Posted on: November 26, 2010 6:50 pm
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Posted on: November 21, 2010 1:11 am
Edited on: November 21, 2010 1:11 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. And then there was one (state). As if the rivalry between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State needed any more significance in the state of Oklahoma, next week's game between the rivals will determine who wins the Big 12 South. Should Oklahoma State win, then the Cowboys will be headed to Dallas -- don't let Justin Blackmon drive -- and it's settled. If Oklahoma wins, things get a little dicey depending on what happens between Texas A&M and Texas. Should the Aggies and Oklahoma win, that would leave all three teams tied at 6-2 and we'd have to go through a whole mess of tiebreakers to determine which team would win the division.
2. The North is still undecided. All Nebraska had to do on Saturday night was beat Texas A&M and they'd clinch the Big 12 North. Well, I guess Nebraska didn't want to make it easy on us, instead picking up about 40 more penalties than points, and causing Bo Pelini to burst about 18 eardrums. Now, the Cornhuskers still control their own fate thanks to a win against Missouri earlier this season. If they beat Colorado this week, then they're going to Dallas. If they don't, well then they need Kansas to beat Missouri. In other words, they should probably win.
3. The Big 12 isn't happy about Nebraska leaving. At least that's the impression that I got on Saturday night. Now the 'Huskers didn't get 46 penalties called against them like I implied earlier, but they did pick up 16 penalties for 145 yards. Some of them were deserved, but not all of them. While I don't really condone Bo Pelini screaming obscenities into the side judge's ear all night long, I could understand why he was so upset. I'm sure the Aggies committed a few penalties as well, but they were only called for two.
4. Colorado is still alive for a bowl game. This is one of those things that I see in the standings and think to myself "that can't be right. Somebody messed up." But it's true. Thanks to the Buffaloes second straight win in the post-Hawkins era, they find themselves at 5-6 on the season. That means beating Colorado next week would not only kill Nebraska's conference hopes, but send the team bowling as well. I wonder if Dan Hawkins will go to that game?
5. Texas should play in the Sun Belt. It seems to be the only conference whose representatives they can beat in Austin these days.
6. Oklahoma can play well on the road. Sure, it was against a Baylor team that has stumbled coming down the stretch, but the Sooners have had problems with just about everybody on the road. Until Saturday night, anyway. The Sooners came out firing on all cylinders and blasted the Bears, 53-24, and the game wasn't even that close. Baylor scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter while the Sooners were on cruise control.
Posted on: November 13, 2010 11:40 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. Texas A&M might actually be good. Which is insane to contemplate considering the way the Aggies' season started, and the roller coaster interception ride that was Jerrod Johnson at the start of the season. But since Mike Sherman finally decided to replace Johnson with Ryan Tannehill, the Aggies have won four in a row -- averaging 41.25 points a game while doing so -- and now sit in second place in the Big 12 South. It's possible that if the Aggies can beat Nebraska at home next week, and then a Texas team that does nothing but lose in Austin on Thanksgiving, they could end up playing for the conference title.
2. Of course, Oklahoma State will have to lose twice for that to happen. Something that doesn't seem all that likely considering the way the Cowboys have been rolling through the Big 12 this season. Aside from the loss to Nebraska last month, not much has gotten in the Cowboys way this season, as they became the latest team to beat Texas in Austin on Saturday night. If they can beat Kansas next week -- and something tells me they will -- they'll be hosting Oklahoma on the 27th with the Big 12 South on the line. Well, assuming that Oklahoma beats Baylor next week, and considering how the Sooners struggle on the road, that's not a sure thing.
3. Missouri is still alive. The Tigers ended their two-game skid with an impressive 38-28 win over Kansas State on Saturday, which means they still have a chance to get to Dallas, even if it is a remote one. Not only would the Tigers have to beat both Iowa State and Kansas the next two weeks, but they'd need Nebraska to lose to Texas A&M and Colorado too.
4. Colorado should fire Dan Hawkins every week. Seriously, hire him on Sunday and then fire him on Monday, because it seemed to work out very well for the Buffaloes this week. The Buffs had their best game since beating Georgia back on October 2nd, which coincidentally, was the last time they actually won a game. Even Cody Hawkins seemed to be celebrating his new independence from his father, throwing for 266 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Posted on: November 13, 2010 12:01 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
As Colorado continues its search for a new coach, it appears the school is keeping its eyes on the big fish. On Friday the Denver Post reported that Colorado had already talked to former Oregon coach Mike Bellotti about replacing Dan Hawkins.
"We had some initial talks, nothing more than that," Bellotti told the paper. "As this thing goes on, we'll see. That's the only way I can characterize it. I'm interested in getting back in coaching but it would have to be the right situation. I'll have to do some research and get a better feel."
Bellotti, however, is not the only coach that it Colorado would like to talk to. The school was already reportedly interested in trying to pry Les Miles away from LSU, but changed its mind after LSU beat Alabama last week. So now, according to another report in the Denver Post, the Buffaloes have turned their eyes to another coach in the SEC.
Georgia head coach Mark Richt .
According to the report, although Richt is no longer in danger of losing his job, a source said that he is growing weary of the pressure that comes with coaching in the SEC. Ironically enough, the seat Richt sits on was its hottest following a Georgia loss at Colorado earlier this season. Still, there's a problem for Colorado when it comes to hiring Richt or Bellotti.
Athletic director Mike Bohn has said that the school probably won't be able to go over $2 million annually for a new head coach, and Richt already makes more than that, and it's doubtful Bellotti would come back for that amount either. Unless the school wants to invest more money into a new coach -- and according to Gary Barnett, they won't -- the odds of Colorado landing either Bellotti or Richt are pretty slim.
As for another possible candidate, Colorado's chancellor said earlier this week he'd prefer a coach with ties to the Big 12 or Pac 10, which is a description that fits former Texas Tech head coach Mike Leach. Though according to the same source that told the paper about Richt, that's not going to happen because Leach comes with "too much baggage."
Posted on: November 11, 2010 1:38 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Gary Barnett first burst on the coaching scene when he led Northwestern to the Rose Bowl after winning the Big Ten in 1995, and then left the program a few years later to take over at Colorado. While in Boulder, Barnett's Buffaloes won the Big 12 in 2001 and won the Big 12 North four times in his seven seasons, even though they only went 34-22 in conference play.
So Barnett has a pretty good idea of what it takes to win in Boulder, and how hard of a task that is. He was on ESPN 1600 in Denver on Thursday to talk about coaching at Colorado, and he didn't really try to temper his feelings about the situation.
“There’s a disconnect between what it takes to compete at that level and what’s being done," Barnett said when asked about the difference between the expectations at Colorado, and the commitment the school puts into the football program. "I think what happens is nationally, on the outside, people perceive CU and Boulder to be like it is in Oklahoma, like it is in Nebraska, like it is in places where we have defeated programs and played for National Championships and played for league championships. And in reality, we’ve scratched along and found a way to be competitive on those levels without having that same sort of culture and environment that other people have. And as long as that culture and environment doesn’t change and remains the same, then it’s going to be a constant scratch and claw.
"Yeah, there’s a disconnect between those that want and what the university is willing to do. And as long as it stays that way, there’s going to be this constant set of expectations that are unrealistic for any coach that goes in there. And that’s what’s really hard – on the outside the expectations are one thing, on the inside the expectations are something else. But you only hear the ones on the outside, and those end up being negative when the job gets harder to do and more complicated to do than you can perform or accomplish.”
Barnett then went on to give an example of the school's commitment, particularly when it comes to putting a coaching staff together, and trying to keep it together.
“Well it’s not challenging getting those coaches here, but once they get here and realize the expectations that are put upon them and the resources that they actually have, and then they’re on a month-to-month contract…they’re not even on a year-to-year contract, they’re on a month-to-month…so they have absolutely no security.
"And then what happens is they get persuaded to go to other places with two and three year contracts. It just makes it difficult to maintain a staff. It’s not hard to get them there, it’s hard to maintain it once they’re there and realize the complications of the job there.”
In other words, you're expected to win at Colorado, and the school expects you to win, but the school doesn't do much to help you do it. These are words that any head coach who is considering taking over at Colorado should probably want to consider before making any commitment to the school.
I mean, seriously, month-to-month contracts? It's like they're hiring freelance coaches.
Obviously, if what Barnett said is true, then Colorado needs to make a lot of changes if it wants to contend in the newly formed Pac-12 next season.
Posted on: November 10, 2010 12:43 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Earlier this morning I wrote about the interest Minnesota has in San Diego State head coach Brady Hoke and said that if the Gophers are seriously interested, they should probably act quickly because Colorado may turn its attention towards Hoke as well. Well, maybe they don't have to after all.
Colorado chancellor Phil DiStefano held a teleconference with local media on Wednesday morning, and although he says he won't get in the way of whatever athletic director Mike Bohn wants to do in his coaching search, he feels that the school would be best served to look for a new coach who has experience in either the Big 12 or Pac-10.
“A coach who is either successful now as a head coach or has recent coaching experience either with someone from the Pac 12 or the Big 12," said DiStefano. "Somebody in a conference similar to, if not equal to, the conference that we’re joining.”
DiStefano also said that he thinks moving to the Pac-10-soon-to-be-12 will help Colorado in its efforts to replace Dan Hawkins.
“I think going to the Pac 12 is actually going to help us,” DiStefano said. “The limited financial resources we have, we’re more similar to the teams in the Pac 12 than in the Big 12. I think we’ll fare well in the Pac 12, but we’ll probably have to look at some upgrades in facilities. And I don’t know what those are and I’ll certainly leave those up to Mike to work with, but I think that will be a priority for a new coach coming in.”
Now exactly who the next head coach will be, nobody knows, but Mike Bohn did say that there is no timetable to find a replacement.
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:41 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Now that Dan Hawkins has finally been disposed of at Colorado, the process of finding a new head coach has begun. While there were rumors that Colorado might make a run at Les Miles, following an LSU win over Alabama last weekend, the idea of Miles leaving for Colorado becomes an even bigger pipe dream.
So where will the Buffs look? Will they go after the big splash by poaching a coach from somewhere else, or could they possibly look to the past? Former Colorado head coach Bill McCartney says that if Colorado were to call and ask him if he'd be interesting in returning, he'd be interested as well.
Former CU coach Bill McCartney, who led the Buffs to a national championship, will be a strong candidate to succeed Hawkins, but other candidates from around the country will be considered, sources said. McCartney retired from coaching in 1994.Now, on the surface, this idea seems somewhat silly. Yes, McCartney was the man in charge in Colorado the last time the program truly mattered on the naitonal landscape. He led them to a share of the national championship in 1990, and won three Big 8 conference titles before retiring in 1994. Still, today in 2010, McCartney is 70 years old, and does Colorado really want to hire a 70-year old coach to rebuild the program?
I mean, it just wouldn't make sense. Excuse me, what's that?
Now it's possible that Colorado could just be paying McCartney lip service because they don't want to insult someone who meant so much to the program. At least, I hope that's what's going on here.
Posted on: November 8, 2010 10:43 pm
Edited on: November 9, 2010 9:34 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
UPDATE - Tuesday 8:30 a.m. - John Henderson of the Denver Post has confirmed with several sources that Dan Hawkins will meet with the team Tuesday morning, then there will be a noon news conference to formally make the announcement. Associate head coach Brian Cabral is expected to be promoted to interim head coach for the final three games. However, most of the staff (likely Cabral included) is not expected to return for the 2011 season.
From the category of "pre-written headlines" comes Monday evening's reports from Colorado. After five seasons as the head coach of the Buffs, Dan Hawkins is out at the University of Colorado. Vic Lombardi of CBS4-Denver reported that Hawkins is expected to meet with the team Tuesday morning, and at that time we will learn whether Hawkins will finish the season, or leave immediately. If the position becomes vacant immediately, it is expected that assistant coach Brian Cabrel will take over the head coaching duties.
Hawkins was on the hot seat coming into the season, and Saturday evening's meltdown against Kansas had to have been the straw that broke the camel's back. Colorado blew a 45-17 fourth quarter lead to a Jayhawks squad that has not scored more than 28 points in a game all season. Despite the outspoken sentiments of the team after the game, Colorado is obviously focused on acting this week.
Keep it here on the College Football Blog, as we will update as the inevitable begins to unfold.