Heading into his fourth season as CU's head coach, Dan Hawkins has brought a whole lot more sizzle to Boulder than Buffalo steak. The zen master's new age approach to coaching and motivating may have provided a nice change of pace following the scandal-ridden tenure of Gary Barnett, but refreshing only takes you so far. A 13-24 record in three years, including going 8-16 in conference play, likely means the end of the line for excuses. Not that Colorado really had much room there in the first place.
The Buffs were supposed to be behind the eight ball recruiting-wise, but it hasn't stopped the Hawk from netting big-time signees like Darrell Scott and Lynn Katoa. Ergo, CU can't really lean on that crutch. Likewise, the Big 12 North has seen some improvement in the last three years, but it's hardly a murderers' row.
To the Buffaloes credit, they haven't shied away from challenges. Last year's schedule included a game against West Virginia and a trip to Jacksonville for a tilt with Florida State. This year, CU returns a favor with a trip to Morgantown to face the Mountaineers.
Nevertheless, there's no reason for Colorado to make a habit of missing bowl games. The Buffaloes have mustered the resources to pull off significant upsets during the past three years. This year, it's time to put it together for more than a few games. If Hawkins' team can't attain a bowl berth and winning record this season, he may need to start working some of his mind tricks on the people cutting his checks.