SportsFootball Chat replay: CU Buffs beat writer Brian Howell (Dec. 2, 2019) Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) Chat replay: CU Buffs beat writer Brian Howell (Dec. 2, 2019) By Brian Howell | firstname.lastname@example.org | Boulder Daily CameraPUBLISHED: December 2, 2019 at 11:26 am | UPDATED: December 2, 2019 at 1:12 pmBuffzone.com beat writer Brian Howell takes your questions and leads discussion about CU sports today at Noon. that will do it for this week, everybody. Great comments and questions once again. We'll do this again next week! Keep in mind, with football season being over, I'm hoping to go back to doing this at Noon each week.I hope we're close. I don't know if we'll ever seen 16, but I think in the next 3-5 years, we could see 8. it just makes too much sense, in my opinion. Go to 8 and give automatic spots to the winners of each Power 5 conference title game, given automatic spot to the highest ranking Group of 5 team, and then have 2 at-large spots so that the SEC can get its second team in there. The "downside," some will say is too many games, and interfering with finals weeks. I've heard those arguments for years, but nobody seems to care about those factors in the FCS or Division II, etc. They are excuses. I think there's a lot of interest they could generate with an 8-team playoffHow close are we to seeing a move to an 8 or 16 team CFP? What’s the major downside/challenges to 16 teams and is an additional two weeks really that big of a deal? One solution could be to do away with the Conference Championship games if the NCAA is concerned with playing too many games.To be fair, he was prompted to talk about Onu and Cooper in that question ... but I do agree with you. Tucker gets it. He's a poised man and its part of why his players love him. Honestly, I'm not sure I've been around a smarter football guy than Tucker. (Barnett is up there, too).Let me say this about Mel Tucker. In the beginning I said I'd be satisfied with a 3 win season just given how well he's handled everything else. The wins will come. I really like how he conducts himself. He was asked a question about Onu not playing and he used to opportunity to praise his walk on replacement, a senior who will never play again. Contrast with Scott Frost throwing his players under the bus and sounding like there's some mutiny or conspiracy against him that needs to be purged. Mel gets it, and he's getting players.Sort of. The football reputation not so much, especially if Utah falls short of the CFP. Basketball, so far it's off to a great start, but basketball has to restore its reputation with March successThe Pac-12's football and basketball reputations kind of hit rock bottom last year, but both have improved markedly this year. Agree?Not a bad idea. Thank you!!Hi Brian...thanks for all of the great articles and chats throughout the season (and off season too). Sad to see the buffs end again with no bowl. Interesting article idea for you would be to compare/contrast all 4 coaches in the post-Barnett era after year #1 to see how we stood at the end of those seasons (including this one), coaching philosophies, recruiting, coaching staffs, etc and thoughts going forward on Tucker et al.I wouldn't bank on Utah taking much of a step back because they're putting people in the NFL. They had 8 draft picks in 2017 and they still went to a bowl and have won two South titles since. They had 5 draft picks this year and followed up with their best team. Given the mess that is the South, Utah will still be the favorite. Yes, the coaching carousel is interesting!As to UT, they also benefit from having a good chunk of their classes on the missionary program. So, they're 2yrs older by the time they actually start playing. That matters. Having said that, they're putting a lot of guys into the NFL this year. Look for them to take a step back next year. And, don't you recall about 3-5yrs ago when rumors were Whittingham was out? It's funny how the coaching carousel works, huh (another rumor is that Lake turned CU down, knowing Petey was stepping down and the gig there was his). Brian, can you go all underground expose and find out? Thanks!As for attrition, there's always some, but I don't think it'll be as much as last year.Hard to know, because Tucker said there's no issue. It just seemed odd to me that the No. 2 running back, who has had at least 5 carries in every game and is healthy, didn't play, but the No. 3 running back did.Do you think Mangham is in Mel's doghouse? Do you see as much attrition in the offseason as there was last year?It's going to be interesting to see what happens there. Utah needs LSU to beat Georgia, which eliminates the possibility of two SEC teams. From there, if the Utes win and they're sitting at 12-1 and Oklahoma is also 12-1, it's going to be interesting. Oklahoma will then have TWO wins over Baylor, which is currently No. 9. Utah's best win would be against No. 14 Oregon. So, that's two better wins for Oklahoma. What Utah has going for it is the dominance they've displayed. If they were to pound Oregon and Oklahoma edges Baylor, Utah has a better shot.I want Utah to beat Oregon to at least give the Pac-12 a chance to be in the final 4 of the Pretend-offs. Whittingham has a fantastic Bowl W/L record!Thank goodness Alabama lost a 2nd time, it will make it harder for the College Pretend-off Committee to stuff 2x SEC teams into the final four, tho still could. But frankly, if it comes down between Oklahoma and Utah for that final spot, do you see any real chance that they would pick Utah? Committee seems to love legacy teams more than anything (which is why they would have stuffed a 1 loss Bama in there, again).Their defense, in my opinion, gives them a chance to be competitive, but I think they lose if they get in. To me, there's a clear top three and I honestly don't know who is better between LSU, Clemson and Ohio State. After that, I think it's a big drop off and whoever gets in at No. 4 loses that first game. But, I do give Utah a shot because they play defense and run the ball.Should Utah make the CFP, what are their chances of being competitive or even winning a game? Still seems like the Pac-12 has good depth, but we are far behind the other conferences in terms of top teams.Thank you! Yes, I plan on doing them throughout the offseason. I'll probably take a break around the holidays, but for the most part, we'll do them each Monday!Really appreciate you doing these weekly chats! Great objective insights! Are you planning on continuing to do them each week between now and Spring practices?Steven Montez has always been very gracious with his time and a good interview. I give him a lot of credit for stepping up and talking as much as he does, so I give him the nod. But there are a lot of good interviews on this team: Mikial Onu, KD Nixon, Tim Lynott, Brady Russell, Nate Landman, Delrick Abrams, etc. Most IMPROVED is Laviska.Who was your best interviewee this year?I think MacIntyre and staff win 4-5 games and the final record looks similar. I think George and Tucker are both disappointed in not making a bowl and satisfied with the improvements. They are competitive and certainly wanted a bowl game, but understand the process.Do you think Rick George and Coach Tucker are satisfied with the improvements made this year...primarily around instilling a new culture? Or do you think it’s a major disappointment missing a Bowl...basically one that is inexcusable? How many games do you think the Buffs would have won this year had MacIntyre and the old staff still been in place?Yeah, CU has the history and tradition, but how long ago? The glory days of CU football were 25-30 years ago now. But, other than being a feather in the cap and great memories, that means nothing in terms of winning now. Utah has become dominant because 1) They've got a good coach who has been there for a while, 2) because of that, they KNOW what they want and they have recruited to that for a long time; 3) they've got a great pipeline with Polynesian players; 4) they've built themselves with JUCO kids and transfers that some schools (including CU) haven't been able to get into school.How has Utah become so dominant in the conference while CU has struggled since joining the Pac-12? Is it consistency at the HC position, institutional support? We're the school with the history and tradition, but it seems like they are where we want to be.I think it feels different because the Buffs were more competitive and won games late. They were competitive last year, too, in a lot of gamesWas it just me or did this 5-7 season just feel more competitive than last year? I think is was because we beat a good ASU team and hung in there with USC. The PAC 12 was all over the place, but I feel like they were more competitive in conference. Or am I just making excuses?Mekhi Blackmon, Frank Fillip, Joshka Gustav, Marvin Ham, Braedin Huffman-Dixon, Austin Johnson, Jamar Montgomery, Lloyd Murray, DJ Oats, Alec Pell, Quinn Perry, Nikko Pohahau, Valentin Senn, Jayden Simon, Luke Stillwell and Jake Wiley.What players all maintained their redshirt this year?yeah, but the McCaffreys were never interested in coming to Boulder.Too bad we couldn't have gotten Luke McCaffrey. He seems to have done really well when he's had the chance to play. In my opinion, he should give Martinez a run for starting QBI think it'll take a couple of years. It'll be better next year, but still a work in progress.I know depth is still a problem on both sides of the ball, does that continue into next year's recruiting cycle or does the roster fill out a little this year so the staff can focus more on bringing in the best player rather than the best player at a shallow position?I asked Tucker about it after the game and he said Mangham played special teams and was available, but the flow of the game didn't get him in at RB. I didn't look close enough to see him on special teams. And, not to say that Tucker was lying, but I do find it odd that in a game that's all about physicality, your most physical runner doesn't get into the game - especially when he's had 5-plus carries in every other game.Was Mangham injured for the Utah game? I thought he was looking like the strongest RB in the trenches mid-way through the season and then he seemed to stop getting as much playing time, curious if you know why?I'm not sure what USC is going to do, but there's been a lot of talk about him moving on. I like Helton a lot, but it doesn't seem to be a great fit there in terms of him taking them to "USC level." Seems like that marriage should end.USC seems to be leaning towards keeping Helton. I would think for nothing other than recruiting that would be a bad idea, but perhaps it doesn't matter at a place like SC? What are your thoughts?All across the board - but mainly OL and DL and secondary. They are working on it in this class.At what position(s) do you think CU needs to add more depth? And, do you see them doing it with the upcoming recruiting class?That's what Tucker is hoping for. He likes to have as many big, talented backs as possible. I liked Fontenot, too. I thought he had a really nice season.I was pleasantly surprised by Fontenot this year. He has a ton of ability. If he adds 10-15 more pounds he could be an outstanding back. Assuming Mangham stays and with Clayton coming in, is RB becoming the strength of this team going forward?I don't think he did. I think he can be a decent role player there. Having a full offseason to practice there will help him. He was moved there at the end of fall camp, so having a full offseason could help him a lot.Did Sam Noyer play at safety during the last three games? What is his future at that position?Good point - although it was really close the other night! Weird to see Fontenot fumble.Brian, The most impressive stat in what was another disappointing year is thr fact that no player in the backfield lost a fumble during the season! It would be interesting to know if that has ever happened before in the history of CU football? Might be a good storyline for you in the off season?On offense, they lose Montez, Viska, Brown, Hambright and Lynott. On defense, they lose Abrams, Taylor and Onu. New starters, hard to project at this point, but I'm eager to see Daniel Arias or Vontae Shenault in bigger roles next year at WR. I'd like to see what Chris Miller can do when healthy. I'm eager to see Mark Perry in a bigger role.I should know this but how many current starters are coming back next year? And any new starters you anticipate that you're excited about?The biggest difference between CU and the best teams in the conference is depth. If the Buffs were fully healthy all year and kept their main starting lineup intact, I believe they would have won 7-8 games. This is not a team that can afford many injuries, though, and we saw that. Teams like Washington, Utah, USC, they can replace injured guys and still win.Big fan of Tucker on multiple levels and totally understand it’s a process to get to 6 wins and a Bowl game...and then another jump to consistently win 8+ games each year! We hear a lot about the Buffs lacking the necessary depth. While this team clearly has some nice pieces as STARTERS, my belief is that they also need to upgrade the level of talent across the board of the Starters to consistently win 8+ games and compete for Pac-12 Titles. How do you see it?Davion Taylor, Steven Montez, Delrick Abrams, and then Tony Brown/Tim Lynott/Arlington HambrightOther than Viska, who has the best draft hopes?Maybe at QB, but there may not be much room to add grad transfersWe've had some significant grad transfers the last couple years (McMillian, Onu, Hambright). Do you see that continuing in 2020 to plug some holes?I think he can fix it. Tucker has a defensive background, but he's well aware of the importance of offense and how they need to get better. He wants a lot of RBs and talent/depth at OL. Get that and they can have the type of offense that wins.First, THANK YOU to all the seniors who worked so hard for a new head coach this year. Buffs through and through!Q: Last year's 5-7 finish and this year's 5-7 finish could not feel more different! I wish we could have made a bowl game, but somehow I feel like all is good with this program. My only question is on the Offensive side of the ball. I feel like our D just got better and better all season, while our O was about the same. Can Tucker fix this, being as D minded as he is? You have to score points to win the Pac-12.Thanks! Always weird when the season is suddenly over!Hey Thank You for doing this. Love the information. It is going to be a looong offseason. GO BUFFS !!In my opinion, USC, and always USC. The tradition, resources and talent will always be there.What is the better Pac-12 job right now? USC or UW?Maybe a bit, but Tucker's going to win that. Chev and the staff will recruit the type of players Tucker wantsDo you think there is a clash of offensive style (or type of player each wants to recruit) between what Tucker wants and what coach D Chiv wants?Working on it, so hopefully later this afternoon! There might be another or two, but they've typically been after game weeks.Do we get a "Monday Rewind" or a "Tuesday Rewind" this week? Really enjoy the Rewinds. Will they continue?Personally, the game at A&M because I've never been there and I'd love to see a game there. I'm also looking forward to Utah at CU having some meaning for the BuffsWhat game are you most looking forward to next season? At A&M, Oregon in Boulder, etc.?Rick George has told me a few times he knows it needs to get done, but they've had other things to worry about, as well. All I can say is that it's on their radar and I think they knew it needs an upgradeHave you heard any rumblings of upgrading the scoreboards at Folsom? The one one the North side is “acceptable”...although far from impressive. And the one on the South side is like looking at a 42” TV!He did, and I can tell you, he truly doesn't care about the records - which to me is further proof that he gave it his all to help this team win. He'd gladly trade those records for another win and a bowl game.It was nice to see Montez break those final two records. He may have not had a winning record, but he gave it his all.Thanks! Yes, I think Vontae could be in the rotation. We don't get to watch practice, but I had someone this year tell me that Vontae is a better "receiver" than Viska. Of course, Viska is the better athlete, but Vontae is more of a wide receiver and apparently made some amazing plays in practice.Great article on Viska! What a great young man, and an amazing talent to watch. We will miss him. Do you think his brother breaks into the rotation next year?Yes, I think that's fair. I wish he could have been fully healthy. When he was healthy, he was a lot of fun to watch.CU fans were on the edge of our seats waiting for Laviska to blow up and have a Heisman like season, but it never really happened due to injury, etc. Is it safe to say that despite flashes of brilliance, we never really got to see his full potential?A QB away? Uhh, I don't think so. Buffs had a good QB. They were defensive/OL talent/depth away from 6-8 wins. That said, I think the rebuilding is ongoing. I do think next year could look like this one, but by 2020, there needs to be some major improvement.