B. Get your own damn sammich and beer. C. Go Buffs So, preliminaries done, why am I hopeful? 1. The coaching staff is inexperienced, but they are motivated to learn and get better. So far I have not seen a single problem in their coaching that can't be fixed with some more time on the job. Contrast with the old regime who showed no interest in becoming better coaches, but instead blamed failure on a myriad of outside factors (everything from the way the ball bounced on a "few plays" to "players from broken families are liabilities" to "academics at CU are hard"). One example (of several) of the new regime being willing to learn: they come out slow in the first quarter. First they talk to the players about it - "coach them up" so to speak. It doesn't work. They call different plays, have different player packages, change out starters where they can - still doesn't work. Ok. Change how we practice. That changing practice "from stretching/warm-up to two-minute drill" came from one of two places: an internal coaching brainstorming session or Embree and co. called some of their mentors and asked for advice. Either answer is a good one. The next game: they actually didn't come out looking like dog **** the first quarter (yeah, that one drive was seriously helped by WSU penalties - but it was WSU penalties not CU penalties!). The important thing to me here is that while Embree is young, inexperienced and doesn't know all the answers - he's actually smart enough to know he doesn't know all the answers, and he seems to have the willingness and lack of ego to actually call up other coaches, mentors, etc and get some advice. The No Fun League does a great job in setting up mentoring relationships for young, minority coaches (there's a reason there's been more minority NFL head coaches than minority BCS head coaches) - Embree and Bieniemy didn't magically lose those relationships and go off on their own when they left the NFL. 2. The prior regime really left us in a big hole. It's been rehashed a hundred times, but DII really did not understand big boy ball. I think he actually believed (and truthfully a lot of people believe this) that Boise would be a very competitive team in a BCS conference. He ran the program, and got the recruits, just like he would have done at Boise his first couple years here. Then he found out that you can't win with that level of talent when you play real opponents every single week. The win loss total started turning the wrong way - and that makes it harder to recruit. It's a cycle that killed him. (Here's the counterfactual: what if CU had played Boise's schedule the first two years of DII's reign of ineptitude? We would have been winning 8, 9 or 10 games a year easily, and DII could have kept on recruiting at that same level - but the Big 12 wasn't the WAC.) The problem was that DII didn't change, he never actually realized that he was going to have to work harder/smarter... 3. It's going to take a bit to get this ship righted. Embree and co. are learning on the job; they're going to make some rookie mistakes. It's wrong for us to judge him like we would judge even a 5 year veteran. If his coaching gets better each game, each year - that's what we need to see. When he reaches a ceiling, then we can talk about a new coach. But he ain't there yet - he's not even close. This year they are recruiting to a 1, 2 or 3 win team - and they are still landing some solid (not great, not earth-shattering, but solid) recruits. If those recruits get them to a 3-6 win team the next two years, they'll be able to recruit even better recruits. There are benefits to being on an up-swing - and yes, I hate the fact that 3-6 win team would be an improvement. **** Danny boy. Last week was tough. We were outclassed. It was good to see what we're trying to become. But because we were so far outclassed, it was not a good barometer for, well anything. WSU was a better measuring stick. We played better that game than we had the prior 3. There were signs of hope. We could (may) have played better last week against the tree, but there's no way we could see it. This Saturday hopefully we're not so far out of our depth that we'll be able to see some more progress. The pups are close enough to earth that we'll actually be able to perceive progress - even if we don't win. and all of this writing so that my first post isn't in the roll-call for ASU... Go Buffs!