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Monday Buff Bites - Hot Seats, Experience Talk, Storylines...Football Season is Getting Closer

Colorado_mediumOrlando Sentinel - Phil Steele's NEW AND IMPROVED Experience Chart by Phil Steele
Phil Steele's most recent chart looking at experience returning for 2009 has some bad news for Missouri and Nebraska. Missouri, based on Steele's combination of senior experience, returning offensive yards, returning letter winner, % of tackles returning and career offensive line starts, has the least "experience" returning in all of college football. Yes, that is out of 120 teams. Nebraska also ranked 112th, so they aren't much better. This is all good news for the Buffs, who shouldn't be bragging as they ranked 60th in the nation in Steele's returning experience equation but Kansas State, Missouri and Nebraska all had less returning experience from the North. Kansas ranks 53rd and Iowa State 25th.

Colorado_mediumBruce Feldman on the top 10 college football storylines for Media Week (07/27/09) - ESPN
Is Coach Hawk and the Buffaloes one of this week's biggest stories? Bruce Feldman tends to think so...

10. Hawk Love or Hawk Heat? Almost everyone who spends time around Colorado coach Dan Hawkins becomes a believer. (Hawkins' son, CU QB Cody Hawkins, is equally affable.) The elder Hawkins, who recently had a medical scare dealing with complications from kidney stones, hasn't been shy about boosting expectations, talking about winning 10 games this season, doubling the win total from last year in a conference that might be stronger than it was a year ago. The pressure is on, as you can tell from this Q&A with B.G. Brooks. The good news? One-time blue-chipper Darrell Scott, the nation's top RB recruit two years ago, is ready for a breakout season, Cody Hawkins says. Scott was overshadowed last year by unheralded frosh RB Speedy Stewart as Scott played through some injuries and struggled with conditioning issues. Now Scott is healthy, leaner and stronger, and might be primed for a 1,500-yard season and carrying his coach's team to those 10 wins.

Colorado_mediumBuffs still short on scholarship players | The Buffzone Blog
Kyle Ringo did something we have done in the past couple of weeks breaking down the number of scholarship players. Right now, the active scholarship total for the Buffs in 2009 will be 63 assuming that 10 freshman won't play this year. Currently 73 players are on scholarship not including Josh Moten, Sione Tau, Toney Clemons, Shaun Simon and Edward Nuckols. If your keeping track at home, that is 12 scholarships below the allowable amount, 7 if you can't the current inactives. The best news of the day is that the Buffs are being proactive, taking a self enforced penalty for their NCAA APR performance, something that we have hoped would happen since they have scholarship wiggle room this season:

Coach Dan Hawkins is also taking a scholarship penalty this year for poor performance under the NCAA’s Academic Progress Rate system. That penalty could be as many as five scholarships. Basically it means that CU could have signed more players than it did in February, if not for the penalty.

There are 73 active scholarship players and 15 of them are true freshmen. It’s safe to assume about 10 of those players won’t play at all this season, which takes the number of active scholarship players down to 63. That’s not a horrible number, but it does mean CU really needs to avoid the injury plague that killed it last season.

A lot more links after the jump...

Colorado_mediumOrlando Sentinel - Phil Steele's Coaches on the Hot Seat
Phil Steele puts Coach Hawk at number 4 of coaches on the "hot seat". That's way too high as I think we all agree that it would take a complete failure of a season for Dan to be going anywhere, like 2 or 3 wins failure.

4. Dan Hawkins – Colorado – CU fans were happy with the hire of a successful coach but the first 3 years have produced 3 losing records. They did get to a bowl in 2007 but when they lost the Independence Bowl they dropped to 6-7. Last year Nebraska needed a 57 yard FG at the end of the game to keep CU from 6-6 and a 2nd straight bowl. Hawkins has said 10 wins, no excuses. I do see 8 wins for CU and I see him escaping the hot seat.

Colorado_mediumAnalyzing Michigan's transfers (and dismissals) since Rich Rodriguez came to town - The Diag
The more and more I read about Clemons, the more pumped I am about the guy and player the Buffs got. Even Michigan fans don't want to rip him for transferring. I just wish we had him in 2009.

Toney Clemons: I was always a Clemons fan, especially when I realized that he was Terrelle Pryor's cousin (ca-ching, ca-ching). But everyone knows how that turned out. Clemons went out with class, and you can't fault him for wanting to be a big time guy in a pro-style offense. Matthews is still the pro-style guy trying to succeed in the spread offense, so that role is taken. But having Clemons couldn't have hurt, especially when RichRod has five or so wideouts on the field at a time.

Colorado_mediumList of top party schools by Princeton Review | The Courier-Journal
The Princeton Review has released it's annual list of the top party school in the nation and the Buffs come in at 11, second in the Big 12. I, for one, am damn proud...

Colorado_mediumThe State of the Big 12: When will the North rise again? - Dr. Saturday
The great CFB Blog Dr Saturday is starting it's Big 12 week with a post about the South's dissonance of the North over the past few years. The site will have a ton of stories on our favorite conference this week so check back often.

Colorado_mediumWho’s the boss in mysterious North? -
The Columbia Tribune looks at 12 or so questions in the Big 12 for 2009

6. Thin ice in Boulder: Entering his fourth season at Colorado, Dan Hawkins told reporters he expects to win 10 games this fall — a bold statement considering CU has won just 13 under Hawkins the last three seasons. The North appears ripe for the taking, but the Buffs don’t figure to come close to 10 wins as long as their quarterbacks are completing 56 percent of their passes, as co-QBs Cody Hawkins and Tyler Hansen did last season. CU has no excuse not to reach a bowl game, but if Hawkins’ team struggles again, will his blustering days be done in Boulder?

11. Darrell Scott, take two: He was widely considered the crown jewel of Colorado’s 2008 recruiting class, perhaps the biggest-ever catch for the Buffs. But injuries and offensive line issues contributed to a dud of a debut season for Darrell Scott last season. He logged just 87 carries and produced only 364 yards and a touchdown, getting eight or fewer carries in seven of CU’s 12 games. Scott had just six runs of 10 yards or more. It won’t take much to eclipse last year’s production, but will Scott ever live up to the expectations that followed his celebrated recruitment?

Colorado_mediumTulsa World: Twelve questions for the Big 12
The Tulsa World does something similar to the Columbia Tribune:

9. Will Colorado finally get going under Dan Hawkins? They'd better. Hawkins' motto this season is "Ten wins and no excuses." This is a team that went 5-7 overall and 2-6 in league play and now, apparently, has uncertainty at quarterback. Buff fans won't rest over another underachieving season.