Rock M Roundtable!

1 - Where does everybody stand on CU's "turnaround".  People are talking about it like it's inevitable, but...is it?  Let's put it this way--while Dan Hawkins has managed to outcoach Bob Stoops and Mike Leach in his CU tenure, he allowed Gene Chizik and Ron Prince to coach laps around him last year.  Is their return to North prominence a likelihood or just a possibility?

2 - Give me an MU-CU score.

3 - Here's CU's schedule.  Give me a win-loss prediction.

8/31 - vs Colorado State
9/6 - Eastern Washington
9/18 - West Virginia
9/27 - at Florida State
10/4 - Texas
10/11 - at Kansas
10/18 - Kansas State
10/25 - at Missouri
11/1 - at Texas A&M
11/8 - Iowa State
11/15 - Oklahoma State
11/28 - at Nebraska

4 - Where does CU fall in your own Big 12 Hierarchy of Hate (i.e. how much do you dislike CU)?

5 - Anybody been to Boulder for a game?  Easily the prettiest of the Big 12 towns...

The Boy: And I just got an out-of-office reply from Dave! Oh no! Who's going to pick up the picture posting slack??

ZouDave: OH NOES!



I was gone yesterday, here today.

The Beef: 1 - I am willing to concede they seem to be headed in the right direction, though I think they are going to be in need of a pretty serious upgrade at QB before they really make the next step. Am interested to see what type of talent Hawkins is able to continue to get to Boulder, but I don’t have much doubt about the man’s ability to recruit. I think they will be a little better than they were last year, though I guess I say that and have not looked at all at their schedule. I think their return to prominence is more likely than a possibility, but less possible than a likelihood…since I am not sure Hawkins is going to stay there and not move on again to a better offer.

2 - I cannot think we win 55-10 again…even if the game is at our place on homecoming and perhaps our best home opponent of the season. But, I think we do just fine against them. I will say we take this one going away at the end 45-17.

3 - 8/31 - vs Colorado State - win
9/6 - Eastern Washington - win
9/18 - West Virginia - loss
9/27 - at Florida State - loss
10/4 – Texas - loss
10/11 - at Kansas - loss
10/18 - Kansas State - win
10/25 - at Missouri - loss
11/1 - at Texas A&M - loss
11/8 - Iowa State - win
11/15 - Oklahoma State - win
11/28 - at Nebraska – win

Sheesh…I always forget how tough their schedule is, though this does seem like even a down year for them. I guess I came out to 6-6 again…I thought hard about at aTm and at kU…maybe they swing one of those, but hard to pin your hopes to road swing games.

4 - Actually, I never really ever disliked them. I was not attached to Mizzou back for the 5th down game, and was cheering for CU over ND in that Championship game. Even as a Michigan fan (I have family ties to the school), I did not mind seeing them win the Hail Mary game either (gave myself a slight concussion when I jumped up and hit my head on a low ceiling….yes…it was really low) So…I think I have a lot of schools in front of them in terms of how much I dislike them…especially since..

5 - Especially since I have been to a game in Boulder, and it was gorgeous, and someone gave us free tickets to go…like someone from CU just walked up to us and handed us tickets we needed.

Michael Atchison: 1 - I suspect that they’ll become better than average without becoming dominant. He has a nice place to recruit to, and he’s started to show that he can get talent. I have a suspicion, though, that the Big 12 North is going to be pretty tumultuous over the next five or ten years, with teams taking turns at making a run for the title.

2 - Missouri 42, Colorado 23

3 - Looks like about 6-6 to me.

4 - Pretty low, and they might be at the bottom but for the Fifth Down. Lower quarter, with Iowa State and Baylor, probably.

5 - I’ve been there, but not for a game. I love that area. No place I like better than the Rocky Mountains in the summer time.

The Beef: Look at Atch getting in early to avoid the surprise 15 emails in his inbox later this morning….well played. Glad to see your learning curve in action.

The Boy: 1 - "More likely than a possibility, but less possible than a likelihood."  Nice.  I think I agree with Atch--they're pointed upward, but I don't know what their ceiling is.  I think I'm clearly biased by the absolute whoopin' Mizzou put on them last year--it left me with the impression that they weren't very athletic, and their coaching staff was not very flexible or adaptable (when they insisted on running their Cover 1 even though Chase Daniel was averaging about 95 yards per completion against them).  When they turned around and lost to Iowa State after that, it did nothing to dampen that thought.  That said, Hawkins is obviously recruiting pretty well, and that gives CU a better long-term prognosis than at least KSU and ISU.  How they're going to fare against MU/NU/KU over the next few years, however, is still up in the air.

2 - Honestly, I'm going to give the CU staff a bit of future credit and assume that they won't attack MU with the same defensive gameplan as last year.  The 55-10 game will SURELY force them to make some adjustments against us, and if those adjustments work, I could see the game shaping up a lot like last year's MU-ATM game.  The outcome was never really in doubt, but we never could get a lot of space between us and them on the scoreboard.  I say Mizzou wins something like 34-17.

3 - Like I said, I see three likely wins, five likely losses, and four tossups.  I say they win one of the likely losses and split the tossups...which means...um...let's see...carry the one...6-6.

4 - I couldn't stand Bill McCartney, Rick Neuheisel, or Gary Barnett, but it's hard to hate the Nick Nolte look-alike currently in charge.  While they were probably around the #3-5 range on my hated list back in the '90s, they're now probably around the #7 mark.  I obviously can't bring myself to hate ISU and Baylor at the moment, and I downright enjoy Tech and OSU, so CU ranks above them.  And actually, after KSU fans chanted "Beat KU" to the Mizzou players last year, I have to put them below CU as well.  So CU's #6...right there with ATM and OU (whom I don't hate for some reason), a step behind UT (I guess), and below NU and KU.

I spent way too much time thinking about that.

5 - Been there twice, in '99 (great game) and '01 (meh).  Got the worst heartburn of my life at an Old Chicago in Boulder after the '99 game, but that didn't dampen my spirits enough to prevent me from going back in '01.  Despite the meh game, the '01 trip was downright lovely (right down to the aforementioned free tickets).  There are few things prettier than the drive from Denver to Boulder.


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The Beef: Few things are better than getting out of a speeding ticket in kansas by giving the cop scores from that day….and there were few things worse than having to pull off the highway in fog-riddled kansas to have to spend the night…

rptgwb: How about driving back from Kansas State in pitch black night when, four miles into the drive back to Columbia, your contact splits in half IN your eye and you have to make the rest of the four-hour drive with only one eye?

Yeah, that sucked.

Michael Atchison: Well, I’m about to leave and I expect all hell to break loose in my absence. Someone try to work the word "sphincter" into a sentence.

Just read that Mark Mangino got a raise to $2.3 million a year. That’s $450K more than Pinkel (who might be thinking, "hey, I’d like a raise" this morning). They rank third and fourth in the league, respectively, behind Stoops and Brown. Ron Prince brings up the rear at $755K a year, a full $180K out of eleventh place. Can you believe the chasm that has opened up between those schools? With Weiser and Wefald gone, and Prince and Frank Martin in charge of the revenue sports, K-State appears to be at a critical moment in their athletics program.

The Beef: That is some pretty insane money kU just threw at Mangino…I guess all I can say (to Doug at least) is that I hope the investment pays off. I just think that is a little too much money for too short a period of success.

But Atch, you bring up a great point about kSU…scary times there in my opinion.

ZouDave: 1 - Completely and totally evitable. Is that the opposite of inevitable? In any event, it's NOT a forgone conclusion that Colorado will be good. Dan Hawkins is probably a good football coach, but so was Larry Smith. Missouri's turnaround was short both in length and in achievement. I'm not saying Hawkins is Larry Smith, but with Missouri's current rise, kansas' position ahead of Colorado right now, and Nebraska's still existing desire and ability to be relevant there's just nothing that says Colorado won't be looking at a minimum of 3 losses in the North for the next couple of years. Add to that KSU not being totally out yet, and the South games CU has to play, I just can't guarantee Colorado is going to be that great. They're the most wildcard team in the entire division, no question.

But yes, it's absolutely possible they return to prominence.

2 - Mizzou 44, Colorado 21

3 - Oh God...it's like they have 3 guaranteed wins, 3 VERY likely losses, and 6 games that could go either way. Anywhere between 9-3 and 3-9 so I'll just settle at 6-6.

4 - Definitely in the "I don't care about you guys at all" category. It doesn't bother me when they beat other teams, I pull for them against ku and Nebraska, but other than that I just hate them the week we play them. They're just north of Baylor and A&M on my hate scale so probably like 9th in the conference.

5 - Have never been to Boulder, but having seen enough of the Denver and other North-Central Colorado area I'm sure it's as beautiful as I think it is.

rptgwb: 1. I see the turnaround happening, but I don't see the end result being as high as everyone thinks. Colorado should have the capacity to rattle off seasons somewhere in the 8-4 to 10-2 ranges and take the occasional North title. I think Hawkins is still adjusting to life in the Big 12, and his teams and his coaching go as far as his players' execution.

2. 41-23, Mizzou

3. Deciding between 7-5 and 6-6. I'm going to put them down for losses to West Virginia, Texas, Kansas, Missouri, and Texas A&M. I'm still trying to figure out if I'm sticking them with a loss in Lincoln to end the year.

4. To be honest, I don't hate their football team that much since Hawkins got there. Hawkins was one of Mizzou's biggest supporters and proponents on the national stage last season. As people, though, I can't stand the student body at CU. To quote Eric Cartman, "Boulder has A LOT of hippies."

Hate Power Rankings:
1. Kansas
2. Texas Tech
3. Nebraska
4. Oklahoma
5. Texas

Teams I kind of like: Texas A&M, Kansas State
Teams I'm indifferent toward: Colorado, Oklahoma State
Teams that aren't relevant yet: Baylor, Iowa State

5. Never been to Boulder. Closest I've been is an Air Force game against Cal, so I still got the combination of beautiful Colorado scenery and dirty hippies.

Doug: Geez... busy 45 minutes.  Don't you guys have meetings or something?

1 - Aside from MU, I think the North is wide open for anyone to be a consistent finisher in the top half of the division.  Unless the wheels fall off in Columbia, I think the battle is for second place for the future.  I will say, Dan Hawkins is just the most recent quotable Big 12 coach: "It's the Big 12, man!  It's not intramurals!"  Add that to "I'm a man!  I'm 40!" and "I'll tell you what it's about... that's right its about the BCS, dollar signs."  Good times.

2 - MU - enough points to  win, CU - enough points to lose

3 - How about 5 and 7.

4 - I don't really hate CU.  I'll admit I thought Ricardo Patton was a pretty bad coach and more interested in complaining than actually trying to build a better team, but I have no strong feelings towards the football program.

5 - Never actually been to Colorado.  Might get out there next year, but it just hasn't been on my list of places to go.

As far as Mangino goes... yeah, it's quite a bit of money, especially considering that he got a raise before the 2006 season, too, and the paperwork isn't signed, at leas not publicly, on Bill Self's new contract.  But, this is the world we live in when it comes the athletic departments.  Sure, it's one of success, but didn't Pinkel get a raise and extension pretty soon into his stay at MU, despite only making it to a small bowl, not a BCS game?  One item that's not mentioned, and I'm just looking at the LJWorld's article, is any buy-out figure.  I'm sure Perkins wants to keep Mangino, but if he does lose him, then KU has proven that they'll pay well for a coach, and will possibly have some extra money to make the payroll.

ZouDave: I definitely think Mangino's new paycheck is an attempt to keep him from bolting when a SEC or upper-tier Big Ten or Pac-10 school comes calling after Reesing has graduated. I think Mangino now has a relationship with Reesing the way Pinkel does with Daniel in that there's just no way either coach would leave their current school while that players was still there. It's become evident now that Pinkel is (if it's his choice only) going to be at Mizzou until he's ready not to be a coach anymore. I don't think that's quite happened yet for Mangino at kansas, but Perkins wants to make it happen so they're going to keep him...ahem..."fat and happy" while at the same time making it that much more expensive for a school that can steal him away to actually do it.

The Boy: Huh huh, he's fat.

ZouDave: yeah, you see what I did there.

The Boy: So does anybody have any problem with this?

The Beef: Unanimous….no….not really…I mean…I defy someone to explain how we should not be there….I thought the almost dead equal split between NU and CU was interesting. Guess kU was unanimous #2, which I think is spot on as well.

The Boy: I would have picked NU 3rd simply based on schedule...

ZouDave: Yeah, that's pretty much how I would have put it myself. NU and CU is definitely a possible toss-up and I'm glad that Tech is that close to Texas in the South. Very surprised OU isn't unanimous in the South, though. Who in the hell voted for Texas? How have they improved enough from last year to take on OU?

The Boy: I guess the logic would go like this: OU lost their biggest leaders on defense, Texas should get a few steps better on defense, Colt McCoy should be healthy, and they were only separated by a TD last year.  I wouldn't pick Texas by any means...but that's all I could come up with.

mizzourobot: Sorry I'm late.  Mangino tried to get on the elevator and we crashed to the floor. They had to get a pull him out with a crane. Ugly scene.  Looked like a beached whale floating in mid-air.

Anyway...

CU was really not that bad last year.  They're making steps.  However, and this is something I tried saying last year, and it looks like no one wants to admit it.  There's been a restructuring in the Big 12 North.  CU and NU will continue to try and rebuild, but they've got a problem.  Kansas and Missouri are now powers. They were at the moment of weakness for those schools at the right time.  We're in what political scientists refer to as an electoral shift, where the balance of power has moved to a new angle that benefits both Missouri and Kansas, not just for the short term, but long term as well.  CU's going to struggle, along with NU, because they're going to look for quick fixes.  And those aren't as easy as they used to be.

2. 41-13: Our offense will be in full gear by then, and our defense will be surging as well.

3: 6-6. Kansas is going to be mighty disappointed...

4. In the four spot, behind Kansas, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. 

5. Great town, good culture, great bookstores, hot girls.  Strange combination of yuppies and hippies, though.

And the big thing with Texas is the question of Muschamp.  Him with that defensive line terrifies me.  They're going to be questionable at secondary again, but the linebackers will be better and the D-Line's going to eat people for breakfast.

Oklahoma will stomp them into the ground.

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