CO Sports Chick

Musings on Colorado sports from a female perspective

Posts Tagged ‘University of Colorado’

Popping the Top in the Foam Dome

Posted by The Minkster on February 16, 2011

If you haven’t caught a CU men’s basketball game yet this year you might want to check that off your list before the Big 12 tournament tips off.  The Buffs are in the middle of the pack and seeding will come down to the last weekend of match-ups, but that isn’t the story.  The 2010-11 version of our Buffaloes is undersized and doesn’t have much experience off the bench, but they line up toe-to-toe in each game with the expectation of winning.  That’s a huge step in the right direction. 

Big kudos go out to Tad Boyle in finally moving the men’s basketball team in a new direction.  He has a team with lanky forwards hitting the boards while the only true center is a freshman coming off the bench.  When the scoring tandem of Higgins and Burks are having an off night other guys step up and throw down needed baskets.  It isn’t just about playing tough D anymore, but playing a complete game on both ends of the floor which translates to wins on the road.  Something CU fans aren’t used to seeing.

I’m excited about Boyle’s first recruiting class next year and the team getting another 12 months to become better students of the game of basketball.  At times this year it seemed that the guys were either tired or didn’t understand what needed to be done at key points in the game.  Knowing when to press, when to push the ball up the floor, how to take a quick shot or hold the ball has been the downfall of this team at times, but you can see improvements in their overall basketball IQ.  There is excitement under the Flatirons and I’m hoping that Burks will come back for his junior year to be part of the excitement.

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Counting Feathers After Turkey Weekend

Posted by The Minkster on December 1, 2010

Broncos fan for the night

My Steelers fan cousin in Broncos jersey after losing bet.

Now that the Buffs’ painful football season and Hawk era of love are officially over up in Boulder it seems like an appropriate time to take stock of where Colorado sports are as we sleigh ride into the holidays.  Although the only Colorado team to show-up on the gridiron this fall was the Zoomies, it is still the most wonderful time of the year for sports fans.  Let’s take a moment to rate the teams that strap’em on and sweat for our entertainment during this time of year.  One Rudolph means shopping on Black Friday morning at Cherry Creek Mall would be less painful than watching a game, and five Rudolphs mean you would be forgiven if you traded your child’s sold-out-for-months hot Christmas toy for a ticket to the big game.

  • Air Force Academy Football – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Colorado Avalanche – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Colorado Rapids – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Denver Broncos – Rudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • Denver Nuggets – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • University of Colorado Football – Rudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • University of Colorado Women’s Basketball – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • University of Denver Hockey – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • CU, DU, AFA Men’s Basketball – Rudy the Red Nosed DeerRudy the Red Nosed Deer
  • DU and AFA Women’s Basketball – Rudy the Red Nosed Deer

EVERYBODY GIVE IT UP FOR THE RAPIDS – YOUR 2010 MLS CHAMPS!!  I know soccer can be painful to watch in general, but the championship match against Dallas was a great game with the intensity you would expect in a title bout between two scrappy underdog teams.  Show your love next season for the only Colorado pro team to bring home hardware since the Mammoth had a Gait on the sideline by going to the pitch at Dick’s next spring.

No need to rehash football except to congratulate the Zoomies on bringing the Commander’s Trophy back to the front range.  Two wings up boys!  Looks like the best basketball team in the state might be the CU women roundballers, but they have a tough Big 12 gauntlet to maneuver through including a visit from the Baylor Bears – a team that should’ve ended U Conn’s NCAA record-setting win streak a couple of weeks ago.  I’m excited about the new Boyle regime up in Boulder, but it will take some time to recruit and get his system in place.  The Pios are a young hockey team and keep getting better as the season progresses.  Definitely catch a game at Magness this season.

Back to the pro teams, the Nuggets have been banged up but should keep the playoff streak alive with or without Melo.  The Avs look like a playoff team although still very young and have had to make some trades due to injuries, but catch these guys when they are playing like Sacco says they are capable of and they’ll put one up in the W column.  We should see the “A” in the playoffs again this year and hopefully into the second round.  And last but not least the Rox!  They’re playin’ when they’re not playin’, know what I’m sayin’?  With the lifetime signing of Tulo, getting a deal done with Rosey and actively shopping for a big bat the Rockies are more exciting than McKid’s gang on Sunday afternoon.

Dear Santa, my wish list is short this year: Les Miles hired by the Buffs, Melo signs the Nuggets new contract, the Rox bring Adam Dunn to the Mile High City and Bowlen brings on Elway to help McKid with talent evaluation (see John’s success as Crush owner).  What’s on your sports wish list this holiday season?

Posted in Avalanche, Broncos, CO College Sports, Nuggets, Rapids, Rockies | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Chip Defends Crown

Posted by The Minkster on January 19, 2010

Boulder has an Aspen like celebrity in its midst!  Chip, the CU mascot, successfully defended his title at the 2010 College Cheerleading and Dance Team National Championship this past Friday.  The judging is split into two parts comprised of a video submitted in the fall and live skit performed the following January. 

Chip jammin' at nationals!

Unlike in 2009, Chip entered the January skit competition in first place after the video judging in November.  Being the Big Dog Buffalo that Aubi, Wildcat, Smokey and all the other top mascots were gunning for the pressure was intense for Chip and his handlers.  The team spent winter break creating and perfecting a skit that would not only be more creative than their record-breaking 2009 performance (earning an 11 on a scale of 1-10), but also get the crowd involved and excited.  The result was “Chip’s Dance Party” that featured old school music blasting from a jukebox to an iPod booming current tunes.  By all accounts the entire audience was waving their hands in the air and jammin’ like they just didn’t care. 

The Big 12 was represented well not only by CU, but Oklahoma and Kansas finished in the top 10.  As in football, the SEC had a strong showing with four mascots in the final 10 and Auburn’s Aubie taking second place.  The Big 10 rounded out the field, also with four finalists, lead by third place finisher Goldy Gopher from Minnesota.

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Throwback Days at the Foam Dome

Posted by The Minkster on December 2, 2009

With another painful football season coming to a merciful end, Buffs fans can turn their attention to and actually get excited about the men’s basketball team.  Buzz finally has his guys in place after most of Patton’s recruits bailed because the work ethic and expectations were too much for them to handle.  Coach has these kids wanting to play team ball and buying into the philosophy that has been proven successful in the NBA and at Air Force.  This isn’t going to be another season where CU has a good pre-conference record then gets destroyed.  In case you missed it, these gritty guys played tough at the Maui Invitational without their head coach who was with his seriously ill mother in Chicago.

The Buffs are 5-2  after dropping two heartbreakers in Hawaii then coming home and taking care of business against the San Francisco Dons.  On the Big Island CU had Gonzaga on the ropes the entire game and let them sneak back in during the closing minutes to lose 72-76.  Next up was Arizona which went into overtime but lost 87-91.  They picked up a consolation game against Chaminade, but came away knowing they can play with the big boys.  The Big 12 is brutal this year, but look for this team to pull off some upsets at home.

Higgins vs SF Dons

The 2009-10  Buffs is still young with only one senior, guard Dwight Thorne II, but he’ll get good help from junior Cory Higgins (team leader and top scorer) and freshman Alec Burks.  Still too many freshmen and sophomores to make a run at the Big 12 title, but I love the attitude and hustle this team brings to the table.  It reminds me of the run and gun team of the 1990-91 season that almost took home an NIT championship.  CU is not only bringing back that gritty, wind-sprint style of play but the fashion sense too.  The Buffs will wear the silver home unis for the first time in 19 years, so what can go wrong?

The Buffs head to Oregon this Friday to play OSU in the Big 12-Pac 10 Hardwood Series.  Big 12 play opens in Austin on January 9 followed by Baylor at home on the 12th.  Let’s have the Foam Dome rockin’ like it used to in the early 90’s when Billy Law was running the offense and the seats were filled with gold and black clad fans.  After dropping several gut-wrenching contests to Big 12 foes at home last year, you can be sure the tables are turning and the Buffs will notch some of those in the win column this year.

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Type A’s Don’t Go Easy on Offspring

Posted by The Minkster on October 16, 2009

Still a hopefully Buffs fan

Still a hopeful Buffs fan

The much ballyhooed insertion of Tyler Hansen into last Saturday’s game against Texas in the third quarter has dredged up the issue of Cody being the coach’s son and accusations of nepotism.  Really?!  Do you people understand that an extreme Type A personality is a prerequisite to becoming a successful Division 1 college coach?  That means these guys demand pursuit of perfection in themselves, their coaching staff, players and offspring.  If you happen to be a player and a son on your father’s team you’re just asking for constant pressure and intense scrutiny!

Of course, these kids are usually as hard or harder on themselves as their dad’s are.  Just like every other child ever born on this planet (including you) these players crave approval and support from their parents, and unless there is abuse or abandonment, this continues into adulthood.   Don’t try to deny it, just nod in agreement and keep reading.  In addition, if said child plays for said parent/coach it is fairly typical that the coach will bend over backwards to NOT show favoritism which raises the bar even higher.

If you saw some of the interviews with Coach Hawkins after the Texas loss you might have caught the statement he made about being very upset with Cody throwing that INT that was run back for a TD in the third quarter.  That was a 14 point swing that the Buffs (a 32 1/2 point underdog) weren’t good enough to overcome and gave the Horns the momentum boost they desperately needed.  He basically said that Cody should’ve known better and if it had been Hansen, or any other player not related by blood, he probably would’ve left him in there.  Doesn’t sound like the kind of special treatment one would find in Aspen’s Little Nell, but rather in Florence at the Supermax. 

Lil' Hawk

Lil' Hawk

Yes, Hansen lost his redshirt, but if he was the next Sanchez, McCoy, Ryan or Tebow the kid would already be on the field.  Frankly, I would rate out these two QB’s at even, with Cody better at running the offense and Hansen owning more raw talent.  Hansen had all of spring ball and fall camp to take the over the team, but failed to beat out Cody as determined by the offensive coordinator – not head coach who was busy coaching the WRs.  The Buffs actually have a bevy of talented freshmen QBs ready to fight it out once Hansen, who is a sophomore, graduates.  The question is will daddy Hawk be in Boulder to witness that competition?

CU is still a young team with an O line that hasn’t completely gelled yet despite having the size of an NFL front four.  The receiving corps has been decimated by transfers, ineligible players, injuries and disciplinary actions.  Cody can’t block, throw and catch the ball all by his lonesome.  The bright spot has been healthy running backs with Speedy and Scott carrying most of the load.  Also, the defense has started to trust each other and are stepping it up (they held a team which was averaging 208 yards per game to 46 on 25 attempts last weekend).  Don’t forget that the Buffs still have a chance to win the Big 12 North.  They are 0-1 in conference play and the only teams without a loss in the North going into this weekend are Nebraska and Kansas.  Don’t count the Buffs out yet and I predict a win over the Shuskers on Turkey Weekend!

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Buffs Don’t Look Close

Posted by The Minkster on October 3, 2009

Ummm, what's going on?

Ummm, what's going on?

I’ve been watching football games off and on this afternoon while I made some yummy dark chocolate cookies, and can’t help but notice the difference in the skill and execution of top teams around the country versus CU.  I’m a BIG Hawk fan and want so badly for one of the good guys to succeed just once, but I’m having trouble seeing an improvement in the program over the last four years. 

The defense seems to be coming together a bit, but still lacks speed in the secondary and occasionally looks lost.  Brian Cabral will get his ‘backers there like he always does, but it remains to be seen if Hawkins’ move to bring in his long time mentor Bob Foster for a one year stint to handle the outside linebackers will work out.  There’s no doubt that Coach Hawk is feeling some pressure to win and losing Mark Helfrich this past spring to Oregon definitely hurt.  He has had some stability with four guys he brought with him from Boise State still on the payroll, but there doesn’t seem to be continuity with the players.  I feel like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day” with CU fielding a young team that has great potential but little roster depth each fall.

There are challenges being a head football coach at CU, such as intense scrutiny in regards to recruiting, citizenship and academics as a fallout from the Barnett era.  Another challenge is the limit by the state legislature of six long-term contracts that CU can offer at any given time.  That means an assistant coach on any CU athletic team has a better shot at winning Power Ball than getting a multi-year contract.  In contrast, Oklahoma State coaches can get up to a five year deal and Gary Pinkel didn’t lose a coach during his first seven years at Missouri.  Lastly, CU’s facilities now look outdated compared to other Big 12 schools.

2009 Buffs

2009 Buffs

There are some positive things on the field with Speedy Stewart being one of them.  He is sofun to watch!  The offensive line is very young and inexperienced, but we haven’t had big uglies taking up that kind of space since the Mac tenure.  Hawk’s experiment of getting in the trenches and coaching the receivers should hopefully end after one futile season.  Although this position has taken a beating with transfers, grades, suspensions, etc., the Buffs have some young talent that could provide decent targets for Little Hawk and Hansen next year.  CU is also loaded with young guns waiting for their shot at QB’g the team and to put up numbers as if Folsom had blue turf. 

CU fans need to give Hawk one more year to have a Mac-like breakout season, although this year looks like it will be painfully long.  Besides, Colorado can’t afford to buy the guy out!  Heck, they have people talking about privatizing CU to save the state money!  What?!  Anyway, it seems that the powers that be in all of the state supported institutions have addressed this nonsense with the legislature, but it still doesn’t change the fact that Hawk will finish out the length of his original contract in 2010.  Let’s hope his team plays well enough to warrant that two year extension the Regents gave him through 2012.

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Buffs Enjoy Holiday Weekend Elsewhere

Posted by The Minkster on September 8, 2009

Buffs, what happened?

Buffs, what happened?

I must confess, I had high hopes for the 2009 version of the Colorado Buffaloes.  That is until somewhere around 7:00 PM on Sunday night.  Prior to this weekend I figured the Buffs would be 4-0 going into Austin in October, and had on gold tinted glasses when I bet a brew and bragging rights on my bold prognostication.  Not only did the embarrassment of the loss in the annual rivalry game with CSU hit me in the wallet, but it took all the suspense out of the season.  The boys in black looked like they were playing in their first scrimmage together and really didn’t care much about winning.  It wasn’t all their fault, Hawk and his staff were out coached and apparently lost out on the recruiting trail along the way too.

Yes, we all know that CU has no receiving corps to speak of this year and it was made painfully obvious in the first game.  Looks like any team in the Big 12 will be able to cover the receivers one-on-one and load the box.  That should keep the Buffs four quick backs bottled up most of the season.  With an O line that can stand toe-to-toe with the Broncos front, I’m shaking my head watching Little Hawk running for his life when he drops back and our backs running sideways instead of north/south.  The defense is young and mistakes were expected, but the CSU receivers were setting out lawn chairs, umbrellas and sipping frozen drinks waiting for Grant Stucker passes while the guys in black must have been getting the ice.  The backs can’t shoulder all the blame, because Stucker had time to check off receivers twice and eat an energy bar before any D linemen got anywhere close to dirtying his white jersey.

I do have to give the Buffs credit for not giving up and making some key adjustments at the half.  They came out with new found energy and a passing game.  The outcome could’ve been different if Scotty McKnight hadn’t been decked by CSU and lost the ball.  If not for that hit it would’ve been a first down deep in Rams territory instead of the ball going the other way and McKnight wondering what city he was in.  That was a huge momentum shift and CU couldn’t get back into an offensive groove although McKnight later returned to the game.

An announcement came today that Tyler Hansen will try to redshirt this season, which will give him an additional year separation from the coach’s son.  That was the plan last year, but due to injury Hansen had to play.  If Little Hawk goes down again this year we’ll probably see freshman Seth Lobato take the snap from center. 

Toledo put up some impressive numbers through the air last week against Purdue and will be a tough match-up on the road (I can’t believe I just had to type that).  Toledo senior quarterback Aaron Opelt  threw for 423 yards and three touchdowns Saturday in a 52-31 loss at Purdue, so look for another long day for the young Buffs D with only three days to make corrections.

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USA Today Poll Won’t Stand Test of September

Posted by The Minkster on August 7, 2009

Hey sports fans, had a take a little staycation before the summer was over and now I’m back just in time for the start of football season.  You know it is time for the old pigskin to start squeaking because fantasy sites are gearing up, NFL teams have started their training camps, the Hall of Fame Game and annual enshrinement takes place this weekend, and the first college football poll has been released.

Everyone is excited about kicking around the pigskin.

Everyone is excited about kicking around the pigskin.

I really don’t like preseason or even early season polls for college football, but they give more umph to all the sports talk  shows before the first ball even leaves the tee.  Since the first official poll was released today I might as well jump into it with both feet and provide my decidedly slanted view of the rankings.  If you didn’t check the sports page this morning, which I can’t imagine not doing, then you missed the USA Today Poll (the AP isn’t out yet).  Take a minute to check it out then continue on.

Hope you didn’t get hurt when you fell out of your chair laughing.  That has to be one of the most outlandish preseason poll I’ve seen in awhile.  I’m going to file this away and save it for Jan. 10 (are they done with the bowls by then?) and compare it to the final standings which really don’t mean much either.   Here is how it breaks down in no particular order:

  •  USC – Always loaded and if they beat Ohio State on the road will be in running for championship game as long as they don’t stumble over Stanford or UCLA.
  • Texas and OU – They’ll beat up on each other in the Big 12 and the pollsters will drop the loser down lower than 2 or 3 because the system is that ridiculous.
  • Ole Miss – Won’t surprise anyone this year and won’t make it thru the SEC with enough wins to keep it in Top 10.
  • Notre Dame – At best will go 7-5 with big wins over Nevada, Navy and U Conn, but pollsters are afraid of TD Jesus so will put them in Top 25 by year end if they can pull out finale over Stanford.
  • Boise St, TCU and Utah – Will have great seasons again and get dissed AGAIN!
  • Carolina – #20, really?  Is there an LT Jr. following in daddy’s footsteps I don’t know about?
  • Nebraska – Hey pollsters, Tom Osborne doesn’t coach there any longer!  Their starting QB has thrown 2 passes in a college game. If the Big 12 North teams can stay healthy the Fuskers won’t even be in the running for the division crown this year let alone ranked in Top 25.
  • Ga Tech – #15 is a stretch, but I have to say they have a shot at Top 10 if they can win at Miami and at Fla State because they have the Hokies, Dogs and Tar Heels at home.
  • Va Tech – Plays Bama in the Kick-off Game in the ATL which could set a bad tone for the season or have them flying high for next two games at home against Marshall and Nebraska. We’ll see how much Taylor (QB) has matured over the summer and if he can get the ball down the field.  The Hokies are picked to win the ACC crown, but I think I would rather them be underdogs.

Of course Colorado isn’t on anybody’s radar, but they will be after the West Virginia game on October 1 in Morgantown.  The Buffs should be 4-0 going into Austin to kickoff their conference schedule.  If the boys in black and gold can stay healthy (they lost 121 man games in 2008 due to injury), they stand a chance of surprising the Longhorns.  Whew, all this football talk has me dreaming of a cold brew at the Harvest House.

Posted in CU, Random Sports | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »