CU football notes: Buffs focused on 2023 slate, not future in Big 12 – The Denver Post

At some point down the road, the Colorado football team will focus on the competition in the Big 12 Conference.

For now, however, the Buffaloes aren’t concerned about it.

Last week, CU announced that it will leave the Pac-12 for the Big12 in the summer of 2024. To no surprise, CU defensive coordinator Charles Kelly said Wednesday that the Buffaloes are only looking at the 2023 slate.

“Our focus right now has got to be playing our schedule,” Kelly said after the first day of preseason camp. “We’re in a conference right now and it’s got a lot of good players, a lot of good teams, a lot of good coaches. So we’ve got to make sure that we take care of this business that’s in front of us.

“In the future, listen, the Big 12 has always been a great conference, and a lot of good football teams, a lot of good coaches there. When that time comes we’re gonna be really excited, but we’ve got a job to do right now, so we’ve got to focus on what we got in front of us.”

Ironically, the first team in front of the Buffs is future Big 12 foe TCU, as the Buffs will visit the Horned Frogs on Sept. 2.

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Response to Lanning

Earlier this week, Oregon head coach Dan Lanning was asked about CU’s decision to leave the Pac-12. He fired a shot at the Buffs when he said, “Not a big reaction. I’m trying to remember what they won to affect this conference. I don’t remember. Do you remember them winning anything? I don’t remember them winning anything.”

CU hasn’t fared well in its 12 previous seasons in the Pac-12 and the Buffs are projected for an 11th-place finish this year. But, Kelly said the Buffs don’t pay attention to what others think of them.

“It really doesn’t matter what (Lanning) thinks,” Kelly said. “That has no impact on what we do. What we do and our results will be about us. It will not be about what another coach says. It will not be about what somebody on the outside says. It will be about how we prepare, how we go about it. I said this before, everybody can have their opinion. We’re not going to apologize for how we’ve done things, or what we’re doing. We’re going to be us; that’s what we’re going to do.”


CU punter Mark Vassett, a transfer from Louisville, was named to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award on Wednesday. The Ray Guy Award is presented annually to the best punter in the country. … Kelly highlighted defensive lineman Shane Cokes as a player who has stood out this summer. “He goes about his business like a pro,” Kelly said. “He prepares every day, plays hard; good athlete, gives us some ability up upfront.” … In YouTube videos of Wednesday’s practice, quarterback Shedeur Sanders was seen playing behind an offensive line group of Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan (left tackle), Jack Bailey (left guard), Van Wells (center), Jack Wilty (right guard) and Savion Washington (right tackle). … Running back Alton McCaskill IV wore a non-contact jersey. … CU legendary receiver Michael Westbrook was on hand for the Buffs’ first practice.

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