On father’s day I was hanging out with a buddy of mine, and we were talking CU football while watching our kids. I told him I was slightly optimistic regarding the start of the football season (this really isn’t a big deal since I always am), but what surprised me was his mild optimism (as he is a natural pessimist). I asked why, and said I need to go back and watch the spring game footage on cubffs.com. I looked at him a little puzzled and he said “when you watch think black=past and gold=future”. I told him that was a load of crap, and so we let the kids keep playing with Thomas the Train and watched the game on the web. The black team is the best metaphor fore the last 4 years of CU football I have ever seen. They start by showing little or no emotion when they take the field, while gold does the Haka. Then the game breaks down as follows: Black offense - Short throws that focus on one receiver who catches 60% of the completions - Few throws over the middle (only 2-3 for the game including the flee flicker play) o Once Cody gets the ball the field gets cut into 1/3, since he doesn’t throw over the middle o No improvisation on plays since he doesn’t have good mobility - The successful running plays are not by intention, rather they require change of direction and over pursuit by the defense - Certain drives require penalties in order to continue the drive, other times are unable to recover from minor infractions - Early turnover deep in opposing zone results in a missed field goal - Seem to change game plan in order to play catch-up - Have a turnover late in the game at a critical time that helps seal the loss Looking at the halftime score of Gold 14 Black 7 reminded me of Kansas State, Iowa State, and West Virginia where I was saying to my friend “if only”, and “we needed one play and then…”. Then at the end of the game we would say “we had our chance to win, but instead we did…” Gold offense - Showed emotion before and during the game - Threw the ball to multiple receivers and used the entire field o This was the most noticeable difference between Tyler and Cody on film. Tyler would start to one side and work his way back while using the whole field, and Cody would focus to one side and the receivers in that area - Once they started rolling they kept the defense on their heels by not falling into any type of pattern - Had a 7 ½ minute drive that set the tone for the second half, even if they only scored a field goal - Had very good play selection and didn’t allow the defense to focus on one area - Running plays were successful run by design. The ball carrier used the gaps that were designated to run in for the play My friend started to make me even more optimistic (god help me) so I decided to make a list of what the similarities are to last year (and why we will struggle again), and what is different (why we may succeed): Similarities between 09 & 10: - Lost our #1 receiving target in the offseason (Smith 09, Simas 10) - Are thin at one skill position on offense (WR 09, RB 10) - Have an offseason without a #1 QB (although I am pretty sure it will be TH) - Trying to come up with a starting 5 for the O-line - Looking for someone to step up on the D-line - Still lack something special on special teams (punter, FG kicker, punt returner, and kick coverage) Differences: - Tyler is not recovering from thumb surgery, and is participating in (hopefully leading) summer drills - The O-line isn’t learning a new system while our experienced players are also switching positions. - No turnover on the O-line - D-line isn’t being completely replaced with true & red shirt freshmen. - The D-line can stunt, delay, and throw other wrenches at the o-line, giving them experience at picking up different sets - Ron Prince! Having a receivers coach and passing game coordinator with his experience - Wide receivers are experienced and we have depth at the position - O-coordinator isn’t green, and has experience when things aren’t going right on the field I left one big thing off of Similarities and that is of course the head coach. Last year I believe Hawk bit off more than he could chew. By having a first time offensive coordinator who was also passing game coordinator, and making himself the WR coach (nothing like having your boss be a subordinate at the same time) did he leave the offense under coached and lacking proper chain of command? By not having anyone to truly oversee everything occurring on the practice field did too much slip through the cracks due to this lack of proper oversight? If any of this is true will the on the field product improve and allow the 2010 Buffs to play more like the Gold squad? Sorry for the long post, work was slow and I had to write it.