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With the PAC10 disappearance, I had a random thought about rebuilding the college football conferences, along the lines of European football.

As an example, and only for illustrative purposes, suppose the SEC had 3 divisions: upper, middle, lower. The 2 or 3 worst teams in upper would be relegated to middle while the 2 or 3 best teams in middle would be promoted to upper. The criteria to define “best” and “worst” could be a combination of W/L and TV revenue generated; other criteria could be added by conference supermajority vote.

This would be a lot more flexible than the current situation. You could entertain the idea of regional divisions whose teams could be promoted to a “national” division. Teams in higher divisions get a higher percentage of TV revenue.

Would certainly be a different kind of excitement at the end of the season. Bowl game participants might be teams “on the bubble”, subject to either promotion or relegation.

Lots of “change” here, so there would be lots of resistance, especially from those in power. But could it work?

Thanks for all you do. I look forward to your articles and see you as one of only a few reliable sources of good information.

Theta Bowden, Virginia Tech

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I think the Buffs under Coach Prime in the 2023 season will finish with a record of 6-6. They will lose handily to TCU on the road and beat Nebraska and CSU at home before the Pac-12 season opens. They will win 4 games in the conference over teams that are below 0.500 in conference play. Based on last season results those teams are Arizona St., Stanford, Arizona, and Washington St. This season will of course be different with some teams winning more games and other teams losing more games. So the wins may not come against those teams that I have listed. The CU offense will be awesome. The big improvement will need to be in the CU defense which gave up around 40 points a game last season. I think a 6-6 record in Coach Prime's first season is a reasonable expectation and will result in a bowl game reward for the effort.

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It'll all depend on the quality of the lines. Time on offense and pressure on defense. Most of the reporting I've seen focuses on the flash.

Any insights from within the program on confidence with the men on the trenches?

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OK - I'll play. 2.5.

Scenario #1 - Would be nice and I believe that is what coach Prime and the faithful hope for, but I see that as too big of a challenge for many reasons. First, Lots of recruiting and and transfers in. Excellent prospects, but that has to be a mental downer for the existing CU players that remain. Second, following the Spring game, lots of transfers out and media reporting of some pretty unpleasant conversations — that has to permeate the atmosphere. Third, I find it hard for a team to develop top level cohesiveness in this short amount of time.

Scenario #2 - Probably most likely. Fans would generally be happy. Interesting observation about Sean Lewes taking reins. In the spring game, Coach Prime was reportedly not wearing a headset on the field, but was operating more like the CEO.

Scenario #3 _ Hope we do bettered than that and PLEASE COACH PRIME — DON;T BE ANOTHER MIDNIGHT MEL!

Scenario # 4— Again, hope that doesn't happen and don't think it will. There are enough talented players on the roster that they will prevent disaster from happening, but if it does I would see the leadership departures predicted happen. But instead of Big SKY, CU would drop intercollegiate football and Folson Field turned into a massive parking garage.

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May 7, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

What are specific issues? Recruiting, facilities, culture, coaching?

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author

Facilities are excellent

In my view, the biggest problem is a mismatch between expectations (1990, here we come!) and reality (Maybe, Colorado is more like Vanderbilt than Alabama)

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he's not a good coach. He might be a good recruiter. Best case, Mack Brown. worst case, Charlie Weis.

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author

We will know soon enough!

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May 7, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

2023 - losing season, .500 at best. 2024, losing season, Sanders gone. Not a hater just realistic.

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I would tend to agree

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Are you cheekily making comparisons to the RCP scenarios? Four scenarios, no probabilities assigned to any. Is DS 4 the equivalent to RCP 8.5, something possible but implausible?

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author

Ha! I like it. It is a perfectly reasonable comparison, with one exception -- It is possible that Colorado could make the CFP this year. RCP8.5 is already, today, impossible. A bit like saying Colorado will win 17 games this year. A very useful analogy, thanks.

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May 7, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

I don't see the value in a set of predictions that covers pretty much the total range of plausible outcomes. I am not seeing the point of this at all, sorry.

Also it's not made explicit why Sanders taking the coaching position even matters. Is it self-evident that this is a big deal? Could you articulate that a little?

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May 7, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Scenario analysis is a core tool in good management

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author

Amen to that!

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When the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, evaluations of what went wrong identified something called "success-oriented planning" -- that is making decisions under assumptions that the desired outcomes occur. In the real world desired outcomes don't always occur, so planning needs to consider what happens when undesirable outcomes occur. If your planning envelope includes all possible outcomes, then you will be prepared for anything and your decision-making will be robust. If your decision-making is robust then you increase the chances of achieving the outcomes you prefer and being ready for those that do not. At a minimum laying out all alternatives helps to motivate a discussion about robust decisions, if not robust decisions themselves. That's my $0.02!

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May 7, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Fair enough. You are at least stepping outside the arc of tunnel vision.

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May 7, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Roger - This reminds me that a few years ago you wrote a book where you advanced an argument that Trans people should be allowed into women's sport given certain provisos. I wonder if you have changed your opinion on this issue since?

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My firmly held view is that regulated inclusion is the way to go. That means in some sports and disciplines trans men and women will be judged ineligible to compete, and in others ineligible. Sports organizations should make reasonable accommodations for inclusion. This sort of nuanced approach is not favored by those who prefer a ban on an entire class of people, nor is it favored by those who think that self-identity on race day is all that matters. Regulated inclusion does not offer red meat for partisan gender politics outside of sport, but it works. Examples of organizations that implement this sort of approach are the AFL (Aussie Football) and ABL (Aussie basketball) and the WTA. This issue need not be the big issue that it is -- it represents a failure of sport organizations to implement common-sense policies and politicians and partisans who want to exploit sport to make people angry.

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May 7, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Not any precedents for what Sander is doing. Need more data.

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author

Agreed, we will know a lot more in Sept!

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May 7, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

After reading that, I'm glad we didn't land Sanders at Georgia Tech, which was also briefly speculated as a possibility (after all, he was an Atlanta Brave).

Regarding scenario #4, I think it would have been called the "Toilet Bowl" rather than the "Bottom Bowl".

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author

LOL!

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May 6, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

3. definitely 3.

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May 6, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

I’m a class of 75 graduate now living in Seattle with a UW Husky. Thankfully we don’t play this year because in years past I’ve usually felt humiliated. The last game I watched was in Boulder in 1999, the first year turncoat Rick Neuheisel went to the Huskies. Another Colorado loss. I lean toward scenario 4, silently wishing for no more conference games against UW.

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May 6, 2023Liked by Roger Pielke Jr.

Interesting scenarios Roger and I will give you my take on them shortly; but first for some history.

The Colorado Buffaloes are in my blood. Born and bred in Colorado, a CU alum (class of ‘70), and a season ticket holder for 50 years I have seen it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. Put me at about a 2+. I think it’s very difficult to guess as to what might happen because honestly, I think all four of your scenarios are possible. However, Coach Prime has proven he can get it done and as you well know the talent he has this year is much much better than it has been in the past 20 years. Now he has to put it together on the field. I am not looking for them to make a bowl game, but it would not surprise me if they did. The first game of the season will tell us a lot, but I do see them beating Nebraska and CSU and upsetting one of the top teams in the Pac 12 and one or two wins from the lower tier teams.

I hope he’s here for the long-haul, because I believe eventually he will get it done and compete at a very high level against anyone from the power five conferences. He is a unique individual (boy is he!) and I think his best days as a coach are ahead of him, hopefully at Colorado. But I am looking forward to this season like I haven’t for a long time, so there is nothing left to say except...Go Buffs!

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Black and Gold to the core!

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