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The Stampede of the Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado is turning the corner in football

NCAA Football: Washington State at Colorado Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado is known for its beautiful mountains, snow skiing, and other great outdoor activities. Now, there is a new aspect of Colorado that is making itself known. The University of Colorado football team.

The Buffaloes have risen from the ashes of an irrelevant football program to win the Pac-12 South division and gain a berth in the Pac-12 Championship game against the Washington Huskies.

How did this program make such a meteoric rise to the top?

Well, to understand the rise you have to understand the depth of despair this program was in. In the first three seasons the Colorado Buffaloes were 10-27 under Mike MacIntyre and were just about an afterthought in the dog eat dog world of the Pac-12 Conference. Nobody was talking about the Buffaloes and no top flight players wanted to venture to Boulder, Colorado to play football. The rebuild was going to be tough.

Enter Mike MacIntyre and his vision.

Coaches don’t get much time to turn around a program in the current state of college football. To build a program into what a coach wants, that coach needs patience and time from his fans and administration. This patience has been on display at Colorado with Mike MacIntyre.

When head coach Mike MacIntyre took over the program it was in a state of disarray. Between Dan Hawkins and Jon Embree there wasn’t much left in the cupboard for Coach MacIntyre to work with. Coach MacIntyre’s staff went to work.

With the patience that people in Colorado have shown for the current coaching staff they have been rewarded with seeing improvement each year. Last year, people started to take notice that the Buffaloes were not such an easy win as they had been in the past. The team was competing for the first time since joining the Pac-12 Conference.

The key to any football program is acquiring the talent that it takes to be successful. Coach MacIntyre was confident in his ability to get athletes to come to Boulder, Colorado. It has taken a couple of seasons to get this talent, but one thing is obviously apparent. Coach Mac and his staff are getting the players that will make this program a winner.

Fans look at Coach MacIntyre as the reason players come to Boulder and he is certainly one of the reasons. However, his co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini is doing his best to make this winning a norm and not some fluke of nature.

While there is good football talent in the state of Colorado, Chiaverini has taken his Buffalo pitch to Texas. Out of this Texas hotbed of talent Chiaverini has plucked eight commits out of a class of 22 commits. In fact, three of the recruits from Texas come from the same school.

The biggest recruit that Coach Chiaverini has brought to Boulder has been a four-star player from inside the state of Colorado. Jake Moretti, and offensive lineman, from Arvada, Colorado has committed to the Buffaloes after turning down overtures from Ohio State as well as other big name programs.

Coach Chiaverini is not only in charge of the recruiting for the Buffaloes, but he is also in charge of getting Colorado’s high powered offense to keep churning out touchdowns. His offense has averaged 466 yards and averaged more than 35 points this season.

When coaches get good talent to come play for them the perception of their coaching ability dramatically changes. It is my thought that most coaches are good coaches, the knowledge of the game isn’t lacking, but what they lack is personality and a vision.

Mike MacIntyre has had that vision since he arrived in Boulder. He has a belief in himself based on his religious faith. With faith in himself and a higher power he knew the rebuild of the Colorado football program would happen, but the process would have its ups and downs.

“When you know it’s a rebuild, you dig in the trenches, you start walking, and you take a step every day.” Said MacIntyre who now is overlooking a program currently ranked eighth in the college football playoff rankings.

With any football program rebuild there are tough days. People want the rebuild to be completed quickly and want the type of program success that teams like Alabama or Ohio State enjoy year after year. Anybody that knows anything about football knows that it doesn’t happen like this. Coach MacIntyre is fully aware of this in his fourth season.

MacIntyre knows that while his team is having a memorable season, it can all go away fast if his staff lose focus on the long term health of the program. Like I said earlier, the coaches want the winning that is happening now to be what happens every year, not just every four or five years.

“I always had hope of the future, where we were headed. I knew it was a building process.” Coach MacIntyre stated recently.

With all of this in mind, Coach MacIntyre is the right person to lead this rebuild of the Colorado football program. He is the right guy, in the right place, and has the right mindset to accomplish what hasn’t been accomplished in the last 10 years at Colorado. The eyes of the football world are starting to focus on the Buffaloes and there is absolutely no doubt that the 2016 Pac-12 Coach of the Year will want those eyes on his program going forward.