You know your football team made a bad hire when its new coach loses to a Division I-AA team in his first game, as was the case for CU coach Dan Hawkins last year.
Hawkins went on to coach the Buffs to another defeat in his second game, losing to a mediocre CSU team 14-10. Expect this year to be no different as long as Hawkins is still the Buffs’ coach.
However this time, the Rams should be better and Hawkins won’t be able to play the first-year excuse card, either.
Give the man credit, though; he rebounded with a solid 2-9 finish after the Showdown loss. Even more comforting for Hawkins was that his former team, Boise State, went undefeated and won a BSC bowl in its first season without him.
So, what did the coach do to help his team improve this year? He named his son, Cody, the starting quarterback. Normally this wouldn’t be that odd, as college football coaches from Lee Corso to Steve Spurrier have coached their kid.
But Hawkins’ choice to name his offspring the starter is about as questionable as his attempts to make his 2-10 team better.
The coach has sent text messages to his players, taken them paintballing, gone sky-diving with them and brought them to Invesco Field last week just to “visualize” a win among other bizarre rituals that won’t work.
His promotion of his son, Cody, doesn’t come as much of a surprise though, as Hawkins’ decision to name Bernard Jackson the starter last year proved to be a terrible choice.
Jackson was more Kordell Stewart with the Chicago Bears than he was the CU version the Buffs were hoping he would be.
Hopefully the Buffs have a backup quarterback ready because baby Hawkins is built like a kicker.
At 5-foot-11, the Idaho native can barely see over the line and his 190-pound frame isn’t exactly prototypical of an impact player at his position.
With a defensive line that has started a combined 80 games, the Rams pass rush should be all over the first-year player.
And if the Hawkins family isn’t reason enough for why the Rams are going to win Saturday, there’s plenty of others.
In contrast to the Buffs, the Rams have a senior quarterback with 17 career starts under his belt – that’s 17 more than Hawkins if you’re counting.
CSU also has one of the best receiving corps in the region and 20 returning starters.
And remember fans, this isn’t intramurals, it’s the Rocky Mountain Showdown, brother.