1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Arguing With … Myself

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Jul 31, 2015.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
    Likes Received:
    By Stuart

    [h=3]Arguing With … Myself[/h]or … Colorado Football – 2015: Drinking the “Kool-Aid”… or drinking the “Cool-Aid”

    “I expect us to win this year”, said Colorado head coach Mike MacIntyre at the Pac-12 Media Days. “We’re going to win a lot of those close games this year … We expect to win every game”.
    Pretty bold talk for*a coach*who last season led his*team to its first winless season*in conference play … since World War I.
    Well,*what would you expect the Buff*head coach to say at a preseason media event: “Well, we were out-scored by an average of three touchdowns (44.2-20.3) in Pac-12 games in my first season, and we brought that down to two touchdowns (43.0-29.2) in Pac-12 games last season … so this year we’re hoping to bring that average deficit down to just one touchdown this year!”?
    Of course not.
    We expect coach-speak to be overly optimistic, but we see through it.
    And yet, this past off-season, despite CU’s 2-10 record in 2014, there appears to be legitimate reason for optimism going forward.
    I have endured some serious internal wrangling*this off-season. For every argument I can make that the Buffs will be much improved in 2015, I have a counter-argument that off-sets that optimism. And yet, for every conclusion drawn that the Buffs are doomed to another season of despair, I can find a ray of hope.
    So, as Fall Camp opens, let’s do a bit of point/counter-point, listing reasons to drink the CU Kool-Aid this August, along with some reasons to drink the “Cool”-Aid.
    We’ll start with the “Reasons for Optimism”, with the “Reasons for Pessimism” being posted this weekend.

    Reasons to Drink the Colorado “Kool-Aid” …
    1. This is the third year at CU for Coach MacIntyre, and his third season at San Jose State worked out well
    Buff fans are very familiar with the narrative … In 2010, Mike MacIntyre took over a moribund program at San Jose State, one which had gone 2-10 in 2009 and was contemplating dropping football. In his first season,*MacIntyre’s Spartans struggled to a 1-12 record, rebounding with a 5-7 record in 2011 before posting a 10-2 record in 2012.
    Easy as 1,2,3.
    Coach MacIntyre sees the growth in Boulder as his third season approaches at CU. “I expect us to win this year. I really do,” said MacIntyre. “I think we’re right there, and definitely could have won a few last year and didn’t do it. I feel like our team has matured to that spot. Being a junior sophomore team, they’ve been there. The next year they’ll*probably have the biggest junior-senior class they’ve had, and one of the biggest in the history of the school.
    “That’s how you develop a program. You have to build it and develop it. We’ll be able to red-shirt more kids the next year, and we just keep the cycle going to develop. So I see us being able to win a lot of the close games this year, and do better the next year”.
    Counter-point … This ain’t the WAC/Mountain West
    The 2012 San Jose State Spartans, after falling to Utah*State to drop to 4-2 on the year,*ran off six straight wins to close out the season. The*murderer’s row of*opponents which Mike MacIntyre’s team took down: Texas-San Antonio; Texas State: Idaho; New Mexico State; BYU; Louisiana Tech and Bowling Green (in the Military Bowl, without Mac on the sidelines).
    True enough, Mike MacIntyre didn’t have the personnel nor the resources at San Jose State that he has at Colorado, but the discrepancy in opponents cannot be discounted.
    The mountain the Buffs must climb is much steeper than the one the Spartans had to overcome.

    2. Jim Leavitt will make a huge difference for the Colorado defense
    Another back-story familiar to Buff fans.
    Leavitt was on the staff of Bill Snyder’s Kansas State Wildcats in the early 1990’s, raising up the (numbers bear this out) worst program in Division 1 football. Leavitt then took his defensive prowess to South Florida, starting up a team from scratch, taking a program from concept to the FCS to the FBS in four years.
    The Colorado players have given Leavitt nothing but high marks, and are enthusiastically endorsing their new defensive coordinator. Leavitt has an affability and enthusiasm which is hard to deny (if you are not following him on Twitter – @CoachJimLeavitt – you should be.*His*most recent tweet:*“We have so much to be thankful for! When adversity comes we Must deliver. You can’t appreciate the ups unless you have the downs. Go Buffs!”).
    Leavitt has taken on greater challenges than Colorado, and has been successful at those stops. As a result, Buff fans argue,*there is no reason we*shouldn’t expect similar results from the Buff defense going forward.
    Counter-point … Change doesn’t come overnight
    No question Leavitt has the bona fides, and his track record speaks directly to CU’s most pressing need – overcoming a decade of adversity, and getting players to buy in to believing that they can win.
    But odds are that it will take several years, not several months, to turn this ship around.

    3. The 2015 non-conference schedule is tailor-made for success
    By Athlon’s reckoning, Colorado will be taking on the No. 114 team in the nation in the 2015 opener (Hawai’i), before facing the No. 92 team (Massachusetts) and the No. 71 team (Colorado State). Colorado will then finish off the non-conference slate against an FCS team (Nicholls) which went 0-12 last year.
    As Lindy’s sees it, the Buffs will be facing the No. 120 team, the No. 115 team, and the No. 75 team … before taking on the mighty Nicholls Colonels.
    There are many other preseason prognosticators which have posted*similar forecasts, but you get the idea.
    Translation: This fall represents a golden opportunity for Colorado to go*undefeated*in non-conference play for the first time since 2004.
    Colorado opens with the two teams it defeated last season, Hawai’i and UMass, before getting to play Colorado State on a date other than the season opener (CU has lost only once to the Rams since the series resumed in 1983 in*a game which was not the season opener, and that was in 2006, the debacle first season of the Dan Hawkins era). There are no travel issues with the Hawai’i game, as the season starts on a Thursday night, giving the team time to return to Boulder with plenty of time to prepare for its home opener.
    A 4-0 start to the season will give the program much needed momentum heading into the Pac-12 campaign.
    Counter-point … You’ve watched this team play before, haven’t you?
    Let your mind drift back to the 2011 season opener.
    Colorado was traveling to Hawai’i in Jon Embree’s debut as the Buffs’ head coach. There was nothing but enthusiasm for the 2011 season, and the Hawai’i game was to be the first “brick” game of the Embree era.
    The result? An ugly 34-17 loss to the Warriors.
    If you don’t want to go back that far, just go back to last season. Hawai’i finished the 2014 season with a defense ranked 82nd in the nation. Yet that defense shut out the Colorado offense in the second half – in a game played in Boulder – during*last season’s 21-12 CU victory.
    And UMass? The Minutemen who can’t even keep their membership in the Mid-American Conference? While it’s easy to recall that Colorado won, 41-38, in a shootout, it may have slipped the minds of some Buff fans that Colorado actually trailed in that game – by 11 points – in the third quarter.
    And don’t get me started on the Rams. Everyone knows that each season*the Colorado game represents the Super Bowl for Colorado State, and that, regardless of records, the Rams will sell out to try and defeat – and embarrass – Big Brother in Denver. Last season was no different, with the Rams posting 266 yards rushing in humbling the Buffs, 31-17.
    On paper, Colorado has the ability to handle all four of its non-conference opponents.
    But, as they say, the game isn’t played on paper.

    Coming SaturdayArguing with Myself (Part Two) … We’ll take some arguments against CU having a successful season, and see if the counterpoint arguments will make you feel better about CU’s chances at success in the 2015 season.

    Originally posted by CU At the Game
    Click here to vie

Share This Page