CU president Bruce Benson has expressed concern over reports that the Pac-12 could expand again soon by adding more teams from the Big 12, including Oklahoma and Oklahoma State and possibly Texas and Texas Tech.
Embree, like everyone associated with the Buffs, would prefer to play in the Los Angeles area every season, which CU will in the current model as a member of the South Division with UCLA and USC. But he also believes in aggressive Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott.
"I know Larry Scott has been tremendous for this conference. I know Larry Scott has done a great job of putting the Pac-12 brand out there in the forefront," Embree said. "He has done an unbelievable job, with not just football, but with all the sports. I trust Larry Scott. If we do go that route, I'm sure he has an unbelievable plan for it. If we don't go that route, I'm sure there's a good reason for it. I'm just glad we are where we are."
No matter what happens, the Buffs are in a much better situation than Baylor and Kansas State could find themselves in if the Big 12 completely disintegrates.
"It is kind of disappointing to see that conference is falling apart like that," Embree said. "I think that's kind of the direction college football is going. There has always been this talk about these super conferences with 50 teams or 60 teams or 48 teams or whatever it is. It seems to be heading in that direction."
There was a new member of the offensive line during Tuesday's practice. And the move had nothing to do with CU's struggles up front in the 34-17 loss at Hawaii.
Stephane Nembot, a 6-foot-8, 280-pound freshman, will redshirt this season after being granted permission by Embree to switch from defensive end to offensive tackle.
"We'll start working him there and give him a chance to grow and learn the system," Embree said. "He has got great feet, so I think he would be a natural at tackle."
Nembot will still serve as a defensive lineman on the scout team this season. He will stay after practice for individual work with offensive line coach Steve Marshall.
"I played both ways in high school. They ranked me higher in defense, so I thought, 'I'm going to go with defense,'" Nembot said. "I just want to do something that makes me happy. Coach told me he's going to let me do what he can to make me comfortable in my environment, so he's going to give me a shot at left tackle, right tackle."
CU's starting left tackle, David Bakhtiari, suffered a sprained MCL against Hawaii and is listed as "day to day" ahead of the home opener against Cal. Ryan Dannewitz will start unless Bakhtiari is feeling good.
"The position he plays, all it takes is him feeling like he can't slide and then he gets beat around the edge and we're talking about our quarterback," Embreee said.
Daniel Munyer and Gus Handler are expected to both see action at center again.
Sticking with throwbacks
While a lot of programs -- Oregon, Georgia, Boise State, Maryland -- are making interesting fashion choices with their colorful new uniforms, CU is wearing its 1990 throwbacks.
"I really don't see us going out there and doing anything crazy," Embree said when asked about the trend. "I think we have a great mascot in the buffalo, and I think our colors are second to none with the black and gold."
It was a tough weekend for Natalyn Embree. Not only did her husband lose in his CU head coaching debut, but their oldest son Taylor -- a wide receiver for Rick Neuheisel at UCLA -- also started the season 0-1.
Taylor caught five passes for 60 yards during the Bruins' 38-34 loss at Houston.
"Five ... that's probably more than I caught in my senior year," said Embree, a tight end at CU under Bill McCartney. "It was not a good weekend in the Embree house."
Cornerback Vince Ewing, who tore an ACL during the 2010 fall camp, is still expriencing swelling and could be headed back to the operating table for an arthroscopic surgery. ... CU is going for a third consecutive win over Cal in a revenue sports. Last season, Tad Boyle's team beat the Bears in the NIT and Linda Lappe's team cruised to an 81-65 in the WNIT. ... Embree said Bieniemy, who was on the sideline at Aloha Stadium for his debut as an offensive coordinator, could be moving up to the press box at Folsom Field for a better view on Saturday.