Being the new kid is never easy.
Whatever you did and whoever you were means nothing now. As the new kid, you’ll get no respect. You’ll be shoved into lockers, pushed aside and bullied by everyone who crosses your path.
This season, Colorado was the new kid.
Anyone who even remotely follows college football will admit that when they heard CU was moving to the Pac-12, they could only cringe at the thought. To say the least, that’s a fair reaction.
Above, Freshman Keenan Canty gets tackled during the third quarter of the Oct. 22 lost to Oregon, 45-2. As the freshman of the Pac-12 in the 2011 season the Buffs finished with a 3-10 record.. (CU Independent File/James Bradbury)
Entering the season, no one really knew what to expect from the team. A new coach, a new conference and a new season meant that the Buffs had a chance to start over with a clean slate, a chance to make a new impression on the college football world.
Boy did we start off on the wrong foot.
Now, no one expected us to turn heads and have a turnaround season like the San Francisco 49ers. If anything, we’d hoped to break even at around .500. Instead, we went a measly 3-10 in the easier of the two Pac-12 divisions.
Most teams we came across had little to no issue blowing us out of the water. I don’t want to explicitly say we were a guaranteed win on some teams’ schedules (we did win 3 games after all), but it’s hard not to.
Next season will be a statement season for the program. If we don’t somehow prove that we can be contenders in this conference, we’ll continue to be looked past as a program. Rather than continuing to live in past glories (national title from over 20 years ago and a Big 12 championship from a decade ago), let’s make history in the present.
If in the next 3-4 seasons we are unable to make it to one of the seemingly infinite number of bowl games, then we will have failed as a program.
And with that, here comes the upside.
This program has nowhere to go but up. Playing in a tougher conference means two things: harder competition and a better recruiting base. If Embree has done anything right this season, it was realizing that our best players are from California. By bringing in more talented recruits from Cali and attracting some homegrown talent, the Buffaloes can certainly become a team at which no one can scoff.
It’ll take more than just that to improve our outlook. The community needs to support the team as well. From what I’ve seen, CU students could honestly care less whether we won or lost. Either way, they’d celebrate or mourn while inebriated.
Rather than use games as another excuse (on an already long list) to drink, go to the games to cheer on the team. Drop the whole “it doesn’t matter, we’ll just lose anyway” attitude and try to show some support.
Like all new kids, we’ll face a few problems here and there. Adjusting to a new environment is hard, there’s no denying that. How we react and adjust to the adversity will determine whether or not we end up the ultra-popular valedictorians or just another face in the crowd.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Shay Knolle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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