Monday, December 12, 2011

CSU's Homerun Hire Raises Questions About McElwain

Just a few years ago, Jim McElwain was one of the hottest coaching candidates in the country. Makes you question, why Colorado State?
By G The Producer (Mile High Sports)

I have to give credit where credit is due. Jim McElwain is a great hire for the Colorado State Rams and their Booster/Athletic Director Guy.

However, it raises some questions, doesn't it? Just a few years ago McElwain was one of the hottest candidates in the country, and today agrees to become the Rams Head Coach. There is a lot to question about the attractiveness of the job, a bad team in a difficult place to recruit, far away from his current position in Alabama, and to a conference that has simply fallen apart at the seems.

Just over a year ago McElwain was reported to have been a finalist for the Colorado Head Coaching Position, and at one time, even a favorite. Eventually losing out to Jon Embree, McElwain returned to Alabama where his team is headed to the National Championship.

McElwain was hired at 'Bama, after a stint as the Offensive Coordinator at Fresno State, and as early as this morning, many thought he would be hired to take over the Bulldogs. He was hired from Fresno after a one year trial as the QB's coach with the Oakland Raiders.

What went under reported was that McElwain reportedly accepted and then turned down the Head Coaching position at Memphis last week.

Three years ago McElwain was associated with many Head Coach openings around the country.

Even this season there was mutual interest between Texas A&M and even UCLA. And with no ties to the area, the conference, or the University, Colorado State lands the Offensive Coordinator at perhaps the best Football School over the past 3-4 year span.

His challenges: Where is he going to recruit? No offense, but the top SEC Region Prep Stars are not interested in Ft. Collins, Colorado. They've probably never even heard of it.

So will his focus be recruiting the West Coast? He only spent one year with the Raiders, and one with Fresno State. Before that McElwain spent years at Michigan State, Louisville, Montana State, and Eastern Washington.

Memphis would have made sense, Fresno would have made sense. But Colorado State?

Where he will succeed: Give credit to Mr. Booster Director Man. The fact that he can associate himself with the Alabama Crimson Tide will alone make him a recruiting threat in Colorado's region.

The answer: Money?

The question: Where did this money come from Colorado State?

The truth: With no ties to the conference, city, state, school, etc... It is interesting to ponder. He has never stayed in a place for longer than 4 years, does he have the ability and experience to rebuild a program that's ceiling isn't that high to begin with?

Will he use Colorado State as a leap frog to a better job?

Can he coach? Short of a Hesiman Trophy Running Back's season, Alabama's offense hasn't exactly been known for lighting up scoreboards.

So the sum up this conundrum, how does a coach, in three years, go from one of the top candidates in the country... to Ft. Collins, Colorado?

Well I guess we know who all of CSU's 14,000 fans will be rooting for in this years BCS National Title Game.

Roll 'Rams?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

If Things Go Wright This Weekend

A signature recruit can be just as big, if not bigger, than a signature win.
By G The Producer (Mile High Sports/Buff Chips)

This weekend is big for Coach Embo and Company. In all honesty, his staff has done what you expected they might do following a 3-10 season. Perhaps for some, they have exceeded expectations.

During the season the Buffs hosted less than one dozen recruits. The reason for that is up for debate. What makes it interesting is that they exceeded that number of official visitors in one weekend, as Embo and his staff hosted 13 prep-stars in Boulder.

Some excitement has grown around some of the names, most of all, the number of stars associated with their recruitment.

The Buffs received their first 4-star commitment back in May from El Cajon, CA gunslinger Shane Dillon. While many conspiracy theorists have wrapped their heads in tinfoil in an attempt to prove why, Dillon lost his 4th star following a #7 finish at Nike’s Elite-11 Quarterback camp.

As I sit and type this on the eve of December 8th, Colorado sits with no commitments having stars next to their name higher than 3. However, perhaps the first one to creep onto CU’s commitment list is tucked away in bed (as it’s almost 1:00am on the east coast), preparing to take his official visit to Colorado.

If things go right, things will go Wright.

As I said before, a signature commitment is just as big as a signature win. Some say a coach needs that elusive signature win to become a real contender in recruiting. That’s just a load of CSU-RAMS if I’ve ever heard it.

The way recruiting has gone nationally, these kids (particularly the top players in the country) grow very close during the camping and then recruiting periods.

Jon Embree doesn’t need a signature win to turn heads in recruiting on the football field. He needs a signature win in December.

Let’s put it this way… It’s like the old middle school dances. Everyone is looking around at each, in fear of being the first pimple-faced dork to light up the dance floor. And isn’t it always the popular kid who goes first. Then everyone follows. (okay, you caught me, I’m an excellent dancer)

If Embree can get that first kid onto the dance floor, some of these other big names are sure make their way to the beat.

There is much debate on New Jersey Cornerback Yuri Wright, who was a member of the New Jersey State Title Team this season, and much-debated National Runner-Up. The debate? has Wright at a 4-star rating, as the 3rd best corner in the country, and 57th overall recruit. has him as a 4-star and #5 corner in the country. 247 sports has him as a 5-star and the best cornerback in the nation.

Where there is no argument. This kid is a player, as he was recently named the U.S. Army All-American game.

Arguably the best Cornerback in the nation is headed to Boulder, Colorado tomorrow, where he visited unofficially last spring, and reportedly fell in love.

Will things go Wright?

If you ask a Michigan fan, no. He’s in the bag. As he is also apparently in the bag at Notre Dame. The only true ties this young man has, is to players and coaches at The University of Colorado. Landing a commitment from Yuri Wright is the signature win that Embo needs.

Look for Yuri out on the dance floor, and watch what happens. You’ll see some more heavy-starred prep stars make their way to the dance floor.

And who knows… Maybe they’ll “dougie.” And we’ll all join in.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tonight on Buffalo Chips Radio: 12-7

Join Host Reed Marks along with CU Buffs Hoops Insiders Scooter Mack and Jimmy Wood for Buffalo Chips Radio, presented by

Tonight's guest is Senior Forward Austin Dufault.
Dufault is from Killdeer, N.D.

Career: Seventh in starts (95) • 20th in minutes played (2,464) • Tied for 34th in games played (100) • 46th in rebounding (370) • Tied for 63rd in scoring (678 pts.).

Tune in at 10pm MST on Mile High Sports, AM150/FM93.7 or streaming live on