Ryan Thorburn, Camera Sports Writer
Ryan Thorburn, Camera Sports Writer ( PAUL AIKEN )
I`d like start by setting a new ground rule for this column.

From now on Dan Hawkins will be referenced as Hawk-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in this space.

Home-Run-Hire-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named was a little long. And Mike Bohn seems to have played a pretty good mulligan with Jon Embree.

Not saying H.W.M.N.B.N was a dark wizard like Lord Voldemort. But H.W.M.N.B.N, and not Gary Barnett, was actually the head coach who burnt this program to the ground if you take a look at the scoreboard over the last five years and the disconnect with the fan base and former players.

It appears Tyler Hansen is finally ready to thrive as the Buffs starting quarterback now that he is free from H.W.M.N.B.N and the never-ending position battle with Cody Hawkins.

The senior-to-be didn`t officially sew up the gig during CU`s spring game on Saturday night in front of an impressive crowd of 15,655 at Folsom Field. However, it will be a major upset if Hansen isn`t the man when Embree announces the starting quarterback for the 2011 season on Tuesday.

After everything Hansen has gone through in Boulder -- having a planned redshirt year burned twice by H.W.M.N.B.N, playing musical chairs with Cody for three years, sustaining a ruptured spleen last season -- this is finally Hansen`s team.

He even sounds like the new head coach.


"We`re going to figure out the guys that haven`t bought in and they`re not going to be with us anymore," Hansen said after completing 8-of-15 passes for 124 yards with atouchdown and no interceptions. "The majority of this team has bought in."

In the previous two scrimmages, Hansen completed 31 of 38 passes (81.6 percent) for 407 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions.

"I am happy with his productivity," Embree said. "He`s done a good job getting command of the offense, getting them in and out of the huddle. We need to get better with our tempo ... he`s still thinking sometimes."

Embree`s old-school spring football session had the training room in the Dal Ward Center resembling a M.A.S.H. unit. And the defense suffered the most with six linemen, four defensive backs and two linebackers injured.

The offense was missing wide receiver Toney Clemons, running back Brian Lockridge and a host of offensive linemen and tight ends.

Hansen, known for his athleticism and running skills, was still able to pick up Eric Bieniemy`s pro-style offense and operate smoothly in the pocket.

"It`s real intense," Hansen said when asked about adjusting to the new coaching staff. "Coach Embree comes from the NFL, so he asks you to be professional. That`s the biggest thing is to act like professionals."

The Buffs will start a new era in 145 days when the season kicks off at Hawaii.

It`s not going to be all paradise.

CU`s roster, even when healthy, is going to have some gaping holes. Embree, Eric Bieniemy and the rest of the staff need several more recruiting cycles to get the talent pool at a temperature suitable for the Pac-12.

The schedule -- at Ohio State, at Stanford, Oregon, USC, and so on -- is unforgiving with 13 straight games and no bye.

But Hansen has learned quite a bit about adversity at CU and is looking forward to this challenge.

Meanwhile, the last reported sighting of H.W.M.N.B.N was in Fort Collins. Sounds like the Rams need to clean a few things up.

"To me, that`s as bad an offensive practice as we`ve had in four years," Colorado State head coach Steve Fairchild said after the spring scrimmage at Hughes Stadium. "They couldn`t line up right, they couldn`t stay in their stance. There were probably 25 offsides penalties. We didn`t catch the ball, we didn`t throw the ball. We didn`t do a thing right offensively."