Recapping your Colorado Buffaloes' Football Offseason, National Champion Ski Team, and Women's Golf, News, Links, and Stories
It wasn't a perfect season, by any means, although it started out that way. The Buffs began 12-0 for just the third time in program history, and for the first time since 1992-93. They followed that, however, by winning just four of their next 16 games before finishing 5-2 in the last seven. Along the way, the Buffs lost too many at home (12-6), but learned how to win on the road (9-8). The Buffs hadn't won more than four games away from Boulder since 2003-04.
"That was an important step for us to take this season," Lappe said. CU has improved in other areas, as well, since Lappe took over. CU's average attendance (2,679) increased by 879 fans per game this year. The Buffs also signed a recruiting class that, in November, was ranked No. 20 in the country by ESPN.com's HoopGurlz.
"(Two years ago) I thought if we could increase our recruiting and increase our attendance, those were going to be two things that were going to help us down the road and we did both of those," Lappe said. Now it's time for another step. Seabrook is the only player from this year's team that graduates and with a top-20 recruiting class coming in, it stands to reason that the Buffs will be better in 2012-13.
The first two days of action are complete here at the 2012 U.S. National Championships and CU placed three skiers in the top 11 of the men’s and women’s slalom races.
On Wednesday, senior Katie Hartman placed eighth in the women’s slalom race in a top-run time of 1:42.81, her best performance in a national championship race, with senior Erika Ghent just two spots back in 10th in 1:43.61, her second career top 10 finish at nationals. Junior Khyla Burrows placed 42nd in 1:57.42 and freshman Shane McLean didn’t finish her first run.
Eventually, Boyle would like to welcome a McDonald's All-American to CU. "You have to try to get into the door. We're going to do that. We're trying to recruit those guys," Boyle said recently. "You have to give it a shot. You might get in the top four or five this year, you might get in the top two or three next year, and then you land one."
CU's recent success, including winning the Pac-12 Tournament, has already created interest from some recruits in the conference footprint that wouldn't have considered joining Boyle's program when it was in the Big 12. "I do think we have a brand we're trying to establish with Colorado basketball on the West Coast," Boyle said. "What we did this year in the Pac-12 Tournament opened some eyes, and so that might open some doors."
What do you think of the BCS' discusion of a playoff format? Long overdue fairness? Or money-grubbing grubby-money-ness?
College football is inching toward change. The 11 conference commissioners and Notre Dame met in Dallas on Monday to discuss different solutions — which almost exclusively revolve around a playoff — as a new way to determine college football's national champion.
An email, sent out by the BCS on Monday afternoon, said no decision had been made but that "our talks have entered the 'brass tacks' level."
The Pac-12 Conference last year signed a $3 billion TV rights deal and yet its commissioner, Larry Scott, says college football is undervalued. Speaking at the American Association of Advertising Agencies meeting in Los Angeles today, Scott says "revenue from television is still a fraction of what it should be."
Ratings of big college football games are comparable to Monday Night Football NFL telecasts on ESPN, but rights fees are a lot less, he says, blaming a landscape with 31 division one conferences and a structure in which rights reside with the NCAA, with conferences and with individual schools for fragmenting the market.
Scott added that the conference was able to leverage the 800-pound gorilla of college football to create visibility for the Olympic type sports. About 700 softball, baseball water polo and track and field events will be televised on the network. "They get scant exposure and yet we have some of the greatest athletes at what they do," Scott said. "This is a game changer."
Much has been made of how Pac-12 coaching salaries went up this off-season -- head and assistant -- due to the new mega-TV deal with ESPN and Fox. And rightly so. But, well, then there's Alabama, which is coming off its second national title in three years under Nick Saban.
Saban just signed a contract extension through 2020. He'll be making $5.3 million in 2012 and $5.97 million in 2019. Moreover, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart received a $100,000 raise to $950,000. The Alabama's nine-man staff, in total, will be paid $3.81 million.
University of Colorado freshman Kelsey English is proving that succeeding in college athletics is all in how you approach it. She found success in the fall as a right-side hitter on the CU volleyball team and earned a spot on the track and field team as a high jumper this spring.
The Colorado Springs, Colo. native is living up to her billing as a highly recruited volleyball player. In the fall, she appeared in 26 of 29 volleyball matches as a right-side hitter. It was a new position for her as she was a middle blocker at Doherty High School. Her freshman campaign saw her finish third on the team with 191 kills and 202.5 points.
Her unorthodox jumping approach - she leaves the floor on one foot rather than the traditional two-foot liftoff most volleyball players use - has her reaching an impressive ten feet, six inches. In non-volleyball terms, that means English is a real force at the net. "It was fairly easy to transition to high jump because I did it for two years in high school and I practically practice my jumping everyday when I hit off of one foot in volleyball. Both sports kind of help each other out which takes away some of the difficulty," English explained.
English participated in three meets during the indoor season for CU and cleared an indoor best height of 5-7 at the CSM Twilight Open on Feb. 18. The Buffs have had just one outdoor meet this season, the Potts Invite (March 17) and English tied for second with a mark of 5-5.
As the University of Colorado women’s golf team continues to set records and program firsts throughout the season, another one seems to be looming just over the horizon, a top 10 ranking. There are three major ranking services for college women’s golf, Golfstat, Golfweek and the Golf World/NGCA poll. The first two are computerized rankings and the other is the coaches poll.
Coming off the first set of consecutive tournament wins in school history, the Buffs are currently ranked No. 11 or No. 12 in all three, the highest ranking in program history for any of the polls. The Buffs will next be in action on April 15 at Colorado National Golf Course in a dual match against Colorado State before heading to the postseason, first in Pullman, Wash., at the Pac-12 Championships.
After that, the Buffs host the NCAA West Regional at Colorado National May 10-12 (to volunteer for the championships, please visit www.cubuffs.com/golfvolunteers).
Adam Salzmann and Brianne Beemer are leading the CU track and field team after the first day at the Jim Click Combined Events. Salzmann is currently sixth in the decathlon, while Beemer is tied for ninth in the heptathlon.
Three University of Colorado skiers have placed in the top 11 of the men's and women's slalom races at the 2012 U.S. National Championships in Winter Parker. [sic] On Wednesday, Buffs senior Katie Hartman was eighth in the women's slalom with a top-run time of 1 minute, 42.81 seconds. It marks her best performance in a national championship race. CU senior Erika Ghent just two spots back in 10th in 1:43.61, marking her second career top-10 finish at nationals.
With the press and the public barred from spring practices this year, it is difficult to form an objective opinion as to how the Colorado football program improved over the course of the first half of spring practices. However, there have been a number of interviews given by coaches and players over the first two weeks of practice. Below is a compilation of what has been learned from those interviews. (Much credit goes to Adam and Sean at BuffStampede.com, who have been the most diligent in posting interviews and updates in what has otherwise been a sparse spring for news).
Defensive Line: The few, the proud … the CU defensive line.
Lindsay's only scholarship offer to this point is from the Buffs, but it's early in the process. He said he has been in regular communication with coaches from Colorado State, UCLA and Utah and all still could offer despite his commitment to the Buffs. He said he feels good about his decision and he can't imagine anything changing his mind.
"I don't get into worrying about if they bring a lot more running backs in," Lindsay said. "Running backs are going to be everywhere. Anywhere you go, any college you're going to have to compete. That's what I'm there for. If I'm good enough, I'll get the starting spot or I'll get to get on the field for some time. Right now I think that's the best decision for me and for my family to be able to come and see me."
Lindsay said a key factor in him choosing CU was his relationship with Bieniemy. He said Bieniemy sent him messages on Facebook after every one of his games last fall but those messages didn't always focus on football. "He's a big fanatic about making sure my schooling was right," Lindsay said. "The first thing he did when I called him to tell him I was committing was he said, 'Phil, we're going to make sure you get your degree and you graduate. That's a big part of why you're going to be up here.'
"I respect him for saying that. I want to make him proud and make him understand that what he's got right here is not going to be a fluke. It's going to be the real thing."