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Memo To The CU Football Team: It’s Time

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Apr 26, 2014.

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    By Stuart


    [h=3]Memo[/h]To:*CU Football Team
    From: The Buff Nation
    Subject: It’s Time
    It may seem hard to believe, but we’ve been through this before.
    Of course, since it happened before you were born, it doesn’t seem like anything but ancient history.
    For many of us in the Buff Nation, though, it seems like yesterday.
    I’m talking about the early 1980′s, when Colorado football was a national joke, and the program was mired in what was then a school-record six straight losing seasons.
    Now, with a 4-8 record in 2013, the Colorado football program and its fans have endured eight straight losing seasons, and preseason magazines will be hitting the shelves soon predicting that the prolonged drought of futility will hit nine seasons sometime*this*November.
    The thing is, the rationalizations we used back then – the excuses we used to justify the losing streak – no longer apply.
    It’s time to start winning again.
    Colorado can’t compete in the arms race for facilities
    This is not a new argument … we’ve been using this one for years.
    Back in the 1980′s, Nebraska installed a weight room the size of a small city, churning out behemoth corn-fed offensive linemen with*assembly line consistency. Oklahoma, meanwhile, had no trouble building its own grand facilities, with money – both acknowledged and under the table – no object for the Sooners.
    In the Pac-12, the Colorado football program finds itself once again looking up from the bottom of the barrel. Oregon has already built so many new buildings*for the athletic department that they have taken to redesigning wardrobes of its athletes on a weekly basis as a desperate way to try and figure out new ways to spend Phil Knight’s Nike money. Even Utah and Washington State, programs which have no business competing on the same level as the University of Colorado, are ahead of CU in new construction for their football programs.
    The “facilities gap”, however, will be closing over the next 16 months. On May 12th, the Monday after graduation, ground will be broken on new facilities for the Colorado athletic department. Shovels will be turned, and cranes will be swaying in the air above Folsom Field. Athletic Director Rick George were able to accomplish in only a year what Buff fans have been waiting on for a generation, an impressive feat. To be sure, there is still fund-raising work to be done, but a lack of attention to new facilities can no longer be an excuse for poor performance on the field of play.
    True enough, the facilities that Colorado is building will be outdated even before the ribbons are cut, and CU will still be light years behind other marquee Pac-12 programs in terms of shiny new amenities. The thing is, however, you can only put in so many flat-screen televisions in a weight room before you hit saturation. Colorado’s new digs should be more than sufficient to meet the checklist of any incoming recruit.
    And then there is this …
    Colorado was also at the bottom of the conference food chain when it came to facilities in the 1980′s. Bill McCartney didn’t have the Dal Ward Center to show off to new recruits as he was building a champion. Instead, the new facilities came about as a result of winning championships. Colorado did not rely on “build it, and they will come”, but rather*”win, and they will build it”.
    Colorado’s academic standards are too high to compete for talent
    An oldie, but a goodie.
    We used that old saw many times in the 1980′s, complaining that Colorado could not bring in talented players because too many of the highest-rated players were academic risks.
    In fact, I almost got Brad and I killed after the 1987 Nebraska game. We were in a bar after the 5th-ranked Cornhuskers had beaten the Buffs, 24-7. Getting tired of listening to Nebraska fans enjoy their victory just a little too much, I inquired as to exactly what Nebraska players did with their degrees in “Undergraduate Stories” (and that wasn’t even the worst of it. The full story can be found here, in the CU at the Game Archives).
    Colorado, we have argued for decades, is more interested in education than in winning on the football field. We compared the CU program to Duke in the ACC, Vanderbilt in the SEC, Northwestern in the Big Ten, and Stanford in the Pac-10 – teams which had academic standards too high to compete on a consistent basis on the gridiron.
    The thing is, though, that Northwestern (under, of course, CU’s Gary Barnett) went to the Rose Bowl, Vanderbilt has found a way to compete in the SEC, Duke won ten games and its division last season, and Stanford … well, all Stanford has done has won*eleven or more*games each of the past four seasons.
    So, the excuse doesn’t hold water, and, even if it did, it appears that the University of Colorado intelligentsia has found its way clear to allow more “at risk” student-athletes into the fold.
    According to an article in the Daily Camera this week, “at-risk” prospects are being allowed in on a more regular basis in the Mike MacIntyre era, with an “at-risk” recruit at Colorado being defined as one with a predicted grade point average in CU classes between 2.0 and 2.3.
    Some might see*this shift in policy*as a sign the school is lowering its expectations in the classroom for the program in order to boost performance on the field, but chancellor Phil DiStefano said that isn’t the case. DiStefano said the reason he signed off on a higher number of at-risk recruits was because MacIntyre was simultaneously raising the bar on the opposite end by adding more above-average recruits than the program had recruited in recent classes as well.
    “What Mike MacIntyre has done is he has recruited some really top-notch academic players, more so than what we’ve seen in the past,” DiStefano said in an interview earlier this spring. “So when I take a look at the whole roster and he’s bringing in student-athletes with predicted grade point averages of 3.0 or above, I’m willing to take a look at more of the at-risk because it’s not going to be so much of a strain on the academic services in athletics.”
    Really?
    Let me get this straight*… The reason*CU didn’t allow “at risk” student-athletes to come to*Boulder before was because it caused “a strain on academic services”? *But now that we have some straight-A students it the mix to off-set the “at risk” athletes, the “strain” has been lessened?
    C’mon.
    Whatever. It doesn’t matter. All that this means is that Colorado and its fans can no longer use the excuse of high academic standards for failures on the football field.
    Anyone still trying to use that excuse should be required to explain Stanford …
    Colorado does not fit in amongst its brethren in the Big Eight
    Okay, so this one is no longer usable by default.
    The excuse back in the 1980′s was that Colorado was not a good fit for the Big Eight. It was not a “mid-western” school, and was more closely aligned with the schools in say, the Pac-10.
    Well, we got what we asked for.
    Instead of finding its niche, the Colorado football program has struggled mightily in the new Pac-12. In three seasons since joining the Pac-12, the Buffs’ conference record is 4-23. In the*1990′s, Colorado lost 18 conference games – total – in the entire decade.
    And then there is this …
    Colorado has finished last alone in the basement of the Pac-12 South for the past two seasons. As a member of the Big Seven, the Big Eight, and the Big 12, Colorado finished last alone in conference play exactly … zero times.
    That’s correct. Until the 2012 season, Colorado had gone nearly a century (since 1915) without finishing in the basement in conference play.
    In fact, before the current run of ineptitude, Colorado had exactly two seasons – 1898 and 1915 – in its entire history in which the Buffs found themselves in the basement alone in conference play.
    Get the picture?
    Finishing last is not the Colorado way.
    Posting a streak of consecutive losing seasons is not the Colorado way.
    The University has brought in a coach who can win, is allowing that coach to recruit the players he believes will help him win, and is building facilities sufficient to compete in the Pac-12.
    No more excuses.
    No more delay.
    It’s time to start winning again.
    —-


    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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