1. Boyle ranked No. 4
With crisp, fall-like weather descending upon Boulder, we can start to get ready for what should be an enjoyable Colorado men's basketball season. Athlon Sports' David Fox has taken the task of ranking the men's hoops coaches in the Pac-12 and CU's leader Tad Boyle comes in at No. 4. Ranked above Boyle are Arizona's Sean Miller (1), Cal's Mike Montgomery (2) and the master of the transfer, Oregon's Dana Altman (3). Boyle's Buffs tip off their season on Nov. 8 against Baylor.
Coach Boyle's excerpt from the article:
4. Tad Boyle, Colorado
Record at Colorado: 69-38 overall (.645), 29-23 Big 12/Pac-12 (.558)
NCAA Tournament: 1-2
Colorado is one of the lucky basketball programs that has seen conference realignment work in its favor. The Buffaloes are 21-15 in the Pac-12 with back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances for the first time since 1962-63. Boyle, who also laid the groundwork at Northern Colorado, has restored interest in basketball in Boulder, both from fans and aspiring NBA Draft picks.
2. Hoops schedule
ESPN's Men's College Basketball Nation Blog continues breaking down the nonconference schedules for the teams in the top nine conferences. The Pac-12 is up today and Colorado gets a 9 out of 10 on the toughness scale. Boyle's Buffs won't miss the Dance with a weak strength of schedule ever again.
From the blog:
Toughest: vs. Baylor (Nov. 8 in Dallas), Harvard (Nov. 24), Kansas (Dec. 7), vs. Oklahoma State (Dec. 21 in Las Vegas)
Next toughest: Wyoming (Nov. 13), at Air Force (Nov. 30), at Colorado State (Dec. 3), Georgia (Dec. 28)
The rest: UT Martin (Nov. 10), Jackson State (Nov. 16), Arkansas State (Nov. 18), UCSB (Nov. 21), Elon (Dec. 13)
Toughness scale: 9 -- The Buffaloes get major props for going out and scheduling one of the most difficult slates of any potential NCAA team. The toughest category above has four teams that should take turns in the top 25 and in the case of KU and OSU in the top five. Going to CSU is as tough a rivalry game as anyone will play. There are two more quality rivalry games at Air Force and against Wyoming and an improving Georgia coming west. Colorado might be more ready than any other Pac-12 team for conference play.
3. Oklahoma State
Sports Illustrated's look into alleged misconduct and cheating by the Oklahoma State football program turns to its second chapter, academic fraud.
A synopsis: "A dozen Cowboys who played between 2000 and '11 say that they participated in some form of academic misconduct; another 16 were named by teammates as having schoolwork done for them. Players were also clustered into online classes. "The goal was not to educate but to get [the best players] the passing grades they needed to keep playing," said Fath' Carter, who played at OSU from 2000 to '03.
In a surprise to no one, former Oklahoma State star receiver Dez Bryant allegedly didn't work very hard in the classroom.
"He just wasn't supposed to be there. There's no way he could do the college work," said the former assistant coach. "Once he got there, he was connected with the people that would help him." Calvin Mickens, a cornerback from 2005 to '07, says he also saw tutors do coursework for Bryant.
"As the Cowboys became one of the nation's elite teams, players were not only using drugs, but also dealing them. It was common for some players to smoke marijuana before games. Says Donnell Williams, a linebacker on the 2006 team, "Drugs were everywhere." School officials largely ignored use and abuse by elite players but cast aside those players deemed expendable."
In other scandalous activity, Alabama finds itself in the middle of a mess after Yahoo Sports reported former offensive lineman D.J. Fluker allegedly received money to play for the Crimson Tide. Coach Nick Saban's Tide head to Texas A&M to battle Johnny Manziel in the "Scandal Bowl" on Saturday.
4. Courtland Sutton
6-foot-4, 195-pound, 2014 three-star recruit Courtland Sutton out of Brenham, Texas, is high on VKBERLIN's recruiting want list and he's likely high on the Buffs' list as well. Rivals' Mike Farrell reports (subscription) that the CU target was at BYU over the weekend for the Cougars' dismantling of Texas. Per his Twitter account, it was the first ride on an airplane Sutton has taken. The Texas safety/wide receiver is working on coming to CU for an official visit next month. Washington State is also in the mix for his signature, with Texas A&M, Utah State and Houston showing interest.
5. Mack Brown's hot seat
Speaking of the Longhorns getting destroyed in Provo, Texas athletic director DeLoss Dodds voiced support for football coach Mack Brown.
"Mack's fine," Dodds told the American-Statesman this morning. "I know we didn't play well Saturday. Mack will know if he should be coaching (at Texas) or shouldn't be. I know this is my responsibility, and I'm not shying away from it. The bottom line is I'm for the kids and the coaches."
The Longhorns axed their defensive coordinator after the 40-21 loss at BYU and host No. 25 Mississippi on Saturday. Another rough year in Austin could lead to the end of the Brown regime.