TEMPE, Ariz. -- A majority of the Colorado football team was recruited to the program by a coach who preached to never get too high or too low after wins and losses.

Those players are now being coached by a CU alum who takes the results on Saturdays personally.

The transition has been bumpy at times including an episode Saturday evening in the visiting locker room at Sun Devil Stadium following another blowout loss.

CU coach Jon Embree told his team there are players on the roster who are "comfortable with the circumstances we are in." He promised to weed out those players over time, saying it's not acceptable to be happy just to wear the Colorado jersey.

Colorado head coach Jon Embree, left, yells to his players in the first quarter Saturday.
Colorado head coach Jon Embree, left, yells to his players in the first quarter Saturday. ( Ross D. Franklin )

Then he shared the message with the media when asked what players have talked about with him in regards to what they have left to play for.

"They've talked about it. We just talk," he said. "I'm trying to be good here. At some point, as I told them in there. We've got some people who are comfortable with the results. It's just the facts. We're comfortable at times when it happens like that. I'm trying to create a culture and environment where that isn't the case.

"We'll work on that. We'll keep coaching the guys that want to do it. We'll keep coaching the guys who want to do it and keep putting them out trying to make plays, the ones that it's important to.


The other ones who just want to be on the team and the guys that just want to, you know, be around if it goes good then decide they want to jump in the water, we'll just have to keep weeding it out."

Colorado has lost six consecutive games and sits in the cellar of the Pac-12 Conference with a 1-8 overall record and an 0-5 mark in the conference. The team has suffered a rash of key injuries and morale in the program is low.

Senior quarterback TylerHansen backed up his head coach. He said some members of the senior class meet with Embree every week to let their coach know what the mood of the team is. Hansen said Embree appreciates having that feedback.

Hansen said those seniors have shared their concerns with Embree about some of what they have seen from teammates. Hansen said the problem players are spread over different classes and the seniors have talked to them as well. He said some of them continue to play.

"We don't like it, especially the seniors," Hansen said. "There are guys who are just OK wearing the jersey. That's wrong and that's what's got to change. We're trying to change that culture around here. We want guys who want to win, want to play for the University of Colorado and want to help the Buffs play for championships and stuff like that. And guys are OK with just being out there."

Embree said feedback from players about their teammates is not the only source he uses in the weeding out process. He said those players have ways of identifying themselves.

"How you watch them play, how they act on the sidelines, how they react after a loss like this, how they've acted after previous losses," Embree said. "In some cases we can't do anything about it because they're the only people we have, which is the sad thing. But I guarantee you it's not going to be like this in the future. It will not be like this in the future."

Redshirt freshman cornerback Josh Moten knows what it's like to upset his head coach. Moten was one of five players suspended earlier this season. Moten said he had failed to complete community service he was ordered to perform as part of an incident he was involved in with an ex-girlfriend last fall. He was reinstated after handling the matter.

"Coach Embree, he set the bar and that's what he's going by," Moten said. "It doesn't matter who you are. If you're not following his standard or his way, cause it's his program now, then he'll move on without you.

"It just challenges them and makes them want to do the right thing all the time. Since his bar is so high, I don't think any one of those guys in that locker room want to be that guy to be kicked off or to be suspended. It just makes them put more effort into doing the right things, going to class, being on time to tutors, going on the field and playing hard, playing ball."

Athletic director Mike Bohn said Embree is passionate but frustrated in the middle of a difficult season. He said the immediate aftermath of a loss is not the appropriate time to discuss whether the program might be heading for significant attrition when the season ends.

"After a ball game, Jon is a competitive coach and we love that in him," Bohn said. "I know he is committed to continue to do everything he can to inspire his players and also to find the players that are going to represent the competitive spirit that he represents."

Linebacker and team captain Jon Major said he believes Embree is simply trying to challenge the players. He said in a season as disappointing as this one it can be easy for players to fall into the trap of accepting the results.

"It's tough and it's the dog days, but there is still a lot to play for," Major said. "We love our seniors and we care about each other. That's ultimately who you play for. You play for each other. You play for Buff Nation. You can never give up when you still have an opportunity to play."