Preseason Magazines

July 28th

Colorado at Arizona State … October 10th … From the perspective of the Sun Devils

From House of Sparky

Colorado’s 2014 Season

Mike MacIntyre’s second season as the Buffaloes’ head coach was another year Colorado would like to forget. The Buffaloes opened the season by dropping their rivalry game against Colorado State in a 31-17 loss at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium. A week later, Colorado survived a thriller at Gillette Stadium against MAC foe UMass, skating by with a 41-38 victory.

In the Buffaloes’ first true home game, Colorado put up a fight against Arizona State, as it went into halftime trailing the then-No. 16 Sun Devils 17-14 before ASU exploded for 21 points in the third quarter to pull away.

Colorado’s second and final hurrah came on Sept. 20 when it defeated Hawai’i by winning 21-12. Things fell apart as the Buffaloes finished the rest of the season on a eight-game losing streak, falling to Cal, Oregon State, USC, UCLA in overtime, Washington, Arizona, Oregon and Utah.

Reasons for optimism

Since Colorado joined the Pac-12 in 2011, it hasn’t put up much of a fight at all whenever the Buffaloes visit Tempe, being outscored by ASU 102-27 in two games at Sun Devil Stadium. Colorado retains a lot of key additions and will likely be better, but it’s still not enough to match the Sun Devils’ talent. An improved and more experienced ASU secondary should be able to contain Spruce.

Reasons for pessimism

Despite appearing to be an easy matchup, several things could go wrong here for the Sun Devils. With ASU being prone to giving up big plays, Colorado has a lot of explosiveness in Spruce, Liufau and running backs Christian Powell and Michael Adkins II. Fatigue could be an issue for the Sun Devils as well, as ASU would be returning from a road game at UCLA a week before and hosted USC two weeks in advance. This would also be a “trap game” before Arizona State heads to hostile Utah the following week.


July 25th

Colorado vs. Arizona … October 17th, Boulder … From the perspective of the Wildcats

From the Tucson Daily Star … At one point or another, every college football program in the country has been in the vicinity of where the Colorado Buffaloes are now.

The rebuilding years, they’re called.

Some programs get through them quickly and it’s hard to remember they even struggled at a time. Others seem stuck in neutral for years upon years.

That’s where Colorado is at the moment. The Buffaloes have gone just 7-29 overall the past three years and don’t seem any closer to breaking through now than they did in 2012.

But Colorado’s inability to get over the four-win mark since joining the Pac-12 likely has to do with the other teams in the Pac-12 South more than anything.

Over the last three years, Arizona State has posted a 19-8 conference record. UCLA has gone 18-9, while crosstown rival USC has gone 17-10.

Rich Rodriguez and Arizona have stayed above .500 at 15-12. Utah is the only other team in the Pac-12 South with a losing league record over the last three years at 10-17.

In a division where wins are tough to come by, Colorado has been the automatic victory for south teams the past three years. The Buffaloes don’t have a win over a team in their own division since beating Utah in 2011.

Arizona will look to keep it that way when they travel to Colorado for the Buffaloes’ homecoming weekend.

Here’s a quick look at the Buffs:

When and where: Oct. 17, Boulder

Number to Know … 10: The number of wins by Colorado since the 2011 season. Colorado went 3-10 in 2011, 1-11 in 2012, 4-8 in 2013 and then 2-10 last year for a 10-39 mark in that span. Colorado hasn’t beaten a Pac-12 team other than Washington State and Cal since 2011.

Incoming freshman to watch: Patrick Carr … Colorado already has a couple of talented running backs on its roster and will add another in Carr. The Texas high school product is a speedster at 5-9, 190. He committed to the Buffaloes over offers from Arizona State, Arkansas, Cal, Kentucky, Oregon State, TCU, Texas Tech and others. Receiver Shay Fields gave Colorado a nice lift last year as a true freshman and MacIntyre would like the same type of impact from Carr this season.

History lesson … Colorado’s first Pac-12 win came in 2011 against Arizona. The Buffaloes — 10-point underdogs — controlled the Wildcats in a 48-29 win. Since then, Colorado has just three Pac-12 victories and has been outscored by Arizona 138-71.



July 24th

Phil Steele Power Poll – Colorado 46th in the nation (9th in the Pac-12)

From Phil Steele … Two of the most popular rankings are my Preseason Top 40 and my Power Poll, both of which appear each year in the magazine.  In addition to including more teams (all 128 FBS teams), the Power Poll also differs from my Top 40 in terms of its rationale.  The difference is straightforward:  my Top 40 is a projection of where each team will finish, while the Power Poll is a ranking of each team based on their overall talent level.  So why are the rankings different?  The reason is schedule:  one team may be more talented than another, but finish with a worse record based on a tougher schedule.

The next question you might be asking is, “how is the Power Poll calculated?”  To evaluate teams, I rely on nine different of power ratings that look at different factors.  The Power Poll is an aggregate of all nine sets of power ratings, so it tends to be the most accurate summation of how I rate each team.  In essence, the Power Poll is the result of numerous computer rankings that have been developed over many years of close study.

… (CU 46th in the nation … 9th in the Pac-12 … ahead of 21 Power-Five conference schools!) …

The top ten:

1.            Ohio St
2.            TCU
3.            Alabama
4.            USC
5.            Baylor
6.            Oregon
7.            Georgia
8.            Stanford
9.            Florida St
10.            LSU

The Pac-12:

4.            USC
6.            Oregon
8.            Stanford
12.            UCLA
21.            Utah
27.            Arizona St
33.            Arizona
36.            California
46.            Colorado
65.            Washington St
70.            Washington
84.            Oregon St

And … 85. Colorado St … 95. Massachusetts … 100. Hawai’i


July 23rd

Colorado fans “should be feeling good” about upcoming season

From Student Section

Mike MacIntyre enters his third season at the helm and CU fans should be feeling good about things. After all, MacIntyre does hopeless situations pretty well. Part of the allure of his hire was how he was able to turn left-for-dead San Jose State around in three years, from one win to 10 with a 5-win season mixed in for good measure.

At the time, the Spartans were nursing all of three winning seasons since 1993 and this was entering 2010. That’s quality futility. Academic Progress Rates had slapped the Spartans with extra weight to carry around, often carrying anywhere from 10-15 fewer scholarships allotted to make any revival even more arduous.

MacIntyre had the luxury of the program getting back to 85, and with an offense-friendly system coupled with mining the JUCO ranks, SJSU picked itself up off the death mat of college football to have some pretty successful moments. Again, 10 wins at SJSU in his third year, this being at a program with three winning seasons since “Whoomp (There it is)” was a chart topping single. Man, that song was brutal.

MacIntyre was smart enough to know at SJSU that you just tear it down to the bricks and mortar to find out where the issues in the foundation were and you build from there. He’s also smart enough to know that even though you do that, you don’t have an eternity to get the job done, lest you watch someone else finish out the contract on the work.

… This is the year, however, that CU should see some serious improvement. Former (and successful, mind you) South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt was brought on to help the Buffs’ 116th-ranked scoring defense from 2014. MacIntyre has Sefo Liufau, who has a year and a half of starting quarterback experience in his satchel, and Nelson Spruce is back at the wide receiver position after catching 106 balls last year.

The offense seems to be on the track MacIntyre wants it to be, and since that’s his specialty, just go with him on this one.

The schedule is reasonably navigable. The Buffs open at Hawaii and then get three home games, Colorado State being the most difficult opponent of that bunch in the Rocky Mountain Showdown. It’s reasonable to suggest that they could be 4-0 right out of the chute. It’s also possible that 2-2 happens and there begins to be a wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Then, you’re maybe looking at two wins to be bowl eligible, which is a reasonable goal. This reclamation project on paper looks like it should be easier than digging SJSU from football Hades since this is Colorado … a program with a history of success … but the Pac-12 is not exactly the WAC (where San Jose State was when MacIntyre rescued the program). The rough aspect for Colorado is that its swing games are on the road, games like Washington State and Oregon State.

Continue reading story here



July 22nd

Scout predictions … CU to go 5-8 … Mike MacIntyre to be hired away from Colorado

From … Including predictions for the rest of the Pac-12 (surprisingly, there are predictions for three 7-5 teams from the South, along with an 8-4 USC).

2015 Prediction: 5-8

Sept. 3 at Hawaii W
Sept. 12 Massachusetts W
Sept. 19 Colorado State (in Denver) W
Sept. 26 Nicholls State W
Oct. 3 Oregon L
Oct. 10 at Arizona State L
Oct. 17 Arizona W
Oct. 24 at Oregon State L
Oct. 31 at UCLA L
Nov. 7 Stanford L
Nov. 13 USC L
Nov. 21 at Washington State L
Nov. 28 at Utah L

.. And then there is this … Amongst the “Pac-12 2015 Bold Statements“, there is this:

– Some shrewd AD will pluck Mike MacIntyre out of Boulder, recognizing that his lack of wins at Colorado is not a reflection of ability to build a program and coach up talent.



July 21st

Phil Steele Bowl projections: USC to Playoffs; Stanford to Rose Bowl

From Phil Steele.comBowl Projections

Although we are still suffering through the preseason getting ready for September 3rd, it is never too early to start thinking about the postseason.  For some, there are too many bowls, but my view has always been simple:  the more football, the better!

Beginning with the playoff games on New Year’s Eve, my four projected teams are as follows:

Cotton Bowl (Arlington, TX):  #2 TCU vs. #3 Alabama
Orange Bowl (Miami Gardens, FL):  #1 Ohio State vs. #4 USC

Next is the four BCS bowls that are part of the playoff rotation.  These bowls will not host the playoffs this year, but they will feature marquee games on New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day:

Peach Bowl (Georgia Dome; December 31):  Florida State vs. LSU
Fiesta Bowl (University of Phoenix Stadium; January 1): Notre Dame vs. Boise State
Rose Bowl (Rose Bowl; January 1): Michigan State vs. Stanford
Sugar Bowl (Mercedes-Benz Superdome; January 1): Georgia vs. Baylor

Finally, I have posted my bowl projections for the upcoming year.  Please note that I excluded the Austin Bowl, which was mentioned in my magazine but has since decided to delay competition until the end of the 2016 season:




Primary Choice

Team A

Team B



Citrus Bowl

American vs Sun Belt


Texas State

R+L Carriers New Orleans


Mercedes-Benz Superdome

CUSA vs Sun Belt



Gildan New Mexico





Colorado State

Royal Purple Las Vegas


Sam Boyd

Pac 12 vs IND






MAC vs Sun Belt


Arkansas State

Miami Beach


Marlins Park

American vs CUSA



Famous Idaho Potato




Bowling Green


Boca Raton



American vs MAC


Northern Illinois




MAC vs Sun Belt


Appalachian State






San Diego State

Popeye’s Bahamas


Thomas Robinson



Western Michigan




American vs MWC/BYU

East Carolina

Utah State

Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas


Cotton Bowl

CUSA vs Big 12

Louisiana Tech

Texas Tech

St. Petersburg


Tropicana Field


Ball State

Middle Tennessee





North Carolina


Foster Farms



Big 10 vs Pac 12


Arizona State

Hyundai Sun


Sun Bowl

Pac 12 vs ACC/Notre Dame



New Era Pinstripe


Yankee Stadium

Big Ten vs ACC/Notre Dame


Georgia Tech

Quick Lane


Ford Field

Big 10 vs ACC





Navy-Marine Corps

American vs ACC


NC State

Russell Athletic


Citrus Bowl

ACC vs Big 12


Oklahoma State

AdvoCare Texas


NRG Stadium

SEC vs Big 12



Armed Forces


Amon G. Carter (TCU)

Big 10 vs MWC


Air Force



Bank of America

SEC vs ACC/Notre Dame


Virginia Tech





Fresno State

Old Dominion



Legion Field

American vs SEC


South Carolina

Music City


LP Field

ACC/Big Ten vs SEC






Big 10 vs Pac 12

Penn State




Raymond James

Big 10 vs SEC



Buffalo Wild Wings


Citrus Bowl

Big Ten/ACC vs SEC



Tax Slayer


EverBank Field


Texas A&M

Miami (FL)

Auto Zone Liberty


Liberty Bowl

SEC vs Big 12

Mississippi State

Kansas State

Valero Alamo



Pac 12 vs Big 12



TicketCity Cactus


Chase Field

Pac 12 vs Big 12


West Virginia



Maddux Sports predicts a five-win season for the Buffs

A preview of the Colorado Buffaloes has been posted by Ken Langston from Maddux Sports.

The full article can be found here.


Team Info
Colorado Buffaloes
Head Coach: Mike MacIntyre
2014 record: 2-10 overall, 0-9 Pac 12 South
2014 Postseason results: None
2015 returning starters: 6 offense, 9 defense

Betting Info
Odds to win 2016 College Football  Championship game: 800/1
Odds to win 2015 Pac 12 Championship Game: 200/1
Odds to Win 2015 Pac 12 South Division: 55/1
Regular season wins: under 5 -145 / over 5 +115

In four seasons in the Pac 12, Colorado has gone 10-39 including just 3 wins in Pac 12 play. Last year it was another miserable season with a 2-10 record, including 0-9 in the Pac 12. Even before the program left the Big 12 for the Pac 12, Colorado hasn’t won more than six games in a season since a 7-6 campaign in 2005.

Progress must be made soon. Wins over Hawaii and Massachusetts by a combined 12 points won’t cut it. There are only so many moral victories any program can have before they become meaningless. Colorado had double overtime losses to California and UCLA each by a field goal and narrow losses to Utah and Oregon State by a combined 9 points. Every other loss was by at least 14 points.

Fifteen starters are back for the Buffaloes and coach Mike MacIntyre, now in his third year. For a change, Colorado is actually not picked to finish last in the Pac 12. That dubious honor goes to Oregon State.


With the exception of the rivalry game against Colorado State in Denver, the non-conference schedule is tissue paper soft with a road game at Hawaii, and home home games against UMass and Nicholls State. October brings home games against Oregon and Arizona, along with road games at Arizona State, Oregon State and UCLA. In November, Colorado gets Stanford and USC at home and travels to Washington State and Utah to close out the season.


The Buffaloes could go 4-0 in non-conference play, but only games against Oregon State and Washington State seem winnable in conference. Both of those games are on the road too. Let’s call it a split. Even if they beat Colorado State which is not a given by any stretch, then that still only adds up to five wins.



July 18th

Phil Steele … Turning around turnovers key to Buffs rebound

From Phil Steele … One of the most popular articles that appears annually in my magazine is entitled “Turnovers=Turnaround.”  The basic premise of the article is simple:  teams that benefit from a large turnover margin in a particular year are not likely to enjoy that same margin in the upcoming year.  As a result, a team’s record is more likely to decline if it relied heavily upon turnovers as a core basis for winning.  Conversely, a team that struggles with an unfavorable turnover margin will often experience a reversal of fortunes.  Since turnover margin is such a critical factor in a football game, a change in turnover margin can lead to dramatically different results.

… teams that received bad breaks the year before are usually headed for better fortune the following season. In the past 24 years, there have been 271 teams that have finished the season at negative double-digits in turnover margin. Of those 271 teams, 180 (66.4%) have improved their record in the next year! In total, teams with a negative double-digit TO ratio have had the same or stronger records 79% of the time since 1991.

Going Down?
Oregon +23
Michigan State +19
TCU +18
Georgia +16
Louisiana Tech +16
Arizona State +14
Baylor +13
Northern Illinois +12
Washington +12
FIU +11
Georgia Tech +11
Memphis +11
Nevada +11
USC +11

Going Up?
Georgia State -22
Eastern Michigan -18
Washington State -17
Michigan -16
Vanderbilt -16
West Virginia -15
SMU -14
Connecticut -13
New Mexico State -13
Texas Tech -13
San Jose State -12
Idaho -11
Colorado -10
Southern Mississippi -10


July 16th

Christian Powell makes watch list for the best running back in the nation

From the Pac-12 … To say the Pac-12 has a stable of running back talent heading into the 2015 football season would be an understatement. Twelve ball carriers from the Conference of Champions are on the 2015 Doak Walker Award watch list. The trophy is presented each year to the nation’s best running back. Former Oregon Duck LaMichael James was the last RB from the Pac-12 to win the award in 2010. This year’s Doak Walker nominees are as follows:

  • Devontae Booker, Utah
  • Justin Davis, USC
  • Royce Freeman, Oregon
  • Daniel Lasco, California
  • Tre Madden, USC
  • Christian McCaffrey, Stanford
  • Paul Perkins, UCLA
  • Christian Powell, Colorado
  • Demario Richard, Arizona State
  • Thomas Tyner, Oregon
  • Dwayne Washington, Washington
  • Nick Wilson, Arizona



Hawai’i preview – New up-tempo offense gives Warriors renewed hope

From … Norm Chow waited almost 40 years for his first head-coaching opportunity, but unfortunately, the first three years went about as poorly as a new gig could start.

Not only has Hawaii won just eight games in Chow’s three years at helm — half of which came last season — but last August, the university athletic director sparked rumors of the football program shutting down.

Chow and the Rainbow Warriors need some good vibrations in 2015, and they could get some from what was quietly, one of the best hires of the offseason.

Chow brought on offensive coordinator Don Bailey from Idaho State to revamp the Warriors offense. Bailey’s version of the uptempo spread transformed Idaho State from a perennial cellar dweller in the Big Sky Conference, to the Championship Subdivision’s most prolific passing offense.

Bailey may have left the cold of Pocatello for the sunshine of Honolulu, but the Bengals still have a bright outlook as a result of his tenure there. Idaho State is a preseason Top 25 team with designs on an FCS Playoffs berth.

Bailey’s arrival may not make Hawaii a Mountain West contender, but this should be the most exciting Rainbow Warriors team since 2010.

Best/Worst Case Scenario: 7-6/2-11

Hawaii’s nonconference schedule is the Big Ten Championship Game. No, really: The Rainbow Warriors travel to face each 2014 Big Ten title participant (and 2015 divisional favorite), Ohio State and Wisconsin, on the road. Those two games can be penciled in as Ls, so splitting against Colorado and Louisiana-Monroe, which book-end Hawaii’s season, is critical to a successful season.

And what, exactly, entails a successful season? A bowl game seems the most realistic goal in Chow’s fourth year, and that’s a milestone not entirely out of reach. To do so, Hawaii must win a pair of road games against UNLV and New Mexico, the two weakest conference opponents on the docket.

The Rainbow Warriors must also score one of those home upsets that were guaranteed virtually every season before the program’s recent decline. Hawaii finishes 2015 on a three-game homestand of San Jose State, Fresno State, and UL-Monroe. With West Division favorite San Diego State also visiting the Island, Hawaii has four opportunities to score major home victories.

The worst case scenario played out in 2013, when Hawaii bottomed out at 1-11, dropping 11 consecutive until the season finale against Army.

Closing out close games will decide Hawaii’s fate. In both 2013 and 2014, the Rainbow Warriors lost a combined 10 games by single digits, five per season. Had three of those gone the other way in 2014, Hawaii would have gone bowling.



July 15th

Nelson Spruce named to Biletnikoff Award watch list for the second year in a row

From the Daily Camera … Colorado senior wide receiver Nelson Spruce was named to the Biletnikoff Award watch list for the second consecutive season Wednesday.

The award is given annually to the nation’s best wide receiver at the college level. Spruce was a semifinalist for the award last season when he set or tied 31 CU school records.

Spruce became the first CU player in school history and only the seventh Pac-12 Conference player to record 100 or more catches in a season in 2014. He finished the year with 106 receptions for 1,198 yards and 12 touchdowns.

He will go into his senior season primed to set all of Colorado’s major receiving records. He will likely own all those records by the end of September. He is second in career receptions (205), sixth in receiving yards (2,294) and fifth in touchdown receptions (19).

Spruce also was named to the preseason watch list for the Maxwell Award last week. That award goes to the best overall player in college football each season.

From the Pac-12 … Leaping to the forefront of the 2015 Biletnikoff Award watch list are six of the Pac-12’s best wide receivers who are likely to catch big some attention along with footballs this fall. Presented annually to the best collegiate wideout, former Beaver Brandin Cooks was the last Pac-12er to win the coveted distinction in 2013. This year’s pre-season contenders are as follows:

  • Victor Bolden, Oregon State
  • River Cracraft, Washington State
  • Cayleb Jones, Arizona
  • Byron Marshall, Oregon
  • Jordan Payton, UCLA
  • Nelson Spruce, Colorado



Butkus Award Watch list announced … No Addison Gillam

The Butkus Award Watch list has been announced. There are 11 players from the Pac-12, with USC, Utah, Washington and Stanford each garnering two nominees. Five schools, including Colorado, were shut out.

Pac-12 nominees:

– Su’a Cravens, USC

– Travis Feeney, Washington

– Myles Jack, UCLA

– Peter Kalambayi, Stanford

– Cory Littleton, Washington

– Antonio Longino, Arizona State

– Blake Martinez, Stanford

– Jared Norris, Utah

– Anthony Sarao, USC

– Jason Wittingham, Utah

– Scooby Wright, Arizona



July 14th

Colorado at Oregon State … October 24th … From the Oregon State perspective

From The Oregonian

Early storyline: Could this game ultimately decide the Pac-12’s worst team? Perhaps. OSU has plenty of inexperience hitting the field in Gary Andersen’s first season, while Colorado has struggled mightily since moving to the Pac-12. With this game being played at Reser Stadium, it could mark the only time this season that the Beavers are favored against a conference opponent.

For Oregon State To Win … the Beavers must feast on Colorado’s recent struggles with ball security. The Buffaloes ranked 11th in the Pac-12 and 112th nationally in turnover margin last season (minus-10), recording 11 takeaways and 21 giveaways. Fifteen of those turnovers were interceptions thrown by returning quarterback Sefo Liufau.

Continue reading story here


“The Colorado Buffaloes are improving, whether you have noticed it or not”

Bill Connelly, through SBNation, provides an in-depth analysis of each team during the off-season. The preview for the University of Colorado has been posted, and, if you are into numbers and details, this is the preview for you.

The full article can be found here.

Some highlights:

It’s cruel when a rebuilding team gets hit with loads of bad luck at once.

The job is hard enough already. Depth and confidence are fragile, and in the Pac-12, you’ve got nine conference games to deal with; the slate’s full of middleweights and heavyweights, and you could use a few more featherweights.

… Colorado had a mountain to climb, but in 2014, the Buffs had to deal with a downpour on the trail.

As encouraging as the improvement was, the defense assured that there would be no significant progress overall. Already struggling with youth and depth, the line and secondary were obliterated by injury, and in an offense-friendly conference, this defense was friendlier than most. The Buffs allowed at least 6.1 yards per play eight times and at least 36 points 10 times.

And if the injuries weren’t cruel enough, CU also got smacked around by the turnover gods (minus-3.6 points per game in turnovers luck) and close game gods (1-4 record in one-possession games).

The rain has let up, but there’s still quite a bit of climbing. Quarterback Sefo Liufau returns three efficient targets (including two sophomores), and there’s reason to believe the offense could be pretty good. Plus, MacIntyre welcomes back quite a few potential starters from injury and has brought in well-regarded defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt. If luck turns, the Buffs could start quickly and threaten to reach five wins for the first time in five years.

Whatever Colorado’s goals are, the Buffaloes will only meet them with a quick start.

First of all, September’s when the team might be its healthiest. But beyond that, September’s where the wins are. CU plays four teams projected worse than 70th in its first four games, then doesn’t play another one. After October 1, CU will face only two foes projected worse than 39th (Oregon State, Washington State), and both are on the road.

A 4-0 start (which would include a win over Colorado State) would lead to a nice narrative as the Buffaloes head into conference play (and what a start to conference play: Oregon, at Arizona State, Arizona). And while they would then need to pull a home upset and probably beat both OSU and Wazzu at home to get to seven wins and bowl eligibility (teams that play at Hawaii can schedule 13th games, but need more than the usual six wins in order to go bowling), any happy momentum would be welcome.

That Colorado improved despite the demoralizing luck is a sign MacIntyre can still move forward in Boulder. But his Buffaloes are still thinner than most of the rest of the conference, and with every passing year, the coaching stable in the Pac-12 gets stronger.

Colorado might have a relatively low ceiling in this conference, but at the very least, MacIntyre has a good chance of finding that ceiling.

… Full article, with detailed statistical analysis and unit-by-unit breakdown, can be found here


July 13th

Colorado at UCLA … October 31, 2015 … From the UCLA perspective

From … When the UCLA football team takes on the Colorado Buffaloes at the Rose Bowl this year, it should be a game that is not as drama filled as their 2014 encounter when the Bruins needed a double overtime victory to beat the last-place Buffs. Though Colorado is slowly improving, this will be another tough season in the Pac-12 and a Halloween date with the Bruins on October 31 looks to be particularly frightening.

… The detailed look at the CU offense and CU defense can be found here

… Outlook … Colorado is feisty, hungry and sick of losing. Two years ago at the Rose Bowl, the Buffaloes were annihilated by UCLA, but instead of just giving in and heading back to Boulder, the Buffs put up some fight, literally. There were several small scraps that CU and UCLA got into towards the end of the game. It was indeed lively.

Last season, Colorado looked like they were turning the tide in their program in the game against UCLA. Though they could not get over this particular Bruin wave, it did show that MacIntyre and the Buffs have a lot of fire, so expect them to bring that on Halloween at the Rose Bowl.

Unfortunately, the Bruins have a lot of fire extinguishing talent of their own and will once again stomp the cellar dwelling Buffaloes.

The Way-Too-Early Prediction … Colorado 10 – UCLA 38



July 9th

Oregon at Colorado … October 3rd, Boulder … From the Oregon perspective

From the Oregonian

For Oregon To Win … it must keep the foot down on a team that believes it’s on the rise. The Buffaloes are coming off a winless Pac-12 slate, but played numerous opponents tough. Four of Colorado’s nine league losses came by five points or less, including overtime losses to UCLA and Cal. That being said, Oregon destroyed the Buffaloes at Autzen a year ago and should be able to repeat the formula against one of the worst defenses in the conference. Colorado has some positives on offense with the return of junior quarterback Sefo Liufau and receiver Nelson Spruce, but Oregon’s high-powered offense should be able to lap the Buffaloes in Boulder.

Quotable: “If you fix it in one year, it isn’t worthwhile. It’s just a fluke. It takes time to build a program and establish it.” – Mike MacIntyre

Early storyline: If Oregon beats Michigan State and Utah, the Ducks should enter the Colorado game undefeated baring a major upset from Eastern Washington or Georgia State. If they can get to Boulder unscathed, their next three games – Colorado, Washington State, Washington – will come against teams expected to finish toward the bottom of the conference, giving the Ducks the opportunity to pad their resume early in a bid to return to the College Football Playoffs.



July 7th

Phil Steele: Colorado a “value play” at 4.5/5.0 wins

From Phil Steele … All the major magazines are out at the bookstores (Sporting News, Lindy’s, Athlon) or on their way to the bookstores (ESPN, Phil Steele’s College Football Preview). Five years ago towards the end of the month of June there used to be a casino or two in Las Vegas that put up Over Under Win totals for the season for 20 or 25 of the top teams in College Football Teams. Things are a lot faster now a days and an offshore sports book (5 Dimes) already has odds out for College Football Win totals on ALL 128 college Football teams (yes, even Appalachian St and Georgia St!).

Here are my early 2015 Value Plays …

Colorado Over 4.5 wins (-140) – This is a sneaky one with a lot of hidden value. I think Mike MacIntyre is one of the most underrated coaches out there. He somehow coaxed a below average team to 4 wins his first year and fell back to just 2 wins last year. Now, I am asking him to more than double that total? Here’s why. Usually head coaches have a big year their 3rd season when the majority of the roster are made up of their own recruits and their systems are fully integrated. In MacIntyre’s 3rd year at San Jose St he took a previously woebegone team and tied a school record with 11 wins and they were ranked for the first time since 1975. No, Colorado will not win 11 games in his 3rd year here but they are one of the most improved teams in the country and could open the season 4-0! Last year they had 4 losses by 5 points or less which means they were basically 4 plays from being bowl eligible. The kicker is they play a 13 game schedule giving you an extra opportunity to top that 4.5 total.

and since the original line came out …

Colorado: from OVER 4.5 wins (-140) to OVER 5 wins (+115) – Finally, Colorado, a strong value play at 4.5, has moved swiftly to 5 and may continue to move as the summer progresses.  At +115, this over continues to be worth a long look.

Meanwhile, Phil Steele is taking the Under on Colorado State …

Colorado St UNDER 7.5 (-120) – I think Jim McElwain did a great job building up this Colorado St team and he does not leave them in bad shape as they return 15 starters from a 10 win team in 2014 and also the 3rd highest % of lettermen returning. I am still picking the under here. Usually in a coaching change the first year has a learning curve with the new coaches having to learn to the players strengths and weaknesses and the players having to learn new schemes. The Rams do lose QB Garrett Grayson and LT Ty Sambrallo to the NFL as well as RB Dee Hart (1275, 6.6). Prior to last years 10 win total they had not topped 7.5 wins in the regular season since 2002 (11 seasons) and they have a tough schedule with Minnesota, a much improved Colorado, Boise St, Utah St, San Diego St all on it as well as a road game at Fresno St not to mention their rivalry game vs  Wyoming.

and the update …

Colorado State: from UNDER 7.5 wins (-120) to UNDER 7 wins (-150)– Some movement here, as the line drops a half point along with the payout, making it a less attractive under play.


July 6th

In 2014, “Colorado showed flashes of being a competitive Pac-12 program”

From Kyle Kensing of Today’s U … Coming off a winless conference slate, the cliché “nowhere to go but up” certainly applies to Colorado. But any improvement the Buffs show in final record won’t just be the result of hitting bottom; things are progressing under MacIntyre and his staff.

Colorado showed flashes of being a competitive Pac-12 program, and were in fact a few turn of events away from finishing bowl eligible. Consider the Buffs:

– Led Cal by double digits in the second-half of a double-overtime loss

– Failed to get off a play in the red zone, just before halftime against UCLA. The teams went to overtime and the Bruins prevailed.

– Took a lead into halftime against Washington.

– Gave up a decisive pick-six in the waning moments against Utah.

Those near-misses should provide the 16 returning starters with motivation, as well as the knowledge that they can hang with tough Pac-12 competition. To help the Buffs get over the hump, MacIntyre tabbed former USF head coach Jim Leavitt to coordinate a defense bringing back all but two starters.

Best case / Worst case scenario … 7-6/2-11 … All signs point to MacIntyre having his best team since coming to Colorado in 2013, and the this being the best Buffs team since 2007. Colorado very nearly spoiled a few conference counterparts’ seasons a year ago, and should get over that hump at least in 2015.

A bowl game isn’t out of the realm of possibility, so long as CU can upset a few league foes and hold serve in the coin-flip games. But the reverse of that is the Buffs play several such contests. Oregon State and Washington State are the two most winnable Pac-12 games on the docket, but both are on the road.

Colorado State is a tough nonconference opponent, while sub-.500 Group of Five opponents UMass and Hawaii should both be considerably improved over a season ago. If Colorado fails to complete any of its upset bids, as was the case last year, then drops a handful of those close matchups, it could be yet another long year in Boulder.



July 5th

Getting to Know … Hawai’i

Less than two months to the kickoff of the game against Hawai’i (September 3rd, 11:00 p.m., MT). Las season, the Buffs defeated the Warriors at home, 21-12, in a game I labeled “No Such Thing as a Bad ‘W’ “.

Here are some notes and quotes about the 2015 Hawai’i Warriors from the preseason magazines …

Athlon … Prediction:  5th place finish in the Mountain West West division (and no, that is not a typo) with a 3-10, 1-7 predicted record … 114th nationally (CU No. 67) … Final analysis … “This shapes up as the most talented in Norm Chow’s four seasons in the islands, but the Warriors’ shaky depth will be sorely tested in a 13-game schedule that is bereft of an open date and includes Colorado, Ohio State, Wisconsin and Boise State in the first five weeks. If they can survive that gauntlet in relative health, there is an outside shot at ending the Warriors’ streak of four consecutive losing seasons”.

Lindy’s … Prediction: 6th place, Mountain West West division … 120th nationally (CU No. 67) … Primary Strengths: “Max Wittek and Ikalka Woolsey have experience as Division 1 quarterbacks. The secondary is three-deep at safety and cornerback. New schemes on both sides of the ball could invigorate the Warriors” … Potential Problems: “On the other hand, the Warriors will have new play-callers on offense and defense for the third time in four years. There is also a new special teams coordinator. Stability and continuity are concerns after three down years under Chow, who hasn’t retained a single assistant coach from his initial 2012 staff”.

The Sporting News … Prediction: 5th place, Mountain West West division … “In three seasons, Norm Chow has gone 8-29. At most schools, that get you fired, but at Hawai’i, where resources are scarce and there has been talk of dropping football because it’s such a money-loser, there’s no funding available to buy Chow out and spend even more on a new head coach” … Bottom Line: “There aren’t enough playmakers on offense and not enough experience on defense to build off the 4-9 record of a year ago. Most likely, the Warriors will regress a bit, and the fan base will get a little more agitated”.

College Football News … What You Need To Know About The Offense: “New offensive coordinator Don Bailey will try to breathe some life into a woefully inefficient passing game with a high-octane, up-tempo attack that’s designed to keep defenses on their heels. He might have the quarterback who can run it with USC transfer Max Wittek eligible and ready to roll, and the receivers are in place to finally start to get things going. Steven Lakalaka is a talented back to balance the attack out a bit, and the line should be better – now it has to be better in pass protection after allowing 41 sacks” … What You Need To Know About The Defense: “Former SMU head coach Tom Mason takes over a D that did a nice job last season of keeping things from getting out of hand, but it has to create more big plays and has to avoid getting hit by the big pass play. The front three has to find some more options, but there’s size up front to work around. Simon Poti leads a veteran linebacking corps full of seniors, but the strength should be the secondary that gets back three starters led by safety Trayvon Henderson”.



July 4th

Colorado preview … from a University of Washington perspective

From the UW Dawg Pound … Late on Christmas night of 1776, George Washington made a bold move to cross the icy and treacherous Delaware River with his army of 5,000 men as a first stroke in his surprise attack on the Hessian/British contingent in what would become known as the Battle of Trenton.

Commissioned by Thomas Jefferson in 1803, American explorers Lewis and Clark began the Corps of Discovery Expedition in May of 1804.  Thirty-three explorers, including a Native American woman named Sacajawea, would depart from the town of Wood River, IL on a mission to lay the groundwork for the settling of the western frontier.

In 1846, led by their newly appointed leader Brigham Young, a contingent of 14,000 Mormons abandoned their camps in Nauvoo, IL and began the harrowing journey that would become known as the Mormon Pioneer Trail.

Each of these great American treks started with a dream, faced impossible odds and led to changed the course of history.  The magnitude of the impact of each of these missions on the fabric of American history is almost too great to calculate.

If you are a Colorado Buffalo fan, you must often feel like you are George Washington, Lewis and Clark or Brigham Young.  You face daunting odds as you follow your team on an impossible mission.  But the payoff, if you are able to succeed, is so great that you have no choice but to soldier on.

… A reasonable write-up on the Buffs, from the perspective of a University of Washington fan, goes on from there.

The remainder of the article can be found here.

A few highlights:

… On the CU offense … The passing game has to be the strength of this Colorado team if bowl eligibility is to be achieved in 2015.  Senior wideout Nelson Spruce is the true star of this attack.  He had a breakout season in 2014 with 106 catches, over 1100 yards and 12 TDs.  Together with true sophomore Shay Fields (50 catches, 5 TDs), the Colorado receivers are the strength of this offense.  Though they are losing a couple of key contributors in D.D. Goodson and Tyler McCulloch, they have young players like 6’2″ sophomore Bryce Bobo and sophomore slot Donovan Lee seemingly ready to step into key roles.

Whether or not QB Sefo Liufau is the man to lead that passing attack is another question.  Husky fans to this day lament the fact that Sefo didn’t end up a Husky (Troy Williams got the scholarship that many wanted Liufau to be offered).  However, Liufau stagnated some his sophomore season after a promising debut as a true freshman in 2013.  He struggled with accuracy, missed a lot of big plays and threw far too many interceptions (15).  But don’t be fooled.  Liufau is a physically gifted player who has earned his leadership position on the team.  He has the tools to be a force if only his pass protection can hold up.  Colorado gave up the most sacks in the conference last season at nearly two a game.

… On the CU defense … What Jim Leavitt will inherit leaves a bit to be desired.  He clearly has some pieces to work with – particularly with junior LB Addison Gillam, sophomore DE Derek McCartney, junior OLB Kenneth Olugbode and senior CB Ken Crawley.  There are pieces at each level that will allow Leavitt to implement his own playbook and to grow the program.

But don’t expect Colorado to be good in any single area this year.  Not only will they be learning a new scheme, but MacIntyre remains committed to redshirting his incoming players.  Most, if not all, of the players that came in with the last recruiting class will be redshirted and those that came in last year will have to be broken in over time as redshirt freshman.  Depth is going to be a critical issue.  There will be a lot of pressure on the existing starters to play excessive snaps and for incoming JC transfers like DT Jordan Carrell and DE Blake Robbins as well as greyshirt DE Leo Jackson to each make an impact.

… Conclusion … I do like what the Buffs are doing in terms of building their program.  They have good coaches and are bringing in good young players who ought to continue to develop.  As they took a step forward last year, I expect them to do so again this year.  I also expect that they will find a couple of wins on their schedule – at least one of them in the PAC.  But to get to seven wins and a bowl game seems just a bit out of reach at this time.  It will be another slog for Buff fans in 2015.


July 2nd

Season Ticket holders get special Rooftop Terrace offer

Email to season ticket holders from … Dear Buffs Fans,

We are pleased to announce that we will have passes available for our new Champions Center Rooftop Terrace in an exclusive Season Ticket Holder Presale next Tuesday, July 7 at 8:30 a.m.

In order to access this exclusive presale, you will need to login to your account at  We will send you a reminder email on July 7.

The Rooftop Terrace is the top floor of the newly-constructed Champions Center, located at the northeast corner of Folsom Field.  The Rooftop Terrace will be a great place for fans to gather and socialize before and during Buffs football games with the best views of the Flatirons that Boulder has to offer. This exclusive area will give fans access to concessions and beer and wine.

The Rooftop Terrace will open two hours before kickoff and remain open until the end of the game. A limited number of season passes to the Rooftop Terrace will be available for $60, or $10 a game. Single game passes are available for $15 per game. Quantities of single game passes are also limited and fans are encouraged to purchase early!  Fans must have a game ticket AND a Rooftop Terrace pass in order to access the facility.

We look forward to opening this exciting new space this fall! Go Buffs!



June 28th

Over/under win totals for the Pac-12 shows CU picked to win more games than Oregon State and Washington

From CBS Sports … Sportsbook operator CG Technology released Over/Unders on win totals for 67 college football teams, and Ohio State stands apart from the rest.

The Buckeyes are listed at 11 wins, the Over juiced at -165, meaning you have to risk $165 to win $100. The Under is priced at +135.


Arizona: 7.5 (-140o)

Arizona State: 8 (-125u)

California: 5.5 (-135u)

Colorado: 5 (-140u)

Oregon: 9.5 (-130o)

Oregon State: 4 (-125u)

Stanford: 8.5

UCLA: 9 (-140u)

USC: 9 (-115)

Utah: 7.5 (-130u)

Washington: 4.5 (-140o)

Washington State: 5 (-125u)

… Other P5 schools rated equal to or lower than Colorado … Vanderbilt (3.5) … Syracuse (4.5) … Virginia (4.0) … Wake Forest (3.5) … Iowa State (3.0) … Kansas (1.5) … Illinois (4.0) … Maryland (4.5) … Purdue (4.0) … Rutgers (5.0) …



June 27th

CU line against Colorado State moves from minus-1.5 to minus-5.5 in first day at Golden Nugget

From ESPN … Friday brought a glimpse of old-time Vegas as the Golden Nugget released its 2015-16 College Football Games of the Year.

Back in the day, Las Vegas was known for posting the opening numbers and having wiseguys line up to take their first crack at the lines. Nowadays, offshore books are often first, and even the times when Vegas posts the first numbers, a lot of bettors wait for other books to post their numbers so they can comparison shop.

But the Golden Nugget’s annual release of the first NCAA lines — this is the ninth straight year they’ve been the first Vegas book to open — harkens back to that time when bettors would put their opinion against the bookie’s openers and try to find the soft lines. Tony Miller and his right-hand man Aaron Kessler put together their list of 166 games (note: it was widely publicized that they were going to post 165 games, but Miller said they added the Cal-Stanford game on Nov. 21 at the last minute) and let the assembled bettors take their shots.

… Here are the biggest moves (four points or more) from the first hour:

Sept. 4: Washington plus-13 to plus-8.5 at Boise State
Sept. 12: BYU plus-6 to plus-1 versus Boise State
Sept. 19: Colorado minus-1 to minus-5 at Colorado State
Sept. 26: Texas A&M plus-6.5 to plus-1.5 versus Arkansas (Arlington, Texas)
Oct. 10: Florida plus-10 to plus-5.5 at Missouri
Oct. 24: Auburn plus-6.5 to plus-1.5 at Arkansas
Nov. 14: LSU minus-1.5 to minus-5 versus Arkansas
Nov. 14: BYU plus-12 to plus-7.5 versus Missouri (Kansas City, Mo.)
Nov. 28: North Carolina plus-6 to plus-1.5 at NC State

Games involving Pac-12 teams which have moved in the first day of betting old (new):

Michigan at Utah -4 (-5)

Washington at Boise State -13 (-8.5)

Oregon State at Michigan -14 (-15.5)

BYU at UCLA -14 (-12.5)

Colorado -1.5 (-5.5) vs. Colorado State (Denver)

UCLA PK (-1) at Arizona

Arizona at Stanford -7.5 (-8)

Oregon -16 (-14.5) at Colorado

Oregon -5 (-3.5) at Arizona State

Arizona at Arizona State -3 (-4)

UCLA at USC -3 (-3.5)

Notre Dame at Stanford -3 (-4)

Other games involving Pac-12 teams which have been posted (see story, below), remained the same in the first day of betting



June 26th

Golden Nugget line on Pac-12 games (Spoiler Alert: Buffs not a nine-point favorite over Colorado State)

ESPN has posted the Las Vegas Golden Nugget line on 150 college football games. The full list can be found here.

Some notes worthy of note … Colorado, listed as a nine-point favorite against Colorado State by 5Dimes, is only a 1.5-point favorite against the Rams by the Golden Nugget … The Buffs, a 16-point underdog against Oregon, is almost as good a bettor choice as Washington at home against Oregon (15.0-points) or Colorado State at home against Boise State (a 12.0-point underdog) … The Buffs are listed as a 12.0-point underdog at home against USC on Friday, November 13th (5Dimes has not yet listed a line for the game).

Those games involving Pac-12 teams:

September 3rd – 5th

Utah a 4.0-point favorite at home against Michigan

Washington a 13.0-point underdog on the road against Boise State

Arizona State a 3.0-point underdog on the road (Houston) against Texas A&M

UCLA a 17.0-point favorite at home against Virginia

September 12th

UCLA a 32.0-point favorite at home against UNLV

Oregon State a 14.0-point underdog on the road against Michigan

Oregon a 1.0-point underdog on the road against Michigan State

September 19th

Stanford a 4.0-point underdog on the road against USC

UCLA a 14.0-point favorite at home against BYU

Colorado a 1.5-point favorite against Colorado State (Denver)

September 26th

Arizona State a 1.0-point underdog at home against USC

UCLA at Arizona – a pick ’em game

Oregon a 14.0-point favorite at home against Utah

October 3rd

Stanford a 7.5-point favorite at home against Arizona

UCLA a 6.0-point favorite at home against Arizona State

Colorado a 16.0-point underdog at home against Oregon

October 8th-10th

USC a 19.0-point favorite at home against Washington

CSU a 12.0-point underdog at home against Boise State

October 15th-17th

Stanford a 4.5-point favorite at home against UCLA

Utah a 2.0-point favorite at home against Arizona State

USC at Notre Dame – a pick ’em game

Washington a 15.0-point underdog at home against Oregon

October 24th

USC a 7.0-point favorite at home against Utah

October 29th-31st

Arizona State a 5.0-point underdog at home against Oregon

Utah a 16.0-point favorite at home against Oregon State

November 7th

USC a 7.5-point favorite at home against Arizona State

November 13th-14th

Colorado a 12.0-point underdog at home against USC

Arizona a 3.0-point favorite at home against Utah

Oregon at Stanford – a pick ’em game

November 21st

Oregon a 6.5-point favorite at home against USC

Arizona State a 3.0-point favorite at home against Arizona

Utah a 1.0-point underdog at home against UCLA

Stanford a 13.0-point favorite at home against California

November 27th-28th

Oregon a 22.5-point favorite at home against Oregon State

USC a 3.0-point favorite at home against UCLA

Utah a 13.5-point favorite at home against Colorado

Stanford a 3.0-point favorite at home against Notre Dame



June 24th

Getting to Know … Nicholls (please don’t call them Nicholls State)

We’ll get more in depth with CU opponents once we get closer to the start of the season, but, since there is little preseason magazine write-ups for CU’s fourth game of the season, here is a little info on the Nicholls Colonels, CU’s opponent on September 26th.

– First and foremost, do not call them the Nicholls State Colonels. According to the school’s athletic department website: “We are Nicholls (Nich). Please refrain from using Nicholls State and NSU. Thank you”;

– Last season, Nicholls went 0-12, with an 0-8 record in Southland Conference play;

– The Colonels were out-scored during the 2014 season 602-163, or an average score of 50.2-13.6. The statistics were as ugly as you might expect. Nicholls gave up an incredible 322.2 yards rushing per game, giving up 51 rushing touchdowns (that’s an average of more than four per game). Total yards per game: Nicholls … 279.3 yards; opponents … 538.4. Nicholls punted 82 times, while forcing only 29 punts. Nicholls had a grand total of two sacks all season, while the opponents sacked Colonel quarterbacks 56 times.

– Nicholls has been playing football since 1972, with its first year in the Southland Conference in 1991. The Colonels are 182-287-4 all-time, with a 42-115-1 in Southland conference play;

– The Colonels have one conference championship in their 24 years of conference play, with that title (and last 1-AA playoff appearance) coming in 2005;

– Nicholls has three wins over FBS schools in its history, with the last coming in 2013 (over Western Michigan);

– Nicholls’ coach is Tim Rebowe, who will be making his debut as the Colonels head coach this season. Rebowe has never been a head coach before, and comes to Thibodaux from Louisiana-Lafayette, where he was the safeties and/or linebackers coach for the past 11 seasons;

A familiar name … Last season, former Buff Keenan Canty led the Colonels in punt returns (11 for 152 yards and a touchdown) and kickoff returns (55 for 1,085 yards – a 19.7 average). Canty, a senior last fall, also led the team in touchdown receptions, with three, and was third on the team in receptions, with 26 catches for 216 yards.

Canty was a member of the CU Recruiting Class of 2010, coming to Boulder from New Orleans. Canty’s best year in Boulder was his red-shirt freshman season in 2011, when he had 14 receptions for 161 yards. Over the next two seasons, Canty had five catches for 49 yards, deciding then to transfer to Nicholls.

Starters returning … Offense: 6 … Defense: 5 … Special teams: 1

Returning statistical leaders:

– Passing: Tuskani Figaro (from 2013 – red-shirted in 2014) … 83-157, 1,135 yards … 8 touchdowns … 6 interceptions

– Rushing: Tuskani Figaro … 117 carries for 1,103 and seven touchdowns (again, in 2013) … Last season … Michael Henry … 192 carries for 1,005 yards … six touchdowns

– Receiving: Michael Henry … 28 receptions for 253 yards … zero touchdowns … Darryl Watson … 18 catches for 233 yards … one touchdown




June 23rd

Phil Steele on First Downs per Game … CU in top 20 in three categories; in the bottom 20 in another

Phil Steele has posted his analysis of how all 128 FBS teams fared last season in the category of first downs, broken down by how those first downs were achieved on offense, and how they were allowed on defense.

On offense, the Buffs fared well last season, coming in 17th nationally in first downs per game, with 24.7. Colorado was also in the top 20 nationally in first downs passing (13.3) and by penalty (3.0). The only category in which the Buffs did not excel was in first downs rushing, coming in at 8.4 per game (the top 20 teams were all 12.1 or higher.

On defense, the numbers – not surprisingly – were worse. The Buffs were just outside the bottom 20, at 102nd nationally, in total first downs allowed (22.6). At 9.0 rushing touchdowns, the Buffs were close to the bottom 20 (10.6 per game or worse), with the 10.9 passing first downs allowed also close to the bottom 20 (11.6 per game or worse). Surprisingly, the one category in which the Buffs did crack the Bottom 20 was in first downs allowed by penalty, 2.7 per game. Only three teams – Auburn, USC, and Baylor – allowed more first downs per game.

Overall, thanks to the healthy numbers on offense, Colorado fared well in the combined net first downs per game. The Buffs were a +2.1 first downs per game, good enough for a ranking of No. 43 nationally.

Other schools overall combined first downs ranking:

Washington State – 10th

Oregon – 21st

Stanford – 24th

Arizona State – 30th

UCLA – 64th

Arizona – 66th

USC – 67th

Colorado State – 68th

UMass – 83rd

California – 84th

Oregon State – 86th

Utah – 87th

Hawai’i – 89th

Washington – 99th



June 17th

Preseason consensus Top 128 teams

Phil Steele has compiled a list of those organizations/magazines which have ranked all 128 teams. The list includes the top 128 rankings from ESPN, Lindy’s, Athlon, College Football News, Fremeau Efficiency Index, and Bill Connelly S&P+ Ratings.

Colorado’s compilation ranking comes in at No. 73, last in the Pac-12. The highest and lowest were from College Football News, which had CU at No. 61, and the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) which had CU at No. 94, with Phil Steele not including his own rankings.

How others ranked Colorado … Lindy’s – 67; ESPN – 65; Athlon – 67; Bill Connelly – 75

The Pac-12 consensus:

3. Oregon … highest: 3rd … lowest: 8th

10. USC … highest: 6th … lowest: 15th

12. UCLA … highest: 4th … lowest: 23rd

17. Arizona State … highest: 13th … lowest: 24th

21. Stanford … highest: 11th … lowest: 30th

29. Arizona … highest: 19th … lowest: 37th

34. Utah … highest: 27th … lowest: 39th

47. California … highest: 36th … lowest: 71st

49. Washington … highest: 44th … lowest: 56th

64. Washington State … highest: 59th … lowest: 79th

69. Oregon State … highest: 55th … lowest: 81st

73. Colorado … highest: 65th … lowest: 94th


79. Colorado State … highest: 64th … lowest: 102nd

108. Massachusetts … highest: 92nd … lowest: 119th

118. Hawai’i … highest: 100th … lowest: 120th



June 15th

CBS: Mike MacIntyre one of nine coaches on the hot seat heading into the 2015 season

CBS writer Dennis Dodd has published his Hot Seat Rankings for the 2015 season. The full list can be found here (Pac-12 list below), with a second story on those coaches in the 4-5 “Hot Seat” range here.

The ratings have two coaches at a “5 – Win or Be Fired!” – Virginia’s Mike London and Tim Beckman at Illinois.

Seven coaches are at a rating of “4 – Warm, better start winning”. One of those seven coaches is CU’s Mike MacIntyre, who went from a 1.5 rating last year to the 4.0 this year. Of MacIntyre, Dodd had this to say:

Things have to improve dramatically in Boulder where Mac is 6-18 in two seasons. The Buffs are highly entertaining on offense but have finished 114th and 108th in total defense. Colorado should never be this bad.

Only one opponent coach is also on the “4 – Warm, better start winning” list … Hawai’i’s Norm Chow.

… Its worth noting that Dodd has had a pretty good success rate in predicting coaches on their last legs.

Hot Seat full disclosure: In the last five years, 56 percent (14 of 25) of those rated 4 or higher in this space lost their jobs. We hit on all five in 2011: Mike Locksley, Rick Neuheisel, Paul Wulff, Bob Toledo and Ron Zook. We also missed on these three last season: Ron Turner (Florida International), Norm Chow (Hawaii), Mike London (Virginia).

The overall nationwide list:

1Very safe, change unlikely
2Safe … but you never know
3Starting to feel the pressure
4Warm, better start winning
5Hot seat! Win or be fired

Pac-12 coaches:

Arizona – Rich Rodriguez – Last year: 1.0 … This year: 1.0

Arizona State – Todd Graham – Last year: 1.0 … This year: 1.0

California – Sonny Dykes – Last year: 3.0 … This year: 3.0

Oregon – Mark Helfrich – Last year: 2.0 … This year: 0.0

Oregon State – Gary Andersen – Last year: N/A … This year: 1.0

USC – Steve Sarkisian – Last year: 2.5 … This year: 1.0

Stanford – David Shaw – Last year: 0.0 … This year: 0.0

UCLA – Jim Mora – Last year: 0.5 … This year: 1.0

Utah – Kyle Whittingham – Last year: 3.5 … This year: 3.0

Washington – Chris Petersen – Last year: 0.5 … This year: 2.0

Washington State – Mike Leach – Last year: 0.5 … This year: 1.0



June 14th

College Football News Rankings

The College Football News has posted its write-ups and rankings for all 128 Division 1-A teams. Colorado comes in near the middle, at No. 61. If the rankings hold, Colorado will sweep its non-conference schedule, then go 1-8 in Pac-12 play, with the only win coming over Washington State, leaving the Buffs with a 5-8 overall record.

Here is the write-up on Colorado, along with each of CU’s opponents, listed according to the schedule …

61. Colorado
Biggest Positive: There’s pop to the offense with QB Sefo Liufau and WR Nelson Spruce back along with a good line that should provide just enough time to let everything work. The defense could take a massive step forward with the top pass rushers returning and the top four tacklers back.
Biggest Negative: The kicking came has to undergo an overhaul after losing decent PK Will Oliver and P Darragh O’Neill, who averaged 44 yards per punt. All the top runners are back, but the O has a long way to go before the ground attack starts to shine.

CU’s 2015 schedule:

119. Hawaii … at Hawai’i – September 3rd.
Biggest Positive: The defense might have had a few problems over the years – to say the least – but It comes back experienced with three of the top four tacklers back and most of the leading linebackers. The receiving corps should be the best in the Norm Chow era.
Biggest Negative: The Warriors still have to find a steady quarterback and could use a power runner to replace Joey Iosefa. The D might return plenty of veterans, but can any of them play?

115. Massachusetts … Boulder – September 12th
Biggest Positive: The outside linebacking combination of Kassan Messiah and Trey Seals should be among the best in the MAC working around Jovan Santos-Knox on the inside. The secondary gets back all four starters.
Biggest Negative: Blake Frohnapfel was the one who made the offense go, and now UMass has to try to find a quarterback who’ll be close to as productive. Also done is key Jean Sifrin – NFL tight ends don’t hang around the program.

74. Colorado State … Denver – September 19th
Biggest Positive: Rashard Higgins might be the best WR in the nation you’ve never seen, and most of the top rushers are back despite losing Dee Hart. The defensive front should be a plus, and the secondary gets three starters back.
Biggest Negative: Losing QB Garrett Grayson is a problem, and the left side of the line has to get past losing Ty Sambrallo and Mason Myers. Leading tacklers Aaron Davis and Max Morgan are gone from the linebacking corps. PK Jared Roberts will be tough to replace.

N/A – Nicholls State … Boulder – September 26th

CU’s Pac-12 schedule:

8. Oregon … Boulder – October 3rd
Biggest Positive: The scheme is still in place and the athleticism and speed are still there on both sides of the ball. The running back tandem of Royce Freeman and Thomas Tyner will be unstoppable, and the addition of Eastern Washington’s Vernon Adams helps make up for the loss of Marcus Mariota.
Biggest Negative: Losing a Heisman winner hurts no matter who replaces him. The receiving corps will help, but No. 8 was obviously special. The lines have to replace some excellent NFL talents – there are just enough holes on both sides to take a step back.

22. Arizona State … at Arizona State – October 10th
Biggest Positive:The defense should be fantastic with just about everyone back. Six of the top seven and 16 of the top 18 tacklers return including dangerous linebackers Salamo Fiso and Laiu Moeakiola.
Biggest Negative: It’s Arizona State, so the offense will be fine, but losing QB Taylor Kelly and WR Jaelen Strong hurts. S Damarious Randall – the team’s leading tackler – and DE Marcus Hardison are gone.

37. Arizona … Boulder – October 17th
Biggest Positive: The linebacking corps should be a killer. Scooby Wright is a great place to start, but he has some nice running mates around him. The O has more than enough talented parts returning, but …
Biggest Negative: The line is a huge concern for an attack that relies so much on timing and precision. Defensively, three starters are gone from a secondary that needs lots of retooling, and the defensive front is gutted.

55. Oregon State … at Oregon State – October 24th
Biggest Positive: New head man Gary Andersen inherits a strong O line with all five starters back to pave the way for Storm Woods. WR Victor Bolden leads a great-looking receiving corps that should be able to make up for the loss of QB Sean Mannion.
Biggest Negative: The top six tacklers, seven of the top eight, and nine of the top 11 tacklers are gone on defense. Not only are most of the starters gone, but the depth has been gutted, too. Mannion might not have rocked last year, but he was still a special quarterback.

4. UCLA … at UCLA – October 31st
Biggest Positive: The offense is absolutely loaded. The line gets back all five starters and there are more than enough skills players to explode – especially at RB with Paul Perkins back. The D loses a ton, but it’s still really, really talented.
Biggest Negative: No Brett Hundley hurts. If he was back, UCLA might be the preseason No. 2 and challenge Ohio State – okay, maybe be No. 1A. LB Eric Kendricks and DE Owamagbe Odighizuwa were key parts now off to the next level.

30. Stanford … Boulder – November 7th
Biggest Positive: Even with the loss of OT Andrus Peat, the line should be among the best in the Pac-12. Getting back QB Kevin Hogan for one more year was a huge break.
Biggest Negative: The defense is gutted. The line has to undergo an overhaul and five of the top six tacklers from last season have to be replaced. The O loses three of the top four runners along with WR Ty Montgomery.

6. USC … Boulder – Friday, November 13th
Biggest Positive: It took a while, but the depth and overall talent level are almost back up to USC snuff. QB Cody Kessler should have time to work behind a line that gets back all five starters – there are always going to be skill players ready to shine at SC.
Biggest Negative: DT Leonard Williams, WR Nelson Agholor, RB Buck Allen, CB Josh Shaw – okay, maybe not after last year – LB Hayes Pullard. There are some big losses for a team that has the upside, but needs some key pieces to fill in the gaps.

69. Washington State … at Washington State – November 21st
Biggest Positive: All four starters return to a secondary that should be the best in the Mike Leach era, and the rest of the defense should be better, too. There might be some reworking in the passing attack, but the line will provide the time with all five starters returning.
Biggest Negative: The losses are big. The team went on without QB Connor Holliday late last year, but he’s gone along with key targets Vince Mayle and Isiah Myers. While the D will be better, DT Xavier Cooper will be tough to replace.

36. Utah … at Utah – November 28th
Biggest Positive: Shockingly, RB Devontae Booker is back for another year to help carry the offense, and he should come up with a massive season working behind a line that gets four starters back. QB Travis Wilson is good enough to win with.
Biggest Negative: The receiving corps is rocky with three of the top four targets gone. There aren’t many big personnel losses, but some of the departures are huge with WR Kaelin Clay a tough one to replace and pass rusher Nate Orchard certain to be missed.



June 13th

Phil Steele projects CU to be one of the most improved teams in 2015

From Phil Steele

2015 Most Improved Teams:
1. Miami, FL
2. Akron
3. Michigan
4. Pittsburgh
5. Indiana
6. Temple
7. Texas
8. Northwestern
9. Ball State
10. Colorado
11. Ohio
12. California
13. Middle Tenn
14. UMass
15. North Carolina

Toughest Conferences:
1. SEC
2. Pac 12
3. Big 10
4. Big 12
5. ACC
6. Mountain West
7. AAC
8. Conference USA
9. MAC
10. Sun Belt



June 12th

CU ranked 12th in the nation in a very important statistic

From Phil Steele … Today I will look at the % of tackles returning. I took all of the tackles made by the team a year ago and then took all of the returning tackles from 2014 and divided it into that number for the percentage.

Last year at the top of the list was Air Force which had 89.6% of their total tackles returning from 2013 and they went from 2-10 to 10-3! Ole Miss was #3 with 84.4% and they went from allowing 23.7 ppg to just 16.0 ppg (and those numbers were better than that prior to giving up 42 in the bowl).

At the other end of the spectrum last year was #128 Arizona St which had just 30.8% of their tackles returning and #127 Oklahoma St which had just 35% back. Arizona St went from allowing 372 ypg to 417 while Oklahoma St went from yielding 21.6 ppg all the way up to 31.2 ppg. Western Kentucky was #126 with just 38.1% back and they imploded going from 339 ypg and 24.6 ppg allowed in 2013 to 510 ypg and 39.9 ppg in 2014!!

The full ranking of all of the teams in percentage of tackles returning can be found here.

… How does the Pac-12 stack up in this category? …

9. California – 81.71 percent

11. Arizona St – 79.16 percent

12. Colorado – 78.68 percent

48. Utah – 66.67 percent

55. UCLA – 65.18 percent

61. USC – 63.96 percent

80. Washington St – 59.24 percent

86. Oregon – 57.53 percent

88. Arizona – 57.29 percent

108. Washington – 50.60 percent

115. Stanford – 45.49 percent

127. Oregon St – 29.71 percent

… also …

83. Hawai’i – 58.8 percent

8. Massachusetts – 81.89 percent

44. Colorado State – 67.86 percent


June 11th rates CU junior linebacker Addison Gillam as one of the 15 most physical players in college football

Mike Huguenin, a writer for 24/7 Sports and, has compiled a list of College Football’s Most Physical Players.

CU’s Addison Gillam made the list, coming in at No. 15 (only two other players from the Pac-12 were mentioned: Arizona State linebacker Antonio Longino (at No. 6) and USC linebacker Su’a Cravens (No. 3).

The entire list can be found here.

Here’s is what had to say about Gillam:

15. Colorado LB Addison Gillam

The particulars: 6-foot-3, 225 pounds, junior
The skinny: Gillam is an avid disc golfer (for the uninitiated, it’s also called Frisbee golf), but he sure doesn’t play football like a Frisbee player. He is active and physical and has made 171 tackles in his first two seasons with the Buffs. Gillam ran track in high school (he was on a 4×100 relay team that qualified for the California state championships), so he gets to where he wants to be relatively quickly — and he usually arrives in a nasty mood.



June 10th

Colorado has 7th-most difficult schedule in the Pac-12 (39th nationally)

As compiled by Phil Steele … Washington has the most difficult schedule in the Pac-12 and the nation, while UCLA has the easiest schedule in the Pac-12 (and 82nd nationally)

(based on the NCAA win/loss %)(not included in the NCAA method)
FOEFOEFOETms W/# vs Bowl# Ranked
RankWINSLOSSWIN%Win RecEligibleTms Faced
3Miami, Fl975862.58%Miami, Fl895
9Michigan St956260.51%Michigan St993
10Texas A&M936160.39%Texas A&M1096
14Georgia Tech936260.00%Georgia Tech795
16Boston College916259.48%Boston College885
17Iowa St926359.35%Iowa St994
22South Carolina896458.17%South Carolina895
26Texas Tech896657.42%Texas Tech994
26Mississippi St896657.42%Mississippi St886
29West Virginia876656.86%West Virginia884
31Arizona St886756.77%Arizona St876
33Western Michigan876756.49%Western Michigan782
35Utah St886856.41%Utah St892
40Florida St856755.92%Florida St883
42Ohio St866955.48%Ohio St891
42Washington St866955.48%Washington St775
46Virginia Tech867055.13%Virginia Tech693
47Southern Miss836854.97%Southern Miss783
49Fresno St857054.84%Fresno St882
50Georgia St826954.30%Georgia St771
50Penn St826954.30%Penn St572
52North Carolina837054.25%North Carolina682
57San Jose St847154.19%San Jose St772
60Louisiana Tech817053.64%Louisiana Tech772
61Notre Dame827153.59%Notre Dame694
61Wake Forest827153.59%Wake Forest785
61Nc State827153.59%Nc State683
65Air Force837253.55%Air Force662
69Oklahoma St797252.32%Oklahoma St674
71Florida Atlantic777152.03%Florida Atlantic581
75Miami, Oh767251.35%Miami, Oh661
78Oregon St787650.65%Oregon St665
79Central Michigan747350.34%Central Michigan651
81Middle Tennessee767550.33%Middle Tennessee452
82New Mexico767650.00%New Mexico662
87North Texas767749.67%North Texas781
87Boise St767749.67%Boise St650
92Kansas St757749.34%Kansas St673
93Kent St747749.01%Kent St571
95South Alabama727648.65%South Alabama881
97Eastern Michigan727848.00%Eastern Michigan561
99Bowling Green707747.62%Bowling Green561
100Arkansas St707946.98%Arkansas St672
103Northern Illinois708146.36%Northern Illinois561
106New Mexico St687946.26%New Mexico St771
106Texas St687946.26%Texas St561
108Ball St708246.05%Ball St671
110Old Dominion688045.95%Old Dominion551
114San Diego St647845.07%San Diego St460
115East Carolina678244.97%East Carolina670
116Colorado St698544.81%Colorado St561
119Appalachian St658244.22%Appalachian St461
124UL Lafayette628641.89%UL Lafayette450
125Georgia Southern618641.50%Georgia Southern561



Associated Press bowl projections has nine Pac-12 teams

The Associated Press has released its bowl projections for the 2015 season. The Pac-12 is projected to have nine bowl participants, but none in the College Football semi-finals.

The AP’s projected Pac-12 bowl lineup:

Holiday Bowl … Arizona vs Penn State
Rose Bowl … Arizona State vs Michigan State
Las Vegas Bowl … California vs Utah State
Fiesta Bowl … Oregon vs Boise State
Fosters Farm Bowl … Stanford vs Iowa
Alamo Bowl … USC vs Oklahoma
Cactus Bowl … UCLA vs Oklahoma State
Sun Bowl … Utah vs Louisville
Poinsettia Bowl … Washington vs San Diego State

The college football playoff projections:

College Football Playoff semifinal at Cotton Bowl: Notre Dame vs. Auburn
College Football Playoff semifinal at Orange Bowl: Ohio State vs. Baylor




June 4th

Lindy’s looks at the Strengths and Weaknesses of CU Football

Primary Strengths: “Sefo to Spruce” will once again be the Buffs’ mantra. Add in Shay Fields, Bryce Bobo and Devin Ross, and Colorado has a formidable passing game that could cause problems for defenses.

Potential Problems: Stopping the run will be vital to Colorado’s success. Luckily for CU, the front line is now flush with returning starters and plenty of experience, if that will be enough remains to be seen.

Top Newcomer – DT Jordan Carrell: A year ago, Carrell watched his former American River College roommate Devontae Booker transfer to Utah and ignite the Utes. Now, its Carrell’s turn to do that for a Pac-12 team. Carrell had 80 tackles, including eight sacks, last season and will provide much needed depth on run defense.

Overview: Colorado is getting better, but is still in rebuilding mode under third-year coach Mike MacIntyre. With a dynamic passing game, a defense with another year under its belt, and a deeper roster, perhaps the Buffs can contend for their first bowl game since 2007. The Pac-12 schedule doesn’t allow for many easy wins, however, and another long season could be in store for the Buffs.



June 2nd

Reign of Troy … CU “Threat Level” for USC: “Upset Alert”

The Reign of Troy website, affiliated with and the Sports Illustrated website, has published its CU preview.

Along with the usual notes and quotes about the CU offense: Quarterback Sefo Luifau more than doubled his touchdown production from year one to year two, but did the same to his interception totals as well in his first year as the full time starter, and the CU defense: Former South Florida head coach and 49ers linebackers coach Jim Leavitt was hired this offseason to turn around a Colorado defense that has finished no higher than No. 114 nationally in scoring defense during the MacIntyre era.

There is this conclusion …

“Threat Level: Upset Alert”

On paper, Colorado and USC are not on the same level.

Of course the same could be said about USC and Boston College last year or the Trojans and any number of teams that have upset them over the years.

The Buffaloes are a danger team because they proved they can challenge the big boys in 2014. The next step is landing the killing blow.

Though they will certainly finish at the bottom of the Pac-12 south, Colorado is not the pushover they once were.

… A little respect for the Buffs from a Trojan website, which is nice …


Athlon picks CU’s defensive overhaul as one of the 12 Things to Watch in the Pac-12

In Athlon’s preseason magazine, there is an article entitled “12 Things to Watch in the Pac-12”, with one area of focus for each team.

For Colorado, the editors chose “Colorado’s defensive overhaul” for its write-up:

The problems at Colorado are numerous.

The defense, though, is where third-year head coach Mike MacIntyre made some of the most dramatic changes during the offseason. It’s hard to say they weren’t necessary. Colorado gave up 7.1 yards per play in conference games last season. The next-worst team in that category, Washington State, gave up 6.6. This wasn’t a 2014 problem or a MacIntyre problem. The Buffaloes have ranked outside the top 100 nationally in total defense for four consecutive years.

MacIntyre fired two assistants whom he had brought with him from San Jose State and replaced them with Jim Leavitt and Joe Tumpkin. Leavitt, the new defensive coordinator, mort recently served as the linebackers coach for the San Francisco 49ers, but he is best known as the first coach at South Florida – a coach who saw his tenure end over concerns about mistreatment. Leavitt build solid defenses and USF and comes from the Bill Snyder coaching tree.

Tumpkin, the new safeties coach, will be just as critical. Tumpkin was the coordinator at Central Michigan last season when the Chippewas led the MAC in total defense (355.5 ypg) and finished second in yards per play (5.4).

Both Leavitt and Tumpkin will be tasked with improving a defense which didn’t make nearly enough big plays. The Buffs intercepted only three passes last season, and none after a Sept. 27th loss to Cal. Only Buffalo (with two) had fewer picks nationally last season. On paper, Colorado has nowhere to go but up. The Buffaloes return nine starters and also hope to get safety Jered Bell back from a torn ACL. In 2013, Bell alone had as many interceptions as Colorado did all season.

The Buffs were competent on offense last season, so improvement on the other side of the ball will be the key to getting out of the cellar.



June 1st

Phil Steele’s Preseason All Pac-12 Teams

Phil Steele’s Preseason All-Pac 12 teams, from Phil … (note: Nelson Spruce, in addition to being named first-team All-Pac 12, was also listed on Phil Steele’s Preseason All-American team (fourth team), which can be found here.

Offense – 1st team through fourth team

QBCody Kessler, USCJared Goff, CaliforniaKevin Hogan, StanfordAnu Solomon, Arizona
RBRoyce Freeman, OregonPaul Perkins, UCLANick Wilson, ArizonaDemario Richard, Ariz St
RBDevontae Booker, UtahDaniel Lasco, CaliforniaStorm Woods, Oregon StateDwayne Washington, Wash
WRNelson Spruce, ColoradoGabe Marks, Washington StDevon Cajuste, StanfordByron Marshall, Oregon
WRDJ Foster, Ariz StCayleb Jones, ArizonaKenny Lawler, CaliforniaDom Williams, Washington St
WRJordan Payton, UCLAJuJu Smith, USCBryce Treggs, CaliforniaVictor Bolden, Oregon St
TEAustin Hooper, StanfordJoshua Perkins, WashEvan Baylis, OregonThomas Duarte, UCLA
CMax Tuerk, USCJake Brendel, UCLASiaosi Aiono, UtahAlex Kelley, Colorado
OLIsaac Seumalo, Oregon StChris Borrayo, CaliforniaAlex Redmond, UCLAViane Talamaivao, USC
OLJoshua Garnett, StanfordNick Kelly, Ariz St (C)Vi Teofilo, Ariz StGavin Andrews, Oregon St
OLCaleb Benenoch, UCLAZach Banner, USCSean Harlow, Oregon StToa Lobendahn, USC
OLTyler Johnstone, OregonKyle Murphy, StanfordJoe Dahl, Washington StateChristian Westerman, Ariz St

Defense – 1st team through 4th team

DEDeForest Buckner, OregonReggie Gilbert, ArizonaChristian French, OregonEdmond Boateng, Ariz St
DTEddie Vanderdoes, UCLAAntwaun Woods, USCLowell Lotulelei, UtahClaude Pelon, USC
DTKenny Clark, UCLAAlex Balducci, OregonTashon Smallwood, Ariz StHarrison Phillips, Stanford
DEHunter Dimick, UtahDelvon Simmons, USCSolomon Thomas, StanfordLavonte Barnett, Oregon St
LBMyles Jack, UCLAJared Norris, UtahDeon Hollins, UCLAAddison Gillam, Colorado
LBSu’a Cravens, USCSalamo Fiso, Ariz StAntonio Longino, Ariz StRodney Hardrick, Oregon
LBScooby Wright, ArizonaJoe Walker, OregonJason Whittingham, UtahKevin Anderson, Stanford
LBBlake Martinez, StanfordMichael Barton, CaliforniaPeter Kalambayi, StanfordAnthony Sarao, USC
DBAdoree’ Jackson, USCLarry Scott, Oregon StateLloyd Carrington, Ariz StPriest Willis, UCLA
DBFabian Moreau, UCLAKweishi Brown, Ariz StDarius White, CaliforniaStefan McClure, California
DBBudda Baker, WashZach Hoffpauir, StanfordReggie Daniels, OregonLeon McQuay III, USC
DBJordan Simone, Ariz StKenneth Crawley, ColoradoWilliam Parks, ArizonaTedric Thompson, Colorado

Special Teams – 1st team through 4th team

KAndy Phillips, UtahCameron Van Winkle, WashGarrett Owens, Oregon StZane Gonzalez, Ariz St
PTom Hackett, UtahDrew Riggleman, ArizonaKorey Durkee, WashMatt Mengel, UCLA
KRAdoree’ Jackson, USCPhillip Lindsay, ColoradoTrevor Davis, CaliforniaIshmael Adams, UCLA
PRCharles Nelson, OregonChristian McCaffrey, StanfordDante Pettis, WashDaVonte’ Neal, Arizona



May 31st

Athlon – Scouting the Buffaloes

Opposing coaches size up Colorado … “I know ‘almost’ doesn’t mean much in this business, but they lost three or four conference games almost on the final play. They were a little better than their record … I don’t think there’s a tougher rebuilding job in the country when you think about how far down they were coming into the Pac-12 and all of the sudden everyone else in the division has it rolling a little bit. They’re doing the right things to get on a level playing field from a facility standpoint, and they’re getting better. It’s just hard to get the momentum until you start winning games … You’re just not going to win very much giving up as many yards as they did in the running game (204.8 ypg.) and not creating turnovers or sacks. I think it’s pretty simple. If they don’t get better up front with the schedule they play, they might struggle to win a game in the league … They’re maturing on offense. Sefo (Liufau) has a lot of snaps under his belt, and if he can be a little more consistent in his decision-making he can be really effective before it’s all said and done … (Nelson) Spruce is just a fantastic route-runner. I was a little surprised he didn’t put his name in the draft after blowing up last year, but I’m not sure if the NFL guys are sold on him because of his (lack of) speed”.

CU numbers to know …

-3.6 … Based on typical fumble recovery rates and interception-to-breakup ratios, Colorado’s expected turnover margin was minus-1.4. The Buffaloes actual turnover margin was minus-10. The difference was worth about minus-43 points off turnovers for CU, or 3.6 points per game.

69.3 … Only eight FBS players were targeted at least 150 times in 2014, and only four of those had a catch rate of at least 69 percent: All-Americans Amari Cooper (Alabama), Kevin White (West Virginia), Justin Hardy (East Carolina) … and Colorado’s Nelson Spruce.

5.03 … Offenses tended to pick up speed as they approached the goal line. It didn’t even matter which offense was on the field. Colorado averaged a healthy 5.03 points per scoring opportunity, 17th in the country. The Buffaloes also allowed 5.13 points per opportunity … 123rd in the nation.



May 30th

Lindy’s ranks the Pac-12 … CU ranked 67th nationally

The rankings for the Pac-12, from Lindy’s preseason magazine:

No. 4 – Oregon … By picking them at No. 4, we’re probably asking the Ducks to win at Michigan State early in the year or else have to run the table in the Pac-12. Tall order, but we’d have to ask the same of another team, and, well, we trust Oregon.

No. 11 – USC … Admit it. Most of your questions about ‘SC center on the head coach being able to shed his “7-win Sark” label. Same here. The Trojans will zoom past seven and capture the tough Pac-12 South, but ultimately bump up against the Green ceiling (yes, that’s Oregon)

No. 14 – Arizona State … ASU has posted back-to-back 10-win seasons. That sounds like the ceiling this season, but a very fine ceiling it would be.

No. 19 – Arizona … The team’s all-around depth is still lacking. With that, it’s a bit much to expect Arizona to successfully tip-toe to another South division title while playing 12 consecutive games without a bye.

No. 20 – UCLA … We’ll soon know in the conference season which way this is going. UCLA opens at Arizona, then is home to Arizona State in tone-setting South division games.

No. 26 – Stanford … All the usual toughness, plus emerging RB Christian McCaffrey

No. 32 – Utah … Utes shouldn’t slide after posting a 9-4 record a year ago

No. 44 – California … QB Jared Goff has great group of WR’s; anyone here play D?

No. 56 – Washington – Huskies working through QB issues, loss of NFL talent on defense

No. 60 – Washington State – QB Luke Falk impressed as injury replacement, but job remains open

No. 64 – Oregon State … Long term: Gary Andersen is great hire. Short term: Who’s the QB?

No. 67 – Colorado … More competitive last season, but hard to climb Pac-12 South ladder

Others …

No. 75 – Colorado State … Hiring SEC coordinator worked once; Rams try again with Mike Bobo

No. 115 – UMass … Minutemen lose their quarterback, and their TE left early to try the NFL

No. 120 – Hawai’i … Three seasons of Norm Chow as coach as resulted in only 8 wins.



May 29th

Athlon Pac-12 Unit Rankings

Athlon has rated the Pac-12 conference teams unit-by-unit. Colorado does not have any unit which Athlon considers to be in the top half of the conference. But … and we have to look at this as being good news … there are no units rated the worst in the conference, and only two (running backs and linebackers) are in double digits.

Colorado team rankings: Quarterback – 7th; Running backs – 11th; Wide receivers/Tight ends – 8th; Offensive Line – 8th; Defensive Line – 7th; Linebackers – 10th; Defensive backs – 9th

Athlon’s top-rated teams by unit … Quarterback – USC … Running Backs – Oregon … Wide receivers/Tight ends – USC … Offensive Line – Oregon … Defensive Line – Stanford … Linebackers – Stanford … Defensive Backs – USC

Athlon’s lowest-rated teams by unit … Quarterback – Oregon State … Running Backs – Washington State … Wide Receivers/Tight Ends – Utah … Offensive Line – Oregon State … Defensive Line – Washington State … Linebackers – Oregon State … Defensive Backs – California

Overall averages … 1. USC 3.0 (average of seven rankings) … 2. UCLA (3.3) … 3. Oregon (3.5) … 4. Arizona (5.0) … 5. Stanford (5.1) … 6. Arizona State (5.3) … 7. Utah (6.6) … 8. California (6.8) … 9. Colorado (8.5) … 10. Washington (9.6) … 11. Washington State (10.3) … 12. Oregon State (10.8).


Orlando Sentinel countdown rates Colorado

From the Orlando Sentinel’s countdown of the 128 FBS teams …

Colorado – 107

Strengths: Quarterback Sefo Liufau took the majority of snaps last season for the Buffaloes. He became the first Colorado quarterback to throw for more than 3,000 yards in a season since Cody Hawkins (2007) after passing for 3,200 yards and 28 touchdowns in 2014. He helped guide an offense ranked eighth in the Pac-12 in total offense (439 yards per game) and fifth in pass offense (285).

Colorado has a variety of players who could see time at running back this season. It’s a good thing considering three players started in the backfield last year thanks to injuries. Senior Christian Powell (448 yards, 5 TDs) led the team in rushing last season, followed by junior Michael Adkins (398 yards, 3 TDs) and sophomore Phillip Lindsay (391 yards). Freshman Kyle Evans could be a factor as well.

The offensive line, which allowed a league-low 23 quarterback sacks last season, returns three starters, including center Alex Kelley and tackle Stephane Nembot. Receiver Nelson Spruce earned a spot on the All-Pac-12 second team after recording a team-high in receptions (106), receiving yards ( 1,198) and receiving touchdowns (12). He returns to anchor a group that includes Shay Fields (486 yards, 4 TDs) and Bryce Bobo (215 yards, 3 TDs).

Weaknesses: Colorado ranked next-to-last in the Pac-12 in scoring defense — allowing 39 points per game last season — and total defense (460.9 yards per game). In the offseason, MacIntyre hired Jim Leavitt as the program’s new defensive coordinator. While there is lot of work ahead of him, Leavitt will have nine starters back from last season. The most noticeable absence, however, is cornerback Greg Henderson. The four-year starter was a fixture in the Buffaloes’ secondary, where he started 45 games.

Another troubling trend is Colorado’s difficulty forcing turnovers. The team’s turnover margin was minus-10 last season. The program hasn’t achieved positive numbers in that category since 2006. They forced just 11 turnovers in 2014, including a league-worst three interceptions.

Outlook: It’s been four years since Colorado joined the Pac-12 and the program continues to struggle. The Buffaloes are 10-39 during that brief period, including a dismal 4-31 conference record. This year’s team is one of the most talented and experienced that MacIntyre has had during his brief tenure with the program, but it’s unclear whether it will translate to more wins.



May 28th

College Football News – What You Need to Know

From the College Football News

What You Need To Know About The Offense: While the modified Pistol offense continues to improve under coordinator Brian Lindgren, the Buffs know they still need to get much better, especially if the D remains a liability. Yeah, Colorado averaged 28.5 points per game, its most in 12 years, but it also ranked dead last in the Pac-12 in yards per play. And up-and-coming QB Sefo Liufau needs to nuance more connections downfield with fewer turnovers and poor decisions in the passing game. Liufau, along with all-league WR Nelson Spruce, will be the centerpieces of an attack that hopes to achieve slightly more balance in 2015. Backfield depth doesn’t figure to be a worry, since Michael Adkins is returning from knee surgery and Boise State transfer Aaron Baltazar will be added to the roster in the summer. However, the graduations of Daniel Munyer and Kaiwi Crabb means Colorado will be employing two new starting guards this fall, a potential roadblock to running between the tackles.

What You Need To Know About The Defense: Jim Leavitt must really want to be back in the college game, because he’s inherited one of the toughest gigs among Power Five coordinators. Colorado has a longstanding tradition as a sieve on D, with last season following true to form. Leavitt will attempt to coach up a unit that ranked 119th nationally in points per game and 120th in yards per play. The one silver lining is that the two-deep will be littered with upperclassmen and returning starters. At a minimum, Leavitt will be mentoring plenty of kids who’ve played a lot of reps at this level. Now, the former South Florida head coach and his staff of assistants must figure a way to maximize the potential of the holdovers. In a league with as much skill position talent as the Pac-12, the Buffaloes are going to hit an immovable wall until they prove they can make timely stops in the latter stages of tight games.



May 27th

Athlon’s Final Analysis

Athlon’s take on the Buffs’ 2015 season:

“Colorado won only two games in Coach MacIntyre’s second season, and went winless in conference play for the first time in 99 years. Despite those harsh realities, there were tangible signs that the program is finally on the right track and in position to be more competitive in the Pac-12. Four of the Buffaloes’ nine league losses came by five points or fewer, including double-overtime losses to Cal and UCLA. The goal in Year 3 is to turn those close losses into wins, and move out of the Pac-12 basement”.

Athlon’s CU stat of note … 7.09 – The CU defense allowed an average of 7.09 yards per play against Pac-12 opponents. No other team in the nation allowed more than 7.00 yards per play against its league foes.


May 26th

College Football News Previews the CU Buffs

CU preview from the College Football News

Year 3 for Mike MacIntyre, a pivotal one for the coach and a program that’s strung together nine consecutive losing seasons.

MacIntyre is a builder, and a patient one at that. And he and his staff have methodically tinkered with every aspect of the Buffaloes the last two years, with progress typically showing up in places other than the standings. But Colorado actually won fewer games in 2014 than in 2013, and will carry an eight-game losing streak into 2015. While patience is still being shown, and no one expects a miracle turnaround, it’s crucial for MacIntyre and the Buffs to turn a couple of last season’s moral victories into actual ones this fall.

Winning in Boulder is rife with challenges. But it’s not impossible. Gary Barnett went to five bowl games in seven years. Rick Neuheisel twice won 10 games in a season. And Bill McCartney’s last six teams finished ranked. Moving further from the losing culture that has gripped the program of late will hinge on the right shoulder of junior QB Sefo Liufau and the soft hands of WR Nelson Spruce. However, one really prolific pitch-and-catch combo won’t get the Buffs out of their current funk. Much more help is needed, particularly on defense.

The Colorado offense is borderline bowl-caliber. The D, on the other hand, is fit for the Big Sky Conference. The Buffaloes didn’t hold a single Pac-12 opponent below 36 points last year, a central reason why they didn’t defeat a single Pac-12 opponent either. Jim Leavitt, best known as the architect of the South Florida Bulls, has been brought aboard to reshape his new pupils on a basic fundamental level. While Leavitt is going to have a positive impact on an experienced group of players, anything more than incremental progress in 2015 is doubtful.

The Buffaloes showed signs of breaking through a year ago, nearly upsetting more talented Pac-12 opponents. They even dragged UCLA, which wound up in the top 10, into double-overtime. It’s now up to the program to learn how to win the toss-ups, the hardest component to any rebuilding plan. MacIntyre has had three recruiting classes and two full seasons to breathe life back into Colorado. It’s time for this team to deliver a signature moment or two, while striding closer to bowl-eligibility.



May 25th

Athlon preseason rankings has CU 11th in the Pac-12, 67th in the nation

Athlon magazine has ranked all 128 Division 1-A teams (FBS), from No. 1 Ohio State to No. 128 Charlotte (no, I didn’t know the 49ers were 1-A, either … they’re in Conference USA).

Here are Athlon’s Pac-12 national rankings:

6. USC (Rose Bowl)

8. Oregon (Fiesta Bowl)

13. Arizona State (Alamo Bowl)

23. UCLA (Foster Farms Bowl)

24. Stanford (Holiday Bowl)

30. Arizona (Sun Bowl)

31. Utah (Cactus Bowl)

46. Washington (Poinsettia Bowl … vs. CSU)

47. California (Las Vegas Bowl)

66. Washington State

67. Colorado

73. Oregon State

Others … 71. Colorado State … 92. UMass …. 114. Hawai’i

Some thoughts on Athlon’s rankings … USC and Oregon continue to be the favorites for the Pac-12 South and North, respectively … The jury is out on UCLA without Hundley … Utah, at No. 31, is getting more love than from other publications … Washington is ranked lower by Athlon than by many other prognosticators … Colorado is getting much closer to respectability, at least in the eyes of Athlon. The Buffs are ranked just below Washington State and ahead of Oregon State in the national pecking order … CU, with ten losses last season, is ranked above CSU, which had ten wins in 2014 … The Buffs are ranked above all three of its FBS non-conference opponents. When combined with the Nicholls State game, CU is predicted to go 4-0 in non-conference play … If rankings hold, the Buffs will finish 5-8 in 2015, with a shot at 6-7 if CU can take out Washington State on the road …



May 24th

Quotable quotes from The Sporting News preseason magazine

– ” … scratch the surface of the Buffaloes’ 0-9 Pac-12 record and there was actual evidence that the program started trending the right way”.

– “In Pac-12 play, CU was out-scored by a total of 124 points, down from 215 in 2013”.

– “Experience should help the Buffs get over the hump. Colorado had 32 underclassmen on its mid-season two-deep last season, the most in the Pac-12”.

Difference-MakersAddison Gillam and Kenneth Olugbode … When it comes to big hits, these guys are like Bugsy Siegel and Meyer Lansky. In other words, ball-carriers, watch your back. As sophomores last season, the Olugbode-Gillam due finished first and second on the team in tackles, respectively, combining for 161.

Bottom Line … “A little extra endurance and experience could help the Buffs close out a few games this time around”.



May 23rd

Projections from The Sporting News

The Sporting News preseason magazine has some of the following tidbits:

– Most Likely To Succeed (Off the Field) – Nelson Spruce, Colorado … If the Fortune 500 had a draft board, the finance whiz would be on that, too.

– Best Hands – Nelson Spruce, Colorado … Former high school baseball infielder rarely makes errors.

– Hottest Seat – Mike MacIntyre, Colorado … The Buffs are making progress, but one Pac-12 in two years just doesn’t cut it.

– All-Pac-12 – Nelson Spruce, Colorado

Pac-12 Bowl Projections:

– No. 4 Oregon … College Football Semi-Finals (Orange Bowl)

– No. 6 USC … Rose Bowl

– No. 13 UCLA … Alamo Bowl

– No. 17 Arizona … Foster Farms Bowl

– No. 19 Arizona State … Las Vegas Bowl

– No. 24 Stanford … Holiday Bowl

– Washington … Sun Bowl

– California … Hawai’i Bowl

– Utah … Cactus Bowl



May 22nd

ESPN previews the Pac-12

ESPN has posted previews for all of the Pac-12 teams, with “How they beat you” and “How to beat them” segments for the offenses and defenses of each team. The previews can be found here.

Here’s what ESPN had to say about Colorado:

Last year’s winless Pac-12 campaign doesn’t offer much hope that the Buffs will compete any time soon in the South. If there’s a silver lining in Boulder, though, it’s that two conference losses came via double OT and two others by less than a touchdown. Converting some close losses into close wins will be a start.


How the Buffaloes beat you: There’s a bright spot for Colorado’s offensive attack: 2014 Biletnikoff semifinalist Nelson Spruce. After accounting for nearly a quarter of the offense’s output last year (1,198 receiving yards), the wide receiver opted to return to Boulder as a fifth-year senior. Spruce shared conference highs for receptions (106) and TD catches (12) last year, but if there is a knock against him, it’s his general lack of explosiveness: 11.3 ypc (No. 27 among FBS receivers, minimum 75 receptions) and just 13 catches for 20-plus yards. “I’m working to be quicker in and out of breaks,” Spruce said in the spring. “I want to show that I can be a little more explosive down the field.” So while the rush attack is not without promise (the Buffaloes gained 154.6 ypg, their highest total since 2006), the offense will still run through its NFL-caliber receiver.

How you beat the Buffaloes: No Pac-12 quarterback threw more picks than junior Sefo Liufau last season (15)—so despite losing a respectable 6 fumbles all year (No. 19 in the FBS), Colorado still finished minus-10 in turnover margin (tied for No. 112). And while the Buffs averaged 439.2 total ypg (No. 37), they just didn’t have the big-play ability to overcome big mistakes, gaining just 5.3 yards per play (No. 88).


How the Buffaloes beat you: “Our front seven is going to surprise people,” says Colorado’s director of sports performance, Dave Forman. That’s the hope, anyway, for a leaky unit that was composed almost entirely of underclassmen on its two-deep last season. The defense lacked disruption, forcing only 22 sacks (No. 88) and 55 tackles for loss (tied for 111th). But the now more buff Buffs do get back three of their top four tacklers for loss, as well as their top five sackers, including 2014 Pac-12 honorable mention NT Josh Tupou.

How you beat the Buffaloes: Colorado didn’t do much of anything well last season. “We need to make a big jump on the defensive side,” admits coach Mike MacIntyre. And it was especially prone to giving up huge chunks of real estate to opposing ball carriers: 30 rushes of 20-plus yards allowed last season (No. 122). The Buffaloes would dig themselves into holes from the outset, allowing 6 ypc on first down (No. 115), and just never recovered. They also gave up first downs on 26 percent of all rushing attempts (No. 91). And while MacIntyre insists that playing in the Pac-12 makes progress “harder to notice,” it was pretty tough to miss that the Colorado defenders were frequently out of position last year.




May 18th

Sporting News has two Pac-12 teams in its Top Ten

With the end of Spring football comes the beginning of the onslaught of preseason magazines. The Sporting News has put out its preseason Top 25. Six Pac-12 teams have made their rankings, with two teams – Oregon and USC – in the Top Ten.

The Pac-12 write-ups:

No. 4 – Oregon

What do we know about the diminutive quarterback Vernon Adams – other than his highly publicized FCS to FBS transfer from Eastern Washington, and that post-game celebration after a win at Oregon State two years ago? Absolutely nothing. Doing it once as an underdog against an unmotivated team is a lot different than doing it week-by-week in the Pac-12 – if he beats out Jeff Lockie for the job. The Ducks are loaded at the skill positions, and the defense returns a solid core. It’s all up to Adams (or Lockie) to replace Marcus Mariota with efficient play that limits turnovers.

No. 6 – USC

Here we are with USC, now more than a decade removed from its last moment in the spotlight (one that was later vacated). The scholarship allotment is full again (not really), and there are elite game-changers (QB Cody Kessler, WR JuJu Smith, athlete Adoree Jackson, S Su’a Cravens) all over the field. The problem: The Pac-12 has gotten much better since Pete Carroll rolled over the conference in the 2000’s, and the margin for error has drastically decreased on a weekly basis. Road games against Arizona State, Oregon and Notre Dame will be brutal.

No. 13 – UCLA

Don’t think Jerry Neuheisel is going to give up the starting quarterback easily. He’s not the elite talent that freshman Josh Rosen is, but he has been around the offense for three seasons, and knows what OC Noel Mazzone wants. If the Bruins can figure the position, the rest of the team (RB Paul Perkins is a star) is deep and talented enough to get back to the Pac-12 championship game.

No. 17 – Arizona

As impressive as Arizona’s jump to the top of the Pac-12 was, it was dulled somewhat by two disastrous games (losses to Oregon and Boise State). Still, there is plenty of good happening in Tucson, with Anu Solomon leading a dangerous offense, and Scooby Wright III the face of the defense. The Wildcats must play better – and with more consistency – in big games.

No. 19 – Arizona State

QB Taylor Kelly’s injury in 2014 allowed ASU to play Mike Bercovici and get him valuable repetitions against Pac-12 defenses heading into this fall. The one thing that coach Todd Graham built his reputation on (defense), has been the one thing that has kept his Sun Devils from becoming elite. Nearly the entire unit returns, and must get better at covering and getting off the field.

No. 24 Stanford

Maybe this is the year that Kevin Hogan becomes the player that can carry an offense, instead of a caretaker. Or maybe we’re too quick to compare Hogan to Andrew Luck. How many other teams would take a 48/21 TD to INT ratio, and a QB rating of at least 145 over the past three years? If Stanford runs with power and consistency again, Hogan will become that game-changing player.


The Sporting News Top 50 players … CU will face eight of them this season

The Sporting News has also posted its list of the top 50 players in the nation. Only one of the top 50, Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright III, made the top ten, with seven players from the conference overall. Including CSU wide receiver Rashard Higgins (vastly overrated at No. 11), Colorado will face eight of the top 50 players in the nation this fall.

The lineup of elite players lining up against the Buffs in 2015:

No. 10 – Linebacker Scooby Wright III – Arizona
No. 11 – Wide receiver Rashard Higgins – Colorado State
No. 12 – Quarterback Cody Kessler – USC
No. 19 – Linebacker Myles Jack – UCLA
No. 27 – Safety Su’a Cravens – USC
No. 33 – Cornerback/wide receiver Adoree Jackson – USC
No. 34 – Running back Royce Freeman – Oregon
No. 36 – Running back Paul Perkins – UCLA


13 Replies to “Preseason Magazines”

  1. Thoughts on Mac being hired away after going 5-8:

    I really don’t think MacIntyre would do that. I remember when he was hired, how he talked about staying at SJSU, but only wanted to come to a new rebuilding project, because that’s what he loves to do. I don’t see any other bigger programs that would need bigger rebuilding efforts that might come calling for Mac. Sure, if he wins 9-10 games this year, then yes, he will be a hot commodity next season, but I don’t see another big program coming in a hiring him away. Still, I’m glad to see someone giving Mac some credit as a coach. He’s being listed as “on the hot seat” in other publications, which I also disagree with, so this is nice.

  2. I think until we have more wins than the other Pac 12 teams in the lower echelon then we should be considered the worst team in the conference. Anyone can live on shoulda,woulda, coulda, but until the numbers are there we are number 12.


  3. After reading that outlook assessment, it made me realize even more how Sefo blew all those winnable games with critical second half picks. He can’t reach down and close out games. And he has more than ample chances and experience. He’s certainly not a rookie. More experience than 85 per cent of returning QB’s at least. Our HC passed on too many graduated, eligible QB’s who would have loved to play Pac 12 ball. Anyone would have been a major upgrade. Until he proves me and the fanbase wrong, I don’t think we have a QB with the moxy to win in the Pac. 1-13 as a Pac 12 starter with plenty of chances to win, Utah twice, Washington, Cal, even Arizona with four turnovers that gave the Cats 28 quick points, and leading the offense to just 3 points in the second half in the CSU game last year after we had halftime lead. Just awful in second half. He’s not the guy who can take us to new heights. It’s a real shame that he couldn’t step up in just one of those 6 games. All very winnable. Just handed our opponants the wins on a silver platter with critical fourth quarter turnovers. We will see what happens this year.

  4. I think back when Mac started and how really really bad we were. We were consistently in the low 120s in all rankings and our coaching staff looked lost on the sidelines. Now Mac hasn’t set the world on fire but he has brought some stability to the team where we are now getting mid level rankings from the magazines. If Sefo cuts the interceptions down we become a better team. Leavitt will make the defense better regardless of who he has to work with. We will get 4 or 5 or possibly 6 wins. Again not a magnificent year but upward steps. I think that is all we can ask at this point. Stick with Mac through his contract and then we can discuss a hot seat.

    1. It is too bad that you feel that way. Maybe warranted maybe not. But if you remember when we were hiring Mac other higher caliber coaches were not beating our door down nor did they want anything to do with our team that had fallen to the deepest darkest hole the Buffs have ever been in. I think his calming stability will bring better athletes eventually. But I could be wrong.

    2. The idea that MacIntyre is as high on the hot-seat list as Dodd claims shows me Dodd has no idea what has been going on in Boulder since 2004. It appears you might be the same way, Samuel. Obviously the pressure to start winning is there, but MacIntyre is working through a major rebuilding process and is doing it when the Pac-12 has simultaneously become the best conference in College Football.

      If the Buffs start winning Pac-12 games (which they nearly won 4 of them last season), then all will be fine. If they go 0-9 in conference, then that will be a different story. But I don’t think there is any way they go 0-9 in conference in 2015. Can’t wait for this season!

  5. I must confess that I did not realize that the defense intercepted only 3 passes all of last season and none once the calendar hit October. Wow.

  6. Interesting comment from USC. Of all the teams in the PAC12 South, USC has been the only one that has consistently pounded our Buffs since we joined the PAC12. It makes the upset comment even more compelling since we should be the one team they are unafraid to face.

    Hope they are right.

  7. Stuart, you have a typo on 26-May writeup:
    “The Buffs are ranked just below Washington *STATE* and ahead of Oregon State in the national pecking order …”

    Great job as usual! Go Buffs!

  8. looks like the gurus at ESPN haven’t heard of the Leavitt hire. Maybe I’ll start my own preseason magazine. Even with climbing out on a few limbs most fans could do better than these guys who mostly recycle last season.

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