View from the Nosebleeds: Such Falls Cannot Be Measured By Michael KrumHoltz On the first day of 2002, No. 3 Colorado played No. 2 Oregon for the Fiesta Bowl. The Buffs lost by three touchdowns in Tempe, Ariz. and have not won a conference championship since that season. Oregon, who has won three straight and is hurdling directly ahead for a destined fourth, ascended to the ranks of an every year contender and left CU for dead in the desert’s dust. Ten years later, a man in a bar hears the score of the Colorado – Oregon game, which is still only in the second quarter, and laughs out loud. Other patrons look over to see what grabbed his attention, only to find an expected blowout. The disastrous numbers that align themselves with CU’s current state have numbed any hopes that this town has had for a winner on the gridiron. Move to Eugene if you want to see a national title contender. At some point the numbers cannot tell a story, even one that has become as unbelievable as this. After the game, Coach Jon Embree did all but get on his hands and knees when asking Boulderites to keep attending the home games. “I know we’re not where they want us to be from a record standpoint,” he said. “But they have got to understand that it is around the corner and they can help us make that turn quicker.” As anticipated, the Buffs lost to a legitimate national title contender in Oregon. The score you already know by now. The amount of points put up and yards attained in such a short period of time you might have heard as well. But they mean very little because Oregon could have done even more damage if they wanted. Oregon ran over and around the Buffs, stopping only to wipe off their Nikes on the Pac-12’s doormat. The game’s outcome was inescapable. It was over before the CU offense took it’s first snap. Chip Kelly pulled his starters by the second quarter to gear up for Southern Cal. If he viewed his current opponent as any kind of a threat then maybe he would have kept his first-team in for a few more situational reps. A talent gap exists even between Oregon’s second stringers and CU’s first team. So it’s only natural that Ducks stars like De’Anthony Thomas, Kenjon Barner, and Marcus Mariota flew over a fallen buffalo carcass with ease. The defense only gets slower and misses more and more tackles each week. Supposed senior leaders Ray Polk and Jon Major are two of the major culprits. “We have to, as defense coaches, get our guys playing better on that side and getting some stops,” Embree said. The head coach reiterates that his players are giving their best effort. So when will he admit that it’s the talent level? Or maybe it’s the coaching schemes at fault? Something is clearly wrong here. Many things are wrong. “If I saw a sign of any quit or let up, that’s fine but that’s it for the season,” Embree said. “I thought the guys that were in there were still playing with effort.” Lambs give their best effort too when they’re trying to escape being gutted, but at the end of the day whoever put them there knows they are going in for an inevitable slaughter. If the players are going to suffer such bruising embarrassment, why should the administration and coaches get off scot-free? This is a mid-level FCS program right now. This farm is scorched earth. Outside of freshman tailback Christian Powell, the young talent that Jon Embree continues to mention can’t grow under constant mistakes and long-lasting failures. And outside of tight end Nick Kasa, there is not one veteran leader for which other teams have to create a specific game plan. The number of yards and points that the defense has allowed are comically astronomical. But they only say how bad this team is. And it’s worse than that.