We know now who the new Colorado head coach won't be, namely, Troy Calhoun . We also know that the Buffs appear set on making a run at Les Miles that has as much chance of succeeding as a run at Ralphie-powered space travel. But what we don't know yet is who the Buffs might actually hire.
According to the Denver Post , though, we know who's edged into pole position : former Colorado great and current Minnesota Vikings running backs coach Eric Bieniemy . Why?
Ex-CU players are putting a great deal of pressure on athletic director Mike Bohn to hire the former Buffs tailback, who had a good interview Saturday. The committee was impressed with the potential staff Bieniemy said he could put together.In one sense, Bieniemy would be an uninspiring hire. The track record of NFL position coaches as college head coaches isn't a strong one (just ask Tim Brewster and Sylvester Croom ) and Bieniemy has never been a coordinator at any level. Well-meaning as the former Buffs may be, Bieniemy's hire would also only reinforce the impression -- first created by the school's flirtation with 70-year-old Colorado legend Bill McCartney -- that the program is simply trying to recreate their late-'80s-early-'90s heyday rather than living in the present.
But if Bieniemy does indeed have a pair of inspiring choices in mind to help him out as coordinators, he could prove a galvanizing choice. Few coaches should be able to sell the Colorado program to recruits as well as a young, (allegedly) charismatic, energetic head man with ties to Boulder as deep as Bieniemy's. That both Bieniemy and McCartney have received as much popular support as they have shows how deep the Buffalo fanbase's respect for the CU glory days runs, and Bieniemy should be able to tap into that optimism in a wa ythat Dan Hawkins never could. And as Doug Marrone 's impressive salvage job at Syracuse shows, NFL assistants coachin on behalf of their alma mater can certainly have success.
None of that guarantees Bieniemy anything at this stage. But if the Buffs are as intent on making a quick hire as the Post article suggests, the other candidates in the Buffs' pool will have to move up the ladder quickly if they don't want to see the job wrapped up.