1) New Year = New Head Coach
For the fourth time in the past twelve years, CU has a new head football coach. Now that we’re finally in the same calendar year as next season, fans can start to really look forward to the new-look football team. As I’ve wrote about extensively in a previous article, Mel Tucker has brought a new vibe to the program this time around giving people reason for optimism.
While many may be tired of the same old “new year, new team,” slogan (especially after the hiring of a new HC) based on Tucker’s early coaching hirings, recruiting efforts, and interactions with the current team, things are very different around the Champions Center. This was a excellent hire that could mark the beginning of a golden era in Boulder.
2) Bowl Game (Maybe January, 2020)
Even if Tucker isn’t miraculously able to bring the team up to a championship caliber level next year, they should minimally make a bowl. The Buffs are 0-10 the past two years in games with bowl eligibility on the line, which is flat out unacceptable. Finishing at .500 is hardly an accomplishment, especially given Tucker’s expectations, but it’s a mark that should be easily attainable. Haters will say most bowls are nothing more than a glorified exhibition game, but it gives the team an opportunity to play one final time while giving fans a reason to be excited for December football. Plus who wouldn’t want the nice gear that comes with it?
3) NCAA Tournament Bid for the Basketball Team
Okay, maybe after the poor showing in Hawaii this is a little bit of a stretch. But, it’s still early enough in the season for this young team to establish a true identity and sort out some of their issues. Additionally, the conference as a whole has regressed significantly from a year ago. That could allow the Buffs to pull off some upset wins and ultimately earn a surprise tournament bid — their first since 2016. If years past have shown anything, it’s that college basketball is a unpredictable roller coaster ride. Given how open the Pac-12 is, things shouldn’t be different this time. Be sure to grab on tight and enjoy the ride to March!
4) Another Great Year of Track and Field
As one of the more under-covered sports, the track and field team hasn’t got nearly the attention they deserve. Still, longtime head coach Mark Wetmore has built one of the best programs in the entire country (if not the best). Both the men and women regularly finish in the top ten in the NCAA tournament, with several top three finishes. And just this past fall, the women’s cross country team won the National Championship. Led by individual national champ Dani Jones, there’s no reason the program’s dominance shouldn’t continue in 2019.
5) More Excellent Quotes from Tad Boyle
Ever since he took over in 2011, Boyle has always been incredibly honest, personable and humorous with the media. Rather than answering questions with boring coach speak, Boyle is part of the minority who talks very conversationally with media members and clearly tries to relate. From casually stating “these guys go Mines, they’re smart kids” after the team’s exhibition game this year, to predicting that the 2016 team would underachieve, to placing large levels of blame squarely on himself for the team’s performance, Boyle’s brutally rare realism has never failed to provide entertainment and excellent information. Sticking around for the forceable future, fans should tune into every Boyle press conference for must-see TV in 2019 and years to come.