Buffs’ coach search down to ‘three’, but in reality it’s two

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By this time next week, Colorado’s new head coach will likely have been in place for a couple of, or even a few, days.

And, based on the reports, the new coach will be very, very familiar with the area once he does get in place.

Both the Boulder Daily Camera and Denver Post are reporting that the Buffaloes’ search for a new head coach is winding down and the school is now focused on three candidatesJim McElwain, Eric Bieniemy and Jon Embree.  In reality, however, the race to become Dan Hawkins‘ successor is down to the latter two.

As the Daily Camera writes, sources said the appetite among fans and former players is to have someone with ties to the program hired as head coach.  That would seem to eliminate McElwain, the Alabama offensive coordinator with no ties to CU, and make former CU players Bieniemy and Embree the school’s “final two”, although no one connected to the program will refer to either of the three as finalists.  There are no plans, however, to interview additional candidates, and it appears that a new head coach will be in place by Friday but no later than Monday.

Based on one former player’s view of the search — and of those in the weeks since Hawkins has been fired — it’s a wonder McElwain was even interviewed in the first place.

“Those two have been my choices, either way, for two years,” said former Buffaloes quarterback Bobby Pesavento. “I played for both of them at CU. They both have NFL experience as players and coaches. They would do tons of good stuff on the recruiting side.

“And they understand what Colorado and its tradition are all about. To me, that’s very important. If you’re a Buff (player) and you look those guys in the eyes, you know they get it. You want to play harder for them, because they did it here in the past.”

It’s patently obvious that athletic director Mike Bohn and the seven-member search committee will have no choice but to hire a coach with ties to the program, or else face the wrath of former players and fans.  Somebody hired from the outside would have almost no chance to succeed as he would have two strikes against him — and a third on the way — before ever coaching a game, and the only rope the outsider would be given from those connected to the program is enough to hang himself.

The ex-players and fans had just better hope that the best man for the job is a “Colorado Man”.  Even as neither “Colorado Man” currently under consideration has ever been a head coach — or a coordinator, for that matter — at any level.

Florida’s statement on Jim McElwain’s death-threat claim is interesting, to say the least

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Maybe it’s nothing, maybe it’s something.  Regardless, it’s something that bears watching.

Losers of two in a row and off to a 3-3 start to the season,  Florida has underperformed and underwhelmed to say the least.  So much so, in fact, that head coach Jim McElwain indicated Monday that he, his family, his coaching staff and players have been subjected to death threats by unknown individuals.

The head coach went into no detail publicly regarding the nature of the threats.  Apparently, it was the same privately when discussing the situation with his employer.

OK then.

Again, it could be in the same neighborhood as naked shark humping — nothing. Bears watching, though, as one very outspoken member of the Florida media is very much already doing publicly about a situation that was apparently reported to the media before it was reported to the police or even the university.

LOOK: Arizona State to wear Pat Tillman-themed uniforms

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Pat Tillman is essentially the Knute Rockne of Arizona State football, the central figure that will be as important to the program 100 years from now as he is today. And while Notre Dame will wear Rockne-themed uniforms later this season, so, too, will Arizona State.

The program revealed Tillman-centric uniforms on Monday for their Nov. 4 game with Colorado, based on the uniform Tillman wore as a member of the U.S. Army while fighting in Afghanistan.

Tillman played linebacker at Arizona State from 1994-97 (he was named the Pac-10’s Defensive Player of the Year as a senior) and then spent four seasons with the Arizona Cardinals before the events of 9/11 inspired him to join the U.S. Army. He was a member of the Army Rangers before he was killed in action in Afghanistan on April 22, 2004, at age 27.

Arizona State unveiled a Tillman statue at Sun Devil Stadium at its season-opening win over New Mexico State.

“Pat spent his whole life trying to be the best person he could possibly be,” Kevin Tillman, Pat’s brother, said at the unveiling. “He didn’t focus on money, he didn’t focus on fame, he didn’t focus on a pretty statue. It was, ‘How can I make myself a better person in all these different facets of my life?’ And ASU gave him an opportunity to do that.”

Jim McElwain says family, players have received death threats over 3-3 start

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Florida has lost two in a row and is off to a 3-3 start, and that streak will probably reach three on Saturday after the Gators meet No. 3 Georgia. While everyone knows SEC fans are passionate about their football, some have taken Florida’s struggles too far.

How far? By threatening to kill the players and coaches.

“I think it’s a pretty good lesson for the way things are,” head coach Jim McElwain said, via Only Gators. “There’s a lot of hate in this world and a lot of anger. And yet, it’s freedom to show it. The hard part is, obviously, when it’s threats against your own players, death threats to your families, the ill will that’s brought upon out there. And yet, I think it’s really one of those deals that really is a pretty good testament to what’s going on out there nationally. There’s a lot of angry people, and in this business, we’re the ones you take the shots at. And that’s the way it is.”

In my experience, it seems people lodging death threats are far more serious about the threat part than the, uh, other. But that’s easy for me to say, I’ve never received one.

Report: Sam Darnold expected to return to USC in 2018

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Sam Darnold was appointed the No. 1 pick of the 2018 NFL Draft on the second day of 2017. As a redshirt freshman, Darnold torched Penn State to the tune of 33-of-53 passing for 453 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in a 52-49 Rose Bowl win.

One problem, though. Darnold hasn’t played like a No. 1 pick this season.

While he hasn’t been the most disappointing player on what’s turning out to be a disappointing USC team, Darnold has posted pedestrian numbers (for him): hitting 63.5 percent of his passes for an even eight yards per attempt with 17 touchdowns against 10 interceptions. He ranks 38th nationally in passing efficiency. This puts him, coincidentally, one spot ahead of former USC quarterback Max Browne.

On Monday, NFL Draft analyst Benjamin Allbright shared a report that Darnold is expected to return to USC next season.

Considering Ronald Jones could return next season and that Stephen Carr is just a freshman, the prospect of Darnold returning in 2018 has to take the sting out of a lost 2017 for Trojans fans.