Kyle Ringo
Kyle Ringo
Since being hired nearly a year ago to turn around the Colorado football program, coach Jon Embree has been reluctant to set any kind of timetable for the Buffs producing a winning record and getting back to the postseason.

Can't really blame him for not wanting to start that clock in this day and age.

Once he does, he can't stop it and most fans certainly would not let him adjust it for circumstances that arise and that might be out of his control.

But I'll do it for him.

Embree has three years to rebuild. He should have the Buffs back firmly on the winning side of the ledger and in the postseason in Year Four (2014) and the program should be in position to compete for conference titles and BCS bowl bids in five or six years, 2015 or 2016.

Most avid CU fans won't be happy with that timeline.

Truth is, I'd bet Embree and most of his coaching staff wouldn't be happy with it either.

Who wants to wait that long after all?

But it's realistic.

Perhaps Embree can make it happen sooner.

He's already received a little help from athletic director Mike Bohn, who has learned just how big an impact the schedules he puts together can have on a coach's success.

Bohn has lightened the load in the next two years at least.

The blueprint for rebuilding the Buffs is out there and Embree has already acknowledged he is following it.

Wise move.

Back in 2006, the Stanford program went 1-11 under coach Walt Harris, who was fired at the end of that season.

Jim Harbaugh, a man with many of the same or similar football philosophies as Embree, was hired and the turnaround began the next season.

But it took time, just as it will here in Boulder. The Cardinal went 4-8 in 2007 and 5-7 in 2008 before finally breaking through for an 8-5 campaign in 2009.

If it can be done at Stanford, it can be done here in Boulder or pretty much anywhere else for that matter.

In fact, it should be easier to turnaround most programs than it was at Stanford simply because of the academic rigor in Palo Alto.

Stanford won the Orange Bowl last year to complete a 12-1 season and is 9-0 this fall heading into the biggest game of the season Saturday at home against Oregon.

Quarterback Andrew Luck is the Heisman Trophy frontrunner and offensive lineman Jonathan Martin is a finalist for the Lombardi Award.

If Luck can lead his teammates to victory over the Ducks, the Cardinal will be in position to represent the North Division in the Pac-12 championship game in December and possibly play for a national title in January.

Remember just six seasons ago the program was 1-11.

So settle in Buffs fans and look forward to 2016 or so. Black and gold should be rolling again by then. Or maybe we'll be writing about a coaching search.

Numbers game

9 -- The total number of kickoffs and punts returned for touchdowns so far this season by Pac-12 teams. In a conference with so much speed and talent , you would think there would be more.

Who's hot?

Utah running back John White became the fourth Ute to rush for 1,000 yards in his first season with the program when he gained 109 yards on 27 carries last week against Arizona. He has five 100-yard rushing games this season.

Who's not?

The Colorado defense has allowed 28 touchdown passes this season. Oregon State is the only other team in the conference to surrender 20 so far.