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Tuesday CU Football Buff Bites - The Bricks Are Back! Just in time for Texas' return

Recapping Colorado Buffaloes Football and Conference Expansion News, Links, and Stories

Colorado_mediumBrooks: More Focused Clemons Draws Bead On Buckeyes -

"For a Pittsburgh guy, Ohio and PA (Pennsylvania) are always rivals in everything - and definitely sports-wise," Clemons said. "That (Ohio State) was a team I grew up always wanting to play against when I was little. I was fortunate to get a chance to do it - twice." And twice he was beaten. He gets another trip to Columbus and a third chance against Ohio State Saturday when the Buffaloes play the Buckeyes.

"I want to go out there and make some plays," Clemons said. For the first time in three games this season, Clemons did exactly that last Saturday against Colorado State, catching three passes for 65 yards - one for a 44-yard touchdown - and returning a kickoff 33 yards - the longest for the Buffs this season.

When I asked "T-Clem" to recall the CU staff's reaction to his game last weekend, he said, "It was the same . . . they've been supportive the whole time. That's one thing I'll say through it all - they're character guys. They weren't down on me whenever I was going through whatever I was going through, and I wasn't down on them either.

Colorado_mediumBrooks: Buffs’ Strong Finish Earns First Win Of 2011 - 

Senior quarterback Tyler Hansen marched CU on an 85-yard, 10-minute fourth-quarter drive, capping it with a 2-yard sneak to push the Buffs past Colorado State 28-14 at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Senior tailback Rodney "Speedy" Stewart nearly was a one-man offensive show for CU, rushing 19 times for 98 yards and catching seven passes for 93 to account for 191 yards in total offense. Hansen completed 17 of 32 passes for 215 yards – significantly below the school-record 474 he threw for last weekend in the overtime loss to California.

But for the most part, Hansen was on his game, having a hand in all four of the Buffs' TDs (two rushing, two passing). Behind Stewart’s running, the Buffs surpassed 100 yards on the ground for the first time this season, gaining 145 while holding the Rams to 67. CU limited CSU quarterback Pete Thomas to 18 of 28 passing for 157 yards; he was averaging over 218.5 yards a game through the air.

What wasn’t expected for the Buffs was a shakeup – also due to injury – in the secondary. Senior Travis Sandersfeld, who opened at left cornerback in the previous two games, was replaced by sophomore Parker Orms. Sandersfeld has a leg/ankle injury that could keep him sidelined indefinitely.

 The College Football Alphabetical, Week 3: Where Football Starts Hurting You - 

This week's Alphabetical asks you where football hurts you the most, names Taylor Martinez's unique throwing motion, and says sometimes LSU makes everything look like surrender.

G is for Grumpy. Master Troll of the weekend is Pitt football, who is the worst party guest ever of the week. First, Pitt despoiled the punch bowl of Big East commissioner John Marinatto when the Panthers applied for ACC membership on Saturday morning, a story that seemed to leak before the ACC felt comfortable with it becoming public. Pitt then celebrated their invitation to their new conference by running Pitt out to a 27-10 lead over Iowa, and then soiling a fine tray of John Swofford's best canapes by playing it tight down the stretch and conspiring to allow Iowa back in the game for a 31-27 lead. For a weekend, two conferences and one game were your latrine, Pitt. Remember this special time.

I suggested 'K is for Knives' as in, LSU is really just a rolling ball of knives: it's really good for hurting people, but that's about it.

The Bricks are Back, and also your "Conference Re-Alignment-Link-Mess" is, as always, after the jump...

Colorado_mediumCU Buffs' win over Colorado State another brick in the wall - Buffzone

The bricks are back.

It took two games more than Colorado coach Jon Embree would have liked, but when his team defeated Colorado State on Saturday in Denver, it restored a tradition in Boulder that had been cast aside in recent years.   

Colorado_mediumCU Buffs offensive line the epitome of persistence - Buffzone

Why did I come to Colorado? It's a question Sione Tau asked himself plenty of times over the years. The fifth-year senior had never been inserted into a game for an offensive snap until Colorado's 36-33 overtime loss to Cal eight days ago. Tau's first action of any kind with the Buffs occurred during the opener in his hometown of Hawaii on special teams.

Finally, the most patient big man on campus made his first start on Saturday in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field. And the 6-foot-5, 335-pound Tau helped the Buffs finish off rival Colorado State during what could be a season-changing 16-play, 85-yard drive in the fourth quarter that was capped with a 2-yard touchdown run by quarterback Tyler Hansen.

"That drive was long. No lie," Tau said after CU's 28-14 victory over the Rams. "Every time we got in the huddle it was like, 'Come on, let's do this.' "To tell you the truth, that drive was taking the life out of me, too. But our whole mentality was just to keep pushing the ball down the field."

Colorado_mediumBall staying in CU Buffs' hands - Buffzone

The Colorado football program has a chance to make history this weekend in Columbus, Ohio, against Ohio State. No, this isn't another story about the 18-game road losing streak the Buffs will be lugging to the Midwest with them. We're talking about a genuine history-making opportunity here.

The Buffs haven't committed a turnover in their past two games against Cal and Colorado State. The CU record book compiled by sports information guru Dave Plati says the program has never gone three consecutive games without committing a turnover.

"Obviously coach emphasized that right away, and all football coaches do, but they really emphasized it," wide receiver Kyle Cefalo said. "That is something in the past that has really hurt this team, throwing interceptions and fumbling the ball just at the wrong times. It can significantly change games, but as long as the ball is in our hands, we can stay out there.

"They really put it in our head and I think this team really focused on it."

Colorado_mediumCU Buffs WR Toney Clemons finds taste of redemption - Buffzone

"It feels good to be at this point," Clemons said. "I've been tested for so long through August and through the season. The coaches gave me a chance to go out there and redeem myself, and I think I did pretty well, decent. ... I've still got to come back to work next week."

"We had to step up for him," said Clemons, whose 43 catches last season were nine more than Richardson's total as he came on late as a freshman.

"I was bracketed a lot last year, and he stepped up for me. Other guys in the unit just have to step up and make plays."

Said Hansen, who was 17 for 32 for 215 yards and also hit Kyle Cefalo for a 24-yard score: "(Clemons) has been fighting. He's had a hard last couple of weeks. But I feel good for him. ... We need that guy real bad."

Colorado_mediumColorado State Rams vs. Colorado Buffaloes - Recap - September 17, 2011 - ESPN - Do you like reading re-caps of our wins? I do!  ...mostly because I don't have recordings of the games...

Tyler Hansen ran for two touchdowns and threw for two more, and the Colorado Buffaloes handed coach Jon Embree his first victory Saturday, 28-14 over rival Colorado State. The Buffaloes (1-2) overcame a slow start and a rash of penalties to beat the Rams (2-1) for the fourth straight time in Denver.

Colorado_pac-12Pac-12 players of the week - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN

USC quarterback Matt Barkley, Utah defensive end Trevor Reilly and California kick returner Brendan Bigelow have been named Pac-12 Players of the Week.

Also nominated for offensive player of the week honors were...running back Rodney Stewart of Colorado...

Also nominated for special teams play were tight end Ryan Deehan of Colorado...

Colorado_pac-12Pac-12 power rankings: Week 4 - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN

If you don't like where you are in the power rankings, play better.

10. Colorado: Colorado took control of Colorado State and showed signs of life on both sides of the ball. You ask, Buffs, why are you below WSU? Well, did you see what UNLV did to Hawaii?

11. UCLA: There was some thought of dumping the Bruins into the basement because they don't have the excuses -- injuries -- Oregon State does. But UCLA does have a win and hasn't lost to an FCS team and hasn't been shut out. And the Bruins and Beavers play the Desperation Bowl on Saturday.

12. Oregon State: The good news is the Beavers didn't lose this weekend. The better news is some guys -- tight end Joe Halahuni and, maybe, receiver James Rodgers -- are getting healthy.

Colorado_pac-12Pac-12 bowl projections: Week 3 - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN - Want to see where we stack up? Too bad, we don't!

Projecting the bowls based on the third week.

Rose Bowl Game: Stanford vs. Big Ten

Valero Alamo: Oregon vs. Big 12...

Colorado_pac-12Stanford still figuring out first 30 minutes - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN 

Weird game. Weird team. With an armory on offense and blockade-inducing defense, the Stanford Cardinal once again waited for the final 30 minutes to play their best football. It’s becoming an unsettling trend for coach David Shaw and his cast of players. For three straight weeks, the theme has been this: "I like what we did in the second half," said Shaw. 

At least we're not the only team that's been starting slowly?

Colorado_pac-12Things I was horribly wrong about - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN

A confession: I am sometimes wrong. No, really.

And as I know many of you seem to take great pleasure in instances of my wrongness, it seems like a good time to point out a few things I thought -- and wrote -- in the preseason that as of today appear destined to be wrong. In fact, hugely so. 

Colorado_pac-12Quick look at Week 4 games - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN

Stanford, Utah and Washington State are off this week, but the Pac-12 schedule heats up with only one nonconference game. While Colorado hasn't looked great during a 1-2 start, it showed progress on both sides of the ball while beating Colorado State. And there was nothing in the Buckeyes performance at Miami, which previously lost to Maryland, that suggested they were unbeatable. Still, the Horseshoe is a brutal place to play and the Buffaloes haven't won a true road game since 2007. 

Here Follows your all-too-often Conference Realignment Link Spew

Pac-12 Expansion: Texas Must Capitulate The Longhorn Network To Join - Pacific Takes

The Texas Longhorns have to fold in the Longhorn Network into the Pac-12 regional television deal if they ever plan on being invited to the conference.

"Yeah, this nonsense has to go"

Is stability the expansion endgame? - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN

Oklahoma's and Texas' board of regents granted their school presidents the authority to take action regarding conference realignment on Monday, but that doesn't necessarily mean immediate moves are imminent.

Maybe we get a moment to breathe here. Maybe that's a good thing.

There are plenty of folks who remain uncertain about expansion, including Pac-12 administrators. The chief question: Is the conference's long-term future best served by being a 12-team league or by adding Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech and becoming a 16-team league?

That means Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott needs to paint a picture for the Pac-12 presidents about what might happen if other leagues expand and the Pac-12 doesn't. One thing to understand: Just about everything here is about self-interest.

Treat everything you read -- from named and unnamed sources -- as working an angle and you'll be better off.  

Oh look, a potential Pac-16 Schedule! - Pacific Takes

A part of me didn't want to create this post in part because it almost certainly is not what the conference presidents and commisioners will agree to in the end. I don't make claim to know anything about what the inside dealings of the conference is when it comes to scheduling a 16- team football schedule, but I can imagine, right?

Morning Tailgate: Conference Realignment, Centrist Politicians And The Future -

Now that Boren has been given authority to determine Oklahoma's future and has quoted Margaret Thatcher in the process, we wait. His message yesterday was rather clear: Oklahoma wants to be in a conference focused on equality. Having watched Nebraska, Colorado and now Texas A&M head for the exits, Boren is suitably convinced that the Big 12's intentionally unbalanced philosophy is not a successful one.

The New-Look Pac-12? - ESPN Video - ESPN

ESPN Video: Robert Smith on what a possible expanded Pac-12 could look like.

Conference realignment all the rage: ACC welcomes Pitt, Syracuse - The Denver Post

The latest dominoes have fallen in the ever-changing world of major-college conference realignment. Schools from coast to coast are left to figure out how they will be affected.

ACC's move raises more expansion questions -- college football - ESPN

For much of the past month, college sports fans anxiously waited for the next domino in conference realignment to fall at Oklahoma or Texas, which have threatened to leave the Big 12 for the Pac-12.

Stunningly, the first big blow came from the ACC, which added Big East schools Pittsburgh and Syracuse as its 13th and 14th members Sunday. Is the ACC done expanding? Will the Longhorns and Sooners leave the Big 12 for the Pac-12, taking Oklahoma State and Texas Tech with them? What will the Big Ten and SEC do? Can the depleted Big East and Big 12 survive?

Regents of Oklahoma Sooners, Texas Longhorns OK presidents to act on Pac-12 - ESPN

The University of Oklahoma's board of regents and their counterparts at Texas granted their school presidents the authority to take action regarding conference realignment on Monday. The moves clear the way for the Sooners and Longhorns to apply formally to the Pac-12, with whom they have been undergoing discussions in recent days on how to make the schools' addition to the conference work.

Big East, Big 12 talking possible merger, report says - ESPN

The Big East and Big 12 might join together in their fight for survival. School and conference officials from the two leagues have been discussing ways to merge what's left of them if Texas and Oklahoma leave the Big 12, a person involved in the discussions told The Associated Press.

Since everyone's convinced that we're adding Oklahoma and Texas to the Pac-12, here's two links that you might find interesting.  

Big 12 unseats SEC as top conference - Stats & Info Blog - ESPN

The Big 12 is on top of the Week 3 Conference Power Rankings after big wins by Oklahoma and Texas over non-conference foes this past weekend. Overall, the Big 12 is 23-2 in games outside of the conference

Oklahoma gives coach Bob Stoops 7-year extension worth $34.5M - ESPN

Two days after winning one of the college football season's early marquee games, Bob Stoops was rewarded Monday with a new contract extension that could keep him as the coach of top-ranked Oklahoma through 2018 and pay him $34.5 million over the next seven years

Can you say 'arms race'?

~End Spew

Colorado_mediumOpponent Watch: Ohio State Buckeyes vs. Miami (FL) Hurricanes - Recap - September 17, 2011 - ESPN

Ohio State interim coach Luke Fickell was hoping his team would start quickly, avoid giving up big plays and take advantage of any opportunities Miami provided.

The Buckeyes failed on all counts, and now are in danger of slipping out of the AP Top 25 for the first time in nearly seven years. Lamar Miller ran for 184 yards -- 54 on Miami's first play from scrimmage -- and Jacory Harris threw two first-quarter touchdown passes to Allen Hurns, helping the Hurricanes top No. 17 Ohio State 24-6 on Saturday night in a matchup of teams dealing with NCAA scandals. Miami outgained Ohio State 363-209 and held the Buckeyes to an abysmal 4 of 18, 35-yard passing performance by quarterbacks Joe Bauserman and Braxton Miller.

"We've got to do a better job all around," Fickell said. "They made a lot more plays than we did and ultimately that's what the game came down to."

Colorado_mediumRetro Opponent Watch: Buffs-Buckeyes series short, but significant - Buffzone

Woody Hayes didn't experience very many bad Saturdays in Columbus, Ohio.

The legendary Ohio State coach compiled a record of 206-61-10 with three consensus national championships and 13 Big Ten titles during his run with the Buckeyes.

But 40 years ago, Hayes met his match when Eddie Crowder and the Buffaloes roamed into Ohio Stadium. Colorado, ranked 10th at the time, beat then-No. 6 Ohio State 20-14 on Sept. 25, 1971. Larry Zimmer called the game. It was his first season as CU's radio man. "I remember looking at that schedule. They opened at LSU," Zimmer said after providing the color commentary on KOA (850 AM) for CU's 28-14 victory over Colorado State on Saturday at Sports Authority Field. "LSU was ranked in the top 10, and Ohio State was ranked in the top 10. Those were two of the first three games." 

Colorado_mediumCU Buffs' defense buckles down after early score - Buffzone

No need to panic.

That was the Colorado coaches' message to their defense one drive into Saturday's 28-14 win over rival Colorado State at Sports Authority Field. The Rams opened the game by marching 80 yards in nine plays for a 7-0 lead, utilizing some looks and plays -- like a tight end screen that went for 34 yards -- that caught the Buffs off-guard. "We knew they were going to come out and do some stuff we hadn't seen, and weren't going to be ready for," CU head coach Jon Embree said.

"To their credit they went right down the field and scored. ... We just tried to remain calm and let (the CU defense) know it's about four quarters anyway." 

"The thing that jumps out at me is that they only had 55 plays. That means we did a good job of getting off the field." Rams quarterback Pete Thomas, who entered the day having completed 73 percent of his passes on the season, went a solid 18 for 28 Saturday. But he managed just 157 yards through the air, pretty stingy by the Buffs considering they were basically daring the Rams to pass by moving a safety up and leaving their young cornerbacks in man coverage.

With cornerback Travis Sandersfeld out with a lower leg injury, Deji Olatoye got into the rotation with youngsters Greg Henderson and Parker Orms. "We just said, 'Hey, let's see if our corners can handle their receivers and go play some ball,'" CU defensive coordinator Greg Brown said.   

"I thought the D did great," Embree said.

Go Buffs!