The head coaches of Colorado's two most high-profile sports teams have vastly different approval ratings but both are dealing with big time pressure.
The college basketball season starts Friday evening in Boulder and I'm wondering who has it worse, Jon Embree or Tad Boyle?
We all know Embree, the second-year football coach and CU alum, is under fire for the lousy results his team has produced this season. Few expected the Buffs to have a winning record this fall, but no one expected them to be one of the worst teams in CU history and one of the worst from a major conference in the recent history of the sport.
It can't possibly get any worse. Can it?
It would be so much easier at CU if cross country and skiing
Voila. Problems solved.
As difficult as it must be to be in Embree's shoes right now, I'm not sure Boyle isn't in a tougher position.
Boyle is exalted in Boulder after only two years.
The Buffs have won 24 games in back-to-back seasons, the two winningest seasons in the program's history, and they've been to the postseason two years in a row. Last season, Boyle led the Buffs to a Pac-12 Conference tournament title and a win over UNLV in the NCAA Tournament.
When Boyle climbed a ladder to cut down the net in Los Angeles in March he might as well have been walking on water.
He also put together a top-25 recruiting class that has helped fuel expectations for this season. Adding these talented freshmen to a solid returning cast of Andre Roberson, Spencer Dinwiddie, Askia Booker, Sabatino Chen and Shane Harris-Tunks gives Boyle a deep, athletic team that might be the best he's had in Boulder, despite it's relative inexperience.
The expectations of some fans are through the roof entering Boyle's third season on the sideline at the Coors Events Center. Other fans might have more modest hopes but with Embree's team struggling so badly, everyone in black and gold is starving for something positive to rally around and they're depending on Boyle to provide it.
No pressure coach.
The thing is, I think he's going to come through for you CU.
There is just something about Boyle. He has the "it" factor as a coach that he spends so much time searching for in players on the recruiting trail.
He's a winner. He's a hard worker, a grinder as they say. He's charming, but not in a used car salesman sort of way. He knows the game as well as anyone. And he never makes it about him.
Count on some disappointing nights from the Buffs this season. With six freshmen on the roster, there is almost no way to avoid it. But don't bank on too many.
While there will certainly be a few surprises and some questions to be answered along the way, I'm betting Boyle will have his team playing pretty well again in late February and March and no one in the Pac-12 is going to want to see them in the conference tournament in Las Vegas.
I'm not predicting the Buffs will return to March Madness, but I am predicting Boyle will give them a chance to get there.
Five years ago if someone told me Colorado would sellout its 2012 home opener in men's basketball against a team like Wofford -- no disrespect intended to the Terriers -- I would have thought the messenger was nuts.
At the time, the Buffs were one of the worst teams in the nation from a major conference and the only way CU would have a chance to sellout a nonconference game was if a national powerhouse like Duke, North Carolina or Kentucky came to town.
Five years later, the home opener is sold out and no one even wants to think about the football game Saturday.
Thank god for Tad Boyle CU fans, and pray for Jon Embree.
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @KyleRingo