I'll let you make up your own minds on just how badly it hurt the program to let a lame duck coach HaLkins stick around for an extra year. Before we get into football and the Embree discussion... first, we should have another look at how long it took men's basketball to recover after we did that with Ricardo Patton... with a reminder that basketball can be turned around more quickly than football. CU Men's Basketball (Patton Era) SeasonRecordNotes1996-9722-10NCAA 2nd Round1997-9813-14No postseason (7-9 in conference)1998-9918-15NIT 2nd Round1999-0018-14NIT 1st Round2000-0115-15No postseason (5-11 in conference)2001-0215-14No postseason (5-11 in conference)2002-0320-12NCAA 1st Round2003-0418-11NIT 1st Round2004-0514-16No postseason (4-12 in conference)2005-0620-10NIT 1st Round2006-077-203-13 & last place in conference (lame duck year) Due to things that were going on in the program during that lame duck year and the number of guys who transferred out or were booted after Bzdelik took over, we ended up with scholarship losses from APR failure. It took years to build it back up, especially in a situation where no academic risks could be taken. CU Men's Basketball (Post-Patton Era) SeasonRecordNotes2007-0812-203-13 & last place in conference (Bzdelik)2008-099-221-15 & last place in conference2009-1015-166-10 & 6th place in conference2010-1124-14NIT Semifinals (Boyle)2011-1224-11Conference Champions & NCAA 3rd Round After a lame duck year in basketball, it took 3 years to get back to the level of the previous coach's worst seasons (other than his lame duck year) and another 2 years before we were able to surpass his greatest success. Football's a more difficult one to analyze. In Embree's case, it can almost be argued that 2005 was the Barnett lame duck year (sort of, it was in flux as no one knew whether he'd be extended or fired) and that the HaLkins era was a continuation of that with the program hitting a glue sniffing addict's rock bottom in 2010. Embree also inherited APR issues, as Bzdelik did. CU Football (Barnett Era) SeasonResultNotesRecruit Class Rank after Season (Rivals)19997-5Won Insight.com Bowln/a20003-8(no players from Mac Era still in program)n/a200110-3Won Big 12 (finished #9 in nation)#1020029-5Won Big 12 North (finished #21 in nation)#1920035-7Embree & Bieniemy had left for UCLA; rape accusations scandal gets ugly in January following season#7420048-5Won Big 12 North & Houston Bowl#4320057-6Won Big 12 North & Lost Champs Sports Bowl (Mike Hankwitz coached bowl game)#48 (signed with HaLkins) Dan HaLkins Error SeasonRecordNotesRecruiting Class Rank (Rivals)20062-10#3220076-7Lost Independence Bowl#1520085-7#48 (momentum gone after missing bowl)20093-9HaLkins reported to be fired before Thanksgiving game & then decision reversed by administration#66 (lame duck class)20105-7Last 3 games coached by Brian Cabral (2-1 record)#74 (signed with Jon Embree, who had under 2 months to recruit) Jon Embre Era SeasonResultNotesRecruiting Class Rank (Rivals)20113-10Schedule ranked top 5 most difficult in nation#36 Last, let's take a look at the 2010 lame duck recruiting class from HaLkins when the bottom fell completely out of this thing. There are a few bright spots, but it's pretty awful. 2010 Football Recruiting Class ProspectPositionRivals StarsRivals RatingNotesJered BellCB3*5.7Limited PT as a frosh; Soph year & following spring lost to knee injuryKeenan CantyWR2*5.3Redshirted; Limited PT in 2nd yearJustin CastorK2*5.3Didn't win PK job; lost kickoff job during 2nd yearCordary Clark (Allen)RB2*5.2Redshirted; switched to TE, then DE; left program before 2012 seasonKaiwi CrabbOG3*5.6Redshirted; enters 3rd year as a backup on OLDonnie DuncanATH3*5.6Never made it to CU - AcademicsJustin FavorsTE2*5.4Never made it to CU - AcademicsHenley GriffonTE2*5.4Redshirted; Left CU after 2011 springEvan HarringtonLB3*5.5JUCO; limited PT in 2010; starting FB in 2011; graduatedNick HirschmanQB3*5.6Redshirted; limited PT in 2011; 2 broken feet and missed spring 2011Tony JonesRB3*5.7Redshirted; #2 RB in 2011; expected 2012 starterTrea JonesRB3*5.5Never played; transferred to TowsonAlex LewisOT/OG3*5.5Grayshirted; limited PT in 2011 at OT and blocking TE; expected 2012 LG starterHarold MobleyTE3*5.7Redshirted; left team in spring 2011Daniel MunyerC/OG3*5.5Redshirted; limited PT in 2011; expected 2012 OG starterDakota PooleDEnonenoneCanadian rugby player signed late; redshirted & left program due to injury in spring 2011Kirk PostonDE/DT3*5.5Redshirted; not sure he has ever gotten on the fieldPaul RichardsonWR4*5.8Committed to UCLA & enrolled early; dismissed for incident & enrolled at CU before 2010 season; potential star who will miss at least beginning of 2012 with knee injuryEric RichterOG3*5.7JUCO; redshirted then switched to DT; hasn't playedKyle SlavinTE3*5.5Redshirted; limited PT in 2011; projected backup in 2012Terrel SmithS2*5.4Spot starter in 2010; limited PT in 2011; potential starter in 2012Justin TorresRB2*5.2Played well in 2010 until he got homesick and quit teamChidera Uzo-DiribeDE3*5.7Limited PT in 2010; spot starter in 2011; expected starter and playmaker in 2012Lowell WilliamsLB3*5.5Redshirted; special teams contributor in 2011; expected backup & ST guy in 2012 It's clear that Embree inherited a situation that was at least as difficult as what Bzdelik inherited for basketball. I'd say that it's much worse, but at least CU has a tradition in football as a Top 25 all-time program with a run in the 1990s when we were a Top 5 program for the decade. It's easier to re-build off fairly recent success than build something that's never been, so I'll call the tasks even. But as Kentucky has shown, in basketball you can beat juniors and seniors with freshmen and sophomores. That's not the case in football. And CU can't short-cut the process by recruiting JUCO athletes, since it's about impossible to find more than a couple a year who meet eligibility standards on transferrable credits and for whom you can then win recruiting battles. So even if the tasks are even (probably a stretch), it's fair to say that it takes 2 years longer in football. What that would translate to is that CU Football, even if it's a huge success story like CU MBB has been, probably won't be in a position to win a conference title until Embree Year 6 or 7 (2016 or 2017). When Bill McCartney inherited a similar situation from Chuck Fairbanks, it took him until his 4th season to have a winning record and until his 8th season to win a conference title. Are CU fans patient enough for this process? Will we enthusiastically be there supporting our young team through the good times and bad as it grows over the next couple seasons? Can we acknowledge that if Embree delivers a winning record before 2014 that he's ahead of the standard set by Coach Mac?