In a sound-bite world, Colorado coach Dan Hawkins has offered some real belly-busters. At the beginning of last season, after a 2008 campaign that saw his Colorado Buffaloes hang a 5-7 mark, Hawkins told players and fans that he envisioned “10 wins and no excuses” this season. Well, he almost got the Buffs there…if you consider 3 wins close.
“It was not a guarantee, ” Hawkins explained. “It was a motivational ploy, aimed at raising internal expectations.”
Of course, that doesn’t sound at all like an excuse or an admission that 10 wins in the Big 12 was a pipe dream. The reality is the last time Colorado won 10 or more games was in 2001, when the Buffaloes finished 10-3 and knocked off Texas 39-37 in the Big 12 Championship Game. Other than the upset of Oklahoma in 2007 that was the last time the Buffaloes looked respectable against the Big 12 South. In fact, it was the Longhorns’ Drew Kelson that may have laid the signature moment in the last decade of Buff football squarely on the jaw of Joel Klatt back in 2005.
Even under Hawkins, Colorado’s best record is the 6-7 they carved out in 2007. But this year’s campaign promises to be different as Dan Hawkins has already found a new strategy for success. In fact, Stage One is already complete.
Now that the Buffaloes are stampeding west to the promised land of the Pac-10, Hawkins doesn’t have to stand on the sidelines while the Cornhuskers of Nebraska and each member of the Big 12 South (except Baylor) take turns cornholing the Buffaloes.
Now, if Hawkins can succeed in scheduling only Washington State for conference play…
Since it seems the college football world is about to undergo the tectonic shift of conference re-alignment we’ve all been waiting for, it may be time for us here at Dubsism to introduce you to a conference and its members with whom you may not be all that familiar.
When it comes to the Big Twelve, everybody has knowledge of the big dogs; Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska have all seen there share of the national television spotlight. While the fan bases of this conference are seemingly enduring a diaspora, those fans are going to see teams on their schedules in the near future of which they likely will know absolutely nothing.
Luckily, there is a way to prevent such a tragedy. All sports teams have a personality; we here at Dubsism intend to enlighten those of you possibly dawning a new era by comparing a team which you may know little about to a better-known entity; in this case everyday items found in my kitchen.
Iowa State – Ketchup
And not just for those idiotic all-red uniforms. Sure, it’s bland, only good for one thing and taken for granted, but the hamburger that seemingly was the Big 12 wouldn’t be the same without it. After all, Baylor’s gotta beat somebody on the road.
Honestly, I can’t stand vodka. I only keep it around because so many other people seem to like it. That’s probably the same reason the Big 12 kept hanging on to these corn-wearing knuckleheads. At least the Callahan years turned most Husker fans into this guy (not really safe for work, but hilarious nevertheless).
Colorado – Maxwell House coffee
Another thing that isn’t my favorite, but some people just ain’t gonna get the fresh-ground Kona roast. The usually mediocre Buffaloes were perfect for the Big 12 to serve up to a bowl game to which they make the obligatory “morning-after” promise to call, but never do.
Kansas – Pasta
To get you there on this one requires a sub-reference – pasta can be like women; good top-quality pasta is the “girl you take home to Mom.” Every once in a while, the Jayhawks make you fall in love, like with a Gayle Sayers, John Riggins, or more recently Mark Mangino’s offense. At times like this, Kansas is certainly that kind of woman who gets the candles and the soft music to seal the deal. The trouble is at other times, Jayhawk football can make the quality of the pasta irrelevant, as they made it overcooked and uselessly limp.
Kansas State – Spaghettio’s
We all know this is closer to the “whore” end of the pasta spectrum, resplendent in its cheap, yet tantalizing sauce, and waving those firm, round, oh-so-fake “meatballs” in your face. K-State football so wants the respect pasta gets, but with this girl, a hummer in your Ford F-150 could only be six to eight MGDs away. Worse yet, you know you’re going to feel guilty for doing it, but you’ll do it anyway.
Missouri – Bumble Bee Tuna
Dependable for 7 no-matter-what wins, and always a good combination with lots of other stuff on this list, but at the end of the day, it ain’t Boardwalk or Park Place; it’s more like Marvin Gardens.
Oklahoma – Hot Sauce
Not just any hot sauce, but that special Asian liquid-plutonium instant-death sauce that is so enticing but always leaves you feeling gastrointestinally raped. And not just raped, rather like somebody gave you a 5-gallon napalm enema and dragged a flaming tumbleweed through the entire length of your digestive tract.
You are always suckered in by the Sooners, and you spend the whole off-season being reminded of it by the scorch-marks in your Fruit-of-the-Looms.
Oklahoma State – Bourbon
Much like Cowboy football in September, that first glass of bourbon is filled with promise. But by November, you’re just another drunk whose week-long hangover has prompted yet another pledge to never drink again. But September always comes back…
Texas Tech – Ham
If there were ever a perfect reason to break up a conference, the fact that Texas Tech bum-rushed Mike Leach out of Lubbock would be it. How can you not love a pirate-loving quote machine such as Leach? If there were ever anybody who embodied my love of the strange comparison, Leach and his off-the-wall “Ham and Eggs” comment would also have to be it.
“It’s a little like breakfast – you eat ham and eggs. As coaches and players, we’re like the ham. You see – the chicken’s involved but the pig’s committed. We’re like the pig, they’re like the chicken. They’re involved, but everything we have rides on this.”
Coach Leach, we here at Dubsism salute you and your commitment, which hopefully happens soon.
Baylor – Mayonnaise
Creamy, white Baptist kids who only need three hours in the sun to become fatally rancid.
Texas – Chicken of the Sea Tuna
Dependable for 9 no-matter-what wins, and always a good combination with lots of other stuff on this list. While the Longhorns are consistently better than Bumble Bee, at the end of the day…sorry, Charlie.
Texas A&M – Coffee Maker
Aggie football is usually non-descript, but it performs a crucial function; giving me a steady buzz of huge, bruising fullbacks.
“Mr. Kiffin, we have some good news, and some bad news…”
It’s not like Tennessee-Florida is a rivalry with enough heat in it, Lane Kiffin seriously upped the ante when he took the Volunteers’ top job. Upon arriving in Knoxville last winter, he immediately stoked Vol Nation with promises of singing “Rocky Top” in Gainesville all night long after beating the Gators. If that weren’t enough, Kiffin also riled up Florida with his allegations of NCAA violations by Pope Urban I.
Tennessee lost; but Kiffin managed to eat the eighty-pound breakfast burrito comprised of his own words, surviving both the girth and the spice being force-fed to him. While he won the “Man vs. Food” challenge by getting the Vols to make a respectable showing against Florida, having to digest the rest of the campaign through the SEC may cause Kiffin’s colon to burst.
Don’t You Hate It When Your Trojan Breaks?
If you were waiting for Southern Cal’s annual gag-job, wait no longer. Washington quarterback Jake Locker did his best emulation of what Matt Barkley did during Southern Cal’s game-winning drive in Columbus, leading the Huskies to their first win over the Trojans since 2001 and their first win over a ranked BCS conference team since 2003, all a week after ending the nation’s longest losing streak.
The Heisman is Supposed To Go To The “Best” Player
Prior to every season, there are touted hopefuls; those who all expect to see at the at the Downtown Athletic Club in December – this years crop included Tim Tebow, Colt McCoy and Sam Bradford. Once the season begins, one of the anointed always drops out of the picture. Then there’s the guy who pops into the discussion.
Enter California running back Jahvid Best. Since Bradford went down with a shoulder injury, Best has racked up a nation-leading nine touchdowns, including this past weekend’s signature five-score showing at Minnesota.
Granted, there is a lot of football left in this college season, but Best faces some long odds on winning the Heisman at this point. He is not a quarterback, who 8 of the 9 most recent winners have been, and the last west coast player to win the award who wasn’t a Southern Cal Trojan was Oregon State’s Terry Baker (also a quarterback) in 1962.
“Coach Hawkins, The Governor is on Line 1…”
Flanked by a priest and two badges carrying shotguns, Dan Hawkins is walked into a dark room somewhere deep in the bowels of Folsom Field. Only a creaky wooden chair connected to industrial strength wiring sitting under a single light saves the room from complete emptiness. The priest turns to Hawkins, whispering “It’s time, coach” in his ear.
Losing at home to in-state rival Colorado State for the first time in 23 years got the leather straps put around his wrists and ankles. Getting clubbed by Toledo got the wiring attached; a hand on the switch. Then came the awkward silence; the waiting for the clock to strike the appointed hour, a silence shattered in an instant shattered by the ringing of a red phone on the wall. One of the shotgun-toting badges glares at Hawkins from under the visor of his cap pulled low while he reaches for the phone.
“Hello?…Yes, Governor…I understand. Your order will be carried out,” the badge grunts disapprovingly out of the side of his grizzled mouth. “Take him back to his cell. The Governor says today is not the day.”
Why the reprieve after the aforementioned futilities and posting a 13-26 record in 3 seasons-plus at Colorado? Let’s face it…if your job depends on beating the hapless Wyoming Cowboys, the stay of execution is just that; a stay. Now, it just seems a matter of when the switch will be thrown, as the schedule doesn’t favor Hawkins and the Buffaloes. The next three games hold most-likely unwinnable trips to West Virginia and Texas, followed by a visit from the Kansas Jayhawks.
Even the kids can’t wait to throw the switch.
Circus Maximus at Autzen Stadium?
Two weeks ago, the Oregon Ducks looked like a team flirting with an implosion on the scale of the last days of the Roman Empire. Their star running back was suspended indefinitely after the brawl he tried to start in the aftermath of the 19-8 loss at Boise State. Last week, the Ducks needed some late game heroics to stave off a home loss to Big Eleven Ten doormat Purdue. The season looked to hold the peril usually carried by throngs of “Attila the Hun” types thundering over the horizon.
What a difference a week makes. Oregon rebuffed the enemy at the gates by bringing about on Saturday the decline and fall of Utah’s national-best 16-game winning streak.
Duck head coach Chip Kelly avoided becoming a green and yellow Romulus Augustus, side-stepping overthrow at the hands of Odoacer by keeping his team together in the face of the Hun onslaught. The win against the Utes coupled with Southern Cal suffering an early-season conference loss sets the stage Saturday for a showdown with California in Strawberry Canyon; the winner having the inside track to win the Festival of Consualia known as the Pac-10.
Get Ready for the Over-Rating of Michigan
The University of Michigan has nearly 400,000 alumni world-wide, all of whom believe the maize and blue represents the greatest program not only in the history of college football, but in the history of everything ever. This is how a team that went 3-9 last year can claim national ranking after beating the likes of Northern Michigan, Southern Michigan Eastern Michigan, Western Michigan, and an over-hyped Notre Dame squad.
If Michigan gets all the to Penn State with only one loss (consecutive road games at Michigan State and Iowa offer the loss potential; The Wolvies aren’t likely to lose to Indiana and Delaware State in the “Big House”), brace yourself for a Wolvie-gasm that’s been two years in the making. It’s been at least that long since the “Go Blue” crowd has had anything to get excited about, and they may just begin erupting like sailors on shore leave.