Mike MacIntyre Is the Answer to Restoring Colorado Football Back to Prominence

Lisa Horne@LisaHornePac-12 and Big 12 Lead WriterDecember 11, 2012

Sit tight, Buff fans. Help is on the way. 

A lot of football fans may be puzzled over the hiring of Mike MacIntyre as the new head coach of Colorado. Don't be. Football fans living on the West Coast are very familiar with MacIntyre and what he is capable of doing. 

MacIntyre is like a younger version of legendary Kansas State coach Bill Snyder: he can turn around a college football program very quickly. Mike MacIntyre is one of the most underrated coaches in the country, and Colorado finally did its homework when it decided on MacIntyre. 

In 2008, MacIntyre was hired as the defensive coordinator at Duke. The following year, he was named the American Football Coaches Association's FBS Assistant Coach of the Year.


MacIntyre was then hired to replace retiring San Jose State head coach Dick Tomey in December 2009, and took over a program that had gone 2-10 the previous year. San Jose State football was pretty awful in general, mostly due to scholarship restrictions resulting from its low Academic Progress Rates compiled by the NCAA. 

MacIntyre's first season at San Jose State was dreadful (1-11), and it included a loss to FCS team U.C. Davis. But MacIntyre still didn't have the luxury of 85 scholarships to work with, which would change in 2011. The following year, MacIntyre went 5-7, and things were looking up.

This year, the Spartans went 10-2, and for the first time in school history were ranked in the BCS standings. They would finish the regular season with a final BCS ranking of No. 24, and will play Bowling Green in the post-Christmas Military Bowl on December 27. 

Still not impressed?

MacIntyre's Spartans lost a 20-17 squeaker to the Stanford Cardinal in the first week of the regular season. San Jose State had an opportunity to either tie or win the game in the last two minutes, but an interception with just over a minute left in the game sealed the win for Stanford. Interestingly, the Spartans scored more points on Stanford (17) than Oregon (14) did.

The Spartans also shut out Navy 12-0 and beat BYU 20-14. For comparison purposes, consider this: Notre Dame beat BYU in South Bend 17-14.

But there's more, Colorado fans.

San Jose State plays in the WAC, a conference notorious for suspect defenses and prolific offenses, but San Jose State finished the regular season with a national defensive ranking of No. 28.

The SEC's Georgia, a team with a stout defense, finished in an almost-tie with San Jose State for yards allowed per game: San Jose State's defense averaged 351.4 yards, while Georgia's allowed 351.2. 

The Spartans' offense was equally impressive, finishing the season ranked No. 30 in total offense. 

MacIntyre likes power football, so it's not surprising that Mercurynews.com columnist Jon Wilner had this to say about MacIntyre last year.

There also is a strong commitment to the run game. Second-year coach Mike MacIntyre has Southeastern Conference football in his blood, and the SEC is all about running between the tackles.

That's right: MacIntyre has SEC blood running through his veins.

MacIntyre's father, George, was the head football coach at Vanderbilt from 1979 through 1985 and won the Bobby Dowd Coach of the Year Award in 1982. His son Mike played as a safety for Vanderbilt (eventually transferring to and graduating from Georgia Tech), and was an assistant coach at both Georgia and Ole Miss.

An SEC coach in Boulder, Colorado? Pac-12 Nation should be pretty excited over this fantastic hire.

Give Mike MacIntyre two years to turn this football team around. Buff fans won't be disappointed, and moreover, the Colorado Buffaloes will be back.

Game on.


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