1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

A Case for "Colorado Buffaloes: 2009 Big 12 North Champions" ...

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by MontanaBuff, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. MontanaBuff

    MontanaBuff Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2008
    Messages:
    814
    Likes Received:
    187
    For those of you who are regulars at CU at the Game, this will be redundant, but I received a couple of emails asking me to put this up on AllBuffs, so there could be wider discussion on the topic.

    So, here goes ...

    Okay, let's dare to dream ...

    Flashback to two months ago - two weeks before the opener against Colorado State. The Buffs were getting ready for the "ten wins, no excuses" 2009 season. Cautious optimism reigned. Buff fans took a look at the conference schedule, and noted that the Big 12 North favorites all had to come to Boulder. All of the Big 12 North teams had flaws.

    Maybe, just maybe, the losing would come to an end in 2009.

    Then, the wheels fell off, and the Buffs found themselves in the "Bottom Ten" after losses to CSU and Toledo.

    At the time, even the most gung-ho Buff fan would have probably conceded that the Buffs would not carry the day in Austin. If you had offered most Colorado fans the identical score of the 2008 Texas game, 38-14, they most likely would have taken it.

    If you had offered those same fans a 38-14 loss to Texas, but a win over Kansas, they would have jumped at the chance.

    Well, that's where we're at.

    It's hard to erase the memories of the CSU disappointment and the Toledo debacle. However, since week two, the Buffs have actually held pretty true to predicted form. An easy win over Wyoming, followed by a "close, but no cigar" effort against West Virginia, a loss at Texas, and a home win against Kansas. In truth, the most surprising game of the last four is the win over Kansas. With Tyler Hansen now installed at quarterback, it is not an irrational idea that the Buffs can play out the remainder of the 2009 season the way Buff fans expected them to two months ago.

    So, for the sake of argument, let's make the case for "Colorado Buffaloes: 2009 Big 12 North Champions":

    If the Buffs to win the North, it is only because the other candidates are equally flawed, and/or have a tougher remaining schedule.

    Let's start with Kansas. The Jayhawks, with a loss to Colorado already on the books, still has three games against the Big 12 South. This year's opponents? #25 Oklahoma at home; #21 Texas Tech and #3 Texas on the road. Yikes. Plus, there are also games against Nebraska and Missouri. The only "easy" game left on the schedule? On the road, against in-state rival - and current Big 12 North leader - Kansas State. A 5-3 conference record would be a significant achievement.

    Okay, what about Nebraska, the other favorite to win the North? The Cornhuskers are, like Kansas and Colorado, 1-1 in Big 12 play. Nebraska will probably take over the Big 12 North lead over the next two weeks, with games against Iowa State and Baylor. Then, things get tougher, as the Cornhuskers face Oklahoma, Kansas on the road, Kansas State, and at Colorado. Not bad, but after the 31-10 home loss to Texas Tech, and the possible change at quarterback, questions are being raised ...

    Then there is Missouri. The two time defending Big 12 North champions are in an 0-2 hole to start Big 12 play, losing to Nebraska and Oklahoma State. This weekend, Missouri takes on #2 Texas in a "make or break" game for the Tigers. Want to place $$ on Missouri taking out the Longhorns? If they do, they are back in the race, otherwise ...

    For argument's sake, as the North is truly a free-for-all, we should also include Iowa State. The Cyclones are 1-2 in Big 12 play, and are on the road in Lincoln this weekend. There are also games against Oklahoma State and at Missouri. For Iowa State to contend, they would have to take two out of three of those games. Iowa State may get two more wins this season, and qualify for a bowl. That in and of itself would be a major accomplishment, but the North title is probably out of reach in 2009.

    Finally, there is division-leading Kansas State. The Wildcats are 2-1 in Big 12 play, having knocked off Iowa State and Texas A&M; losing to Texas Tech. To say it's hard to get a read on KSU is an understatement. Kansas State followed up a 66-14 loss to Texas Tech with a 62-14 win over Texas A&M. Folks, that's a 52-point loss followed by a 48-point win - a 100-point turnaround in one week. The Wildcats do have road games against Oklahoma and Nebraska to prove the turnaround is legitimate, but they do get the other contenders at home ...

    ... including this weekend.

    Let's take a walk through a hypothetical second half of the 2009 season for the Buffs.

    It either starts, or comes to a quick end, this weekend. A win over the Wildcats gives the Buffs a Sunflower State sweep, and a leg up on the Big 12 North race. After Kansas State, Colorado returns home to face a Missouri team which, barring an upset win over Texas, will be on a three-game losing streak, and, more importantly, 0-3 in Big 12 play. The Buffs were routed in Columbia last season. If Kansas State can have a 100-point turnaround in one week, why can't the Buffs do the same in a year?

    After Missouri, the Buffs face Texas A&M and Iowa State. If Colorado is the team that they were projected to be two months ago, these are the two most winnable games on the schedule. Wins over the Aggies and Cyclones would give the Buffs a 5-1 Big 12 record. A likely loss to Oklahoma State (on the road, five days after the Iowa State game) could very well set up a de facto Big 12 North championship game against Nebraska, in Boulder, Thanksgiving weekend.

    Unlikely? Yes. Improbable? You bet.

    For the record, I'm still stuck on the memory of my long drive from Toledo to Columbus the morning after the Rocket assault. I can't get the memory of that complete meltdown out of my head. Nor can I ignore the fact that it has now been almost exactly two ... full ... seasons since the Buffs won a game on the road.

    A win on Saturday, and all of the above comes into play. Colorado will be a team to reckon with in the Big 12 North race.

    A loss on Saturday, and we go back to the Dan Hawkins' countdown ...
     
    NW Buff and (deleted member) like this.
  2. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,025
    Likes Received:
    56
    The biggest key to the turnaround has been the emergence of the defense, which became evident against UT. There has been an inexplicable improvement in the front seven. The caliber of players in the secondary has never been in question, most of the long plays against them were a result of blown coverages, but they seem to be getting a handle on things back there. NU has the best defense in the North, but from what I've seen the last two weeks we have the second best. They should keep us in every game left on the schedule if the O and special teams doesn't put them in impossible situations.

    Offensively I'm still skeptical. They looked good Saturday, but KU is no defensive juggernaut, and two of our touchdown drives started inside the KU 5yd line. Also, I'd bet my mortgage we lead the nation in false starts. However, given a brand new qb, the emergence of speedy as a go to back, the increased involvement of Simas, and all juggling on the O-line up to this point, it seems that there is still potential for much improvement here.

    I don't think it's all that improbable that we could win the north, I think it is very possible that the North will once again come down to Nov 27th in Folsom.
     
  3. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,731
    Likes Received:
    16,429
    Not only do we win the North, we are going to win our last 7 games to finish 8-4, then take out the South winner in the Big 12 championship game to push it to 9-4... and then win our BCS bowl game to finish with Hawk's 10 wins and a Top 15 ranking.

    Colorado will be the Big 12 North team of the decade with 5 division and 2 conference titles to its credit. Everyone will point to the 2010 team as a MNC sleeper.
     
  4. buffs04

    buffs04 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,488
    Likes Received:
    223
    A sleeper? A wire-to-wire #1 ranking in 2010 is virtually a lock at this point.
     
    FlatironsBuff likes this.
  5. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    48,521
    Likes Received:
    4,514
    They simply can't afford to step on their dicks this Saturday. Huge game. Really huge. Followed up by an equally huge game the following week. Somebody asked about the biggest three game stretch of the season a while back. This is it. KU, KSU, MU in succession. CU must win all three to have any hopes for real success this year. Lose just one, and they're finished.
     
  6. Buffnik

    Buffnik Real name isn't Nik Club Member Junta Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Messages:
    80,731
    Likes Received:
    16,429
    You're right. Sorry for the negativity.
     
  7. Unleash Hell

    Unleash Hell Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    22,245
    Likes Received:
    648
    I would have to agree with that
     
  8. Dunken

    Dunken Member

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2009
    Messages:
    785
    Likes Received:
    5
    perfectly put...end of discussion..:thumbsup:
     
  9. B1Buff

    B1Buff Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    39
    All Koolaid aside, the reality of the situation is that our schedule puts us in the Big 12 North race and, as far as I see it, we have the best chance (bias aside):

    Fuskers likely Big 12 record before the CU game: 4-3
    ISU – W – Should be an easy win for the Fuskers as ISU’s offense won’t be able to put up points against them and the defense will allow the struggling NU offense to score.
    @Baylor – W – See ISU
    OU – L – NU has proven they can’t stop a team with an offense that can throw the ball well. OUs O-line will be able to fend off the strength of the Fusker D. OUs D is better than TTU.
    @ KU – L – This one will be a toss-up as KUs has a strong O and a weak D, while NU has the opposite. However, unless NU can get it together offensively, I think KU wins
    KSU – W – NU should win this with their D alone.

    KUs likely Big 12 record at the end of the season: 4-4
    OU – L – OU has a good defense and an offense that will score a lot of points on KUs struggling D
    @TTU – L – This will be a shootout, but I think that TTUs Defense is a little stronger than KUs and they win in a game with 1000 yards of offense.
    @KSU – W – KUs Offense will not be slowed down by KSU.
    UN – W – See above
    @UT – L – UT will be able to move the ball on KUs D, but the UT D should slow the KU O significantly.
    Mizzou – W – Mizzou is struggling, but the rivalry will keep this game close and KU comes out on top.

    KSUs likely big 12 record at the end of the season: 2-6
    CU – L – This game is a must win for the Buffs. I think it will be close and our D will show up for the win.
    @OU – L – No way they beat OU
    KU – L – See KU
    Mizzou – L – Mizzou is not as bad as they look on paper and they beat KSU easily.
    @Nu – L – See Fuskers

    Mizzou’s likely Big 12 record at the end of the season: 3-5
    UT –L – UT’s Defense should shut down the Mizzou O and the Mizzou D will slow the UT offense but not enough to win (see the NU vs Mizzou game – which NU only won because of the weather IMO).
    @CU –L- CU is at home and I think this one will be VERY close with CU pulling it off at the end. D will have to step up big in this one and the O will need to get ahead early (similar to KU game).
    Baylor – W – Easy win
    @KSU –W – See KSU
    ISU –W – Easy win
    @Kansas - L- See KU

    ISU’s likely record at the end of the season: 2-6
    @NU –L- See Fuskers
    @aTm –W- This one will be close, but the aTm D looks real bad.
    OSU –L- Easy win for OSU
    CU –L- If we don’t overlook them we win, but given that it is a road game I think it will be closer than expected.
    @Mizzou –L- should be an easy win for Mizzou at home.

    CUs likely Big 12 record going in to the UN game: 5-2
    @KSU – W-See KSU
    Mizzou –W- See Mizzou
    aTm – W -As bad as the aTm D is, I think we win this one fairly easily
    @ISU – W – See ISU
    @OSU –L – I think this is a winnable game, OSU has not been playing up to their expectations, but they are consistent on both sides of the ball. It should be closer than expected, but I see OSU winning this one.

    The schedule breaks down perfectly for us, but this KSU game is going to shape the rest of the season (as sad as that sounds). If we beat KSU, we are allowed the one inevitable mistake/loss; we can then afford to lose against one of either Mizzou (the more likely of the 3 IMO), aTm, or ISU (which we are always close and it is an away game). All in all, we are in the best position in the North to go to the Big 12 Championship game. We have room for error and, as long as we don’t **** the bed, we will be playing UN for the Big 12 North (even if they do beat KU).
     
  10. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,025
    Likes Received:
    56
    wow, you're much more upbeat than you were prior to playing KU, welcome aboard! :thumbsup:
     
  11. B1Buff

    B1Buff Active Member

    Joined:
    May 29, 2009
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    39
    TH brought a lot more to this team than expected. I like the fire he brought the rest of our guys.
     
  12. Unleash Hell

    Unleash Hell Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    22,245
    Likes Received:
    648
    Glad I'm not the only one who is, hopefully they keep it up and QB play is the biggest thing this team needed.
     
  13. SanDiegoBuff

    SanDiegoBuff Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
    Messages:
    1,720
    Likes Received:
    56
    I think you're just as right as anyone else. based on what Hawk has done to this program, I think it's just as likely that they win out as they lose the next 6, or anything in between.

    The team is definitely playing better than it was early in the season, but the only thing you can bank with Hawkins at the healm is that nothing is predictable!
     
  14. 14ers4me

    14ers4me Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    391
    Likes Received:
    15

    Now THAT is some kool-aid drinking! Well done.
     
  15. BuffNut99

    BuffNut99 Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2008
    Messages:
    13,088
    Likes Received:
    2,503
    I love your lawyer-logic Montana
     
  16. TheEvilBeak

    TheEvilBeak Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    557
    Likes Received:
    20

    You forgot the :lol:.
     
  17. buffs04

    buffs04 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Messages:
    2,488
    Likes Received:
    223
    I don't see how anyone can say that us winning our next 4 games is likely. I will be shocked if we beat Ksate on the road and Missouri the following week.
     
  18. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,025
    Likes Received:
    56
    Well, I'm guaranteeing a win Sat and against Mizzou. See you on the flip side. :smile:
     
  19. BuffsNYC

    BuffsNYC Uptown Club Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2007
    Messages:
    2,667
    Likes Received:
    1,004
    :confused: I'll explicate: Pericak, Bonsu, and West have now played in six games. Kasa has played in 2 or 3. Even that little experience is the difference between being in the wrong gap and giving up a long run.
     
  20. FlatironsBuff

    FlatironsBuff Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    10,830
    Likes Received:
    1,295

    I would hope that the OL has extra fire to hold blocks longer, knowing that a huge play can come out of it if they give Tyler 1 or 2 extra seconds. A couple of QB pressures in the last game came from OL just stopping blocking, thinking that the play was pretty much over. They were not used to having a chance for a play 8 seconds after the snap. I think this will be huge for the offense. everyone has studied the last game and they have to see that TH gives them so much more opportunities for the first down and big plays.
     
  21. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,025
    Likes Received:
    56
    Here's an interesting stat;

    Ave opponent rushing yards thru first 4 games - 202
    Ave opponent rushing yards thru last 2 games - 19

    Maybe that is simply due to experience, missed gap assignments in the first 4 games, whatever, but it seems shocking to me.
     
  22. The Guest

    The Guest Guest

    More pronounced when one considers that overall the quality of the opponents improved in those last two games.
     
  23. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    48,521
    Likes Received:
    4,514
    wow. That is amazing. Although KU wasn't even trying to run the ball, and sack yardage gets counted against rushing totals. So that's a bit deceptive. Let's see how they do against a team that wants to run the ball.
     
  24. stampy

    stampy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    3,025
    Likes Received:
    56
    KU tried to establish the run in the first half but were totally ineffective. I think they had only 1 or 2 first downs prior to the final drive of the first half. That changed the game plan.
     
  25. dply

    dply Doble hoja Club Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    20,383
    Likes Received:
    2,472
    We even somewhat stopped Devine. Most of his yards were off of just 2 plays if I remember right. I didn't watch the game more than once though so I could be way off. I know that he got 220 yards and a 10 ypc average. But it seemed besides the few big ones he was stopped in the backfield a lot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2009
  26. The Guest

    The Guest Guest

    I love you like a brother, dply, but this post is better if it never happens. I realize how he got his yards, but he nonetheless had a career high night against our D. There's no defending that, and I mean that in every sense of the word.
     
  27. dply

    dply Doble hoja Club Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    20,383
    Likes Received:
    2,472
    True I slammed my head against the wall several times that night and probably did some damage.
     
  28. Unleash Hell

    Unleash Hell Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    22,245
    Likes Received:
    648
    Texas also tried to run the ball. The rush D is playign better
     
  29. White_Rabbit

    White_Rabbit Club Member Club Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    12,312
    Likes Received:
    901
    Not to be the gloom of this thread, but god ****** I'll be pissed if we somehow win the North and still found a way to lose to CSU and Toledo in the same year.
     
  30. 87toInfinity

    87toInfinity Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2008
    Messages:
    5,080
    Likes Received:
    276
    Great point here. With Hansen's scrambling ability the offensive line can make a mistake on a play, then follow it up with a great play by blocking the defender that got by when Tyler exits the pocket giving him extra time on the outside to set his feet and make a pass or scramble for a gain.
     

Share This Page