The Rocky Mountains are in fact high and they are widely known for their natural beauty, but the University of Colorado Buffaloes have been anything but a sight for sore eyes, and "high" may be more appropriately applied to the residents of a late night fraternity bike room rather than this team of "ballers" who've been MIA for the better part of the last decade.
Colorado used to be a proud football program. Throughout the late 80's and into the 90's the Buffaloes rose from mediocrity to the highest of college football heights. Their national championship in 1990 iced the cake for Head Coach Bill McCartney's "gridders," but also marked the beginning of a slow decline from prominence aided by the missteps of subsequent coaches like Rick Neuheisel, Gary Barnett and Dan Hawkins.
Now, Head Coach Jon Embree finds himself knee-deep in the midst of a reclamation project better suited for Xzibit, Ty Pennington, or those dudes from Queer Eye For A Straight Guy. The Pac-12 Conference has proven to be a bit more than Colorado could chew since their admittance more than a year ago, and I can't help but wonder if Embree, his players, and the administrators responsible for throwing this team to the wolves are clicking their heels and reciting "there's no place like home," in a last ditch effort to eject from this downward spiraling plane and reroute to the friendly confines of a Big-XII Conference they found to be somewhat user-friendly.
Goose couldn't punch these guys out quickly enough to save them from this fireball. Lee Iacocca thinks the Buffs are beyond repair. And there's not enough Duct tape in the western half of the United States for MacGyver to put this back together.
Ralphie's pride and joy are 3-10 in the Pac-12 Conference over the last 2 years and 4-16 overall. Their four wins have come against the Washington State Cougars, Utah Utes, Arizona Wildcats and Colorado State Rams. What do those four teams have in common?
Sorry, but I'm forced to call a spade a spade, and in this case forced to call poo, poo.
The Cougars have been circling the drain for years, the Utes have been a slightly higher grade of fertilizer since their call-up from the minors, the Wildcats…well, they hired Rich Rodriguez, and the Colorado State Rams…enough said.
Colorado hasn't been and isn't good, and I don't think the Oregon Ducks are high on their list of remedies to cure such.
Oregon comes into this game riding the high of likely their best performance to date. After dismantling Arizona State a week ago last Thursday, they'll be looking to make quick work of the Buffaloes and begin preparation for a huge game at Southern Cal next weekend.
Does that mean they'll be taking Colorado lightly?
Say what you will about Chip Kelly, but his teams don't take teams for granted and won't do so Saturday afternoon. That's not good news for Coach Embree, and worse news for fans of a program ducking for cover between the lines.
Is it possible the Ducks could lose this game?
I guess, after-all the Americans did beat the Soviets in the 1980 Olympics, Francis Ouimet did win the 1913 U.S. Open Golf Championship, and Lyle Lovett did marry Julia Roberts in her prime, but no one with a brain on the genius side of Forest Gump would wager a nickel on them doing so, and outside of Lloyd Christmas would say they had much of a chance.
I respect the Colorado Buffaloes. That's not to say I think they're any good, but more so that anyone willing to fight in the face of adversity…over…and over…and over again, is worthy of admiration. Football is not any easy game and in light of what we now know regarding its toll on those who play it, respect is earned by merely stepping between the lines.
Oregon should win this game handily and should once again be deep into their roster come the second half, but I hope for Colorado's sake they play with some pride, fight to the end, and at the end of the day feel a step closer to becoming a legitimate member of the Pac-12 Conference, and nearer to a version of what they used to be. They and everyone in the conference would benefit from such.
Game Day: That John Denver's Full Of It!
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