Colorado needs Eric Bieniemy more than Bienemy needs Colorado

Kansas City Chiefs, NCAA Football

The University of Colorado desperately needs a name for its boosters to get behind, and Eric Bieniemy has the enviable position and leverage.

Business is about leverage. Colorado has none. Eric Bieniemy has tons of it.

If the Buffaloes are going to lure their former star running back to be the head football coach in Boulder, they better back up the BRINKS truck. Maybe even a second one.

Colorado is working through the field of candidates after Mel Tucker bolted to take the Michigan State job. Alabama offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian interviewed but is staying in Tuscaloosa, leaving the Buffs with Bret Bielema, Troy Calhoun and Bienemy as the leading candidates. Bienemy may be the front-runner for the job.

Bieniemy, despite being snubbed from getting a head coaching gig at the highest level this NFL offseason, is in a great position. He’s currently presiding as the offensive coordinator for the world-champion Kansas City Chiefs. While no job is foolproof, Bieniemy has the luxury of Patrick Mahomes for a quarterback and Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce as weapons.

If you wanted to make the comparison, Bieniemy is essentially at the Alabama of coordinator gigs.

Eventually, probably much sooner than later, the 50-year-old is going to get the big headset.

Why then, would Bieniemy become the head coach at his alma mater? The team is a Power 5 school in name only, having won reached one bowl game since 2007. It was the Alamo Bowl in 2016 and a 38-8 loss to Oklahoma State.

This would also be Bieniemy’s fourth trip through Boulder and third as a coach, having worked with the running backs (2001-02) and as offensive coordinator (2011-12) in the past. The last two stints didn’t end well. This one is magically going to end wonderfully?

If Colorado athletic director Rick George wants to land Bieniemy, the pitch begins and ends with salary. Want a major name to bring credibility to the program? Fantastic. It’s going to cost $6 million per year as a starting point, putting the job into the top-10 financially.

Anything less and Bieniemy should put his Chiefs hat back on and walk out the door.

By going to Colorado at his age, Bieniemy would be forfeiting the dream of being an NFL head coach. Time is fleeting in the pro football arena, and the saying of out of sight, out of mind is incredibly applicable to it. Bieniemy’s new dream would be leading Colorado back to the Rose Bowl.

And therein lies the other part to this. Does Bieniemy want to travel around the country trying to land three and four-star recruits when he is already surrounded by stars who meet him at work? The hours are long in the NFL but at least there’s a respite. College football offers so many other facets to consider.

If Colorado wants Bieniemy, great. The Buffaloes better come with a heavy briefcase and a long-term deal, expressing full confidence in the man who has far, far more leverage than they do.

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