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

CU@Game CU At The Game: Apples and Oranges

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, Nov 22, 2015.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
    Likes Received:

    Comparing Apples to Oranges

    Memo to Colorado athletic director Rick George:

    First, thanks for sticking around, and taking your name out of the running for the vacant AD job at Illinois. We know that you are an Illinois alumnus, and that you once described the head position at Illinois as your “dream job”. We understand how strong the temptation would be to return to where your first loyalties were forged.

    And yet you are sticking around Boulder to see what you have started seen through to a successful conclusion.

    Thanks for that.

    Second, can you see what you can do about moving the Colorado game at Washington State in 2017 to a new site?

    I think I’ve got this figured out.

    Colorado was 3-0 against the Cougars in games played in the state of Washington before Saturday night’s 27-3 defeat. The thing is … the wins came in different venues: Spokane, 1982; Seattle, 2004; and Pullman, 2012.

    Apparently, the Buffs can’t play the Cougars in the same venue twice. Otherwise, the outcome wouldn’t have been the frustrating result Buff fans have endured over the past two seasons.

    … Then again … Perhaps it was pre-ordained that the Cougars would find a way to win, and the Buffs find a way to lose.

    Missed field goals, bungled snaps, dropped passes … all too familiar to the Buff Nation.

    Familiar as well to the Cougar Nation – at least until this year.

    The following numbers will be oft-discussed and much debated this off-season:

    – Mike Leach’s record at Washington State over his first three seasons … 12-25;

    – Mike MacIntyre’s record at Colorado over his first three seasons … 10-26 (with one game to play).

    This year, in Year Four of the Mike Leach experiment in Pullman, Leach has gone from a coach on the hot seat to one who is toast of the town.

    Last season, Washington State finished 3-9, 2-7 in Pac-12 play, with frustrating losses to Rutgers (41-38), Oregon (38-31), and Cal (60-59).

    This season, Washington State is 8-3, 6-2 in Pac-12 play, with last minute victories over Rutgers (37-34), Oregon (45-38, 2OT), and UCLA (31-27).

    Asked this week if he saw Colorado as a team one year behind the Cougars in their rebuilding process, Leach said, “They’re kinda in the same spot we are now, from the standpoint that they’ve played everybody we have, a lot of these games have been won by an eyelash on both sides, and we’ve come up on top in some of them. But they’ve been close with the same people we’ve been close with.”

    “I definitely think they are reminiscent of our team last year”, agreed Cougar linebacker Peyton Pelluer. “We had lots of close games and just couldn’t finish them”.

    Colorado players also see it. “We got a Pac-12 win this year. We didn’t have one last year. We’ve just been more competitive. In every game we’re in it till the end. In past years we were getting blown out. We’re on the brink right now,” said Colorado senior receiver Nelson Spruce.

    The Buffs still have one last chance at redemption in 2015, with Utah up next on the schedule. A top ten team three weeks ago, the Utes have lost three straight, and are without their star running back, Devontae Booker. The offensively challenged Utah offense, like that of Colorado, was held out of the end zone Saturday, falling 17-9 to UCLA (betting hint: take the “under” for next weekend’s game).

    Even though the Utes are down, and are no longer a factor in a Pac-12 South race they once controlled, it will be Senior Day in Salt Lake City, and it’s hard to see the Buffs generating enough offense to pull off an upset.

    Which would leave Mike MacIntyre and his staff with a 10-27 record over three years, two games worse that Mike Leach’s three year record in Pullman.

    Do Buff fans have the right to expect a turnaround similar to the one experienced in Pullman come the 2016 season?

    Well, first, let’s look at the schedule for next fall.

    The Buffs will open the 2016 season with the Rocky Mountain Showdown in Denver. Colorado State (6-5) is going bowling for the third straight year, having managed six wins in the ridiculously diluted Mountain West Conference. The Buffs were able to pull out a victory over the Rams this year, even though Colorado was coming off of a ten loss season and CSU was coming off a ten win season. Still, the game won’t be the third of the season, as it was this fall, but the season opener.

    And Buff fans are all too familiar with how well Colorado fares in season openers …

    After a home date against Idaho State from the Big Sky Conference (the Bengals were 2-9 this year), the Buffs travel to the Big House to face Michigan. The Wolverines were in disarray a year ago, but Jim Harbaugh has Michigan on the brink of the top ten in just one season in Ann Arbor. Hard to see Colorado winning that game …

    The Pac-12 Conference schedule will be the mirror of this season’s games. The Buffs will have five home games: Arizona State; Oregon State; UCLA; Washington State and Utah, with road trips to pay Oregon, Arizona, Stanford and USC.

    Assuming losses on the road to Michigan, Oregon, Stanford and USC, the Buffs would have to go 6-2 against the rest of the schedule to earn its first bowl bid since 2007.

    Not impossible, if the Buffs continue to improve.

    Some will argue that the Buffs took a step back in the 27-3 loss to Washington State. After all, it was a 24-point loss. Consider, however … the Buffs lost 48-23 to Arizona State earlier this season – a 25-point loss – but was never really in that game. Against the Cougars, the Buffs were still harboring hopes of a comeback until midway through the fourth quarter when Cade Apsay fell on a bungled snap on fourth-and-goal at the WSU three yard line, ending CU’s last scoring threat.

    “It’s frustrating because we’ve worked so hard in getting over the hump,” said running back Phillip Lindsay, who led the Buffs in rushing with 78 yards. “You’ve got to have some dog in you, and we didn’t go out there with that mentality. People need to make their minds up that they’re going to have that fight in them.”

    “We had our opportunities to win this game and we didn’t,” head coach Mike MacIntyre said. “Somehow, we’ve got to fix it. We’ve got to do a better job coaching and getting them ready.”

    Will Mike MacIntyre be given that opportunity?

    Almost certainly. Rick George has stated in no uncertain terms that MacIntyre will be CU’s head coach in 2016.

    Beyond that?

    Much will depend on how Mike MacIntyre fares in Year Four in Boulder.

    Colorado needs to start winning the close games. Colorado needs to start demonstrating it can win in the Pac-12 on a consistent basis.

    Just as Mike Leach and the Cougars have done this fall.

    Finally, as long as we are comparing apples to oranges, recall these two records:

    7-26 … and 7-25-1.

    The first record, 7-26, was the three-year record of one of the most reviled coaches in Colorado history.

    The second record, 7-25-1, was the three-year record of one of the most beloved coaches in Colorado history.

    The first record was posted by Chuck Fairbanks (1979-81), who made a run for the USFL after three seasons in Boulder … and no one was sad to see him go.

    The second record was posted by Bill McCartney (1982-84), who went on from that ignominious start to become CU’s all-time winningest coach.

    So, will Mike MacIntyre follow in Bill McCartney’s footsteps, and become the “Mike Leach” of the Pac-12 in 2016?

    Or will Mike MacIntyre follow in Chuck Fairbanks’ footsteps, and find himself being shown the door at the end of the 2016 campaign?

    Time will tell …


    Continue reading...

Share This Page