Preseason Magazines

 

July 30th

CBS experts split on the top of the Pac-12 … consensus about Colorado

Eight experts have weighed in on their projections for the Pac-12 standings come the end of the 2013 season.

For every team in the league, there are disagreements, except for one team, Colorado, as the Buffs are picked last in the Pac-12 South by every expert.

The group cannot agree on, however, which teams will play for the Pac-12 title, with four teams in the Pac-12 South being picked to win the division. The full poll can be found here.

The breakdown by team:

North

Stanford – five first place votes; three second place votes

Oregon – three first place; five second place

Washington – six third place; two second place

Oregon State – two third place; five fourth place; one fifth place

Cal – one fourth; five fifth; two sixth

Washington State – two fifth; six sixth

South

UCLA – four first place votes; one second place vote; three third place votes

USC – one first; four second; three third

Arizona State – two first; three second; two third; one fourth

Arizona – one first; six fourth; one fifth

Utah – one fourth; seven fifth

Colorado – eight sixth

Athlon projects bowl games for eight Pac-12 teams

In addition to picking Alabama and Ohio State to meet for the national championship, Athlon has projected eight teams from the Pac-12 will be going bowling this fall. Four conference teams, according to the magazine, will be sitting at home for the holidays, including Colorado, Washington State, Cal and Utah.

The full slate of bowl projections from Athlon can be found here. The projections for the Pac-12:

Rose – Oregon v. Michigan

Alamo – Stanford v. Oklahoma

Holiday – Arizona State v. Kansas State

Las Vegas – Oregon State v. Fresno State

Poinsettia – Arizona v. San Diego State

Sun – UCLA v. Virginia Tech

Kraft Fight Hunger – USC v. BYU

New Mexico – Washington v. Air Force

 

July 23rd

CollegeFootballNews (Scout) predicts a 3-9 season for Colorado

Well, it could be worse …

In its game-by-game prediction for the upcoming season, CollegeFootballNews.com (Scout) has laid out a 3-9, 1-8 season for the Buffs. Scout is predicting that Colorado will defeat Colorado State, Central Arkansas, and Cal, while losing its other nine games. The full game-by-game breakdown can be found here, but here are the predicted standings:

North

Oregon                  10-2, 7-2 (with losses, curiously enough, to Washington and Arizona)

Stanford                 9-3, 6-3

Washington           9-3, 6-3

Oregon State          7-5, 5-4

California               3-9, 2-7

Washington State  3-9, 1-8

South

USC                        10-3, 7-2 (with losses to Arizona State, Notre Dame, and UCLA)

UCLA                      9-3, 6-3

Arizona State        8-4, 6-3

Arizona                  8-4, 5-4

Utah                       5-7, 2-7

Colorado               3-9, 1-8

July 14th

Phil Steele rates CU’s schedule 7th-toughest in the nation

Phil Steele has rated CU’s schedule as the 7th-toughest in the nation this fall. Considering CU is not playing a BCS Conference team in non-conference play (and is in fact playing a FCS team), the schedule may have as much to do with CU being an underdog in almost every game this fall as it does with the caliber of competition.

Here’s what Phil Steele had to say about the Buffs:

No. 7 Colorado … (2012 ranking: 32) The Buffaloes have a light non-conference schedule, which kicks off with their annual battle against Colorado State in Denver. Colorado has a tough Pac-12 slate, which features home games vs. Oregon, Arizona, California, and USC and road games vs. Oregon State, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington, and Utah.

Two other Pac-12 teams made Phil Steele’s Top Ten in Difficulty, Cal (No. 3) and Stanford (No. 8). Phil Steele’s comments:

No. 3 Cal … (2012 ranking: 31) Cal faces two Big Ten and possible Top 25 teams on their non-conference slate ? Northwestern and Ohio State. The Golden Bears host Pac-12 foes Arizona, Oregon State, and USC and travel to Oregon, Stanford, and UCLA.

No. 8 Stanford … (2012 ranking: 12) The Cardinal open the season against a good San Jose State squad followed by a trip to Army. Stanford hosts Pac-12 games against Arizona State, Washington, UCLA, Oregon, and California and visits Washington State, Utah, Oregon State, and USC. A visit from Notre Dame looms in the regular-season finale.

July 5th

Over/under on CU is 3.5 … and CBSSports is taking the over

The over/under for 2013 victories from 5Dimes has come out, and the prediction for Colorado was 3.5, the worst in the Pac-12.

CBSSports, though, says the Buffs are worth taking the over. Here’s what they had to say:

The good news for Colorado is that the worst is probably over. Jon Embree is gone and Mike MacIntyre is a proven turn-around artist who should get the program back on the right track. He’s got enough talent at his disposal to surpass this total, but much will depend on the team’s psyche coming off a 1-11 disaster. The Buffaloes have a chance to get three wins right off the bat, with Colorado State, Central Arkansas and Fresno State to start the season. At that point, Colorado might actually start believing in itself and steal a win or two the rest of the way. VERDICT: Over.

The rest of the Pac-12:

South Division:

USC – 10.5

Arizona State – 9.5

UCLA – 8.5

Arizona – 7.5

Utah – 5.5

North Division:

Oregon – 10.5

Stanford – 9.5

Oregon State – 8.5

Washington – 7.5

Cal – 4.5

Washington State – 4.5

July 3rd

Phil Steele makes his bowl projections

Curiously enough, CU is not included.

Here are Steele’s picks:

BCS national championship game: Alabama v. Ohio State

Rose Bowl: Oregon v. Nebraska

Fiesta Bowl: USC v. Texas

Sugar Bowl: Georgia v. Notre Dame

Orange Bowl: Florida State v. Louisville

Other bowl games involving Pac-12 teams:

Alamo Bowl: Stanford v. Oklahoma

Holiday Bowl: Arizona State v. TCU

Sun Bowl: Oregon State v. Miami

Las Vegas Bowl: UCLA v. Fresno State

Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Washington v. BYU

New Mexico Bowl: Arizona v. Utah State

and …

Armed Forces Bowl: Colorado State v. Navy

… Which leaves CU with nine bowl opponents in 12 games this season. The only exceptions: Central Arkansas (a shoo-in for the FCS playoffs), Cal, and Utah.

June 26th

Phil Steele projects CU to be worst in the nation in yards and points differential

Phil Steele has posted his projections for the offensive and defensive stats for the upcoming year.

The bad news? Colorado is projected to be … well … terrible. The defense is projected to give up 50 more rushing yards than any other team in the conference, more passing yards than any other team in the conference, and almost eight points per game more than any other team.

The good news? CU is not last in rushing offense or passing defense (okay, so the Buffs are 11th), and the Buffs are projected to score 25.2 points per game, 9th in the conference. Lousy, but the projections are for CU to be a touchdown better per game than last season (25.2, as opposed to 17.8 ppg. in 2012), while giving up a touchdown less (39.5 ppg., down from 46.0 ppg.).

Baby steps, folks …

OFFOFFOFFDEFDEFDEFYPG DIFFPPG DIFF
RUSHPASSPTSRUSHPASSPTS(Nat’l Rank)(Nat’l Rank)
Oregon283.227542.912020321.4235.3 (3)21.5 (3)
USC202275.335.478.3253.119.3146.0 (15)16.1 (9)
Arizona St178.8281.632.3128204.323.4128.2 (21)8.9 (31)
Washington182.6266.431.5114.4224.522.4110.2 (27)9.1 (29)
Stanford167.5242.828.593.4210.116.8106.8 (30)11.7 (22)
Oregon St138.8302.333.2113.6241.323.586.2 (37)9.7 (24)
Arizona226.9251.833.2154.8265.92957.9 (52)4.1 (53)
UCLA151.5297.230.6154.4258.229.136.1 (59)1.5 (66)
California108.226223.7148.827129.2-49.5 (97)-5.5 (96)
Utah112.3227.522.9156.924029-57.1 (101)-6.1 (101)
Wash St71.5291.824.7160.2267.331.6-64.3 (103)-6.9 (105)
Colorado98.9233.925.2211.2286.139.5-164.6 (123)-14.3 (123)

 

June 19th

Athlon puts CU on its “Most Improved” list

Athlon has published its “Top Ten Most Improved Teams” for 2013 … and Colorado made the list.

Okay, it wasn’t hard. Anything past one win is an improvement, so Athlon isn’t exactly going out on a limb to predict CU will be better in 2013 than it was in 2012 (the catch-phrase of the summer preseason magazines being, “It can’t get any worse”).

From the Pac-12, USC and Washington State almost made the Athlon Top Ten list. The magazine is predicting USC will rebound from a 7-6, 5-4 record to a 9-4, 6-3 record, with Washington State going from 3-9, 1-8 to 4-8,2-7.

One interesting note. CU is predicted to triple its win total from last season, with USC winning two more games and Washington State one. However, in his “Lunch links”, Ted Miller wrote the headline as “Lunch Links: Why WSU will improve”.

We’ll go with the notion that Miller already had a CU story to link to (the verbal commitment of quarterback Cade Apsay), and couldn’t find a good story to link to for the Cougars …

Athlon’s write-up on CU:

What Went Wrong Last Year: Colorado’s struggles started in spring practice, losing receiver Paul Richardson to a torn ACL. Without Richardson, the passing attack lacked its best playmaker and one of the Pac-12’s top receivers. The Buffaloes never found any consistency at quarterback, and the offensive line allowed 4.2 sacks a game. The defense was a disaster, allowing 46 points a game – the worst FBS performance in scoring defense since 2008. Due to injuries and overall struggles, Colorado was forced to play a handful of young players last season, but the experienced gained through the struggles should help this team in 2013 and beyond.

Why the Buffaloes Will Be Better: Simply, it’s hard for Colorado to be any worse. But there are signs the Buffaloes are moving in the right direction. New coach Mike MacIntyre was one of the top 10 hires of the offseason and should eventually return the Buffaloes to the postseason. Quarterback play is a question mark, but MacIntyre and offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren played a key role in David Fales’ development at San Jose State. Running back Christian Powell had a solid freshman year, rushing for 691 yards and seven touchdowns. His return, along with Paul Richardson’s recovery from a torn ACL should give the winner of the quarterback battle more weapons to work with in 2013. And while the defense could rank near the bottom of the Pac-12 again, it can’t be as bad as it was in 2012.

Athlon’s 2013 Projection for Colorado: 3-9, 1-8 Pac-12 The win total may not increase by much, but the Buffaloes will be a better team in 2013. Colorado State and Central Arkansas are must-wins to start the season, with a home game against California and a date at Utah representing possible upsets in Pac-12 play. Colorado isn’t likely to make a huge jump in wins, but the Buffaloes should be more competitive and will get better as the year progresses. If Connor Wood struggles early, how quickly will MacIntyre turn to incoming freshman Sefo Liufau at quarterback?

 

June 17th

Athlon preseason All-Pac-12 teams have three Buffs

Athlon has put out its three levels of All-Pac-12 teams. One Buff made the first team – punter Darragh O’Neill. Two other Buffs, wide receiver Paul Richardson and offensive guard Daniel Munyer, made the third team.

Oregon had the most players on the three levels, with 13 players, followed by Stanford (10) and Oregon State and USC (9). The Ducks have the most first-teamers (6) followed by USC (5).

Joining Colorado at the other end of the spectrum was Utah, with only two players listed (both third-teamers) and Washington State, with four (one second-team player, and three – all specialists – on the third team).

Athlon’s first team All-Pac-12 roster:

FIRST-TEAM OFFENSE

QB Marcus Mariota, Oregon
RB Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona
RB Bishop Sankey, Washington
WR Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
WR Marqise Lee, USC
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
C Hroniss Grasu, Oregon
OG Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA
OG David Yankey, Stanford
OT Jake Fisher, Oregon
OT Tyler Johnstone, Oregon
AP De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon

FIRST-TEAM DEFENSE

DE Scott Crichton, Oregon State
DE Morgan Breslin, USC
DT Will Sutton, Arizona State
DT Leonard Williams, USC
LB Anthony Barr, UCLA
LB Trent Murphy, Stanford
LB Shayne Skov, Stanford
CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, Oregon
CB Rashaad Reynolds, Oregon State
S Dion Bailey, USC
S Ed Reynolds, Stanford

FIRST-TEAM SPECIALISTS

K Trevor Romaine, Oregon State
P Darragh O’Neill, Colorado
KR Marqise Lee, USC
PR Shaquelle Evans, UCLA

June 15th

Coach Mac-2 to SI: “The first thing you have to do is get the young men to understand the culture of what you want”

Sports Illustrated has published an article entitled, “Mike MacIntyre faces ultimate rebuilding project at Colorado”. Despite the title, it is a fair assessment of the status of the CU program.

The first few paragraphs … Coming off its worst season in school history, Colorado hopes this is the bottom. For the last decade, it seems, Buffs’ fans have been promised progress — if only in small, incremental steps — each year. It’s rarely happened. Now, following a 1-11 campaign and the addition of a first-year head coach, this fall seems poised to bring more of the same.

Colorado last finished above .500 eight years ago and hasn’t won 10 games in a season since 2001. After coach Gary Barnett and his staff were forced out in December 2005, Dan Hawkins and Jon Embree took their respective cracks at the head-coaching gig. Neither one ever settled in as the man for the job. Hawkins was abrasive with the media, guilty of nepotism (his son, Cody, played in 45 games at quarterback, which alienated more than a few teammates) and responsible for causing some of his most talented players to transfer. He went 19-39 — including an embarrassing 2-23 on the road — and was fired in November of his fifth season at the helm. Embree was never fully given a chance to succeed, though it should be noted that his teams ranked among the least competitive in the 111-year history of the program. In late May, Colorado ousted AD Mike Bohn, who’d held his position since 2005.

The remainder of the article can be found here.

CBSSports.com more optimistic: “A bowl seems like a long shot, but MacIntyre has worked miracles before”

Meanwhile, the CBS Sports website has been publishing articles on first year head coaches.

Some highlights:

Advantages: The Buffs went 1-11 last season, so Colorado has nowhere to go but up. Expectations are low and MacIntyre will be given time to revive a once-proud program. Unlike at San Jose State, MacIntyre will not be limited by poor facilities or resources and he’s in a state with a decent talent base. What’s more, the school’s academics and its beautiful Boulder campus are a draw for recruits. This program might not be a sleeping giant, but there’s no reason it shouldn’t be a perennial top 25 team.

Toughest challenge: The Buffs are still finding their footing in the Pac-12 after Embree’s awful tenure. Colorado’s position in the league’s South Division means annual games with USC and UCLA, two programs with far superior talent at this time. When the Buffaloes were a national power, they routinely attracted good talent from the Southern California area. They’ll need to make the most of their annual trip to Los Angeles to raise their profile in the recruit-rich region.

2013 Outlook: Given the state of the program, expect a choppy first season for MacIntyre. However, we should see some marked improvement from the start. The Buffs are junking Embree’s clunky pro-style offense for the “Pistol,” which should better suit his offensive personnel and give his team a chance to compete. This isn’t a team with a lot of talent, but 17 starters do return and they should be energized by their new direction. The schedule isn’t murderous, with nonconference games with Central Arkansas and Fresno State joining the annual rivalry matchup with Colorado State. Oregon comes to Boulder, which beats the alternative. Two bye weeks will give the Buffs a chance to regroup in the season’s first half. A bowl seems like a long shot, but MacIntyre has worked miracles before.

The full article can be found here.

June 13th

Athlon – Folsom Field rated as the 5th-best in the Pac-12

CU’s Folsom Field has been rated by Athlon as the 5th-best in the Pac-12, falling in behind Oregon’s Autzen Stadium, Washington’s Husky Stadium, UCLA’s Rose Bowl and USC’s Memorial Stadium.

The full rankings can be found here.

The write-up for Folsom Field:

When the Buffs are good, this is one of the greatest places to watch a game in the nation. It certainly needs a facelift and the accommodations need upgrading across the board, but few places can match the beauty of Boulder, Colo., on Saturdays. Named after former coach Fred Folsom, rowdy fans have poured into this building for nearly a century. The Buffaloes have won a grand total of four games over the last two years but this building was still 84.6-percent full last season — a testament to the passion of the fans.

My personal rankings …

I haven’t been to all of the stadia in the Pac-12 yet, but I have been to seven of the 12. Excluding the two bay area schools, Memorial Stadium, and the home fields for Utah and Arizona, here are my rankings:

1.  Folsom Field – Hard not to be biased. Granted, CU can’t draw 80,000, and can’t raise the funds to improve what they have, but on a fall afternoon, there is no place I would rather be than in Boulder with my Buffs;

2.  Husky Stadium (Washington) – Second-best view in the Pac-12, with Lake Washington a great backdrop. My only complaint about the stadium was that, with a track around the field, the fans in the bowl were too far away from the action. With the new renovations taking out the track, though, Husky Stadium should be that much better – and even louder.

3. Autzen Stadium (Oregon) – Definitely loud, but I was not as overwhelmed as I thought I would be (of course, the mauling the home team was putting on the Buffs kept the fans from getting too intense). The stadium capacity is about that of Folsom (57,490), and there is only one big screen television, leaving fans in one end zone (where the visitors sit) to have to turn around for replays. Oregon has televisions for each whirlpool in the locker room, but the Ducks can only put  one jumbotron in at the stadium?

4. Rose Bowl (UCLA) – It was great to visit one of the shrines of the game, and I dream of the day when CU gets to play in a Rose Bowl, but, as a home field, it was not that impressive. Granted, 70,000 is more than the Buffs can draw, but 70,000 in a stadium which holds 105,000 actually feels kind of empty.

5. Sun Devil Stadium (Arizona State) – Okay, but not great. First went there for the 1992 Fiesta Bowl, and the field was a sandbox. I still hold Tempe responsible for the Buffs’ loss to Syracuse.

6.  Reser Stadium (Oregon State) – Smaller than Folsom Field (45,674), the home of the Beavers is quaint. It can get loud, as the fans are close to the field, but its hard to take a team dressed in Halloween colors seriously.

7. Martin Stadium (Washington State) – Capacity of 30,252. That bears repeating – 30,252. When we went to Austin for the Texas game a few years ago, we took in a “Friday Night Lights” high school game the night before. I’m not sure that Martin Stadium had any more amenities than that we found at that high school stadium in Austin. I know that I have been in a few Big Sky Conference stadia which have a similar feel.

David S. posts his thoughts … CU and Washington are only choices for top two slots and BoulderDevil is correct that the coliseum is an obvious last.  Really enjoyed Stanford two years ago-beautiful and accessible stadium.  Looking forward to visiting the rest over me few years.

BoulderDevil weighs in … Athlon’s list of the best stadiums is a joke. The LA Coliseum may have a great amount of history, but it is one of the worst places to see a football game. In all seriousness, compare if you will:

* For view of the field, the worst seat at Folsom Field is better than 90% of the seats at the Coliseum. * For safety of location, Folsom is located on the beautiful CU campus, a short walk from the Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder. The Coliseum sits in one of the nastiest ghettos in the United States. * For view from the stadium, Folsom offers grand views of the Flatirons, the Rocky Mountains, and Boulder. The Coliseum offers a view of the surrounding ghetto, and the smog usually prohibits seeing anything past the ghetto.

I’ve been to lots of games and even concerts at the Coliseum, and to many more games and events at Folsom Field. There is NO comparison. When it comes to football venues, Folsom is far and away the better place to see a game.

I haven’t been to Oregon or Washington to see a game yet, so I cannot comment on the top two. However, I have been to Stanford, Cal, the Rose Bowl, and Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. None of them are as good as Folsom for overall experience, but they are far and away better than the Coliseum. For Buff fans looking to travel to away games, avoid the Coliseum. If you go to LA for any other reason like the Bruins, drive by the Coliseum while you’re there. It’s impressive to look at from the outside and lousy for watching football on the inside. It’s one of the reasons that LA has no NFL team. But, drive by just to say you’ve seen it, but keep your doors locked and do it in the daytime.

Your thoughts? Post a comment to this thread, or send me an email at cuatthegame@gmail.com,

Buffs No. 1 in the Pac-12!

Phil Steele has put together a list of returning lettermen for each team in the FBS.

The list comes with several caveats. First, that each team has different methods and criteria for awarding letters (for example, Utah awarded 84 letters last season; Washington State 59), which obviously has an impact on the percentage of returning lettermen. Second – and this should go without saying – some returning lettermen are more skilled and more valuable than others.

That being said, the full list from Phil Steele can be found here.

Colorado leads the Pac-12, coming in 6th in the nation (The number to the left is the national ranking. The number in parenthesis is returning starters. The next two numbers are returning lettermen and 2012 total lettermen.):

6. Colorado (19) 61 of 74, 82.43 percent
13. Washington (20) 58/74, 78.38
23. Oregon State (17) 60/79, 75.95
25. Stanford (14) 59/78, 75.64
38. Arizona (17) 51/69, 73.91
42. Washington State (17) 43/59, 72.88
45. Oregon (15) 52/72, 72.22
55. USC (15) 57/81, 70.37
59. UCLA (13) 51/73, 69.86
63. Arizona State (15) 55/79, 69.62
65. California (13) 52/75, 69.33
118. Utah (12) 50/84, 59.52

June 6th

Phil Steele “Bullish” on Colorado

Phil Steele has a “Stock Market Indicator” post, wherein he projects teams which are likely to fare better in the upcoming season than they did last season.

Colorado was given a “3” rating, which has a 75% success rate of predicting a better season.

That sounds great, until you recall that CU only had one win last season. It’s not too hard to predict – hope? – that Colorado will finish the 2013 campaign with more than one victory.

The only other school in the Pac-12 to rate higher on the Stock Market Indicator was Utah, with a “4” rating (coming off of a 5-7 season – 84% success rate in predicting a better season). Cal, which was 3-9 in 2012, was equal with CU at a “3” rating, while USC (7-6) rated a “2” (73.5% success rate).

No other team in the Pac-12 merited a rating on the Indicator.

Arizona State has one of the toughest schedules in 2013

2012 combined opponents’ record: 67-69 (49.2 percent)

2013 combined opponents’ record from 2012: 87-67 (56.5 percent)

From ESPN … Last season, despite being one of the most inexperienced teams in the country (just eight returning starters), the Sun Devils took advantage of facing four backup quarterbacks in their first four weeks, leading to an eight-win season. But now things are much more difficult.

It starts with one of the tougher nonconference slates in the entire country. In 2012, the Sun Devils played Illinois and Missouri, which combined to go 7-17. This season, they pick up Wisconsin and Notre Dame, two teams that went a combined 20-7 in 2012.

In conference play, the good news is that Oregon drops off the schedule. The bad news is that the Ducks are replaced by a road trip to Stanford. It’s preceded by the Wisconsin game and followed by matchups against USC and Notre Dame during a brutal four-game stretch from September to early October. Overall, the Sun Devils go from playing five bowl teams last season to eight in 2013.

June 4th

The Sporting News has Stanford playing for the BCS national championship

As with most preseason magazines, The Sporting News is predicting Colorado to finish last in the Pac-12 South. Considering that, until last season, the Buffs had never finished last alone in conference rankings since 1915, the unanimous verdict about the 2013 season is hard to take.

About the Buffs, The Sporting News had this to say …

“If San Jose State couldn’t dampen Mike MacIntyre’s infectious enthusiasm and penchant for risk-taking, Colorado certainly won’t. MacIntyre rescued the Spartans from the brink of football oblivion, going 11-2, before accepting a $10 million, five-year deal to take over the hapless Buffs. Colorado doesn’t have enough talent to do much of anything in his first season but gain experience in his pistol formation”.

“Bottom Line: MacIntyre may need all five of those years on his contract to turn this bunch around. The goal here will be to install new philosophies, manage the roster transition, and keep looking confidently toward the future”.

… One Buff, punter Darragh O’Neill, was listed on the TSN All-Pac-12 team …

TSN Pac-12 projections:

North Division

1st – Stanford – BCS National Championship game (No. 2 nationally)

2nd – Oregon – Rose Bowl (No. 8 nationally)

3rd – Oregon State – Sun Bowl (No. 23 nationally)

4th – Washington – New Mexico Bowl

5th – Cal

6th – Washington State

South Division

1st – UCLA – Alamo Bowl (No. 20 nationally)

2nd – Arizona State – Holiday Bowl

3rd – Arizona – Las Vegas Bowl

4th – USC – Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl

5th – Utah

6th – Colorado

June 1st

A Little Love from Lindy’s

Lindy’s has Colorado ranked as the No. 93 team in the nation (down a bit from Athlon’s 85th). As to an overview of the Buffs, Lindy’s had this to say:

“The roster is populated with most of the same players who went 1-11 last season and were uncompetitive in most of those losses, but a completely new coaching staff is in place with new schemes and a new way of doing things. Let the learning begin.”

Of the 31 new coaching hires for the 2013 season, Lindy’s rated Mike MacIntyre amongst its Top Five (Athlon had MacIntyre in the Top Ten … but before you get too giddy, recall that the hire of Dan Hawkins was universally hailed as a great hire). Of MacIntyre, Lindy’s wrote:

“Maybe we did not realize how bad things had gotten at Colorado, but after athletic director Mike Bohn spent an hour venting at the press conference for Embree’s dismissal, the situation became crystal clear. MacIntyre has his hands full trying to rebuild Colorado, but his experience taking San Jose State from 1-12 to 10-2 in just three years give some hope to those in Boulder. We DO realize how hard it is to win at San Jose State, and this guy did it.”

All-Pac-12 team mentions:

1st team – Punter Darragh O’Neill

2nd team – Wide receiver Paul Richardson; defensive back Yuri Wright

3rd team – Running back Christian Powell

Under “Comeback Players – Injury Division“, Lindy’s had this to say about CU wide receiver Paul Richardson:

“A rare bright spot for the Buffs’ offense, Richardson shined in the spring, looking fast and explosive and like one of the best receivers in the Pac-12. CU needs the boost after QB Jordan Webb suffered a torn ACL and co-starting quarterback Nick Hirschman decided to transfer after spring ball”.

Lindy’s Ranking of the Pac-12

No. 3 – Stanford

No. 4 – Oregon

No. 23 – UCLA

No. 25 – USC

No. 30 – Washington

No. 31 – Oregon State

No. 37 – Arizona State

No. 53 – Arizona

No. 56 – Cal

No. 67 – Washington State

No. 69 – Utah

No. 93 – Colorado

And other Lindy Rankings of Note:

No. 89 – Colorado State

No. 7 (FCS) – Central Arkansas

No. 33 – Fresno State

May 30th

Athlon considers MacIntyre 10th-best new hire

A total of 31 programs changed hands this past off-season, almost a third of Division 1-A.

Of the 31, Athlon rates Colorado’s hire of former San Jose State head coach Mike MacIntyre as the 10th-best move amongst the new hires.

Other new hires of note:

1st. Bobby Petrino – Western Kentucky

8th. Sonny Dykes – Cal

12. Butch Jones – Tennessee

17. Mark Helfrich – Oregon

22. Ron Caragher – San Jose State

Bitter memoriesDarrell Scott

In Athlon’s preview magazine, there is also an article about the top 40 recruits from the Class of 2008, taking a look at how some of the top prospects from five years ago fared in the collegiate careers.

No. 1 on the list is Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor (31-4 as a starter), followed by Alabama wide receiver Julio Jones (national championship as a sophomore; No. 6 pick in the 2011 draft).

No. 3 on the list is running back Darrell Scott. Of Scott, Athlon wrote: “Born in Tallahassee, Fla., Scott grew up in Texas and California, where he developed into one of the best running back prospects in the nation. He rushed for nearly 6,000 yards and 79 touchdowns in his final two prep seasons at two different California schools. He picked Colorado over Texas, Florida and LSU. After two undistinguished seasons in Boulder, he transferred to South Florida. He posted career highs in 2011 for the Bulls, rushing for 814 yards and five touchdowns. After three unremarkable seasons at two schools, Scott left early for the NFL and went undrafted in 2012”.

Other familiar names from the top 40 high school prospects from 2008:

No. 6 – Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green

No. 18 – USC offensive lineman Matt Kalil

No. 21 – Florida State quarterback E.J. Manuel

No. 32 – Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert

No. 37 – Nebraska offensive lineman Baker Steinkuhler

May 27th

Kyle Ringo authors “Commitment at Colorado” article for Athlon Pac-12 Preview

Kyle Ringo of the Boulder Daily Camera has been an out-spoken critic of the CU football program the past few years. While perhaps not as biased against the Buffs as several writers for the Denver Post (who are unworthy of even mentioning here), Ringo can certainly not be accused of being a “homer” for CU athletics.

So it will come as no surprise that Ringo opens old wounds in his article for the Athlon Sports Pac-12 preview. Entitled “Commitment at Colorado”, Ringo restates the old “water bottle” controversy associated with the Jon Embree firing, the debts which piled up in transferring conferences while paying three coaches simultaneously, and, of course, taking note of CU’s continued failure to bring about any sort of facilities upgrades.

Some highlights:

“Embree said that during his brief two-year tenure, he was forced to pay out of his own pocket for some of the travel costs of his assistant coaches to attend summer camp in California where they could see potential recruits. He said he routinely paid for bottled water in the football offices because the school would supply only a few weeks’ worth each month. Embree said there weren’t enough chairs in the offensive line meeting room, and he couldn’t get more. He brought in his own desk from home when CU balked at replacing the one left behind by his predecessor …”.

… “Colorado also agreed to a clause in MacIntyre’s contract requiring the school to complete certain steps toward major facilities upgrades over the next two years. If it fails to meet those deadlines, MacIntyre could leave for another job without having to pay a buyout … The school took the first steps toward making good on those promised upgrades when it announced the details of a plan to spend $170 million on a permanent indoor practice facility, a new academic center, weight room, coaches offices and closing the north end of Folsom Field. CU is now in the early stages of raising the money, but hasn’t committed to a start date …”.

… “Dramatically increasing coaching salaries and committing to facilities improvements is no small undertaking at Colorado right now because the athletic department is $22 million in debt to the school … Most of that debt – about $16 million – was caused by the move from the Big 12 to the Pac-12. CU forfeited approximately $7 million in Big 12 distributions when it left the league two years ago, and it did not receive a full share of Pac-12 revenue during its first year in the conference in 2011. The rest of the debt comes from paying buyouts to three former coaches – Gary Barnett, Dan Hawkins, and Embree – in just seven years …”.

… ” ‘As we look around the Pac-12 Conference, everywhere we go, we see the commitment’, said CU athletic director Mike Bohn. ‘We see what we are up against. The bar is raised high. It’s higher than it’s ever been. This is a monumental challenge for everyone’.”

Athlon puts CU at No. 85 nationally … Arizona State in top 25; USC and UCLA out

Picking up my Athlon Sports Pac-12 preview used to be a fun moment summer – remember when CU was ranked in every poll for eight years running? – but it’s now just a somber reminder of how the rest of the world has come to view the Colorado football program.

In all honesty, Athlon’s ranking of CU at No. 85 nationally is rather generous, considering CU was 1-11 last season, can’t seem to find a BCS conference quarterback despite a nationwide casting call, and ranked last or near to last in almost every offensive and defensive category.

Overall, Athlon sees the Pac-12 falling out this way:

North Division

1st – Oregon – 12-1; 8-1 – ranked 3rd nationally

2nd – Stanford – 10-2; 7-2 – 7th

3rd – Oregon State – 8-4; 5-4 – 25th

4th – Washington – 7-5; 4-5 – 37th

5th – Cal – 4-8; 3-6 – 55th

6th – Washington State – 4-8; 2-7 – 68th

South Division

1st – Arizona State – 8-5; 6-3 – ranked 23rd nationally

2nd – USC – 9-4; 6-3 – 26th

3rd – UCLA – 8-4; 5-4 – 27th

4th – Arizona – 7-5; 4-5 – 40th

5th – Utah – 5-7; 3-6 – 58th

6th – Colorado – 3-9; 1-8 – 85th

Other rankings of note for Colorado fans

Colorado State – 4-8; 3-5 – 5th in Mountain West Mountain division; 95th nationally

Central Arkansas – 9-3; 6-1 – 2nd in Southland Conference; 12th nationally in FCS

Fresno State – 10-3; 6-2; 1st in Mountain West West division; 22nd nationally

7 Replies to “Preseason Magazines”

  1. I was sitting here marveling at the waste of time this “prediction” industry is able to capitalize on before I remembered the gambling industry

  2. I’m not sure that everybody should be discounting Shane Dillon so fast with the arrival of two new QBs this week. He made some nice throws in the final spring scrimmage and with Nick Hirschman pounding sand, he is obviously the second best option to throw in if Wood goes down. Shane is a project but he has allot of tangibles. His footwork looks like that of a Junior. Hopefully Strength and Conditioning can staple some meat on him before the season kicks off.

  3. Funny aside on the Coliseum/Folsom debate. I was recruited by USC (for academics, silly) and part of the private tour I got took me just south of campus to the Coliseum. It was very impressive during the day, and although USC was more expensive than CU (my only two choices), they were hinting at a partial scholarship.
    Unluckily for them, I happened to be in Anaheim during the LA riots and spent a lot of time trapped in my hotel room watching the extensive local news coverage. My college choice was made when I had a flash of recognition – I watched rioters loot and burn some appliance store on Figueroa right across from the Coliseum. I never would have known how close it was to campus if I hadn’t had that private recruiting tour.
    Of course, we did end up having riots in Boulder while I was there, but that is neither here nor there.

    1. Funny! The so-called riots in Boulder would qualify as “quiet nights” in South Central Los Angeles. Unless things have changed drastically in LA, the local news barely (or not at all) covers gang related violence in the City of Angels. It is only when that violence moves out of the ghetto areas (into the areas where the rich, predominantly white folks live) that the news deigns to cover it.

  4. CU and Washington are only choices for top two slots and BoulderDevil is correct that the coliseum is an obvious last. Really enjoyed Stanford two years ago-beautiful and accessible stadium. Looking forward to visiting the rest over me few years.

  5. Athlon’s list of the best stadiums is a joke. The LA Coliseum may have a great amount of history, but it is one of the worst places to see a football game. In all seriousness, compare if you will:

    * For view of the field, the worst seat at Folsom Field is better than 90% of the seats at the Coliseum.
    * For safety of location, Folsom is located on the beautiful CU campus, a short walk from the Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder. The Coliseum sits in one of the nastiest ghettos in the United States.
    * For view from the stadium, Folsom offers grand views of the Flatirons, the Rocky Mountains, and Boulder. The Coliseum offers a view of the surrounding ghetto, and the smog usually prohibits seeing anything past the ghetto.

    I’ve been to lots of games and even concerts at the Coliseum, and to many more games and events at Folsom Field. There is NO comparison. When it comes to football venues, Folsom is far and away the better place to see a game.

    I haven’t been to Oregon or Washington to see a game yet, so I cannot comment on the top two. However, I have been to Stanford, Cal, the Rose Bowl, and Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. None of them are as good as Folsom for overall experience, but they are far and away better than the Coliseum. For Buff fans looking to travel to away games, avoid the Coliseum. If you go to LA for any other reason like the Bruins, drive by the Coliseum while you’re there. It’s impressive to look at from the outside and lousy for watching football on the inside. It’s one of the reasons that LA has no NFL team. But, drive by just to say you’ve seen it, but keep your doors locked and do it in the daytime.

  6. The Lindy’s list of Pac-12 award winners for CU demonstrates just how little research these publications spend on some teams – most likely those out of the top 50. They rank Yuri Wright, along with P-Rich, as second team all-Pac12 candidates. Yuri Wright isn’t even currently listed as a starter at his position on the Buffs. If they’d put Crawley or Henderson in there I’d concur, but all they did was pick a recruit who had stars and bunch of hype.

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