Our dear friend Jack Barsch from The Ralphie Report helps us to get to know the 2022 Buffs, while also answering some questions about the direction of the program.
After Dorrell's firing would you trust your AD to make the next HC hire or you're hoping for the AD change to happen first to be optimistic about the new HC hire?
We are hoping for an AD change to happen, but we know that it won’t. Without a new chancellor in place and with a brand-new president, now is not the time for an AD change, so we are stuck with Rick George once again. Now, he’s kind of 1 for 2 in hiring? Mel Tucker was a good idea at the time. We’ll see what that means for CU.
What does the bigger picture for the Colorado Buffaloes look like from the fan perspective?
I’m not sure quite how to parse this question, but I’ll give a 30,000 foot flyover. In my mind, there is nothing stopping this team from being a 6-6 to 8-4 team every year. The fan support is there (we are selling out against Cal as an 0-5 team!), the history is there, and the conference is wide open. CU can take some glory. However, the administration needs to bend for the football team slightly and the NIL opportunities need to open up for that to happen.
How do you hope Colorado proceeds for the rest of the season? Are you okay with throwing in the towel and giving freshmen some real playing time (although they may go the way of Brenden Rice), or should Colorado be trying to salvage this season?
Let’s make history! 0-12 baby!
No, actually, I would prefer to finish out the season with all of the young bucks playing as interim coach Mike Sanford tries out for the main gig. Now, I also happen to think that playing the young talent happens to give CU the best chance to win. There are some talented freshmen on this team. Realistically, CU’s two best chances at a win are this weekend against Cal and against ASU near the end of October. November is a disgusting schedule for a young, struggling team - Oregon, USC, Washington, Utah. Gross.
Brendon Lewis or Owen McCown, and why?
I still love Brendon Lewis! I think he will be a great QB for any team that can make the game easier for him to read. However, it’s clear that McCown is the best QB for this team. He throws a hell of a ball and his improvisational skills are top notch.
Anyone on the coaching wish list for the head coach job?
Oh, we have quite the wish list. There are realistic and unrealistic options. For me, specifically, Bronco Mendenhall is at the top of the realistic wishlist. He’s a proven winner, in the West, and is weird enough to like Boulder. There are also some fun names like Jeff Grimes (Baylor’s OC who has coached at CU) and one of my personal favorites, former Cal QB Troy Taylor.
Which player on offense should Cal fans know about?
On offense, the engine starts and stops with Owen McCown. Now, the engine has sucked so far in 2022, so we’ll see how it looks with a new OC. But McCown is the whole thing right now at quarterback. Let’s see if the slight lefty can orchestrate some drives.
Which player on defense should Cal fans know about?
I think the best player on defense for CU right now is Trevor Woods, the safety. He finds himself involved in almost every play.
Another caveat - CU’s defense has been impossibly bad this year, so there’s not a lot to say here.
Who’s one under-the-radar or X-factor player who could swing this game for you?
I think Anthony Hankerson, if healthy, can provide a spark at running back. He has been running extremely hard and the true freshman has another gear that the other running backs have not shown so far. It’s possible that McCown and Hankerson can make some magic together.
What does Colorado need to do to win the game?
This may sound like a joke answer, or may be too short, but literally they have to do the opposite of the past five weeks. CU has been outscored by about 30 a game this year. That’s not good. The new coaching staff needs to reverse course hard after the bye and change a lot of things up. Maybe that means no huddle on offense, maybe that means a 3-4 defense, I don’t know.
What does Cal need to do to win the game?
Show up at Folsom Field at some point before 12 MT on Saturday.
How do you see the game going?
I think CU shows a spark under the new coaching staff that gets quickly snuffed out. I think Cal will win a clunker of a game, let’s say, 27-14
I jumped the gun! 27-14 remains my score prediction.
Whom do you most want to punch in the face?
Ah, an old familiar favorite of a question! Karl Dorrell is much too nice of a man for me to be personally upset at him for his failure. However, Mel Tucker is up there for putting us into this position.
"What does Cal need to do to win the game?
Show up at Folsom Field at some point before 12 MT on Saturday."
So the Colorado writer is already mentioning Troy Taylor as a HC candidate there. Mark this one on the calendar: If No. 5 and undefeated Sac State beats No. 3 and undefeated Montana in Sacramento next Saturday, Troy Taylor is going to get on a lot more lists.