The Denver Post’s Kyle Fredrickson answered your questions about college sports in a live Lunch Special chat. Here are some highlights:
Which bowl do you see the Rams playing?
Kyle: We’ll know for sure on Sunday, but it appears CSU is destined for one of seven bowls: the Las Vegas Bowl, the Hawaii Bowl, the Idaho Potato Bowl, the New Mexico Bowl, the Arizona Bowl, the Foster Farms Bowl or the Frisco Bowl.
My pick for the Rams? The New Mexico Bowl (Dec. 16). I explain why with my Mountain West bowl projections.
Hey Kyle, are we CU fans ever going to get an explanation from our head coach about why they fell off so sharply this year? It seems to be perfect storm of bad things, but his poor performance this year was as bad this year as it was good last year.
Kyle: I wish there were a more simple answer to this question, but a whole bunch of factors played into this dramatic swing for CU football. I’ll touch on two of the bigger issues.
Offensive line play: This unit was billed in fall camp as one of the best in recent memory. But it was far from it. Much of the reason why CU’s offense didn’t meet expectations with so many weapons was Montez’s inability to work out of a clean pocket. The trickle down effect to the entire offense was clear.
Young defense: When you replace eight starters on defense and introduce a new coordinator, there are going to be growing pains, and they were even worse than expected — especially against the run. CU must address its lack of physicality up front in recruiting.
As for MacIntyre’s role in all this? He’s still the same guy who won eight national coach of the year honors last year. When we look to the biggest issues facing this team, I don’t think his coaching ability is that high on the list. That being said, I would expect at least some shakeup to CU’s staff this offseason.
The Buffs basketball team is off to a hot start so far, albeit against lesser opponents. Do you think they have a shot at the tourney this year?
Kyle: You said it before I could, but yes, we must analyze the schedule before jumping on the Buffs bandwagon quite yet. However, there is something to be said about a young team that doesn’t stumble out of the gate in winnable games. It would be easy to make excuses for this group if it had lost a game or two. In terms of CU’s NCAA tournament chances? To be continued. Saturday will be their first true road game of the season in a rowdy environment. Let’s see how the Buffs fare then.
Who do you have in Saturday’s game: CSU or CU?
Kyle: I’ll take CU in a close victory, something like 78-75. It would fall in line with recent history. The road team has won four straight times in this series.
Do you think Michael Gallup will win the Biletnikoff?
Kyle: Considering a Group of 5 school hasn’t taken home the Biletnikoff since 1998, I’m going to have to say no. I think Gallup’s stats would have to be otherworldly to beat out James Washington at Oklahoma State. I’ve covered both players in my short professional sports journalism career, and I think you’re splitting hairs when looking at each player. Washington is a more impressive physical specimen with the advantage of playing in a pass-happy spread. Gallup is a more sure pass catcher with similar athletic ability, but has played against lesser defenses. Tough call, but Washington gets the edge.
Do you think Troy Calhoun is on the hotseat at Air Force?
Kyle: Not at all. He’s the perfect fit for that job and missed a bowl for just the second time in 13 seasons as head coach. Calhoun, an Air Force Cadet himself. isn’t going anywhere until he decides it’s time to leave/retire.
Will Tennessee come after Mike Bobo, Troy Calhoun or Mike MacIntyre? Didn’t they try to hire Calhoun in the past?
Kyle: The longer this soap opera plays out in Knoxville, the more I think it might actually be possibly the Volunteers come pick off one of these coaches. Let’s take a look at each one to better understand the possibility.
MacIntyre: I truly believe at one point he was under serious consideration for the Ole Miss job, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fit at Tennessee, especially after what transpired this week. Like Greg Schiano, MacIntyre has baggage, albeit not as concerning. Mac’s handling of domestic violence allegations against former assistant Joe Tumpkin is sure to travel with him and likely create yet another social media lynch mob. And that doesn’t even factor in how poorly CU played this season. It’s hard to imagine Mac being much of a candidate at any Power 5 school because of it.
Bobo: There’s no doubt in my mind that Bobo’s end game is to get back to the SEC as a head coach. Unless Tennessee is literally scraping the barrel for options, I don’t think he’s a realistic candidate. He needs to win more than seven regular season games to reach that level.
Calhoun: Back in 2010, Calhoun was reportedly in talks with Tennessee. But I don’t expect it now. Calhoun appears very comfortable at the academy.
Are there any big names signing with CSU or CU on the early signing period?
Kyle: I don’t have an exact number of recruits on record saying they’ll sign by Dec. 20, but here’s my best guess. The Buffs lock in about 80 percent of their class and Rams get 60 percent. I imagine the kids committed to Group of 5 schools will be more prone to waiting it out to see if any big names come in late.
For CU, it will be critical to lock up a pair of highly rated WRs in Dylan Thomas (Cathedral HS, Los Angeles) and Daniel Arias (Jackson HS, Bothell, Wash). Meanwhile, CSU is on pins and needles to see if QB Matthew Baldwin (Lake Travis HS, Austin) sticks with his pledge despite an Ohio State offer.
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