Two coaches entered the season on the hot seat. One is singing, the other feels the cool relief of victory.
Dan Hawkins won't survive at Colorado. That was the consensus of opinion among everyday Buffaloes followers before the unbelievable collapse at Kansas that resulted in the Jayhawks' 52-45 triumph after trailing by 28 in the fourth quarter.
Hawkins sounded philosophical on the Big 12 coaches teleconference on Monday.
"Life makes no promises," Hawkins said. "Life's an adventure. There are risks to be taken, that's the nature of the job."
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The question now is, does Hawkins finish this dismal season or does athletic director Mike Bohn issue the walking papers and elevate a coordinator?
Whatever happens, the drumbeat is growing louder to reach into the Buffaloes' glory days and restore Bill McCartney as coach.
And folks close to the program say McCartney, 70, is interested.
McCartney took over in 1982 with Colorado coming off a dismal three years of Chuck Fairbanks (7-26). McCartney had the Buffs bowling in his fourth year, winning the Big Eight in his seventh and a piece of the national championship in his ninth. He stepped down after 13 seasons with a 93-55-5 record.
McCartney left football for the ministry, founding Promise Keepers and later Road to Jerusalem. He lives in Boulder and had supported Hawkins, but no more. Colorado's No. 1 fan wants change.
This could be a great move for Colorado if properly handled and give the Buffaloes a road map back to respectability as it begins a new life next year in the Pac-12.
McCartney could come aboard with a new staff that would include his successor. Let McCartney energize the fan base, kick start the recruiting, then turn it over in a few years.
At Texas A&M, Mike Sherman has fended off critics with a three-game winning streak, capped by Saturday's triumph over Oklahoma. The Aggies are 6-3, matching their victory total from last year.
The winning streak has coincided with a quarterback switch, Ryan Tannehill for Jerrod Johnson. Tannehill, a junior who has 112 career receptions as a wide receiver, moved back to his high school position three games ago against Kansas. He's now the Big 12's top-rated passer in league games.
Sherman isn't ready to declare all clear in College Station.
"I don't think you can say you've turned a corner unless you have consistency," said Sherman, who is 16-18 in his third season.
Two quarterback changes that worked
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder went with Collin Klein over Carson Coffman, and Klein rushed for 127 yards and touchdowns in a 39-14 victory over Texas. Snyder said that although Klein hadn't started this season he's been getting as many practice snaps as Coffman.
"We work our quarterbacks probably differently than a lot of others in that we work three quarterbacks (with the first team) during the course of the year," Snyder said.
Texas Tech's Tommy Tuberville benched starter Taylor Potts for Steven Sheffield, but when Sheffield couldn't provide a spark, reinserted Potts. That was the right call as Potts threw three touchdown passes in a 24-17 victory over Missouri.
RANKING THE BIG 12
1. Nebraska (1) KansasMartinez back
2. Oklahoma State (4) at Texas0-12 vs. Mack
3. Oklahoma (3) Texas TechSooners should roll
4. Missouri (2) Kansas StateScoring is a problem
5. Texas A&M (7) at BaylorAggies have new life
6. Kansas State (8) at MissouriIs Klein the QB?
7. Baylor (5) Texas A&MCan Bears rebound?
8. Iowa State (6) at ColoradoNeed win for bowl
9. Texas Tech (10) at OklahomaBig 12 finale
10. Texas (9) Oklahoma StateNightmare continues
11. Kansas (11) at NebraskaSeries ends at 106
12. Colorado (12) Iowa StateCan it get worse?
Last week's ranking in parentheses