New Year's Resolutions for Colorado Buffalo fans - 2011 I have never been one for making New Year's resolutions. Still, with Colorado coming into the 2011 season with a new coach and a new conference, it seems that 2011 is an appropriate time to renew our vows as charter members of the Buff Nation. Therefore, I hope you will join me in making the following resolutions ... I resolve not be concerned about the national ranking of the 2011 recruiting class ... There is a great deal to be excited about when it comes to the future of Colorado recruiting. Jon Embree is a Colorado native, and has a great story to tell potential recruits about coming to Boulder in a down cycle - his story. Embree was a member of Bill McCartney's first recruiting class, and came to Boulder - despite offers from major collegiate powers - when the Buffs hadn't posted a winning season during his high school career. Embree helped lay the foundation for the greatest run of football in Colorado history, and can talk to players about how they can be part of a similar renaissance. Also there to help Embree recruit top players will be: Eric Bieniemy, who was honored for his recruiting prowess while at UCLA; Kanavis McGhee and Bobby Kennedy, who aim to reconstruct the pipeline from Texas to Boulder; and Brian Cabral and Mike Tuiasosopo, who will work on making Hawai'i and the Pacific islands regular suppliers of talent to Colorado. But ... it won't happen overnight. Embree has talked about how recruiting is all about "relationships", and it will take time for the new Colorado coaching staff to make those bonds and build those bridges. This year's class was already destined to be poorly ranked, as Colorado will only sign 12-to-15 players in this cycle. Add to that a late start, and the reality is that Buff fans will have to be realistic about this year's rankings. It is not likely that Embree and his staff will be able to find too many diamonds in the rough, or lure star players to change commitments from other schools. The resolution here - to look forward to February 2, 2011, but to look forward to signing day, 2012, with much greater anticipation. I resolve to buy CU season tickets, and/or upgrade my contribution to the school, and/or join the Buff Club ... If every upset fan who posted on the internet over the past two seasons something along the lines of, "I will not renew my season tickets until Dan Hawkins is fired", or "I will not spend another dime in Boulder until a new coach is hired', or "I will find better uses for my discretionary dollars than the mess up in Boulder is corrected", sent in just a few dollars in the next week, Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn would not be facing a $15-$17 million shortfall as Colorado moves to the Pac-12. Granted, those who post anonymous declarations on CU websites are few, and most likely are repeat offenders. The sentiments echoed above, though, have been heard by all of us on a regular basis over the past few years. Now, then, is the time to show renewed faith in the Colorado football program. If you are a season ticket holder, up your CU Foundation contribution by ten percent. If you are an infrequent guest at Folsom Field, consider buying season tickets, or going in on tickets with friends (there are only six games in Colorado this fall, including the CSU game in Denver). If you are out-of-state and can't get to games, consider joining the Buff Club. The resolution here - we've gone into a shell the past few seasons when it comes to supporting Colorado athletics. It's now time to step up and be counted. I resolve not to jump off an Hawai'ian cliff when the Colorado defense gives up a bunch of yards in the 2011 season opener ... There are factors at work here conspiring against Jon Embree in his coaching debut: 1) The Buffs are on the road, and the Buffs haven't been able to sing the CU fight song on the plane home since 2007; 2) Hawai'i is a very good team, at least at home. Whether it is the travel or the distractions, some very good teams have fallen prey to the Warriors over the years, and 3) Hawai'i will have a good offense next year. The Warriors ranked first in the nation in passing in 2010, and quarterback Bryant Moniz, who threw for 5,040 yards and 39 touchdowns this past season, returns. Colorado will be breaking in two new cornerbacks against Hawai'i, so look for the Buffs to give up some points. On the bright side, the Buffs did figure out a way to stop Moniz and the Warriors in Boulder on September 18th, "limiting" Moniz to 330 yards passing. After spotting Hawai'i a 10-0 lead, the Buffs out-scored the Rainbows 31-3 the rest of the way. The resolution here ... hope Colorado can do what Tulsa did in the Hawai'i Bowl. The Golden Hurricanes gave up 449 yards passing and 35 points ... but still won going away, 62-35, thanks to six turnovers (including two interceptions returned for touchdowns). I resolve that I will wear my Colorado gear weekly ... Akin to the "I will buy season tickets" thread, above. It's time to strut your CU stuff, Buff fans. Resolve to wear Colorado gear at least once a week - and I'm not talking about when you are mowing the lawn, washing the car or cleaning out the garage! You need to go public with your addiction! What's more, you need to be sure to take your gear on the road with you when you travel. Buff fans seem few and far between sometimes when you are on the road, but they are always glad to see another Buff fan in the airport, restaurant, or tourist attraction. Give anyone you see wearing Buff gear a smile and a "Go Buffs!". The resolution here ... be loud and proud. If you are a CU fan and are reading this post a month after the last game of the 2010 season, and nine months before the start of the 2011 season, you are a true fan. True fans need to show their support of their team, and not just in good times! I resolve that I will contribute to CU at the Game ... No, not financially (but thanks for asking!). I'm talking about posting a memory in the CU at the Game Archives. Team loyalty doesn't come about after one game or one season. You are a devoted member of the Buff Nation because you have been there - in the September heat and the November chill; through exhilarating victories and agonizing defeats. It's time to share some of your stories. The unique aspect of CU at the Game is the Archives, and it is my long-term goal to have this site become a repository of memories, and you have time now to do just that. It's the off-season. We're still a month out from signing day. Other teams are playing in bowls, while you are forced to wait for the Buffs until September for the Buffs to once again take the field. Take a few minutes to go to the Archives, click on your favorite game (or least favorite game, or the game when you met your best friend or future spouse), and tell us your story. You'll feel better when you do! I resolve to attend a Colorado road game in 2011 ... "Great venues, no excuses". Time to saddle up, Buff fans! Take a look at what would have been the Buffs' 2011 Big 12 conference road schedule: Waco; Lubbock; Manhattan; and Ames. Now take a look at the Buffs' 2011 Pac-12 conference road schedule: Seattle; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Phoenix; and Salt Lake City. It's time, folks. If you live in the Pacific time zone, you should plan on taking in at least two games. If you are in Denver/Boulder, each of these venues has any number of non-stop flights, and some are within driving distance. The resolution here ... Colorado has a reputation for traveling poorly. The excuse has been that there were no great venues in the Big 12 worth seeing. Now there are great weekend getaways for you (and your spouse, if necessary), and the excuse to not follow your team is gone. Don the colors, and get on board! (And P.S., be good citizens when you are there. Colorado should earn the reputation of the Pac-12's friendliest, most knowledgeable, and best traveling fans in the conference). Corollary to the above resolution ... I hereby pledge to attend the next bowl game to which the University of Colorado is invited. Years ago, a number of us pledged to get together and road trip to Miami if and when Colorado ever made it to the Orange Bowl. It seemed like a safe enough pledge at the time - Colorado was in the midst of a six year drought without so much as a winning season. Harboring hopes of a trip to Miami as Big Eight champions was laughable. Yet just a few short years later, Colorado was ranked No. 1 and heading for Miami. Only two of us who made the pledge actually made the trip, and you need to do better than that. Pledge today to make attending the next bowl game a priority! I resolve to participate in the first annual "CU at .... " contest ... I'm still working out some of the parameters, but this spring I will be launching the first annual "CU at ...." contest. What I am looking for are pictures of famous and/or exotic sites where the CU colors are flying. An explanation: A few years back, we were at Stonehenge (bunch of rocks in a circle. I was not particularly impressed - and I was a history major!). I took off my CU hat (remember to wear your CU colors on the road!), and placed it on the grass, taking a picture of the hat with Stonehenge in the background ... CU at Stonehenge! I have since added such pictures as "CU at the Statue of Liberty", and, this past June, "CU at the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach". I'll be looking for pictures of CU paraphernalia from sites near and far, though there may be some limitations (e.g., "CU at the Grand Canyon" is not as much a stretch for someone living in Phoenix as it is for someone from Maine, so there may be some sort of bonus for miles traveled or ingenious/creative picture taking). The prizes may include autographed pictures I have of Eric Bieniemy, Bill McCartney, and Darian Hagan. I also have a 1990 media guide signed by a number of players, and I may put up a pair of tickets to a CU home game. We'll see ... Resolution here ... Put your thinking (CU) cap on, and think about what would make a great "CU at ...." moment. I resolve to ... ________________. Tell me what you think would be a good resolution for Buff fans to make for the 2011 season. I strongly believe that Jon Embree and his staff will be successful at the University of Colorado. I am equally convinced, however, that it may be difficult to be able to measure much of that progress in terms of "W's" in 2011. Colorado faces a brutal schedule, including seven road games. It will take resolve on the part of the Buff Nation to be patient, and to give Embree and his team the chance to be successful. No better time like the present to being showing that "resolve" ... are you willing to take the pledge?