Ellen Brown has been rooting for the Colorado football program for three decades and like many Buffs fans these days, it hurts her to see the program's steep decline.
Brown thinks she can help coach Jon Embree and his staff finish the season strong. She recently contacted the Buffs' second-year coach and offered to lead the team in a laughter yoga session before either of the final two home games. The Buffs host Washington Saturday (11:35 a.m., FX) and Utah next Friday.
Brown says laughter yoga releases "a cocktail of hormones and chemicals" that do the body good and help establish a positive frame of mind.
"I feel in my heart this could be the key to a "W," Brown wrote in a letter to Embree and the Daily Camera.
Yes, it sounds so Boulder.
But let's be honest, could it hurt at this point?
The Buffs are mired in perhaps their most woeful stretch of losses in history.
A month ago they allowed Southern Cal to set a school record with seven touchdown passes in a game. Three weeks ago, Oregon scored 70 points and could have scored 100 or more if it didn't remove its starters. Two weeks ago, Stanford shut out the Buffs at home for the first time in 26 seasons and last week CU allowed an Arizona running back to have a historic rushing performance.
CU is 1-9 overall and 1-6 in Pac-12 Conference play and in danger of producing the first winless season in history at Folsom Field. The last time the Buffs went winless at home was 1920 when they played home games at Gamble Field.
Last season's team faced the same possibility and rallied around a large senior class to win on senior day. With this season's eight-member senior class being the second smallest in the modern history of the program, Embree said a win or two in the final two weeks would be a nice boost into 2013."I talked to the older guys, the seniors, about how they want to finish and how it relates to them," Embree said.
Regardless of how it is viewed by hopeful Buffs fans, the Huskies (6-4, 4-3) are 201/2-point favorites. It is the most points by which the Washington program has been favored on the road since 1997, according to the Seattle Times.
Washington sophomore tailback Bishop Sankey had to be smiling all week knowing he gets to run against the Buffs Saturday. Why wouldn't he be excited? Last week CU allowed Arizona running back Ka'Deem Carey to rush for a Pac-12 Conference record 366 yards and five touchdowns. That kind of defensive performance has to have running backs on next season's schedule already salivating.
Sankey is a tough runner who already has amassed 1,011 yards and 13 rushing touchdowns this fall.
Colorado hopes to run effectively again today with freshmen Christian Powell and Donta Abron leading the way. Powell is in the midst of one of the best freshman seasons by a running back in Colorado history and is within reach of establishing a new freshman rushing record if he has two strong outings this week and next.
The Buffs must run the ball effectively against the 90th ranked rushing defense in the nation Saturday because sophomore Connor Wood is starting at quarterback against a stingy and opportunistic Washington pass defense ranked 18th in the nation. However, Washington's defensive line is thin and Sarkisian has prepared tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and offensive lineman Shane Brostek to play on the defensive line if needed. Wood has played in parts of six games this season, mostly in mop-up duty. He has thrown two interceptions and one touchdown pass. Junior Jordan Webb, who started the first nine games, is expected to serve as the backup with last week's starter, Nick Hirschman, still recovering from a concussion.
"I talked to the defense about pride, and that no matter how much they think about or wish or go over it, it isn't going to change what happened on (last) Saturday, but they have an opportunity these next two weeks," Embree said. "I appealed to their pride. Offensively, I talked about humility. We have played pretty good three out of the four weeks, but it hasn't translated to wins and there are some things that we need to fix. So don't think you have arrived and relax. That was my message to the team, when I spoke to both sides of the football."
We'll find out how Embree's messages were received and if he might need to get outside his comfort zone to coax a win from his team. Maybe that means laughter yoga. Maybe not.
Follow Kyle on Twitter: @KyleRingo