By now, you know the story out of Lawrence from last Saturday : Colorado went into the fourth quarter up 45-17 against a Kansas team that had scored more than 28 points in an entire game just once this season , then gave up five straight touchdowns to lose 52-45. It is not hyperbole to call it the worst loss suffered by any team in the FBS this season. It's more like fact.
Coaches that preside over losses like that don't usually keep their jobs for very long, and when you're talking about a coach in Buffalo head man Dan Hawkins that only retained his job for 2010 by virtue of being too expensive to buy out, "not for very long" very well could mean "not for even another day." Colorado athletic director Mike Bohn admitted as much in the wake of the meltdown , saying "the school could make an announcement in regard to his future later this week" and declining to give Hawkins a vote-of-confidence for even so much as this week's game against Iowa State .
For their part, the Buffalo players would like to see their head coach allowed to finish the season with dignity:
"I don't know the history, but I would say in most history when a head coach is fired in the middle of the season, those teams generally don't do so well," injured starting quarterback Tyler Hansen said ... "I think it's only fair to the seniors to ride out this coaching staff."If the players' support for their coach is admirable (if not unanimous, as an "it really doesn't matter" quote from safety Anthony Perkins makes clear), the fact that even they aren't entertaining the possibility of Hawkins being retained another season is telling. Hawkins has surpassed New Mexico coach Mike Locksley as the most fired coach in America; even the players know the only matter to discuss is when Bohn should pull the trigger.
"It would be unfortunate to see any coaches have to go at this point in time because it's so much more than putting something on one person," [senior tight end Luke] Walters said. "It's way more than that. One change is obviously probably not going to get the results that everyone is looking for. At this point in time, I can't say there would be anything positive coming out of that, as much as people want to see something happen."
And if he wants a nickel's worth of free advice from the CBS College Football Blog, he should pull it sooner rather than later. Hawkins' continued employment appears to be a charade by this point, a farce that almost by definition ought to be ended with as much haste as possible. Bohn can ask Hawkins to coach through the end of the season for the sake of continuity and in deference to the wishes of the Buff senior class; with his son Cody Hawkins the starting quarterback almost by default in the wake of the injury to Hansen, Hawkins may very well accept. This would give the program some measure of stability while still being honest about Hawkins' status and permitting Bohn to (ethically) begin the process of evaluating candidates for Hawkins' replacement.
It's not ideal, but it's better than allowing what sounds like a noxious atmosphere surrounding the program to fester. The sooner the air in Boulder clears, the sooner fans and boosters and players and the administrationa all alike can see where the program is headed.