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Preseason Magazines

 

June 17th

ESPN: Four Pac-12 teams on list of top ten most difficult non-conference schedules

From ESPN … It’s worth noting that two of the four teams that made the College Football Playoff last season, Clemson and Georgia, each played two nonconference games against Power 5 opponents.

In fact, Clemson played Auburn and South Carolina, both of which were ranked in the CFP selection committee’s rankings going into the final week of the regular season, and Georgia played both of its games on the road — at Notre Dame and at Georgia Tech. And CFP participant Oklahoma played at Ohio State and won handily.

So maybe challenging nonconference schedules do matter.

With that in mind, we’ve ranked the 10 toughest nonconference schedules for Power 5 teams in 2018, and we haven’t completely forgotten about the Group of 5 teams. A big shoutout to Florida Atlantic, Louisiana and SMU. Lane Kiffin’s Owls play at Oklahoma and at UCF. Billy Napier’s Ragin’ Cajuns play at Alabama and at Mississippi State, and Sonny Dykes’ Mustangs play TCU at home and then at Michigan in back-to-back weeks.

But as far as the 10 toughest Power 5 nonconference schedules, only three of the five leagues are represented. The Big Ten and SEC are noticeably absent. The ACC leads the way with four of the top five toughest slates out of conference and five of the top 10. The Pac-12 is right on the ACC’s heels with four of the 10, and Texas is the lone Big 12 representative.

2. USC

Sept. 1 vs. UNLV, Sept. 15 at Texas, Nov. 24 vs. Notre Dame

Just like a year ago, the Trojans take on two of college football’s most storied programs out of conference. They travel to No. 22 Texas the third week of the season, coming on the heels of the Pac-12 opener on the road at Stanford. Talk about a grueling two-game road trip. USC then ends the regular season with a home date against No. 12 Notre Dame, which thrashed the Trojans 49-14 last season in South Bend.

6. Arizona State

Sept. 1 vs. UTSA, Sept. 8 vs. Michigan State, Sept. 15 at San Diego State

There wasn’t a lot of difference in some of the Pac-12’s toughest nonconference schedules, but Arizona State claimed one of the top spots thanks to its home matchup with No. 9 Michigan State the second week of the season and then a road game the very next week against San Diego State. Rocky Long’s Aztecs have won 10-plus games for three straight seasons, and even though Rashaad Penny is no longer around, junior running back Juwan Washington presents his own set of problems for ASU.

7. Stanford

Aug. 31 vs. San Diego State, Sept. 15 vs. UC Davis, Sept. 29 at Notre Dame

The Cardinal open the season against San Diego State, but it helps that the game is at home. It’s a Friday contest, and then the next week, Stanford gets USC at home. So David Shaw’s club will need to be sharp early. There won’t be anything easy about the month of September for Stanford, which lost to both San Diego State and USC a year ago to start 1-2. The Cardinal close out September with a road game at No. 12 Notre Dame after playing at No. 24 Oregon the week before.

No. 10 – UCLA

Sept. 1 vs. Cincinnati, Sept. 8 at Oklahoma, Sept. 15 vs. Fresno State

The Chip Kelly era in Westwood kicks off with what should be an interesting first few weeks of the season. Looming large is that trip to No. 5 Oklahoma the second week of the season. The Bruins open against Cincinnati at home. But right after tangling with the Sooners on the road, UCLA returns home to face Fresno State, which won 10 games a year ago in Jeff Tedford’s first season and should again be a player in the Mountain West Conference. The Bruins also play at Colorado and then are home against No. 6 Washington in their first five games.

Read full list here

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June 15th

ESPN: Two Pac-12 teams have easy none-conference schedules

From ESPN … Granted, what appears to be a challenging or soft nonconference schedule in June can change dramatically come November or December. Case in point: Alabama played Florida State to kick off last season in a No. 1 vs. No. 3 matchup that at the time was hailed as one of the greatest season openers in history.

Florida State quarterback Deondre Francois suffered a season-ending injury late in that game, and the Seminoles wound up struggling to even make a bowl game.

We were especially hard on those teams not playing any Power 5 opponents in their nonconference slate as well as those teams padding their schedule with FCS foes and/or not playing any true road games.

Of note, there are three Big Ten teams and three SEC teams on this list, including the two teams — Alabama and Georgia — that played in the national championship game a year ago.

So let’s look closer at our ranking of the cushiest nonconference schedules for the 2018 season.

1. Oregon

Sept. 1 vs. Bowling Green, Sept. 8 vs. Portland State, Sept. 15 vs. San Jose State

Just as Pittsburgh was an easy choice for having the toughest Power 5 nonconference schedule, Oregon is the runaway winner for having the softest nonconference schedule.

Not only do the Ducks have three home games, none of which are against Power 5 opponents, but one of those is against FCS foe Portland State.

7. Washington State

Sept. 1 at Wyoming, Sept. 8 vs. San Jose State, Sept. 15 vs. Eastern Washington

For the third straight season, the Cougars don’t face a Power 5 team outside the conference in the regular season. Then again, they lost to both Eastern Washington and Boise State in 2016.

Wyoming takes the place of Boise State on the 2018 schedule, and Washington State has to travel to Laramie. Even without Josh Allen, the Cowboys won’t be an easy out. Nonetheless, it’s a nonconference schedule a lot of teams would take in a heartbeat.

Read full list here

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June 14th

Lindy’s – Five reasons to be concerned about college football

From Lindy’s …

5. Major-college football suffered its biggest per-game attendance drop in 34 years, and second-biggest ever;

4. The average of 42,203 was the lowest since 1997;

3. The – gulp! – S-E-freakin’-C experienced its largest attendance drop since 1992 – 2,433 fans per game;

2. Bowl game attendance has dropped 23 percent since 2010; and

1. It’s free to plop into a barcolounger, grab a beer (or three), and watch every game available via phone, tablet, smarTV, stupid TV, and another phone for 12 hours every Saturday.

Lindy’s non-quarterback transfers who will make a difference (including Travon McMillian)

From Lindy’s …

Here are a dozen non-quarterback transfers set to rock their new uniforms this fall:

From the Pac-12 … 

5. Dylan Klumph, P, Arizona … The Wildcats were so shankerficially bad at punting last season that they ranked last in the nation in net yardage and grew so frustrated that it twice used a tight end to boot the ball. Nice work by new coach Kevin Sumlin, solving a problem by bringing in Klumph, a grad transfer from Cal. Klumph averaged 43.0 yards a punt last season.

6. Casey Tucker, OT, Arizona State … Every coach should be so lucky to pull in a grad transfer left tackle from offensive line factory Stanford. And then new coach Herm Edwards paired Tucker with potential starting left guard Ron Hemsley, a former backup at USC who has two seasons of eligibility with the Sun Devils.

8. Travon McMillian, RB, Colorado … He’s a former 1,000-yard rusher at Virginia Tech, where decreasing playing time led him to a plug-and-play situation in Colorado, which lost productive, speedy back Phillip Lindsay.

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June 13th

The Athletic: “Colorado football trying to recapture magic of 2016”

From The Athletic … It’s kind of hard to believe that one year ago Colorado was coming off a Pac-12 South title, having gone 8-1 in conference play in the regular season, with the lone loss coming to USC by four points.

In 2017, Colorado followed up that division title by finishing 2-7 in conference play, its sixth last-place finish in seven seasons as a member of the conference. Five of the Buffaloes’ seven Pac-12 losses came to teams they had beaten the previous season. They went from playing a top-25 team in the Alamo Bowl in 2016 to a three-loss November that prevented them from going to a bowl game, the ninth time in 10 years that they’ve stayed home for the postseason.

When the Buffs went through practice this spring, head coach Mike MacIntyre said he saw a renewed focus and commitment from a group that was eager to prove it was better than its 2017 record.

How so?

“Their attitude in the weight room, their attitude in the workouts, their attitude at spring practice. Their intensity,” he said. “The way they’ve been handling themselves off the field. Their team camaraderie. I see them hanging out with each other. Leadership by certain guys on our team and an understanding of taking ownership of what each of them is doing on and off the field. Preparing on the field. Their work ethic. Their intensity in practice was better this spring than it was the spring before.”

Even if MacIntyre is truly seeing progress in even half of those places, it’s a good sign for a team that took big steps backward last season, making 2016 look like an anomaly. But perhaps the best sign for Colorado this offseason is that this spring’s intensity was better than the spring when the Buffs were coming off the Pac-12 South title, according to the coaching staff.

“I feel like the guys are hungry,” co-offensive coordinator and wide receivers coach Darrin Chiaverini said. “I feel like coming out of spring ball there are a lot of players with chips on their shoulders who are excited to show that we are a good football team. Guys are excited to get back on the field to show that we’re better than what we did last year.”

Final assessment

The offense is inexperienced beyond Montez at quarterback, and though the defense should take a step forward after dealing with significant attrition last season, this still feels like another rebuilding season in Boulder in which the goal should be to get to six wins and bowl eligibility. The Buffs might not have the talent and consistent depth needed to put together a genuine run at the Pac-12 South title, but they could play spoiler in a wide-open division.

Read full story here

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June 12th

The Sporting News rates Pac-12 Over/Under picks

From The Sporting News

College football win totals for the 2018 season are out, and it’s time to place your bets.

Las Vegas’ South Point Casino released those totals on 129 of 130 college football teams over the weekend. That list starts with traditional powers such as Alabama, Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma, Sporting News’ picks to make the 2018 College Football Playoff.

Sporting News broke down those totals with picks from each Power 5 conference. We took a look at the top, a team to take over, a team to take under and a risky proposition.

The Pac-12 … 

At the top: Washington (10.5)

The Huskies are the prohibitive Pac-12 favorite, but this means they have to win that opener against Auburn and avoid Pac-12 potholes on the road at Utah, UCLA, Oregon and Washington State. This feels like an under unless you believe the Huskies are an 11-win, College Football Playoff team.

Over: UCLA (5)

Chip Kelly didn’t come back to college football to lose seven games, did he? We know the transition will have speed bumps all over the place, and a road trip to Oklahoma will provide that perspective. It might come down to beating either Utah or Oregon, and that visit to Autzen Stadium should be fun. We think Kelly gets to a bowl game.

Under: Arizona State (5)

Patience will be required with Herm Edwards, especially in September against Michigan State, San Diego State and Washington. UTSA isn’t a pushover, and a crossover trip to Oregon isn’t easy either. The Sun Devils also travel to Tucson in the regular-season finale.

Risky business: Arizona (7.5)

Arizona can get to eight wins if they take care of business the first two weeks against BYU and Houston, where Kevin Sumlin’s coaching career took off. With Khalil Tate at quarterback, that’s possible. They’ll have to win one of the road games out of Utah, UCLA and Washington State to clinch it, but we’ll stick with the Pac-12 sleeper for eight wins.

Read full story here

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June 9th

Eight Group of Five Team who could make the College Football Playoffs

From YardBarker.com … The College Football Playoff has been around for four seasons, and so far, it has only included teams from the Power 5 conferences. What will it take for a Group of Five team to crash the College Football Playoff? It will probably require a perfect storm of circumstances.

Power conference teams will have to have unconvincing seasons and leave an opening. Someone will doubtlessly have to go unbeaten. National hype and high-profile names, be they in coaching or playing, would probably help, even though it shouldn’t matter. It will take a lot, but the dream is there every year. UCF certainly came close in 2017, ultimately having to settle for their own definition of a championship.

Here are eight Group of Five teams who have the talent to at least ask some questions of the selection committee in 2018.

3. Boise State

The Broncos won the MWC last season and return a very experienced squad, led by senior quarterback Brett Rypien, nephew of Mark. Rypien will be a four-year starter and comes into his final year of eligibility with a 28-9 record in games he’s played in, giving him the opportunity to cap his career on a very high note. Their non-conference schedule is on the forgiving side, which could hurt their playoff hopes but help their chances of going unbeaten during the regular season, so it’s a double-edged sword.

6. Fresno State

Jeff Tedford’s squad won ten games in 2017 and returns the majority of its starters, which should ensure they’re a factor in the Mountain West next season. They lost just one conference regular season game and were three points away from beating Boise State to the MWC title. All that indicates that the Bulldogs, led by quarterback Marcus McMaryion and a talented group of offensive players, aren’t particularly far off.

7. San Diego State

The loss of running back Rashaad Penny will certainly hurt the Aztecs, but this team returns plenty of talent in other places and has been able to absorb high-profile losses before. They lost just three games last season, one of them a bowl game, so they weren’t that far off from bracketing themselves as one of the elite Group of Five teams. If they beat Fresno State and Boise State — two of the teams who bested them last year — all bets are off.

Read full list here

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June 8th

Lindy’s take on Pac-12’s new coaches

From Lindy’s …

ArizonaKevin Sumlin … Sumlin isn’t from Pac-12 country. Yet there’s reason to suspect the league will be a better fit for him than the high-strung SEC was. Sure, it helps – a lot – to inherit a quarterback as talented as Kahlil Tate, but Sumlin could build a formidable offense anywhere. And he can still recruit the heck out of the state of Texas.

Arizona State … Herm Edwards … Good luck finding anyone who will argue that ASU outdid rival Arizona on the hiring trail. Edwards is essentially an NFL lifer – and hasn’t even coached at that level in a decade – so what, exactly, has prepared him to step into the muck and mire of a middling college program? Maybe athletic director Ray Anderson will laugh last at the sea of doubters, but this is one of those have-to-see-it-to-believe-it scenarios.

Oregon … Mario Cristobal … If Cristobal lifts the Ducks into regular contention for Pac-12 titles, no one will care that he grew up in Miami, played at the U, and couldn’t have possibly see this opportunity coming when he was toiling on Nick Saban’s staff at Alabama from 2013-16. It’s an odd fit, but Cristobal came with Willie Taggart and stayed to finish the job – gotta admire, or at least appreciate, that. Cristobal is an outstanding recruiter who will have to work extra-hard thousands of miles from where most of his key connections are.

Oregon State … Jonathan Smith … This isn’t your run-of-the-mill first-time head coach. Not only is Smith an OSU alum, but he quarterbacked the best team in school history to a Fiesta Bowl victory in 2000. That doesn’t mean this will be a rousing success story (witness, for example, Kliff Klingsbury ongoing struggles to hit it big at Texas Tech), but it’s a pretty cool story. By the way, Smith was born in Pasadena, California. How sweet would it be for him to coach a team to a bowl game there someday?

UCLA … Chip Kelly … Rick Neuheisel was going to be the answer. Then Jim Mora was going to be the answer. Now Kelly is going to be the answer, but there’s no doubt what makes the confidence in him ring particularly true: his previous enormous success not only at the college level, but specifically in the Pac-12. Bruins fans will have a heaping helping of that Oregon-style success, please (hold the controversy). If it looks like a can’t-miss, swims like a can’t-miss, and quacks like a can’t-miss, then in probably is a can’t-miss.

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June 7th

Athlon Predictions:

From Athlon Sports

Washington is the Clear Pick to Win the Pac-12 in 2018

Washington is the clear No. 1 team in the Pac-12 for 2018 and represents the Pac-12’s best shot at a playoff team. Coach Chris Petersen’s squad returns 16 starters, including senior quarterback Jake Browning and running back Myles Gaskin. The line is anchored by the senior duo of Trey Adams and Kaleb McGary at tackle and is among the best in college football. The strength of Washington’s 2018 squad will be its defense. The Huskies held opponents to 16.1 points a game last season and return arguably the best secondary in college football. Petersen’s team has few concerns, but the receiving corps and big plays in the passing game remain an issue. True freshman Marquis Spiker could provide some much-needed playmaking ability on the outside for Browning. Washington opens the year with a huge showdown against Auburn in Atlanta. If the Huskies lose to the Tigers, can they afford another defeat in Pac-12 play and still stay alive in the playoff mix? It’s hard to see a two-loss team getting into the playoff this season, which is why Washington won’t have much margin for error if it loses the opener.

USC, Utah or Arizona at No. 1 in the South?

The Pac-12 South might be the toughest prediction of any division in a Power 5 league this year. USC eventually emerged as Athlon’s pick, but coach Clay Helton’s team is far from secure at No. 1. The question marks for the Trojans start under center. Will true freshman JT Daniels edge Matt Fink and Jack Sears to replace Sam Darnold at quarterback? Until a signal-caller emerges, USC can rely on its offensive line and ground game to win. Sophomore Stephen Carr is a breakout candidate at running back. Also, the defense should be among the league’s best with six returning starters, including standout linebacker Cameron Smith. Arizona has the easiest path to the top of the South, as new coach Kevin Sumlin’s team won’t play Washington or Stanford in the regular season. Additionally, USC visits Tucson in late September. The Wildcats shouldn’t have much trouble scoring points behind dynamic quarterback Khalil Tate, and the defense will continue to improve with nine starters back. Utah edged Arizona in Athlon’s Pac-12 predictions for the second spot in the South, but coach Kyle Whittingham’s team has a tough schedule in 2018. The Utes host Arizona and USC but catch Stanford, Washington and Oregon in crossover play. Junior quarterback Tyler Huntley is poised for a breakout year, and even though only four starters are back, Whittingham’s defense will be solid once again. There’s not much separation between USC, Utah and Arizona. The Trojans have the best overall roster talent and the most upside, which helped to edge the pick at No. 1 to Helton’s team.

Washington State and Mike Leach Facing a Rebuilding Year in 2018

Washington State has won 26 games over the last three years, but coach Mike Leach’s team is in rebuild mode for 2018. The Cougars enter the season without a quarterback that has taken a snap in a Washington State uniform. East Carolina graduate transfer Gardner Minshew will compete with Anthony Gordon and Trey Tinsley for the starting job this fall. Leach’s offensive acumen will keep this unit from falling off too far, but the Cougars lost two starters up front and top two receivers from 2017. In addition to the new faces on offense, the defense has a new coordinator (Tracy Claeys) and must find a replacement for standout tackle Hercules Mata’afa. Despite the turnover, Washington State should go 3-0 in non-conference play and plays five Pac-12 home games. The Cougars will get better over the course of the season, as the offense should find its rhythm in time to guide this team to a bowl game for the fourth straight year.

Read other predictions here

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June 6th 

Stewart Mandel: What’s going on with Colorado State?

From the Athletic … What’s going on at Colorado State? It seemed like years ago they were right there with the Boise States and TCUs as an up-and-coming powerhouse, but now the Rams are just a middle-of-the-pack Mountain West team. What happened? And how can CSU get back to being a scary non-Power 5 team?

Christopher P., Norman, Okla.

Colorado State was an established program before Boise State and TCU started transforming themselves into nationally recognized forces. But that was a looong time ago. Sonny Lubick had a nice run there from 1994 to 2002, regularly winning 10-plus games. Who can forget the great Bradlee Van Pelt era?

But the Rams fell off over his last five seasons, bottoming out at 3-9 in his last year in 2007. Not for nothing, that period coincided with TCU’s arrival in the Mountain West and with league peers Utah (under Urban Meyer and Kyle Whittingham) and BYU (under Bronco Mendenhall) upgrading considerably.

Lubick’s successor, Steve Fairchild, was a train wreck, but the Rams started improving again under Jim McElwain (10-3 in his last season in 2014) and have remained an annual bowl team under Mike Bobo. However, despite the presence of offensive standouts like quarterback Nick Stevens and wide receiver Michael Gallup, Bobo’s teams have been stuck at the 7-6 mark for three consecutive seasons. They’ve yet to beat Boise State since the Broncos joined the conference in 2011, and Bobo is 1-5 against in-state foes Colorado and Air Force.

Colorado State suffers from the same problem as a lot of Group of 5 programs: It can recruit a good quarterback and skill players and score a bunch of points, but it’s yet to figure out how to field a competitive defense. It has not finished higher than the 80s nationally in yards per play allowed since 2012.

Bobo has recruited well since arriving, so maybe that starts to change this season. The Rams did lose Stevens and Gallup on offense, but Washington graduate transfer quarterback K.J. Carta-Samuels is an intriguing addition, and they have other talented receivers. But the Mountain West won’t get any easier this season. Last year’s division champs, Boise State and Fresno State, are still loaded, and San Diego State isn’t going anywhere. Colorado State is just trying to get to eight wins.

Read the complete Stewart Mandel mailbag here

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June 5th

Bill Connelly: Colorado a “Tier 3” team with bowl aspirations

From SB Nation

Bill C’s Pac-12 power rankings

Here’s a link to every team’s data, and each team’s name below is linked to its preview.

Tier 1

1. Washington
2. USC
3. Stanford
4. Oregon

From an S&P+ perspective, Washington almost deserves a tier of its own. The Huskies are projected fourth overall and are favored by double-digits in every regular season conference game. (They would be 9.9-point favorites against USC on a neutral field, too.)

I’m high on UW, but I don’t think I’m quite that high. Or maybe I’m just higher on teams like USC and Oregon.

Either way, I’m thinking of these four teams as by far the most likely to succeed in the conference. Oregon might be a bit of a surprise — it appears I’m higher on Mario Cristobal’s Ducks than most — but they were outstanding when Justin Herbert was healthy, and I expect that to continue.

Tier 2

5. Utah
6. Arizona
7. UCLA

Also known as the three teams that will challenge USC in the South. Utah’s easily got the highest floor of the three, but Arizona’s got Khalil Tate, and UCLA’s got Chip Kelly and remnants from plenty of strong recruiting classes. They’ve therefore got higher upside. All three of these teams have top-25 potential, and I figure one will reach it.

Tier 3

8. California
9. Washington State
10. Colorado
11. Arizona State

For this foursome, it’s all about getting back to a bowl. I thought Justin Wilcox did a nice job at Cal last year, and his two-deep has outstanding continuity, so I trust the Bears the most here. Meanwhile, Wazzu has easily been the most steadily successful team in recent years, but there are a lot of off-the-field issues for Mike Leach.

Tier 4

12. Oregon State

I have talked myself into the Jonathan Smith hire. But he doesn’t have much to work with just yet.

Continue reading rankings story here

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June 3rd

Lindy’s – Five Predictions that might come true

From Lindy’s …

5. Boise State goes undefeated, claiming a Mountain West title, a New Year’s Six Bowl … but, ahem, not a national championship.

4. Nick Saban keeps his entire staff intact after the season.

3. Oregon’s Justin Herbert is the No. 1 quarterback taken in the 2019 draft.

2. Mike Leach returns to the Big 12.

1. Bill Snyder retires on the morning of September 1st to ensure that his son Sean gets the job at Kansas State.

Ten Comeback players includes four players from the Pac-12

From Lindy’s …

Here are some guys notable for missing all or most of last season due to injury … or who have otherwise just been missing:

10. Jake Luton, QB, Oregon State … He was the Beavers’ starter last season when he suffered a thoracic spine fracture. We’re not WebMD, but we don’t love the way that sounds, so it was great to see him back at spring practice. That’s when the 6’7″ senior looks like a snug fit for new coach Jonathan Smith’s pro-style quarterback.

7. Britain Covey, WR, Utah … Freshman All-American in 2015 returned from a two-year church mission to find the Utes had gone spread, too, with coordinator Troy Taylor.

5. Peyton Pelluer, LB, Washington State … A two-time leading tackler comes back for a sixth season after suffering a foot injury early last season.

3. Caleb Wilson, TE, UCLA … He only played five games last season. Thing is, it only took him five games to catch 38 passes for 490 yards (including six for 65 yards in UCLA’s 27-23 win over Colorado).

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June 2nd

Lindy’s rates CU’s strengths and weaknesses

From Lindy’s …

Primary Strengths … The faces may be relatively new, but Colorado’s receiving corps is brimming with talent. Steven Montez will have ample opportunity to improve his passing input … if the line play holds up.

Primary Weaknesses … Colorado’s rush defense was dreadful in 2017, allowing opponents 5.2 yards per attempt. Javier Edwards is a solid anchor on the line, but the Buffs face uncertainty in improving their defense against the run. Conversely, the loss of tackle Jeromy Irwin from a line that surrendered more sacks than all but eight other FBS programs underscores the challenges facing the offense.

Overview … Colorado’s run to the 2016 Pac-12 Championship Game marked a high point the program had not reached in over a decade. After winning ten games for the first time since 2001, the Buffs regressed to their 11th sub-.500 finish in the past 12 campaigns.

Opening the 2018 season with two games away from Folsom Field – the traditional neutral-site meeting with longtime rival Colorado State and first meeting against former Big 8/12 rival Nebraska – will be telling when it comes to the trajectory of the 2018 season.

Mike MacIntyre quote on his veteran players … “I think a lot of those guys are taking the bull by the horns with the younger guys, saying, ‘Hey, you have to know how to do this’ “.

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May 30th

Dr. Saturday ranks Pac-12 quarterback situations

From Yahoo.com Sports … With spring practice in the books and preseason camp still weeks away, we’re really in the doldrums of the college football offseason.

But it’s never too early to look ahead to next season, don’t you think? Quarterback is the most important position on the field, so let’s see how things are stacking up at the position across the country.

We’ll continue with the quarterback situations for each Pac-12 team.

12. Oregon State

11. Washington State

10. UCLA

9. USC

8. Colorado – Steven Montez

With Sefo Liufau often injured, Steven Montez got plenty of playing time during Colorado’s march to the Pac-12 South title in 2016. The Buffs took a few steps back in 2017, going 5-7, but Montez had a pretty solid season on the whole. He threw for 2,975 yards and 18 touchdowns while rushing for 338 yards and three scores, but was pretty inconsistent, especially as Pac-12 play progressed. Colorado needs Montez to progress (and cut down on turnovers) as a junior to get back into contention, but he’ll be forced to do that with a bunch of unproven faces at receiver and running back.

7. California

6. Stanford

5. Utah

4. Arizona State

3. Oregon

2. Arizona

1. Washington

Read the full story here

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May 29th

Win totals for Pac-12 teams

From College Football News … The South Point Hotel and Casino has released the win totals for all 130 teams. Here they are, along with last season’s record for each team. One note: win totals are only for the regular season – they don’t include championship games or bowls.

The Pac-12 … 

PAC-12 NORTH

Cal Golden Bears

Early Win Total: 5.5
2017 Record: 5-7
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

Oregon Ducks

Early Win Total: 8.5
2017 Record: 7-6
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

Oregon State Beavers

Early Win Total: 2.5
2017 Record: 1-11
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

Stanford Cardinal

Early Win Total: 8
2017 Record: 9-5
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

Washington Huskies

Early Win Total: 10.5
2017 Record: 10-3
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

Washington State Cougars

Early Win Total: 6.5
2017 Record: 9-4
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

PAC-12 SOUTH

Arizona Wildcats

Early Win Total: 7.5
2017 Record: 7-6
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

Arizona State Sun Devils

Early Win Total: 5
2017 Record: 7-6
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

Colorado Buffaloes

Early Win Total: 4
2017 Record: 5-7
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

UCLA Bruins

Early Win Total: 5
2017 Record: 6-7
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

USC Trojans

Early Win Total: 8.5
2017 Record: 11-3
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

Utah Utes

Early Win Total: XX
2017 Record: 7-6
– Schedule Breakdown & Analysis

 

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May 28th

Street and Smith’s view of CU’s defense – “solid depth and experience” in the secondary

From Street and Smith’s … Colorado’s defense might deserve a lot of the blame for last season’s regression, allowing 208 yards rushing per game and recording just 22 sacks last season. But the arrival of big, athletic juco transfer Mustafa Johnson to the line helps considerably, while returning starters Drew Lewis and Rick Gamboa will be rejoined by Nu’umotu Falo, Jr., who was dismissed last season for off-field issues. Davion Taylor gives CU a hybrid linebacker/defensive back option, too.

Even though the secondary has to replace standouts Isaiah Oliver, who declared early for the NFL draft, there’s solid depth and experience there. Overall, CU actually has less transition than last season, when the Buffs had to replace eight defensive starters, and no off-field controversy. That could translate into a step or two back in the right direction.

Trap games for Pac-12 title contenders

From The Sporting News … Admiral Ackbar may be gone, but he isn’t forgotten, as long as one of our favorite Sporting News college football traditions continues.

The iconic Star Wars character was needlessly killed off in “The Last Jedi,” but his timeless warning stands as a tradition for every season. How will we remember Ackbar? How else? “It’s a trap!”

Several college football teams fell victim to trap games in 2017, most notably when Iowa snuck up on Ohio State in a 55-24 rout that kept the Buckeyes out of the College Football Playoff. A trap game could be a sandwich game, an untimely visit to unfriendly confines or a simple spoiler that comes at the worst time. Trap games can be sprung at any time, even if we’re always looking for them.

Pac-12 contenders … 

USC … Trap: at Arizona (Sept. 29)

It’s a similar trap-door setup as last September, when USC had to get through Stanford, Texas and Cal before a Friday night game they lost at Washington State. This year, the Trojans play at Stanford, at Texas and at home against Washington State before a trip to Tuscon, where Khalil Tate should be settled in with first-year coach Kevin Sumlin.

Stanford … Trap: vs. Utah (Oct. 6)

The Cardinal have a front-loaded September schedule that opens with a revenge game against San Diego State before a Pac-12 championship rematch against USC and consecutive road trips to Oregon and Notre Dame. The first week of October features Utah, which will be looking for revenge after losing 30-0 to the Cardinal last season. It’s a dangerous spot.

Washington … Trap: at UCLA (Oct. 6)

The Huskies also play at Utah and Oregon in the first half of the season, but the trip to the Rose Bowl could be dangerous, given Chip Kelly’s offense should be on the right track and UCLA will already have had a big game at Oklahoma under its belt. It’s also worth knowing Washington hasn’t won at UCLA since 1995.

—–

May 27th

Lindy’s Top 25 includes four teams from the Pac-12

From Lindy’s …

No 8 … Washington

No. 13 … Stanford

No. 19 … USC

No. 22 … Oregon

No. 32 … Utah

No. 34 … Arizona

No. 44 … UCLA

No. 50 … Arizona State

No. 52 … California

No. 55 … Washington State

No. 73 … Colorado

No. 91 … Oregon State

—–

May 26th

Street and Smith’s view of CU’s offense – “Colorado’s offensive line is promising”

From Street and Smith’s … While Mike MacIntyre enjoyed an off-season of stability this time, there are plenty of issues on the field. Among the challenges: replacing rusher Phillip Lindsay, who had a school-record 301 carries last season, and getting more consistency from quarterback Steven Montez.

The good news is that Montez has six capable receiving targets, including MacIntyre’s son, Jay, along with seniors Kabion Ento and Juwann Winfree, sophomore K.D. Nixon and deep threat Laviska Shenault Jr.  Colorado’s offensive line is promising, especially if the highly regarded Jacob Moretti can shake off the leg injuries that sidelined him last season.

While redshirt freshman Alex Fontenot improved considerably at running back in the spring, he’ll have to fight off Virginia Tech grad transfer Travon McMillian, a quick and powerful back who rushed for 2,153 yards and 16 touchdowns over three seasons with the Hokies.

—–

May 25th

Stewart Mandel’s Top 25 college football coaches

From The Athletic … Recently I got a Mailbag question from John in Boston asking where I’d rank Utah’s Kyle Whittingham among active coaches. I initially planned on addressing it in Wednesday’s column, but to do so I would have to actually sit down and actually rank all those coaches (at least until I got to Whitt).

So I figured, why not just publish the list on its own?

I’ve done this many times, most recently in 2016, and the biggest challenge is not letting the previous season cloud your larger perception of each guy. Most have much longer track records, and there are inevitable up-and-down seasons along the way.

But to be clear, recent performance (the past three seasons or so) is unquestionably the biggest factor. This is not a career achievement ranking, it’s a list of who I think are the best coaches right now.

4. Chris Petersen, Washington

Whereas the first three on this list primarily mold bands of four- and five-stars into finished products, Petersen — 37-17 at Washington after a remarkable 92-12 run at Boise State — has turned 14 two- or three-star recruits into first- or second-round draft picks.

8. David Shaw, Stanford

Shaw became the winningest coach in program history (73-22) after just seven seasons. He’s established a highly successful program (three Pac-12 titles and three Heisman Trophy runners-up) despite a limited pool of recruits that can even qualify to Stanford academically.

9. Chip Kelly, UCLA

To be honest, I have no idea where to rank a guy who was top three at the time of his dominant four-year run at Oregon (46-7) but will be coaching college ball for the first time in six years. He and Shaw were running neck-and-neck in the Pac-12 by the end, so I put Kelly here.

21. Kyle Whittingham, Utah

Before last year’s 7-6 down season, Utah finished in the top 25 for three consecutive seasons. Whittingham’s teams can be counted on to play physical up front on both sides of the ball. He also owns a crazy 11-1 bowl record. Now he just needs to get to that first Pac-12 title game.

24. Mike Leach, Washington State

After a complete rebuild, Leach has Wazzu doing much the same thing as he did at Texas Tech, winning eight or nine games a year and throwing a whole lot of passes to do it. His system works. Unfortunately for Leach, he’s also gotten crushed by rival Washington.

25. Scott Frost, Nebraska

Remember I said at the top not to read too much into one season? If I did, I’d have Frost in the top 10 given his UCF team’s remarkable undefeated season last year, just two years removed from going winless. Check back in 2020 to see how far he’s climbed.

Read full list here

—–

May 24th

Athlon’s analysis of of Colorado

From Athlon … National forecast: 67 … Pac-12 South prediction: 5th … Projected record: 6-6, 4-5 in Pac-12 …

An opposing Pac-12 assistant coach“You look at Colorado and see a program that made a great run in 2016, but might not be able to sustain that. There’s still questions about how they fit into the conference in terms of identity”. 

Stat corner … -1.33 … CU’s average points per trip inside the 40 decreased by 0.65 on offense and 0.68 on defense. That’s a minus-1.33 swing – not good.

Final analysis … After a South Division title in 2016, Colorado entered last season eager to prove it was more than a one-hit wonder. Instead, the Buffs settled into their familiar spot at the bottom of the division. MacIntyre is only one year removed from winning National Coach of the Year honors and signed a contract extension (through 2021), but there’s pressure to get the Buffs back to the postseason. There’s enough talent and hunger to get them there, but not much margin for error.

Street and Smith’s – Pac-12 Trends 

From Street and Smith’s … Three Trending Stories to Watch

1. Chip Kelly’s return … If anyone can shake the Bruins from years of underachievement, it the former Oregon offensive whiz. He just needs time to rework the roster.

2. Desert contrast … The differing hires of Arizona and Arizona State will be compared for years, with Arizona attached to the laid-back Kevin Sumlin and Arizona State going with the energetic Herm Edwards.

3. Football, elevated … With USC replacing quarterback Sam Darnold and three other South division teams breaking in new coaches, maybe this is the year that Utah breaks through for an outright division title.

Jon Wilner: CU’s skill position lineup worst in the Pac-12 South

From the San Jose Mercury News … Please note that I haven’t included every rotation player at each skill position; those named below could be considered the best bets to make a consistent impact.

In coming weeks, we’ll dive deep into other positions and examine impact newcomers — not only the graduate transfers but true freshmen and assistant coaches, as well.

6. Colorado
QB: Steven Montez
TBs: Travon McMillian, Beau Bisharat
WRs: Juwann Winfree, Laviska Shinault, Jay MacIntyre, K.D. Nixon
TEs: Chris Bounds
Comment: The case for a higher placement requires a leap of faith that’s not easy to make, even in Boulder’s thin air. The Buffs will trot out a quarterback coming off a mediocre season who’s without his top playmaker (Philip Lindsey) and a trio of receivers that combined for 150+ catches last season — a daunting situation all around. McMillian, the Virginia Tech transfer with 2,000 career rushing yards, provides a source of hope, and the receivers just might exceed the modest expectations. Unless Montez becomes markedly more efficient, the Buffs will struggle.

Read full article here

—–

May 23rd

Pac-12 regular season over/under win totals

From BetDSI.comPretty consistent with what we’ve been seeing in the preseason magazines, with Washington and USC the favorites in each division, and Oregon getting a lot of love (if for no other reason than the Ducks’ non-conference schedule is Bowling Green, Portland State and San Jose State). Colorado, at 5.5 wins, is right there with UCLA, Cal, and Arizona State as the “bubble teams” which may or may not go bowling in 2018 … 

Washington 2018 regular season win total

  • Over10 (-120)
  • Under10 (-110)

USC 2018 regular season win total

  • Over9 (-120)
  • Under9 (-110)

Stanford 2018 regular season win total

  • Over8.5 (-115)
  • Under8.5 (-115)

Washington State 2018 regular season win total

  • Over7.5 (-115)
  • Under7.5 (-115)

Oregon 2018 regular season win total

  • Over7.5 (-110)
  • Under7.5 (-120)

Arizona 2018 regular season win total

  • Over7 (-115)
  • Under7 (-115)

Utah 2018 regular season win total

  • Over7 (-115)
  • Under7 (-115)

Colorado 2018 regular season win total

  • Over5.5 (-115)
  • Under5.5 (-115)

UCLA 2018 regular season win total

  • Over5.5 (-125)
  • Under5.5 (-105)

Arizona State 2018 regular season win total

  • Over5 (-125)
  • Under5 (-105)

California 2018 regular season win total

  • Over5.5 (+100)
  • Under5.5 (-130)

Oregon State 2018 regular season win total

  • Over3 (-115)
  • Under3 (-115)

Street and Smith’s foresees eight Pac-12 bowl eligible teams; Mike MacIntyre on the hot seat

From Street and Smith’s projected finish for the Pac-12

Pac-12 North

1. Washington – Rose Bowl

2. Stanford – Fiesta Bowl

3. Oregon – Alamo Bowl

4. California – Las Vegas Bowl

5. Washington State

6. Oregon State

Pac-12 South

1. USC – Holiday Bowl

2. Utah – Foster Farms Bowl

3. UCLA – Sun Bowl

4. Arizona – Cactus Bowl

5. Colorado 

6. Arizona State

On the rise … Arizona … Khalil Tate superb dual-threat abilities and new coach Kevin Sumlin’s track record with quarterbacks suggest an ideal match. If the defense continues to improve, Arizona will challenge for the Pac-12 title.

On the wane … Washington State … Even before quarterback Tyler Hilinski’s tragic suicide, the Cougars were hitting a plateau. It will be a minor upset if Mike Leach can prevent it from becoming a slide.

Top Transfer … Travon McMillian, RB, Colorado … The Virginia Tech transfer will help the Buffs replace Phillip Lindsay.

Hottest Seat … Mike MacIntyre, Colorado … Issues on and off the field in 2017 quickly dented the reputation of the 2016 National Coach-of-the-Year.

—–

May 21st 

Athlon had a hard time trying to figure out Oregon and USC

From Athlon Sports … Predictions for any FBS conference and all 130 college football teams are an inexact science. Some teams are just a bigger mystery than others or a hard program to get a read on for the upcoming year. Coaching changes, transfers, players returning from injury, scheme tweaks or just overall depth chart concerns make any preseason prediction difficult for a number of teams. While any FBS team could fall into the “wild card” category, Athlon selected 10 that we thought were some of the toughest to rank in our prediction meetings.

Which teams are the biggest wild cards and the toughest to rank for 2018? Here are 10 candidates:

Oregon

Considering Oregon had just three head coaches from 1977-2012, it’s odd to see this program on its third in three years. Mario Cristobal was promoted to head coach after Willie Taggart left for Florida State, and the Miami native surrounded himself with a standout staff, including defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt. As with any new head coach, Cristobal will put his stamp on the program. However, drastic changes aren’t needed for a team capable of pushing Washington in the Pac-12 North. Quarterback Justin Herbert missed five games due to a collarbone injury last fall but is poised for a huge junior campaign. The biggest concerns on offense rest at the skill positions – usually a stalwart in Eugene. Standout running back Royce Freeman is gone, and Herbert needs another playmaker – perhaps Wake Forest transfer Tabari Hines – to step up on the outside. Oregon’s defense showed marked improvement under Leavitt’s watch last fall. The Ducks allowed 29 points a game, down from 41.4 in 2016. More improvement should be expected with seven starters back, including standout end Jalen Jelks and linebacker Troy Dye. The schedule also breaks in Oregon’s favor. The Ducks host Stanford and Washington and won’t play USC from the South. Assuming Cristobal builds off what Taggart started last fall, Oregon will push for double-digit wins.

USC

The Pac-12 South is one of the toughest divisions to get a read on this preseason. Arizona, Utah and USC each have a case to be picked at the top of the South for 2018. However, out of that trio, the Trojans were the toughest team for Athlon’s editorial staff to evaluate. The defending Pac-12 champs must replace quarterback Sam Darnold, running back Ronald Jones and leading receiver Deontay Burnett, while finding improvement on a defense that gave up 26.1 points a game last season. The spring didn’t provide any clarity to the quarterback battle, with true freshman JT Daniels likely to win the job once he arrives on campus this summer. Talent certainly isn’t an issue for the five-star prospect, but he did not play his senior year in high school after reclassifying to come to Los Angeles a year early. The Trojans return enough talent to expect improvement on defense, but this unit has to cut down on the big plays allowed (18 of 40 or more yards in 2017). Considering the new faces on offense, how long will it take USC to reload on this side of the ball? And until the pieces fall into place for this unit, can coach Clay Helton lean on his defense? Adding to Helton’s concerns is a schedule that features road trips to Stanford, Texas, Arizona, Utah and UCLA.

Read other selections here

—–

May 20th

Street and Smith’s Top 25 rankings includes three from Pac-12 

From Street and Smith’s

1. Alabama … 2. Clemson … 3. Ohio State … 4. Georgia … 5. Oklahoma

6. Wisconsin … 7. Washington … 8. Miami … 9. Michigan … 10. Penn State

11. Michigan State … 12. Auburn … 13. Stanford … 14. Notre Dame … 15. USC 

16. Virginia Tech … 17. LSU … 18. Florida State … 19. Mississippi State … 20. UCF

21. Boise State … 22. West Virginia … 23. Texas … 24. South Carolina … 25. Kansas State

—–

May 19th

Athlon Preseason rankings – CU bowl eligible, but not bowl worthy

Pac-12 projected standings

Pac-12 North

No. 8 – Washington … 11-2; 8-1 … Rose Bowl v. Michigan

No. 18 – Stanford … 8-4; 6-3 … Holiday Bowl v. Iowa

No. 23 – Oregon … 8-4; 5-4 … Foster Farms Bowl v. Northwestern

No. 49 – California … 7-5; 4-5 … Las Vegas Bowl v. San Diego State

No. 64 – Washington State … 6-6; 3-6 … bowl eligible, but no bowl bid

No. 102 – Oregon State … 2-10; 0-9

Pac-12 South

No. 21 – USC … 9-4; 7-2 … Alamo Bowl v. West Virginia

No. 28 – Utah … 8-4; 5-4 … Cactus Bowl v. Iowa State

No. 32 – Arizona … 8-4; 5-4 … Sun Bowl v. Louisville

No. 50 – UCLA … 6-6; 4-5 … Birmingham Bowl v. UCF

No. 67 – Colorado … 6-6; 4-5 … bowl eligible, but no bowl bid

No. 68 – Arizona State … 5-7; 3-6

… Pac-12 championship game: Washington over USC

—–

May 18th

Bill Connely’s CU 2018 preview – Was 2016 a mirage?

From SBNation … The shine can wear off pretty quickly.

In the first week of December 2016, there wasn’t a better story in college football than Mike MacIntyre’s Colorado Buffaloes. In his fourth year in Boulder, MacIntyre had pulled off a rise that would have made Bill McCartney proud. The engineer of CU’s mid-1980s rise, McCartney had won seven games across his first three seasons before winning seven in his fourth and never looking back.

MacIntyre’s feat was similar: 10 wins over the first three seasons, 10 in the fourth. Colorado surged from 98th to 18th in S&P+ thanks to a solid offense and an aggressive defense. They were projected to fall thanks to turnover, but once you’ve broken through, you never want to think previous depths are possible again.

They’re very much possible.

The good feelings subsided before the 2017 season began, and not because 2016 ended with two blowout losses. MacIntyre was punished over the summer for his handling of domestic abuse allegations regarding one of his assistant coaches.

Fair or unfair, the case made it look as if Colorado tried to brush dirt under the rug because it didn’t want to disrupt its newfound ability to win.

And then CU also stopped winning.

Read the full (in-depth, and fair) assessment of the 2018 CU Buffs here

51 Responses to “Preseason Magazines”

  1. VKBerlin

    Okay then hurry up season.

    So Howell says and Stu repeats that Jay is going into his senior season.

    Hmmmmm

    He just graduated in May.

    How can that be.

    So He ain’t a senior.

    He ain’t a fifth year senior

    He is a:

    “Graduate Un-Transfer” student athlete.

    Interesting ain’t it?

    Buffs.

    • AZBuff

      Sooooo? What’s the big problem, VK? You really do have a problem with Jay and I can’t understand why. Just because you have lost faith in the Dad as HC doesn’t mean that Jay is chopped liver. Get over it, and if and when Jay makes some more of those critical 1st down catches this coming year, at least let up on the snarky comments.

  2. buffnaustin

    I watched Canadian Football last night. And I liked it.

    • That is friggin’ HI larious.

      I actually saw CFL on the guide, and didn’t have the courage to watch… I think I clicked to a South Park rerun, instead.

      Go Buffs.

      • buffnaustin

        It is kind of hard to follow, not knowing all of the rules, but it is football filler. I will watch it every week from now until NFL preseason just o get a taste.

      • buffnaustin

        Don’t get me wrong I didn’t watch the whole game but enough to whet my appetite.

  3. VKBerlin

    Did I hear/read/dream that Phil Steele predicted the Buffs are going to the Vegas bowl?

    Did I?

    Stu??????

  4. VKBerlin

    So when does the season start? From Today 6-12-18

    14 weeks or so?

    Damn, as it gets closer the anxieties/expectations/desires continue to be positively impacted by……EVERYTHING. Reality be damned. Negativity get outta here. Sheep, get in a “column of ducks” and lets go.

    5-0 Win every conference home game. (Which is entirely possible)
    2-2 Split the conference road games. (Which is also entirely possible)

    Mein Gott…………….Bring on the alcohol……….I gotta get sober.

    Up the Buffs.

    Note: Kelly needs to be welcomed back to the pac 12 correctly. This has to happen. He and his brewns need to be whipped up front and whipped hard.
    Buffs get that chance.

    Other Note: Lotta pressure on the Buffs. Lotta pressure.

  5. VKBerlin

    Earach,

    The Title says “Complete Pac-12 Preview”

    So like you tell your clients “Don’t read the fine print, just sign the papers. Trust me I’m a loan officer”

    In the Complete Preview,

    They predicted The Mighty Buffs

    Conference 4-5
    Overall 6-6

    Well there ya go.( Best one yet)

    Buffs.

    Note: Two martini loan officer lunch at 9:30. Nap at noon. Nice!

    • Oh silly LaVar, your lack of knowledge and insight about my business is only surpassed by your lack of knowledge about football.

      My point wasn’t that CU wasn’t in their chart, it was that they omitted them from their narrative, when there are several story lines they could have touched upon about CU.

      Just another of your posts that includes more babbling about me than anything else. Sigh.

      Go Buffs.

  6. That’s awesome. Did I just not see it, or does Athlon think so much of CU’s football program that they didn’t even get mentioned in their Pac 12 preview?

    Wow. The off season continues setting up for the Buffs to surprise everyone again this year.

    Go Buffs.

    • VKBerlin

      And there is this from Athlon Complete Pac 12 Preview:

      Top Newcomer
      Steven Lassan..Tabari Hines WR, Oregon
      Braden Gall.. Travon McMillian RB, Colorado
      Mitch Light.. Travon McMillian RB, Colorado
      Mark Ross.. Travon McMillian RB, Colorado

      Up the Buffalo

  7. VKBerlin

    The Mighty Buffs are a Tier 3 Pac-12 team?

    The Mighty Buffs are still a Tier 3 team after 5 years going on 6?

    The Mighty Buffs were a tier 3 team when TunaMac arrived.

    What the hell is going on out there?

    Well okay then.

    Beat CSU
    Beat that other team
    Beat the other 3 tier 3 teams.
    Beat one tier 2 team (At least one)

    And Bowl game.

    Buffalo up

    • VKBerlin

      Wow CU is a “tier 3” and CSU is “middle of the pack”

      Perspective?

      Whup them middle of the pack type wam a lamma ding dongs.

      Buffs.

  8. ep

    Speaking of Vegas, the BZ just alerted us that legalized sport gambling is coming on everything and everywhere. As if the players didnt have enough distractions. Everything is going to hell (except the Vegas hockey team) and I may just retire to California Baja Sud….ceviche and cerveza everyday

  9. VKBerlin

    Wow Vegas. I ain’t rooting for your hockey team any more. And I already hate your football team. Yur a stinky lil town dang nab it.

    Guess ya gotta pay for the details cause there ain’t much there as to why. Sheesh everything in Vegas used to be free………..if you gambled.

    Win 4 games eh?
    So that would be 2 and 7 in the PAC 12????
    (So in The Pac 12, TunaMac would then be 14 and 40 after 6 years?..Holy smelly fish. That some deep sheet right there.)

    CSU?
    New Hampshire
    OSU
    ?

    4-8 and 2 and 7 TunaMac should just resign.

    Oh No Buffalo

    • ep

      It is a stinky town but the hockey team aint stinky. I am still watching and rooting for Vegas. These guys are castoffs from other teams and none of them take even 2 seconds off during a shift. Hockey may be getting better but it has always been a good ol boy system and these vegas players are blowing that out of the water.

      Y’all know, of course, they could win the cup in their first year of existence

  10. Four wins is the over/under? Wow. I’m not much of a gambler, but I may have to figure out how to place a bet for the over on that one.

    Go Buffs.

  11. Rob Thompson

    Hell, this team has at least seven wins this year. Last year was a fluke, there is way more talent on this team than 2016.

    • VKBerlin

      I truly want you to be right.
      I truly do.

      Even though it would mean TunaMac would be here another year, I just want the Buffs to win.

      Please oh Big White Buffalo have mercy on our hoofs.

  12. ep

    I have nothing but derision for most of these preseason predictions but when I see Vegas betting CU will only win 4 games that sets off an alarm.
    When you are only expected to win 4 what difference does a trap game make?

    • VKBerlin

      Hey maybe when they talk about CU trap games they mean they are trap games for the team the Mighty Buffs are playing.

      Ya that’s it. I believe that I really do.

      Ye ol reverse trap game theory.

      Wow

  13. VKberlin

    Trap games?

    Guess the Mighty Buffs didn’t make the list of Pac 12 contenders with trap games!

    Buffalo Up.

    Note: TunaMac…………..every game is a trap game for you. Take a memo.

  14. VKberlin

    Lindy’s 73?

    What? What the hell do they know?
    The buffalo coach has a losing record. This is his sixth year as the Buff Head Coach and his ninth head coaching season overall. What?

    I guess you cannot discount that.

    Oh Well

    Year number 6 here we go.

    buffs

    Get a Bowl please.

  15. VKberlin

    Golfing done.
    Watching the Indy and golf. NBA game 7 Nice.

    Great Sunday.

    Golf tomorrow. Grilling and chilling. The 600. NBA game 7 Nice

    Happy Memorial Weekend

    The Go Buffs 2018

    Positives:

    A real qb coach.
    No Lindgren offense
    New co-oc’s
    Good QB
    Good receivers
    New DLine coach
    Additional DB coach
    Best athletes on defense (Old and new)

    Negatives: NONE

    Question Marks:
    Oline
    Running back
    DC
    HC

    Buffalo Up

  16. VKberlin

    Ye ol Crossroads, other roads, no roads, any road.

    the intersection of a line and a line, can be a line, a point, or the empty set.

    Which intersection is it for the Buffs?

    The continuing line?
    The endpoint?
    The abyss?

    go buffs

  17. ep

    An opposing Pac-12 assistant coach … “There’s still questions about how they fit into the conference in terms of identity”.

    Too bad Athlon didnt ID that assistant coach. It was a down year for the entire conference and this arrogant nimrod says this? Was it someone from high and mighty University of spoiled children? Was it someone from Utah trying to separate themselves from their fellow newcomer? Or was it actually from someone from another insecure bottom feeder trying to make themselves feel better by stepping on someone else. Maybe even sour grapes from Lingering?

    The Buffs did win the South 2 years ago. thats a fact jack

    • ep

      one more thing for that “astute” assistant coach…CU’s APR. How does that fit into the conference ID, sparky?

    • EP you know as well as anyone, after a decade of futility, it takes more than closing the blowout gap and one magical year to gain much, really any, respect.

      The team, including coaches, knew they had something to prove last year. They didn’t prove much on the positive side.

      The good news? I am betting that turns into fuel on the fire this year. Montez steps up hugely. The defense gains some composure in the trenches, and they again surprise the “experts “.

      Go Buffs.

  18. VKBerlin

    I want the Mighty Buffs to show it all in the first game. Show em so much that the kornkobs and the rest of the Pac can see what they are up against. A

    A MONSTER

    Non of this hold back krap. Show em it all and let em get prepared for that eh?

    Screw those closed practices and whimpy game plans and ‘TunaMac’ like “playing not to lose”

    Dang nab it time to play some 1990 Colorado kick arse football.

    It just sucks….Well it does….it really does.

    TunaMac take all your awards, put em in the garage. You ain’t shown nothing yet.

    You got anything to show? Six years baby Six years.

    Sheesh Buffs

    • Old Codger

      Sheesh! TunaMac has more wins and more awards after his sixth year that the original Mac did! And just about the same number of assistants replaced (up-graded) !!!

      Love it how AC QB VK Shnitzle bemoans the quality of assistants, then turns around immediately and bemoans the upgraded replacements for those same-said assistants (judgement withheld on Elliot; no DC is going to lose 13 impact players, eight of whom were starters, off his team without feeling it).

      • VKBerlin

        Well first off, up you meds, cause TunaMac has only coached here 5 years, and has coached 4 more games cause they increased the schedule.

        And Mac has more wins in conference while only playing in the first 5 years 35 conference games will TunaMac has played 45

        Conference games is where it is at. And don’t make me dig up who Mac played out of conference vs TunaMac.

        Coaching tree of TunaMac
        Kent Baer, previously defensive coordinator at San Jose State under MacIntyre, was interim head coach for San Jose State for the 2012 Military Bowl after MacIntyre resigned to take the head coaching position at Colorado.
        Tim Landis, MacIntyre’s first offensive coordinator and tight ends coach at San Jose State, became head coach at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2011. Before joining MacIntyre’s staff at San Jose State, Landis was a head coach at Davidson, Saint Mary’s, and Bucknell.

        Coaching tree of Mac
        Assistants to McCartney who became college or pro head coaches:

        Gary Barnett: Northwestern (1992–1998), Colorado (1999–2005)
        Jim Caldwell: Wake Forest (1993–2000), Indianapolis Colts (2009–2011), Detroit Lions (2014–2017)
        Ron Dickerson: Temple (1993–1997), Alabama State (1998–1999), Lambuth (2010)
        Gerry DiNardo: Vanderbilt (1991–1994), LSU (1995–1999), Birmingham Thunderbolts (2001), Indiana (2002–2004)
        Jon Embree: Colorado (2011–2012)
        Mike Hankwitz: Arizona (2003), Colorado (2005)
        Steve Logan: East Carolina (1992–2002)
        Les Miles: Oklahoma State (2001–2004), LSU (2005–2016)
        Rick Neuheisel: Colorado (1995–1998), Washington (1999–2002), UCLA (2008–2011)
        Bob Simmons: Oklahoma State (1995–2000)
        Lou Tepper: Illinois (1991–1996), Edinboro (2006–2010), IUP (2012–2014)
        Ron Vanderlinden: Maryland (1997–2000)
        Scott Wachenheim: VMI (2015–present)

        I am hoping the TunaTeam can live up to the awards that the DC got for him.

        Buffs

  19. ep

    Buffs shouldn’t finish worse than 4th in the South. I will be extremely disappointed if they dont at least come in 3rd. USC should wind up 1st. With 3 new coaches trying to get their programs back up the loss of Darnold wont make much difference with all the other 5 stars on their roster. The Buffs will have to beat out either Utah or UCLA for the third spot. I think Kelly is going to do more than people think ….but hey, maybe the Buffs wind up at 2. Keys being improvement on the O and D and the D not giving up any complete breakdowns like Tate last year.

  20. I figure if we see Montez improve as he should with his leadership, touch on the ball and most importantly, reading and reacting so he’s making better decisions more quickly, and the defense goes from abysmal in run defense to at least not sieve-like, they’ll get 7-8 wins and a decent bowl game.

    But, that’s a pretty short pre-season dead zone story, so… they gotta find something to write about, and it sure ain’t our Buffs.

    99 days of no football on TV, 99 days of… oh never mind.

    Go Buffs.

  21. I’ll say it again. This season will hinge upon two key factors for our Buffs. Nothing earth shattering. The offense will go as Montez goes. If he progresses like I think and hope he can? They’ll do just fine.

    If the defense can step up their run defense, that’ll be huge.

    Pretty basic stuff. If they can do those two key things, they’ll win 8 games.

    You can’t fill the pre-season dead zone with stories like that, though.

    Go Buffs.

  22. ep

    Pretty shallow analysis by Wilner focusing only on the skill positions. Doesn’t he know Defense plays half the role and wins championships?

    Aside from all the 5 stars perennially on the USC squad South is a mystery. Here is my humble prediction. USC, of course, will be on top due to all the rebuilding else where. Any other year missing Darnold might have mattered. I’m not going to count Chip Kelly out even if this is his first year….or Utah. Their coaching is the most consistently successful in the South. Back to the Buffs. I dont see them finishing any lower than 4th and I would consider that disappointing. If the D and O lines show marked improvement 2nd is entirely possible. If Eliot and the D can prevent a complete breakdown like Tate last year that will be another key on where the Buffs finish

  23. VKBerlin

    Et Tu Wilner? Sheesharama there is no respect for the Mighty Buffs.

    So the skill position analysis puts the Mighty Buffs 6th in the south?

    ————————-

    Huntley’s uneven ’17 performance and the loss of the top-two-receivers ….. are reasons to disregard the Utes’ skill talent. That would be a mistake. Huntley should be more efficient in his second year in Troy Taylor’s system, …..”

    ……………..vs………..

    The Buffs will trot out a quarterback coming off a mediocre season who’s without his top playmaker and a trio of receivers that combined ……a daunting situation all around…….. Unless Montez becomes markedly more efficient, the Buffs will struggle.

    So Huntley will flourish under the coaching staff and Montez will struggle under the coaching staff.?????

    Well okay then.

    There ya have it.

    Buffalo up

    Notes:
    a. 2016 the fluke year
    b. Talent level is low. Coaches can’t coach em up.
    c. 6 years with lots of assistant coach changes. Only common is Same HC
    d. Same HC = Same Results
    e. Everybody loves TunaMac. Parents, kids, sheep.
    f. Nice guys finish last.

  24. VKBerlin

    Love those preseason Mags.

    So I figure:

    Beat the two you are better than
    Beat the two you are equal too.
    Beat on of the 3 just above you. Okay maybe 2
    Upset one of the two top tier.

    And volia……….Nice season.

    It can be done It shall be done.

  25. VKBerlin

    Yup Stuart it looks like a fair assessment. (Interesting no “lil Mac” mentioned in the receiver section? Maybe he is moving on.)

    Not sure Eliots hire was curious. After dealing with Leavitt, TunaMac was looking for someone he could manage. Oh well, I am pretty dang sure Eliots defense will be much different/better this year. New DL coach, additional DBack coach. Talent increase. Gut feeling. But if it ain’t good eliot needs to move on.

    This offense will be different. Don’t let em fool ya. Plays are similar (as are all football plays) but with a different flair. The game plans and play calling and adjustments will be so much better There will be not predictability like the last 5 years. They have a real qb coach. A real one. Ok I still have a wait and see on Roper and the interaction with the Co-Oc’s but indications are this is gonna work. What a great day. No more Lindy Offense. Gawd that is so great. (Funny to see TunaMac get rid of his ‘longtime OC’)

    Man I just wanna see a victory in a bowl game. Don’t care which one. Just a victory in a bowl game.

    I am rooting hard here.
    Go Buffs

    • Old Codger

      Never mind that Roper bears the Manning Family stamp of approval, WE here all have to wait for the No. 1 Arm Chair QB, VK’s stamp of approval!

      Meanwhile, those “executive par 3” courses’ deep roughs continues to thrive upon VK’s “errant” (if by “errant” you’re thinking “regular,” you are correct!) shots!

      • VKBerlin

        You are great. You never miss a chance to display the ol age loss of brain cells

        And yes you will wait for my stamp of approval. He is doing well with the QB’s (good info) but it has yet to be seen how he acts/reacts under pressure when dealing with the Co-Oc’s

        Buffs.

        Note: So he coached Eli and that is the family stamp of approval? Ha

        And…….he could be like the DC (not that I believe that) but nothing more than a discarded SEC Coordinator.

        gots to perform boy.

      • ep

        The manning stamp of approval didnt seem to matter much to Muschamp

  26. 57MAB

    I think offense will be the X-factor. Unlike the author of the piece, I think Chiaverini as a coordinator will be far less predictable as Lindgren was. I also think the addition of a tested QB coach like Roper holds huge potential to make Montez and the others better decision makers. In the run game I’m thankful for the grad transfer McMillian so that a guy with huge potential like Fontenot is developed into the lineup by coach Hagan….After all, it was when Hagan became RB coach that we got to see Lindsay elevate his game. I think the receivers will be fine from an experience and depth standpoint…BUT finally, the O-line nucleus needs to stay healthy so that promising young guys like Polley, Sherman, Moretti, Kanan Ray, and the newest guy Kutsch can be brought along and not thrown in to the wolves. Gee, I hope I don’t sound like another one of the mostly useless preseason mags.

  27. ep

    I dont think I have ever bought one of these preseason rags….or during and post season either. Who does buy them? the Tide, Buckeye, Texas and Trojan fans who cant get enough massaging?

    • WarBuff

      They print whatever, and no one cares after the second game of the season. Just a way to get magazines sold.

  28. cjbuffco

    I never put much stock into preseason magazines. The one I like the most is Phil Steele. IMO, Athlon seems to extrapolate from the past year and goes with popularity as opposed to more quantitative measures. 2017 remains a disappointment to me as it seemed that the team was not prepared to play for most of the contests. If nothing else, I want to see some passion from the 2018 Buffs. Overall, I hope (and optimistically expect) for a 7-5 or 8-4 season. If Macintyre can’t figure out a way to get CU to a bowl this year with the talent that is now on the team, he needs to move on. I’m not pro-Mac or anti-Mac, he just needs to get it done. No coach has ever won a national coach of the year and then not had a winning season the following year. Mac is the first in that regard. Sustainability has always been my question mark surrounding Mac. I am glad that we have a change at O coordinator with hopefully some more aggressive, creative play calling. Also nice to see the non-conference schedules for the next few years, some fun matchups. Go Buffs!!!

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