MacIntyre smells tire fire, bolts San Jose for Colorado

MacIntyre smells tire fire, bolts San Jose for Colorado
December 10, 2012, 11:45 am
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Mike MacIntyre turned around the San Jose State football program, but is leaving for greener pastures in Colorado. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Mike MacIntyre is the ideal football hire for Colorado, for one essential reason. He knows a tire fire when he smells one.

He came to San Jose State after the Spartans had rung out the Dick Tomey era with a 2-10 year in 2009. San Jose State is one of those hardy seasonals – violent spikes surrounded by longer stretches of flatlining – so their struggles at the end of what had been largely an admirable stretch was neither unexpected nor soul-crushing.

MacIntyre came in, yanked the program to its feet in three years, and as is often the case in the quicksilver world of college football coaching, got a better deal at a bigger place. 

A place, it must be said, that is in the midst of a lower ebb than the place State was when he got there.

Colorado is a disaster, pure and simple. Has been, really, since Gary Barnett got the Buffs to the 2001 Fiesta Bowl. Even its entry into the Pacific 12 Conference has not helped its profile – 4-21, and now a national reputation for excrescence whereas its last several years in the WAC made them only a regional eyesore.

So the MacIntyre hire makes sense for a school right on its uppers. He rolls up his sleeves, he puts shovel into dirt, and he knows how to fix the irreparable. 

As for San Jose State, that is a different bucket of abalone entirely. Despite all the suggestions that Jeff Tedford would find a nice place to alight after the Cal adventure ended, and that Stanford coordinators -- offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton and defensive coordinator Derek Mason – are also on the imaginary “short list,” another intriguing choice would be Sacramento State head coach Marshall Sperbeck, who took the Hornets to a 6-5 record, including a win over (wait for it) Colorado.

Then again, San Jose State athletic director Gene Bleymaier knew this day was coming about halfway through the season, so he has no excuse for lack of preparedness. It is the wacky season, after all, and everyone not named Saban is in play somewhere.

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