It's game week...the first one for the Ralphie Report! To say we are excited would be an understatement. Over the next couple of days, we will be previewing the Rams or Lambs, whichever you prefer. To say this preview is going to be hard is also an understatement. It's anyone's best guess. We do have some educated ideas as to what the Rams might do but this is their National Championship and you know Fairchild will throw all the wrinkles he can in to win this game. The preview will officially start tomorrow since the game is on Sunday...don't have a lineup yet but we will probably look at the Rams depth chart and see how the Buffs match-up player on player. Thursday morning we will continue our preview and Woodrow and I will pick a few of the Thursday night games. Stay tuned for a possible member pick'em challenge by weeks end! Friday we will do our weekend picks and give you a final review how we think the Buffs will fare this weekend. We are still looking for more t-shirt ideas although we have a strong number of candidates right now. We will probably have to wrap up the giveaway the week of the Eastern Washington game so we can have them printed for the black out game against West Virginia.
For now, enjoy some of the links from the weekend and let's get the season started:
Tim Griffin of ESPN has put Kansas ahead of Colorado for the team in the Big 12 with the hardest schedule. This is a hard one for me to swallow. According to Tim's employers' rankings, the Buffs play the #6 team in Missouri on the road, the #8 team in West Virginia, the #11 team in Texas, at the #21 team in Kansas, the #28 team in Florida vs. Florida State. The thing that makes the Buffs schedule so difficult is the fact that they play West Va, Florida State, Texas, Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri all in a row. Phil Steele, the leader of college football prognostication, has Colorado with the 8th hardest schedule in college football and Kansas with the 25th. Baylor has a damn hard schedule as well which could lead to them going 1 - 11 or 0 - 12.
- Junior Defensive End Jason Brace beat out Marquez Herrod who was expected to be the starter.
- RB Kevin Moyd is in the 2nd spot behind Sumler and in front of Scott. Hawkins is definitely sending the message that no spot will be given to any player.
- I love, I mean love our linebackers. I feel like we can play our first and second team and not lose a step.
- The back spasms really hurt CB Jimmy Smith who was highlighted by the Ralphie Report as a one the more important players the Buffs needed to step up. We will now trot out 5'11" 165 lb Gardner McKay and 5'7" 180lb Cha'pelle Brown as our the starting corner backs with Jalil Brown (listed at 6'1" 210lbs but I don't think he is that big) as the nickel back. Talk about a scary situation.
- Freshman speedster RB Rodney Stewart is not listed on the depth chart at either punt returner or kick returner...a shocking revelation although WR Josh Smith has had a hold on those two spots for most of camp.
- Right now, Devin Head and Blake Behrens are listed at the starting guard spots. Nothing is set in stone, though, according to coach Jeff Grimes.
- There were no true freshmen listed in starting roles but many on the 2nd string. Guard Max Tuioti-Mariner has the best chance to be a starter by the 3rd week.
This article by Neil Woelk of the Daily Camera is sure to get Husker fans riled up. In his two sentence preview of each Big 12 team, Woelk has this to say about Nebraska:
Nebraska fans will start the season with great expectations from a man who has been a head coach in exactly one game. By season's end, after the Huskers have lost eight games, Corn fans will be longing for the days of Frank Solich.
Quickly followed by this preview of Iowa State:
Iowa State will open the season with a big win over South Dakota State (the Jackrabbits, since you asked), and will beat Nebraska on Oct. 18. But there won't be many other bright spots, and Gene Chizik will be wondering why he ever left Texas.
Oh, how nice it would be but with Nebraska's excuse for a non-conference schedule minus Va Tech, the Corn will win 6 and go to the Alamo Bowl. Woelk also goes game by game and gives his take on what to expect from each of the Buffs' opponents.
It is now becoming cliché - the Buffs preparing for the unknown. It is interesting though that 5 of the teams on Buffs schedule have new coaches which doesn't really matter after week 1 or 2 but the Buffs play CSU, Eastern Washington and West Virginia the first three weeks and they all have new coaches. Luckily, the first two teams aren't top 25 caliber and the Buffs have more talent on the both sides of the ball. At least for West Virginia, the Buffs will have a good amount of tape to view. But as the article states, the Buffs aren't the same team either with the new spread offense being implemented.
Colorado State will announce two player deep depth chart today.
It looks more and more like the Rocky Mountain Showdown may cease to exist. I don't blame Bohn for wanting six home games even if the money is better playing at Denver. This is just an indication that the Showdown game is not as important to the Buffs as it is the Rams and if the Rams want to play the Buffs they will need to accommodate by playing a game in Boulder every other year and in Denver when it is CSU's turn to host. It sounds like the players just want there to be a game no matter where it is but they prefer Denver.
2009 Commit QB Clark Evans gets some love from the Los Angeles Times as they rank him the 5th best high school QB in the Southern Section.
Darrell Scott is now down to 210 lbs, which is a whopping 17lbs less than what he reported at. That Algebra II class in the summer must have really been tough. I am not buying the whole, "I was busy in class this summer and couldn't work out" excuse. As much as I hate to quote this, I think Scott learned that Division 1 football is not like high school and I think he learned it the hard way. Scott says he is not done dropping weight according to the Rocky Mountain News:
"I want to get to 205, and when that happens, watch out, I'm dangerous," he said Sunday at the conclusion of the Buffaloes' light, 55-minute workout.
Good article about senior defensive lineman Brandon Nicolas and George Hypolite in the Denver Post over the weekend.
It has been a big topic of conversation today in the office as to what time we can begin the festivities this weekend at Mile High. As a public service announcement, parking lots will be open at 1:30pm. Get your kegs, pig roasts, margarita machines, tunes and football ready!