BOULDER — You know things with The Mel Tucker Movement are getting serious when the stars come out. Wednesday’s CU Buffs football practice featured a constellation that somehow married the sublime (legendary Buffs football icon Bill McCartney) with the ridiculous (super fan Buffalo Phil, a grown man in face paint wearing a bison helmet with gold koozies stuck to the top of each horn).
In another corner of the party, there was Pac-12 Network host Mike Yam, visiting his second conference campus in two days, scribbling meticulous notes.
“It’s funny; I was at Pac-12 Media Day, I was talking to one coach, a former coach … he felt like (Oregon’s Mario) Cristobal, who’s doing it right now, and (CU coach) Mel Tucker are the two guys that can change the complete dynamic of this conference,” Yam told The Denver Post.
And the recruiting dynamic, specifically. Tucker and Cristobal are knee-deep in SEC ties, having both coached on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama in 2015, while Tucker’s C.V. also includes stops at LSU (2000) and, more recently, Georgia (2016-18).
“I think the interesting thing about Tucker and Cristobal, the SEC ties are, I think, the real deal,” Yam said. “And I think the things that they’re doing are now having a ripple effect around the Pacific Northwest, this idea of constantly recruiting, every single day, ‘We’re going to be relentless.’
“And the one former coach that I talked to said Tucker, because of his ties to the SEC and being around programs like Alabama and Georgia and LSU, and they do it that way, and Tucker’s going to have the same mentality as Cristobal, that it’s going to change how things go.”
Yam lamented that he won’t be back for the Pac-12 Network’s debut of its 2019 “The Pregame” tour during the CU-Nebraska showdown Sept. 7 at Folsom Field. But he said the CU men’s basketball program, projected to be one of the top four in the loop, will “for sure” be considered for a Pac-12 Network pregame remote this upcoming winter, and that “there were conversations, I think, for (the Buffs) to get one of those road shows (last season), depending how their season panned out. They’re going to be really good.”
Yam thinks Tucker’s Buffs in Year 1 should be good, too — or, at the least, better than the prognosticators project. CU spent the summer getting picked to finish last in the Pac-12 South in nearly every major preseason magazine or website, including the conference media poll released late last month.
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Source:: The Denver Post