Left at the altar By Michael Krumholtz For the past week I’ve remained stuck to the Twitter newsfeed, clicking the “Refresh” button every two minutes in a desperate and often-pointless search for some good news. Then on Wednesday afternoon, in the sudden spark of a filament, it seemed the Buffs had their new leader. At 4:00 p.m. reputable sources close to Colorado football claimed that the program hired Butch Jones. You remember hearing it. You remember the time. Then, about fifteen minutes later, it all proved to be only smoke. And the fire was officially put out Thursday morning, when the Twitter world confirmed the deal was done. Friday it was made public that Ole’ Butch would be going on to oranger pastures, hanging the Buffs dry for Tennessee. Rocky Top proved to be more attractive than the Rockies. Even with the Volunteers own football laureate Peyton Manning trying to recruit him to CU, Jones still looked past the Buffs. Colorado is the fat girl asking guys without dates if they want to go to prom. She’s looking for someone sweet, someone who won’t get her into trouble (or probation) or run off with a cuter girl later in the night. And all the boys have their cheap, clearly non-thought-out excuses as to why they can’t go dance with her. This is not an elite job anymore. It’s still a good job with many attractive perks (see: Boulder guide book). People want to go after Kirby Smart and expect him to not laugh hysterically over the phone, saying “Oh that’s rich, you guys. That was a good one. Man, Ole Miss gave me that same prank call last year. Ha.” The south’s conglomeration of football power is at least making coaches (a stereotypically arrogant breed) think twice before jumping on an offer away from fertile recruiting grounds and areas with obsessive football support. In this cycle alone, vacancies at Auburn, Arkansas, and Tennessee drew in the elite coaches. Jones said it when comparing himself to the nation’s best coaches at his Tennessee introductory presser, “Nick Saban and Les Miles didn’t have SEC experience before they came, either.” Like any good coach, he is confident enough to see himself in the most demanding and highest profile coaching positions. A program that has not had a winning season in seven years cannot hold itself to these ranks. Whoever the next coach is will have an enormous amount of work to do before CU can become competitive again. He’ll be coming to a farm that has slow, skinny cattle and an out-of-date farm. Whoever it is better come with a lot of tools and a lot of time to spend reworking this program. There is a phrase in sports that alludes to this annual dropping and adding of coaches like they’re baseball cards: the “Coaching Carousel,” they call it. But for CU fans it’s been more like one of those high-tech, vomit-inducing pendulum rides. And like all good dramas this coaching search has had some unforgettable characters and plot twists. Whether it was Jones refusing to answer questions at a press conference for Cincinnati’s bowl game, then later saying “I think I’ve proven I want to be here. This is a very special place. We’re building something special here. I ask our players to make a commitment. I need to make a commitment back.’’ If this time of conference realignments tells us anything about “commitments” in the college football world, it’s that they’re worth as much as a piece of chewed-up gum. And who could forget when Jones kept himself hidden from reporters behind a rolling food cart outside of Folsom Field? Mike Bohn, the Barney Fife of this strange comedy, is under pressure again. He is reportedly looking at Fresno State’s Tim DeRuyter and Mike MacIntyre of San Jose State. He needed a big splash, but instead he’s been throwing pebbles at a sheet of ice. His program has lost some of its lure. Jones saw a big-time SEC school as a more glamorous opportunity. The next guy, who could appear over the Twitter newsfeed at any second, is going to have to start from the ground level. Right now, some coaches just don’t think that ground is fertile enough to plant something great.