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College football: Jon Embree's Colorado team might be the worst in Division I-A

by Berry Tramel Published: September 21, 2012

Colorado seemed to be making a little progress by the end of Jon Embree's first season coaching the Buffs. After a 1-9 start, CU last November beat Arizona and Utah, to finish 3-10.

But now Colorado might be not just the worst team in a BCS conference, but the worst team in all of Division I-A. CU lost a 22-17 heartbreaker to Colorado State in Denver, lost 30-28 to I-AA Sacramento State and lost 69-14 at Fresno State last week in a game that was 55-7 with two minutes left in the first half.

CU hasn't had a winning record since 2005, Gary Barnett's final season coaching in Boulder. Dan Hawkins went 19-39 in five season before he was fired.

Financially-strapped CU hired Embree on the cheap – a five-year contract worth less than $1 million a year, depending on bonuses. Embree is a CU graduate who was an NFL assistant coach, with no head coaching or coordinator experience.

Colorado doesn't have the sport's most rabid fan base, but patience is running thin in Boulder. CU president Bruce Benson this week said he supports Embree's rebuilding efforts but also said he wouldn't interfere with athletic director Mike Bohn's evaluation of the program.

It wouldn't cost Colorado much to buy out Embree -- $500,000 this season, $250,000 next season and nothing at all in 2014 or 2015.

CU on Saturday plays at Washington State, which figured to bring up the Pac-12 rear along with the Buffs. Colorado is a 17 1/2-point underdog. Just 16 games into Embree's head-coaching career, the clock is ticking.