Monday Notes and Observations

The Colorado Buffaloes got back to practice Monday. Windy conditions put temperatures well below the freezing mark. Barnett said the practice was "brisk but spirited." He said the team was heading in the right direction in terms of getting past Friday's devastating loss to Nebraska, but admitted "it's not like throwing a switch."

• Asked if he thought his Buffalo players really believed they could beat Texas in the Big 12 Championship game — an undefeated and No. 2-ranked team that handed Colorado a 42-17 loss in Austin in October — Gary Barnett said, "Not yet. But if they don't, they should be out here practicing; it's too cold. By the time we'll get down there, we'll believe it."

• Team co-captain Lawrence Vickers said Saturday he might call a team meeting for Sunday to start trying to rebuild the players' confidence after they learned they would face the Longhorns. But on Sunday several players were engaged with their families in town for the holiday and the meeting didn't materialize. He said he may hold a team meeting Wednesday. However, Barnett addressed the team prior to Monday's practice for the first time since Friday's loss. Vickers said the head coach

• In my opinion, the Ted Gilmore factor played a big role in Friday's game, particularly because of the style of offenses both teams run. CU and NU's West Coast schemes rely on creating advantages via matchups, and both try and disguise what plays are being run. Gilmore spoke to the entire Nebraska team during the two-weeks of preparation and, according to NU DE Jay Moore "gave us a lot of information on these Buffalo players. He knew something about every single player on that sideline. In the end, that gave us an advantage."

And I don't by the "CU came out flat" line of thinking. The players were emotionally peaking when they needed to be prior to the game. Joel Klatt was as livid on the field as I've seen him, and Thaddaeus Washington looked like he was determined to win the game himself on Nebraska's first series in the third quarter. More than any game this year, CU was outcoached on Friday.

• Defensive coordinator Mike Hankwitz on Monday said CU was in the process of evaluating what they did defensively against Texas the first time and will "keep some things and try some brand new things. We've got nothing to lose, so we'll give them some new wrinkles." That "got nothing to lose" statement is telling, and gives insight into just where the team's psyche is at this point. The Buffs have a Big 12 Championship at stake, but after Friday's embarrassing loss, it feels like there's no where to go but up. Thing is, another thumping on national TV at the hands of Texas could show the Buffs a new low.

• An MRI revealed that junior guard Jack Tipton tore his ACL in the Nebraska game. He will try and practice with a brace to see if he can play against Texas Saturday, but Barnett said he is doubtful.


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