Like many schools at this time of the year, there is a new hope in Boulder Colorado, as the Buffaloes open up a new season under new coaching, new competition, and an all-around attitude of professionalism under new head coach Jon Embree. Gone are the days of Dan Hawkins, where success means losing ten consecutive games on the road and then asking for a contract extension. Fans hope they will never have to worry about blowing a major league in conference by giving up 35 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Entering their first season, there isn’t a doubt that Colorado fits better in the Pac 12 and will be able to compete year in and out with most of the competition. Recruiting should improve drastically in the upcoming classes considering how well the change of conference creates a better talent base.
The truth of the matter though is that Colorado goes to Hawaii to open the season with an 18 game road losing streak on their shoulders. The beginning of the tenure of head coach Jon Embree is not going to be pretty. A whole new staff is trying to adjust to a brand new conference, while battling off injury and dealing with a large learning curve for players. Not to mention a five game conference stretch against Stanford, Washington, Oregon, Arizona State, and USC.
What goes with the Miami Hurricanes more than mediocrity, ruthless abandon, and a careless lack of respect to the game of football and institutional learning? How about an NCAA Investigation of the generation that has lasted for the better part of a decade. As mentioned earlier by the great Mali Buckeye, with the help of the great Yahoo! Sports staff, the season is in jeopardy for who was considered the first test on the schedule for the Ohio State Buckeyes. This preview will be a little bit different than the others, simply because it is unclear what the plan of the staff and university will be for the projected 12 starters that are linked to this horrific example of why there needs to be change in college football.
A new era of football begins under former Temple Owl head coach Al Golden this season, but the same old darkness and swirling whirlwind hangs over a program that just can’t ever seem to clean things up and get over the hump of mediocre to elite.
(Today we continue to preview the Ohio State Non-Conference opponents of 2011 by heading two hours and 30 minutes north to Toledo, to focus on a team with a lot of experience, top notch coaching, and enough weapons to be dangerous against the Buckeyes during week two of the season.)
When it comes to talent in some of the smaller conferences across the country this upcoming season, it doesn’t get much better than the Toledo Rockets. Despite wrapping up the season with a tough loss in the Little Caesars Bowl vs. Florida International, this team heads into the season as one the favorite in the MAC conference. Putting together the best season since 2005, last year’s Toledo squad showcased some very impressive moments. They also suffered head shaking defeats (Wyoming, Florida International). The fact of the matter,though, is that this team is more than a week two opponent. They deserve more than a chuckle because they beat that team up north in 2008 without scoring an offensive touchdown.
This team has knocked off one BCS non-conference match up per year the last five seasons (Kansas, Iowa State, Michigan, Colorado and Purdue) and will receive respect from their opponents in 2011. Many believe the true tests come after week two for the Buckeyes. In reality, Ohio State will have to play solid football in order to beat the Rockets early in the year.
The football season is almost here, and in the upcoming weeks, I’m going to do my best to pass the time for the folks at The BBC by previewing the opponents of the Buckeyes this season. There is no better way to pass the time then by analyzing and breaking down what is in store on the road to success in 2011.
At the beginning of the journey are the Akron Zips, a team hoping to rebound after a 1-11 showing in the first season of the Rob Ianello regime. Despite the struggles last season, there are high hopes for the Zips in 2011. Some believe that with one of the top recruiters in the nation at the helm, it is only a matter of time before the Zips become a contender year in and year out in the MAC Conference. Read More