To say it's been an interesting year for Colorado, well, that's like saying that Nolan Ryan threw the ball "pretty fast".
Rape allegations, coaches suspended or departed. Players transferring and a head coach that has a nasty habit of putting his foot square in his mouth.
Oh and then there's the administration "endearing" as it is putting the kabosh on Colorado recruiting as we know it, instilling almost a ridiculous amount of new standards that are all but devastating to CU's hope for a fortunate football future.
Not daunted and at Big XII media days down in Kansas City, Gary Barnett tried to put as positive a spin as he could on the recruiting gauntlet handed down. "We are going to be pioneers in this phase of recruiting changes." He said. "We are going to perceive it as an advantage and we'll be damn good at it when it's all over."
That's not saying much coming from a coach that has the image of little more than a "lame duck", Barnett not even knowing if he'll have any power to do anything once the tough decisions come around. "I don't know that any of us know the answer to those questions." Barnett said in response to the question about just how much power he has. "I guess if you ask me this next year, I'll be able to answer your question."
Chances are, Barnett won't be around next year and that's part of the problem the Buffs are going to have this season to come.
It's not enough that a key player like running back, Brian Calhoun transferred. And, it's not enough that CU brings back hardly a receiver that has any experience at all. A marginal line will be blocking for sixth-year man, Bobby Purify and Joel Klatt while somewhat dependable is anything but the kind of force he's going to need to be to bring this team up to par.
Quite honestly, nothing I got from media days when it came to Colorado showed me that this team has the kind of morale it needs just to be competitive, much less the team to compete.
And, considering those aforementioned recruiting mandates, the still-unresolved scandals that are abound at the "U", to me, this seems like the beginning of the end.
Colorado hosts Texas A&M, Oklahoma State and Iowa State this year and travels to Lawrence to play Kansas. Welcome to the best chance at winning the Buffs have on the season outside of their non-conference schedule. And while it's not a huge break from what they normally have, CU has to play their usual game against Colorado State, but rather than face their typically brutal out of conference slate, they are treated to North Texas and what might be a winnable game for them against Washington State.
At Missouri, at Nebraska, hosting Kansas State and Texas, while the schedule isn't brutal, it doesn't necessarily favor a team that is coming off a 5-7 season. In fact, since the 10-3 season two years ago, it's been a steady decline for CU. And looking at their team as it stands, it's a decline that I don't see stopping anytime soon.
I think one could assume that once Barnett is gone and the coaching ranks are cleaned out to the extent the administration is happy, all the policies currently in place will soon go bye-bye and it will be back to business as usual. Until then though, Colorado is on a downward spiral and while they might play spoiler this year, the only thing that is really getting spoiled is their hope of coming out of this dive anytime soon.
This could be only the beginning.
Steve Ryan can be reached at SteveRyan@bigredreport.com or 402-730-5619