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Colorado lands San Jose St's Mike MacIntyre

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Colorado lands San Jose St's Mike MacIntyre

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) Mike MacIntyre's inaugural meeting with his new team lasted just long enough to leave his players with this thought: He's turned around one downtrodden program and he can do the same at Colorado.

Not someday, either, but starting next season.

The 47-year-old coach revived a San Jose State football team in short order. Now, he'll try to fix the beleaguered Buffaloes, who are coming off their worst season in the 123-year history of the program.

``We've got a long way to go. But I've been there before and I know what to do,'' MacIntyre told a room full of boosters and media on Monday night after agreeing to a five-year deal worth $2 million a season. ``There's no reason Colorado shouldn't be at the top of the conference and competing year in and year out.''

His hiring ends a two-week search by Colorado that included a rejection by its first choice, Butch Jones.

MacIntyre inherits a squad that's coming off a 1-11 record this year that led to the firing of Jon Embree. MacIntyre's first order of business was giving his new players a quick pep when he met with them at Folsom Field.

``I think he won a lot of guys over in his confidence, with what he did at San Jose State and what he can do now,'' quarterback Connor Wood said. ``He said we have a lot of talent here and can do the exact same thing. We believe it.''

And yet the past remains fresh for players such as defensive back Parker Orms, who was recruited by former CU coach Dan Hawkins, played for Embree and now will learn a new system under MacIntyre. Like Wood, he fully believes things will be different in Boulder next season, but he wants to see the progress on the field, not just talk about it.

``I came in here (to Colorado) with different expectations,'' Orms said. ``I thought I would be with Hawk the whole time, thought we'd be competing for a national championship. That didn't happen with Hawk. Embree came in and I felt the same way. I really liked both of those coaches.

``I was down a few weeks ago - just another bump in the road. But I met with (MacIntyre) today and he seems like a well-rounded guy. I have a good vibe.''

That's a step in the right direction, MacIntyre said.

``I can tell they're hurting a little bit and they should be,'' he said. ``They want to prove themselves. ... I saw the same thing at San Jose State.''

The Spartans (10-2) are ranked No. 25 in the BCS and are heading to the Dec. 27 Military Bowl in Washington, D.C. to face Bowling Green (8-4), two years after a 1-12 showing in McIntyre's first season. This is the first 10-win season in a quarter century for the Spartans, who are ranked 24th in both the AP and coaches' polls.

MacIntyre, the son of former Vanderbilt coach George MacIntyre, was 16-21 in three years as a head coach at San Jose State after serving as Duke's defensive coordinator and working as a secondary coach for the Dallas Cowboys and New York Jets.

He took over a Spartans program still reeling from limited scholarships following academic penalties by the NCAA stemming from problems before previous coach Dick Tomey arrived. After the 1-12 season featuring a heavy schedule of ranked teams, the Spartans went 5-7 in MacIntyre's second season.

And now they're on the right track.

``Mike provided us with a nice model moving forward for our next head coach to follow,'' San Jose State athletic director Gene Bleymaier said.

Unlike at San Jose State, though, the pressure may be ramped up. After all, the Buffaloes gave a quick hook to Embree.

``There's' always a sense of urgency. But the word I use instead of patience is perseverance,'' said MacIntyre, who's undecided on whether he will coach the Spartans in the bowl game. ``Even at San Jose State when we were 1-12, which was tough, I could see us improving in every aspect.''

So, will the administration give him more leeway to get things straightened out?

``He's not going to be able to turn things around immediately, but I think what we'll see is steady progress and good recruiting, getting ready to make that push,'' school chancellor Phil DiStefano said. ``As far as a competitive athletic program, a competitive academic program, and a coach to put those two together, I think we hit on the right person.''

After missing on their first option.

Last week, Jones rejected a five-year, $13.5 million offer that would have made him the highest-paid coach in CU history, and instead took the vacant head coaching job at Tennessee. Jones also had been promised upgrades at Folsom Field and the team's training center, something MacIntyre has been guaranteed as well.

``Our resolve is undeterred. Our resolve has been escalated,'' athletic director Mike Bohn said. ``We're looking forward to the challenge.''

This marks Bohn's third head coaching hire since he fired Gary Barnett in 2005. Embree had three years remaining on a five-year contract when he was fired after going 4-21.

MacIntyre may have made a good impression on Bohn, but he's got his work cut out from him in winning over some prominent alumni.

Denver Broncos defensive lineman Justin Bannan, who criticized Bohn for not giving Embree more time to turn around the program, said he wasn't sure what to make of MacIntyre's hiring.

``I just got hit with the news, so I'm not sure what to think quite yet. So, I've got to find out who this guy is and what he brings to the table and figure it out from there,'' Bannan said.

The Buffaloes job isn't a glamorous one, with sub-par football facilities and a fan base and booster pool disenchanted by the seven straight losing seasons.

The new coach faces a truncated recruiting season and must try to keep defections to a minimum from a roster that's loaded with freshmen. Still, MacIntyre is confident things can change in a hurry.

After all, he did help recruit San Francisco linebacker Patrick Willis and New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning to Mississippi when MacIntyre was an assistant at the school.

``If you don't believe you can win, you're not going to win,'' MacIntyre said. ``You know how when you go swimming and you kind of stick your toe in the water and you go, `It feels good, I'll jump in' or you go, `It's cold?'

``Sometimes, football teams do that. They stick their toe in and think, `I don't know if I can play with them.' We're not going to do that. We're going to dive in and go play.''

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AP Sports Writers Arnie Stapleton and Janie McCauley contributed.

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Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

Stanley Cup Final 2018: Who could win the Conn Smythe Trophy?

The Stanley Cup is not the only trophy that will be awarded at the end of the Stanley Cup Final series between the Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights. The Conn Smythe will also be given to the player deemed the most valuable to his team during the playoffs.

Who will that player be?

It's not hard to figure out who the frontrunner is right now. Marc-Andre Fleury hasn't just been the best goalie in the playoffs, he's been the best player with a dominant postseason in which he has posted a .947 save percentage and four shutouts. He has been so dominant, he could win it even if Vegas loses the series.

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

The last player from the losing team to win the Conn Smythe was Jean-Sebastian Giguere from the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in 2003.

But what about the Caps?

Alex Ovechkin is the leader of Washington and has been absolutely dominant throughout the postseason. He even scored the series-clinching goal in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

Surprisingly, however, Ovechkin does not lead the team in points through the playoffs. Evgeny Kuznetsov holds that edge with 24 points to Ovechkin's 22.

Will their offensive dominance propel them to win the Cup and the Conn Smythe? Will a different player emerge as the hero of the series?

See the top contenders for the Conn Smythe heading into the Stanley Cup Final here.

MORE CAPITALS PLAYOFF NEWS:

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Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

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Associated Press

Need to Know: A closer look at Alex Smith's contract with the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, May 26, 17 days before the Washington Redskins start minicamp.  

Note: I am vacationing in the Outer Banks this week. In this space, I’ll be presenting some of the most popular posts of the last few months. I hope you enjoy these “best of” presentations and I’ll see you folks when I get back. 

Contract makes Alex Smith a Redskins for at least three seasons

This post was originally published on March 19. 

When the Redskins traded for Alex Smith on January 30, news also broke that he had agreed to a four-year extension with Washington in addition to the one year left on his contract with the Chiefs. While we got some top-line numbers on the deal, we have gone since then without any details. 

Until now. 

The details show a deal that has a slightly higher cap hit in 2018 than was on his original Chiefs contract and the numbers rise gradually over the life of the deal, which runs through 2022. 

Smith got a $27 million signing bonus and his salaries for 2018 ($13 million) and 2019 ($15 million) also are fully guaranteed at signing making the total $55 million (information via Over the Cap, which got data from a report by Albert Breer). 

But there I another $16 million that is guaranteed for all practical purposes. On the fifth day of the 2019 league year, his 2020 salary of $16 million becomes fully guaranteed. He almost assuredly will get to the point where that money will become guaranteed since the Redskins are not going to cut him after one year having invested $55 million in him. So the total guarantees come to $71 million. 

His 2021 salary is $19 million and it goes up to $21 million in 2022. There have been reports of some incentives available to Smith but since we have no details we’ll set those aside for now. 

The cap hits on the contract are as follows: 

2018: $18.4 million
2019: $20.0 million
2020: $21.4 million
2021: $24.4 million
2022: $26.4 million

The Redskins can realistically move on from Smith after 2020. There would be net cap savings of $13 million in 2021 and $21 million in 2022. 

The first impression of the deal is that the Redskins did not move on from Kirk Cousins because they didn’t want to guarantee a lot of money to a quarterback. The total practical guarantee of $71 million is second only to Cousins’ $82.5 million. It should be noted that Cousins’ deal runs for three years and Smith’s contract is for five. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler