a rival, it was the first win of the Mike MacIntyre era and it set a tone for what things might hold for the future in Boulder. And let’s face it, watching Mac all fired up on the sideline had to be inspiration enough for Colorado fans.
Remember, we’re just looking at the years in the Pac-12. A lot of players set a lot of records in 2012. And most of them came while playing Colorado. Matt Barkley and Robert Woods set a couple of records. A week later the Ducks dropped 56 points on Colorado (in the first half!). How great, by the way, was De’Anthony Thomas’ punt return? A couple of weeks after that, Ka’Deem Carey rushed for 366 yards and five touchdowns to establish a conference record. You get the idea. Trying to pick the worst of the worst is well, depressing.
Rivalry games are hard to predict. In my experience watching this series over the past 15 seasons, most of the games have been very close. With both defenses matching up pretty evenly, it will come down to whose offense has more firepower.
Michael Adkins II So. Colorado Adkins quietly ran for more than 500 yards and had six touchdowns as a freshman in 2013 and was the lightning to Christian Powell's thunder in Colorado's run game. He mainly excelled against Colorado's weaker competition in 2013, but if the Buffs' offensive line can improve under Mike McIntyre, he should start getting more room to run and turn into one of the better backs in the conference.
In his most recent practice as a member of the Seahawks, the rookie wide receiver did that opening act one better by making a falling catch of a pass from Russell Wilson that turned into a 65-yard touchdown as Richardson somersaulted into the end zone.
9. Colorado (46 points): Colorado hasn’t had much to brag about on the football field over the last several years, but the Buffaloes are still hanging on in the tight end rankings. Daniel Graham’s outstanding 2001 season (including a Mackey Award and a consensus All-America designation prior to becoming a first-round draft pick) is a big reason why Colorado makes the top 10.
Among the NBA draft prospects the Los Angeles Clippers are inviting to their facility this week is former Colorado point guard Spencer Dinwiddie. The former Taft (Woodland Hills, California) star won’t be able to work out or do much beyond an interview or a physical -- he’s just five months removed from surgery to repair his ACL -- but the 6-foot-6 guard could be an intriguing late-first round pick for the Clippers, given that backup point guard Darren Collison is expected to decline his $1.9 million player option for next season to become a free agent.
Strengths: Dinwiddie has great size for the point guard position. He is very heady with a high basketball IQ. He can run an offense, as he is improving as a playmaker who can take care of the ball. He is an efficient scorer at 14.7 points a game on 7.7 field goal attempts as a junior and got to the foul line (seven attempts a game), where he converted at an 85.7% rate. He also has great defensive anticipation.
Whoever picks up Dinwiddie may get the steal of the draft. Over his last two seasons at Colorado, he averaged 18.9 points and 4.1 assists per 40 minutes. He is dangerous in transition, moving smoothly with good body control and a great touch with his floaters. He has an ability to draw fouls-he has averaged nine free throws per 40 over his last two seasons.
"You feel like, 'I'm ready to go,'" King said when looking back at those games. "At that time, I didn't realize that I didn't know as much as I thought I knew. That's why I spent some time on the bench."