Around the country, the coaching carousel in college football is spinning like crazy.

So far, 18 Football Bowl Subdivision teams have made changes with their head coach, and with that comes widespread changes with assistant coaches.

After one of its most disappointing seasons in the past decade, Colorado (5-7, 2-7 Pac-12) could be in store for staff changes, as well, but the Buffaloes won't rush into anything.

"I'm not one of those that likes to jump in and make changes right away," athletic director Rick George said Monday. "I think it's important that we hash things out and at the end of the day, (head coach Mike MacIntyre) will do what he thinks is best for the program and I'll do the same."

One year after going 10-4 and winning the Pac-12 South division, the Buffs slipped back to the South basement for the fourth time in MacIntyre's five seasons in Boulder, leaving a sour taste in the mouths of everyone involved with the CU program.

"We all had expectations to have a successful year and go to a bowl game and we're not going there," George said, "so it always gets you to now pause to look at it and say, 'OK, what do we do to get better to ensure the consistency we want to have as a program?'"

George said that he and MacIntyre have had a couple of "candid conversations" since a 34-13 loss to Utah in the season finale on Nov. 25.


Defensively, the Buffs struggled in coordinator D.J. Eliot's first season, but given the graduation losses, losing a trio of potential starters in the summer, and staff changes on that side of the ball, George said, "I knew it would be a tough year."

The real disappointment came on offense. The Buffs expected to be one of the nation's most explosive and up-tempo offenses, but finished 11th in the Pac-12 in scoring.

Given the preseason expectations of the program, this could be the most important offseason of MacIntyre's tenure, as the Buffs seek a return to their winning ways in 2018.

But, if changes to the coaching staff are to be made, they'll be made carefully.

"We'll continue to process this, but we're not going to jump out and make decisions just so we can be timely in them," George said. "We want to make sure that we make the right decisions and we'll take the time to do that."

In evaluating their own staff, the Buffs are keenly aware of what's going on around the country. Among the 18 teams that have made head coaching changes are four of CU's 2018 opponents: Arizona State, Nebraska, Oregon State and UCLA.

"It's been really interesting. I don't know how else to say it," George said of watching the changes around the country. "There were some fast moves; there were maybe some things that happened that I wouldn't necessarily do or like. The shifting of some of the perennial top 20 teams and coaches going from one program to another, I haven't seen that in all of my years, at least at the level that it's at today. Then you still have some really key roles that are still open."

George said the Buffs are keeping an eye on everything going on around the country as they try to figure out their plans for 2018.

"We're in tune to what's going on and we'll continue to be in tune to what's going on," he said. "We're going to be thoughtful in our approach and we're going to make the decisions that we feel are in the best interests of our student athletes and our program and the university."

Recruiting could also play a role in what the Buffs do with their personnel. This is the first year that the NCAA has allowed an early signing period for football, and that period (Dec. 20-22) is quickly approaching.

While MacIntyre and the staff are busy with recruiting, George acknowledged that the early signing period does impact the timeliness of finalizing the 2018 staff.

"There's a little more of a sense of urgency with an early signing date on Dec. 20, so yeah, I think that'll be important," he said.

Beginning Jan. 9, FBS teams will also be allowed to add a 10th assistant coach, and that will also impact the decision-making process.

"That's part of this discussion, too," George said. "What does Mike want to do with that 10th coach and where are we going with that? That can change the dynamics of your staff, too."

Whether staff changes are made are not, George is confident that the Buffs have the framework in place to bounce back in 2018.

"We had a really good recruiting class last year," he said. "We anticipate that we're going to have another really good recruiting class and when you start going back-to-back in recruiting classes, that gives you at least some feeling that you're moving in the right direction."

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