There's lots of distractions floating around in advance of the CU-Baylor game, injuries, agents, replacements... Don't worry; we're on it.
Things I Won’t Miss About The Big 12 For now, just two:
1. The heat and humidity in the state of Texas. I’m a 68 degree cat; I can deal with Arizona heat, but without the humidity, it’s bearable.
2. From the SID perspective: one of biggest positives of breaking away is that we may have endured the last of the regurgitating of the infamous Fifth Down game. ...we won’t be facing the Tigers in the regular season any time soon.
One thing that has always rankled me is when our sportsmanship is called into question. That plum peeves me; if there was a sportsmanship issue that day, it was Missouri’s. They had the worst field in organized sports (Omni-Turf, an artificial surface you had to water to keep imbedded sand within the turf), and it deteriorated rather quickly as compared to most artificial fields. Opponents coming in had no idea what they were up against, as Missouri wore a type of shoe to keep its slipping to a minimum, but didn’t exactly offer that important tidbit to any of the teams visiting Faurot Field that year. We documented 92 slips, with tight end Jon Boman suffering one of the last, otherwise he walks into the end zone with the winning score.
This was not the old trick of letting the grass grow to slow an opponent, this bordered on dangerous where kids could have been seriously hurt. Hey, we have the right shoes, we win that game something like 45-10 and it’s not even an issue. But all the field stuff aside, some still don’t want to deal with the fact that we spiked the ball to stop the clock on what we thought was third down, something we obviously would not have done (at least to smart people) had we known it was fourth. Yet we are still persecuted by some for not giving the game back. (I’d weigh in much more here on what has transpired since in the series, like CU losing a TD in ’97 when we had 10 men on the field and the 11th man ran off, or the basketball tournament in ’00 where MU was awarded two free throws at the gun, etc., but I don’t feel like being fined ... remind me next July!).
But the backdrop of a Summer of Putdowns makes this game between Colorado and Baylor feel a little weird. Almost as if it’s a rivalry, even though it isn’t in the least.
Colorado quarterback Tyler Hansen was visibly upset when he was taken out of the game in the third quarter of a loss last week at Missouri and replaced with Cody Hawkins... The Buffs got back to work on the practice fields Tuesday and Hansen made it clear in a huddle with reporters afterward that he feels he has something to prove this week when Baylor visits Folsom Field for the team's third consecutive night game.
"Well, naturally it's going to strike your confidence a little bit and you're going to be frustrated a little bit," Hansen said when asked how being replaced affected him. " So I just have to go out there and perform and kind of get a little mad and play with a little chip on your shoulder. Today, I think I had a little chip on my shoulder and people knew that. I feel like on Saturday I'm going to go out there with a chip on my shoulder."
The days of boosters paying to guarantee the delivery of prospects to certain schools, or the setting up of slush funds to enrich players after they arrive in a system prospects hear about as they’re making their decisions, are mostly gone. At least in football. When Alabama and Auburn started telling on each other in the early 1990s, that changed the rules.
The current-era scandals about agents being involved — including at Southern California and North Carolina — were more toxic because of indications that assistant coaches were connected to the agents. And at USC, it would have taken wearing blinders and ignoring all the hints to not suspect that Reggie Bush was getting, ahem, extraordinary benefits. I won’t believe Luchs’ charges until or if they’re proven.
But regardless, I would like to believe that McCartney and his staff wouldn’t have put up with it if they had known about it and tried — tried — to discourage it from happening. That issue is far more important to me.
Two weeks, two games -- and the clock is ticking. If Dan Hawkins is going to reverse his fortunes at Colorado, it would appear that it's now-or-never time. It would not be an exaggeration to say that the upcoming games against Baylor and Texas Tech are perhaps the most important two-week stretch in Hawkins' tenure in Boulder. Win the next two, and the Buffs would have a 5-2 record overall, a 2-1 mark in the Big 12 and a legitimate shot at a bowl berth. Lose one or both, and it's hard to imagine a realistic scenario under which Hawkins carves out a successful season and another year on CU's sidelines.
Anytime I hear that Colorado will entertain basketball recruits during a football weekend, I’m reminded that current Buffs star Alec Burks says he fell in love with the school after watching football fans celebrate a victory over West Virginia during his recruiting visit to Boulder in 2008.
After the Jump: You've got injuries? We've got replacements!
In the week following "Fifth Down," Colorado found itself largely out of favor with most of the nation's college football fandom. So how did the Buffs react? Befitting the bandits they were being portrayed as in the national media, they donned all black uniforms. In truth, that wasn't the reason at all for the wardrobe change. Coach Bill McCartney wanted a change of pace - more early dominance, fewer last-minute theatrics - and believed a different look might help produce different results. At least against Iowa State, it worked. CU overcame a shaky start - a 9-0 deficit - to finish strong and blow out the Cyclones. The Buffs that would make their way to Miami were beginning to take shape.
Jefferson`s experience at receiver should allow coaches to use him in a lot of ways as long as he is able to pick up the plays and his assignments quickly. Jefferson says that won`t be a problem. He prides himself on pursuing perfection.
"I like being on the field and I am more comfortable at running back," he said. "Receiver was something I learned. Running back is something I`ve always done. So it`s actually going back to what`s more natural for me.
I just like playing football. So Will Jefferson will move to tailback. ...if it`s how I can play and how we can have a good chance of winning, it`s what I`ll do." Jefferson was a multi-threat player during his high school career when he played running back, wide receiver, quarterback, middle linebacker, safety and even kicked a field goal.
Not that it was cause for confetti or anything, but Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins told reporters Tuesday he had at least one piece of good news: Starting safety Anthony Perkins showed remarkable toughness by unknowingly playing most of the second half of Saturday's 26-0 loss at Missouri with a knee injury later diagnosed as a torn ACL. "That shows something about his character," Hawkins said of Perkins continuing to play after the first-half injury. "He's a warrior. He's a great kid."
The Colorado Buffaloes will have a new placekicker Saturday against Baylor . . . and a new safety . . . and a new tailback. And the Buffs will finish the season minus Anthony Perkins and Brian Lockridge.
University of Colorado women's golfer Jessica Wallace and football defensive end Josh Hartigan were named CU's Athletes of the Week for October 8-14.
Colorado's defense showed promise and determination against Mizzou this past weekend behind junior Josh Hartigan. Hartigan made his presence felt early in the first quarter when he sacked Missouri's quarterback Blaine Gabbert for a loss of five yards. This tackle on a third down would force the Tigers to punt. He logged another tackle and third down stop later in the game.
Wallace, a junior out of Langley, British Columbia, had two outstanding tournaments this past week. With a three day total of 213, Wallace finished 3-under par at the University of Missouri's Johnie Imes Invitational. Her score tied her for third place, just one stroke shy of the co-winners. In addition to becoming just the fourth Buffalo ever to win an event, Wallace has also earned three straight top five finishes, another a school record.