It Can Only Fall By Michael Krumholtz A tremble resonates across the field, as CU defenders chase behind Fresno State running back Robbie Rouse. The scoreboard reads 35-0 in favor of the home team Bulldogs and not even fifteen minutes have passed. An earthquake has struck, tripping the Buffs down an abysmal freefall. They have no choice anymore but to play terrified. Bulldog Stadium has become too big, engulfing them under one menacing and cosmic laugh. Again that collective fear has set in among the group of trembling Buffs. “We get so eager to make plays that we give up plays,” Coach Jon Embree said. “The guys were really anxious to do stuff and make plays and unfortunately it went the other way." In allowing 665 yards of total offense to a middle-of-the-road Mountain West team, CU continues falling. Not even Dan Hawkins teams got beat this bad. The 35 points yielded in the first quarter sets the record for the most allowed in the program’s history. By the end of the next quarter, Fresno was over halfway to a 100-point game. “(We need to) keep grinding, keep fighting and keep competing,” Embree said. “I don't know what else to tell you.” What is there to say anymore? A man who has been beaten to a near-death state suddenly doesn’t have the will to speak coherent sentences.. There is little hope left in sight for a coaching staff that teams from mid-level conferences continue to bully. Their fruitless days can only go on for so long in this self-conjured disaster. A minstrel band of coaches without prior head coaching or coordinator experience comes to every show with the same sorry tune. Every week the fans hear that next week performance will be different, that the Buffs will be better prepared, and that they’re just a few little mistakes away from success. “(It’s) critical mistakes and things that we prepare for,” Embree said. “We just for whatever reason, don't do it when it's live bullets." The quarterback, though one of them, is not the foremost problem. When anyone is put back in that position, he will feel the same pressure as the poor guy before him. CU’s offensive line is allowing four sacks per outing. What’s discouraging is to realize that the line is filled with veteran players who are not improving from game to game or even year to year. Consequently, the hollow running game combines with a lack of threatening speed from the receivers to help make such a bland flavor. They are perfecting the art of vanilla. Lately it’s become difficult for anyone to find a worse team from one of the BCS conferences. Colorado football has not only joined the conversation with tradition-starved football programs like Indiana and Kansas, but it has managed to descend to an even worse state, alone at the bottom. Those teams beat the FCS opponents on their schedule. Those teams have not surrendered five touchdowns in thirteen minutes. One orange and rounded word shoots into mind with those hoop-mad schools. Maybe CU is indeed becoming affiliated more with basketball. They could call this season a Shakespearian tragedy, but it’s not clever enough. Not even he could have kept them reading after an unbelievable 0-3 start to such fragile competition. Each week this continues, the earned tradition chips away. Memories of greater times disappear into a fire. Willful suspension of disbelief is now stretching itself to reality for CU fans. This surrounding illusion is all too real. Often when a child dreams of himself falling through the sky he wakes up with a jolt, shaking off the self-imposed terror. But this child is too deep into a coma. The nightmare persists. It is now marking up the record books in favor of the opposition. On Saturday CU got run off the field, as Fresno had back-to-back scoring plays of 97 and 94 yards. The home team controlled both lines of scrimmage with the ease of a professional weightlifter picking up a box of feathers. Embree’s team averaged 2.5 yards per rush while giving up 7.5 on the other side. "I still believe in this team,” he said. “I know our performance doesn't reflect what we are and what we are capable of being.” The foundation, built by a decade of champions and record setters, keeps shaking below them. Balance has long given way to a hopeless tumble. Soon the facilities will crumble. Even the trophies and banners of past winners will fall into the widening rift, leaving a next generation with inflated tales from stubborn old men as tattered proof. Indeed, this school once had a proud football program, they will say. Now they are stuck sitting passive in an earthquake, witnessing the inevitable collapse of their own monument.