KU Football: Northern Colorado's Cupboard Not Exactly "Bear"

JDAnalyst IAugust 31, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - NOVEMBER 29:  Head coach Mark Mangino of the Kansas Jayhawks looks on from the sidelines during the first half of the game against the Missouri Tigers on November 29, 2008 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

I like predictions. I like hearing them, making them, explaining them and comparing them. Unfortunately, predictions aren't much use here, and I doubt my opinion has much merit to you anyway.

What might be useful to you, however, before you start tossing around uneducated nonsense concerning KU's September 5th season-opener against Northern Colorado is a few important facts. That's where I come in.

I'm not here to stop you from making a ludicrous prediction for this game or any other. Actually, I just want to arm you with the information you need to severely over- or underestimate the Northern Colorado Bears as you please, so take notes.

The first thing you should know is that the Bears have some big names.

Bryan Waggener, an All Big Sky Honorable Mention QB in 2008, originally committed to Florida as a three-star recruit out of Glendora C.C. last summer before transferring to Northern Colorado. He has good size (6' 4", 240 pounds) and put up 2,500 yards passing for the Bears last season, despite adjusting to a new offense. The catch: he threw 15 picks and was sacked 26 times.

Runningback Tyrone Wilson was a Coffeyville C.C. standout as a freshman two years ago before moving on to Northern Colorado. He has shown good improvement since going to Northern Colorado, and at 5' 5" and 200 pounds with a 4.5 40, he is sharp between the tackles.

The second thing you might notice is that Northern Colorado has some big guys.

Wide Receiver Ryan Chelsae is a mammoth at 6' 5" and 240 pounds. He uses his size well, and thanks to improved play and Waggener throwing the passes, his numbers should rise once again this season. He will be a tall task for first-time starter Anthony Davis (6' 0", 190 pounds) this Friday.

Safety Max Hewitt and cornerback Quincy Wofford are a big part of a tall, athletic secondary. They may not shut down Dezmon Briscoe OR Kerry Meier, but at 6' 2" they, at the very least, don't allow much size advantage. Both are adept in coverage as well, each snagging three picks last season.

The last and most important thing you should know about the Bears is that they went 1-10 last season, and they play in the Big Sky Conference. No, this does not bode well well for Northern Colorado, but all signs are pointing to really big improvements this season.

Actually, the Bears have been building up to this season for a while now, and may finish as high as second in their conference this year. Of their seven key contributors, including four of the five players I mentioned above, six are seniors.

These guys all have tons of playing experience in both JuCo's and Northern Colorado, and that can be as valuable a tool as any. Don't expect to see too much sloppy play from this well-practiced Bears squad.

There you have it. Now that you've seen the basics, you're ready to go out into your own KU Football circle and be that one guy in every sports circle who predicts a 75-point blowout, a huge upset loss, or everything in between. Just make sure you sound like you know why it should happen.


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