College Football 77 in 77: #73 Colorado Buffaloes


colorado cheerleaders

If it weren’t for the Washington State Cougars, and the mess that’s currently unfolding in their program, the C Buffs would be the worst team in the Pac 12 this season.

Yet there’s excitement in Boulder about CU alum Jon Embree taking over the program (noticing a trend here? All but one of the first five in the 77 in 77 are starting over with a new coach) and installing his west coast offense which should be fun to watch and put points on the board.

As for the defense, well…did we mention they have a new coach and offensive system? This is certainly not your older brother’s Colorado Buffaloes. Although their biggest offensive weapon is a guy named Stewart (not Kordell) and again Eric Bienemy will play a major role in the offense.

By Paul M. Banks


2010 was: rather blah and pedestrian at 5-7, the defense was 91st in the nation in points allowed and the pass defense was…oh who are we kidding they hardly even played any pass defense at all, finishing 110/120 in the nation. Doesn’t bode well for the high powered Pac-12 teams they’ll face this season. When you consider they’re losing their top flight corner from last season, performances by the secondary could get uglier than the temperament of South Park, Colorado native Eric Cartman.

BMOCs: 5’6″ RB Rodney Stewart, one of the best backs in the conference, QB Tyler Hansen. But he’s not really listed here because he’s good. He’s listed here because he’s important for the welfare of the team. He did set a school record with 68% passing last season, but he also had just 6 TDs. The safeties will be good and WLB Jon Major is a stud. And could he not be with a name like that? He’s not Jon Minor now is he?

2011 will be fruitful if: Stewart puts this team on his back and runs roughshod week after week. If he has a senior season at least comparable to his junior year, he’ll become the school’s new all-time leading rusher, surpassing current offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy.  If their four returning starters on D can figure it out, and if the Buffs get any surprises out of the incoming freshmen, Colorado will pull off a couple upsets.

2011 will be awful if: this team, which largely resembles last year’s team, plays like itself. Cuz now the Buffaloes are without talented, but headcase/non-smooth criminal Jimmy Smith and OT Nate Solder, two of this past draft’s most interesting NFL prospects.

Bottom Line: I don’t really see how they can make a bowl game. Especially considering they have personnel suited for one system, which they are not running. Maybe when Embree gets his own guys in there suited for what they’re doing, things will change.


#74 NIU Huskies

#75 Army Black Knights

#76 Indiana Hoosiers

#77 Minnesota Golden Gophers

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports You can follow him on Twitter


  1. Rich Orman says

    “personnel suited to one system”? What freaking system would that be? After watching the “Dan Hawkins System” for the past five seasons, watching every home game in person and every televised game on the tube, I came to the conclusion that there was, in fact, no such thing as a system under Dan Hawkins–either on offense or defense. It was also a very different team once they fired Hawkins and Brian Cabral took over as interim head coach. Of course, none of this means that the Buffs will win a single game under coach Embree, but to say that Hawkins and his crew recruited for any type of “system” is so laughable that it indicates that you have absolutely no idea what you are talking about.

  2. paulmbanks says

    They sure as hell aren’t suited to run the West Coast Offense, I’ll tell you that much. As for your other charges against me, I’m going to take the high road on that one

  3. Buff Paul says

    I will keep this civil so we can have an intelligent discussion. Here’s why I disagree with

    1) Colorado doesn’t have the personnel for a West Coast offense.
    Accurate QB: Hansen completed 68% of his passes last year. In his last 3 games including the game he got hurt (Mizzu, Baylor and TT – all 3 bowl teams) Hansen completed 76% of his passes. Tyler is accurate enough on his short passes to operate the WCO.
    Experience OL: Colorado brings back the OL with the most starts in the PAC 12 including 4 players that graded out at 88% or above for the season. Also with the WCO the passes are thrown much quicker than under Hawkins so less time to pass block.
    WR’s, RB’s & TE’s who can catch the short pass: CU returns 4 of its top 5 receivers including a RB (Stewart 29 catches) and TE (Deehan 25 catches) that were truly under used as receivers but won’t be in the WCO. Although we lose McNight (Jets), in the last 5 games both Richardson and Clemons caught more passes than Scotty.

    So please tell us why you are right besides the generic “recruited for one system and will play in another” reason.

    Finally, JMO the main problem with Hawk was he completely disregard field position. He wanted an aggressive offense regardless of where on the field Colorado was. This resulted in other teams playing the field position game and waiting for Colorado to make a mistake in it’s own end of the field.

    Unfortunately this happened all to frequently. Do you remember, Colorado losing to a terrible Kansas team last year after leading by 28 pts with 12 mins left in the game. It takes a terrible field position coach to lose a game like that.

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