My view of what had happened to program since 1994 was this: Neuheisel threw the program in the garbage can. Barnett poured the gas over the trash and lit the match. Exaggeration, but you get the picture. Although the Buffs under Barnett would have some success here and there, it was abundantly clear that the talent had declined post-McCartney. This decline didn't happen overnight. It happened gradually over a 12 year period, with a few spikes here and there. Was it an inevitable correction of the market? When Hawkins was hired, I thought we got our guy (I still think this - but I do have a few reservations). Last year's recruiting class was a sign that we were back on our way to where we should be - where Mac left the program in 1994. We finally had a leader that would not damage the program. What I am starting to realize is this: Where we should be is probably closer to the 2004 version of the Buffs than the 1994 version. CU needs much more than just a competent leader. It will be very difficult to replicate what McCartney accomplished. Colorado simply does not have the resources to be self sustainable. If you look at our rise, USC and Texas were in a downturn. Mac seized that opportunity and Colorado became first in the pecking order in Southern California. We did well in Texas. Now, we are left fighting for the leftovers. USC, UCLA, Oregon, Cal and maybe even Stanford are all ahead of us in the pecking order for California recruits. We have 8-10 schools ahead of us in Texas, where we used to be the third or fourth most desirable team in that region. Missouri, Texas Tech, OSU and maybe even Baylor are going to hurt us in Texas. To compare the task that Hawkins had in front of him to Saban is ludicrous. Just look at Barnett's last class compared to Shula's. Another problem that we now face is the emergence of Missouri. I view Missouri as the sleeping giant that has awakened. They had abundant resources that were mismanaged for years. There is tons of talent in the region and good financial support. Missouri will hurt us in Texas, however, they hurt nebraska even more. nebraska also has a very tough road ahead of them. They don't have great home grown talent to feed the program (albeit better than Colorado) but they do have the fan support, something that Colorado does not have. Colorado desperately needs to find a way back into the living rooms of the top California recruits. What we have in our favor is an outstanding University. It is a wonderful place to spend 4-5 years of your life. We have to be able to sell that. Look at Washington. I think that their path is fairly similar to our own. A great university, but they need the California talent to thrive. Maybe a move to the Pac-10 is what CU needs. I used to think that Colorado's success, or lack thereof, was linked to avoiding incompetence at the head coaching position. I don't think this anymore. We need someone that is truly special among the coaching ranks. Hawk may be that guy. But it is silly to think that this will be an easy task. It is even more silly to call for his replacement. What McCartney accomplished at CU was nothing short of remarkable.