Preseason Magazines

August 21st

Associated Press preseason Top 25 released

Here’s the full preseason AP Top 25 (first-place votes in parenthesis):

  1. Alabama (33)
  2. Clemson (16)
  3. Oklahoma (4)
  4. Florida State (5)
  5. LSU (1)
  6. Ohio State (1)
  7. Michigan (1)
  8. Stanford
  9. Tennessee
  10. Notre Dame
  11. Ole Miss
  12. Michigan State
  13. TCU
  14. Washington
  15. Houston
  16. UCLA
  17. Iowa
  18. Georgia
  19. Louisville
  20. USC
  21. Oklahoma State
  22. North Carolina
  23. Baylor
  24. Oregon
  25. Florida

Others receiving votes: Miami, Texas A&M, Utah, Washington State, Boise State, San Diego State, Wisconsin, Auburn, Pittsburgh, Arkansas, Texas,Nebraska, Navy, Northwestern, Western Kentucky, South Florida, Toledo

 

 

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August 20th

Athlon: “An experienced Colorado team could shake up the Pac-12 title race in 2016”

From Athlon Sports … An oft-echoed sentiment around Pac-12 country suggests that any week, just about any team in the conference can beat the rest. Though Oregon State faced some hard times in Gary Andersen’s first season at the helm, going winless in the 2015 league slate, and Colorado’s faced some lean years since joining five years ago, the coming campaign should be the most tumultuous.

Teams that may not be in the Pac-12 championship hunt will play central roles in shaping the conference’s title chase. With two home, November dates against contenders from both the North and South, Colorado’s positioned as the most impactful, upset-minded team of 2016.

… 5. Colorado over Washington State, Nov. 19

Wide receiver Gabe Marks half-joked at Pac-12 media days that Washington State should invest in an indoor playing venue, as cold weather hindered the effectiveness of an air-raid offense.   Late-season conditions in the Rocky Mountains could prove just as effective as an experienced Colorado defense is in slowing Washington State’s potent passing attack. When the Cougars visit Boulder on the regular season’s penultimate weekend, conditions should be downright bone-chilling. More importantly, Washington State will be visiting a team head coach Mike MacIntyre should have playing for bowl game positioning.   With senior quarterback Sefo Liufau back behind center, leading one of the Pac-12’s most experienced rosters, Colorado should end a postseason drought that dates back to 2007. This late-season, home contest could be a must-win for the Buffs to make that goal a reality.

… 1. Colorado over UCLA, Nov. 3

Colorado may not be ready to contend for a divisional title just yet, but the Buffaloes will shake up the South race in its final month. No game is more tailored for just such a scenario than this one.   Since MacIntyre came to Colorado in 2013, the Buffs have made strides every year. A measure of their improvement has been playing South divisional competition much closer, and no Colorado near-misses have been tighter than UCLA’s wins in 2014 and ’15.   The Buffs took the Bruins to double overtime in 2014 before falling, 40-37. They led late last season at the Rose Bowl, and were driving with an opportunity to win at the game’s end. With MacIntyre boasting his best and most experienced team yet, look for Colorado to get over the hump against UCLA.

Read about the other eight predicted upsets here

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July 19th

Pro Football Focus: CU’s secondary one of Pac-12’s ten best

From Pro Football Focus:

9. Colorado secondary

The Buffaloes struggled to a 4-9 finish last season, but their play in the secondary was among the best in the conference. It starts with cornerback Chidobe Awuzie, who ranks fourth in PFF grades among returning cornerbacks. He is excellent in all three facets of the game, ranking fifth in run-stop percentage and generating the most pressures (22) and sacks (4), to go along with his skills in coverage. Tedric Thompson was another standout. He toggled between free safety and the slot in 2015, ranking 23rd in run-stop percentage and holding up well in ccoverage, despite being targeted frequently. His yards per coverage snap allowed was ninth-lowest in the country. New starting corner Isaiah Oliver graded well in his limited action a year ago.

Also from Pro Football Focus:

Best deep passer: Sefo Liufau, Colorado

Sefo Liufau and Jake Browning both had a 50.0 adjusted completion percentage on passes targeted 20 yards or more downfield. However, Liufau wins the title of Pac-12’s best deep passer due to his consistency with positive grades to all three areas of the field—deep left, deep middle, deep right. Liufau also had more touchdowns, more yards, and fewer interceptions throwing deep than Browning.

Runner-up: Jake Browning, Washington

Best hands: Philip Lindsay, Colorado

Lindsay saw 26 catchable passes come his way in 2015 and he caught all of them. No other returning Pac-12 running back with at least 15 targets had the perfect 0.00 drop rate that Lindsay had. Royce Freeman had one drop on 27 catchable balls.

Runner-up: Royce Freeman, Oregon

Best defensive playmaker: Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado

Awuzie had four sacks, two interceptions and five passes defensed in 2015. Awuzie is a physical and versatile defender who can play any position in the secondary. Awuzie’s coverage and pass rush grades rank No. 1 among returning Pac-12 cornerbacks. The versatile Thomas can play DT or DE, he had four sacks, six hits and 15 hurries in 2015 and his +20.9 run defense grade ranks No.1 among all returning Pac-12 interior defensive linemen.

Runner-up: Solomon Thomas, Stanford

 

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July 17th

College Football News ranks the Pac-12 schedules from easiest to hardest 

From the College Football News:

12. Arizona

11. UCLA

10. Oregon State

9. Utah

8. Washington

7. Washington State

6. Arizona State

5. California

4. Colorado … It’ll be an emotional September starting out with the rivalry date against Colorado State along with road games at Michigan and Oregon. If that wasn’t challenging enough, there’s a trip to USC in early October. The second half isn’t all that bad with four of the last six games at home, but with a trip to Stanford.

3. Stanford

2. Oregon

1. USC

 

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July 11th

Phil Steele’s Power Poll and toughest schedules

Phil Steele’s Power Poll … Pac-12 teams:

7. Stanford

8. Washington

… 13. Michigan

15. USC

16. UCLA

21. Oregon

33. Utah

37. Arizona State

48. Washington State

49. California

50. Colorado

52. Arizona

94. Oregon State

… 97. Colorado State

Phil Steele 2016 toughest schedules … Pac-12

1. USC

4. California

15. Oregon State

16. Colorado 

18. Stanford

24. Utah

35. UCLA

36. Oregon

38. Arizona

40. Washington State

46. Arizona State

56. Washington

… 67. Michigan

… 89. Colorado State

 

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July 10th

College Football News Predicts every Pac-12 game

The College Football News has taken the time to predict the outcome of every game to be played by a Pac-12 team this season.

The full list can be found here, but here is how the schedule will play out, according to CFN …

Pac-12 North:

1. Oregon – 10-2; 7-2

2t. Washington – 9-3; 6-3

2t. Stanford – 8-4; 6-3

4t. Washington State – 5-7; 3-6

4t. Oregon State – 4-8; 3-6

6. California – 2-10; 1-8

Pac-12 South:

1. UCLA – 9-3; 5-3

2. USC – 8-4; 5-3

3. Arizona State – 8-4; 5-4

4. Utah – 7-5; 4-5

5. Arizona – 7-5; 4-5

6. Colorado – 5-7; 3-6

2016 Colorado Buffaloes

2016 Prediction: 5-7
2016 Pac-12 Prediction: 3-6
Sept. 2 at Colorado State (in Denver) WIN
Sept. 10 Idaho State WIN
Sept. 17 at Michigan Loss
Sept. 24 at Oregon Loss
Oct. 1 Oregon State WIN
Oct. 8 at USC Loss
Oct. 15 Arizona State Loss
Oct. 22 at Stanford   Loss
Oct. 29 OPEN DATE
Nov. 3 UCLA Loss
Nov. 12 at Arizona Loss
Nov. 19 Washington State WIN
Nov. 26 Utah WIN

 

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July 9th

Phil Steele: “I am not going out on a limb calling this their best defense since their last bowl game”

Phil Steele’s Forecast for Colorado:

Offense: With the addition of co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini, I look for the Texas Tech style passing game to be brought in. With more up-tempo they will easily improve on the MacIntyre era-low 24.6 points per game they put up last year. CU should have a more stable offensive line and has added more talent to the skill positions.

Defense: Injuries have been a constant on this defense as of late, and if they can just avoid them this year, they have some good pieces, especially if defensive tackle Josh Tupou and linebacker Addison Gillam are able be full-time starters. Colorado showed great improvement last year from allowing 39.0 points per game to just 27.5 points per game and this year has nine starters back. I am not going out on a limb calling this their best defense since their last bowl game (2007), and this unit continues to get better.

2016: The Buffs should have 23 scholarship seniors this year, the most they have had in a decade. They are the most experienced team in the Pac-12 (No. 9 in FBS) and have 18 returning starters. How close has coach MacIntyre come to breaking through? How about eight losses in Pac-12 play the last two years by seven points or less. The problem in the last couple of years besides the close losses have been injuries to key players. The Buff squad has five road games over the first eight weeks including Michigan, Oregon, USC and Stanford. If they can maintain health through that stretch this team could surprise. They were -89.6 yards per game in the Pac-12 last year (No. 11) and are just 2-25 in conference play in MacIntyre’s three years, and although I almost added them to my Most Improved List, I think they may be a year away from making a bowl.

Phil Steele’s Pac-12 Forecast:

Pac-12 North:

1. Washington … 2. Stanford … 3. Oregon … 4. Washington State … 5. California … 6. Oregon State

Pac-12 South:

1. UCLA … 2. USC … 3. Utah … 4. Arizona State … 5. Arizona … 5. Colorado (Steele is the only major preseason publication not to pick CU to finish 6th in the Pac-12 South)

5. Colorado … Colorado, under Mike MacIntyre, is a ridiculously poor 2-25 in the Pac-12 and last year was -89.6 yards per game (11th). Mark them down for 6th and move on, right? Actually, Colorado has been a lost more competitive. In fact, in the last two years they have lost EIGHT Pac-12 games by a touchdown or less. Colorado is the most experienced team in the Pac-12 this year. I think the Buffs have a chance of ranking in the upper half of the defensive rankings in conference play, provided they can stay healthy.

 

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July 7th

College Football News – Pac-12 third-best conference in the country

From the College Football News … Ranking The Conferences: How do the leagues measure up coming into the season? Which ones are the strongest, and which ones aren’t quite there?

3. Pac-12

The Pac-12 has a little of the same issue the Big 12 is facing – where’s the top dog?

Oregon is probably the best team, but that’s by default. Stanford is in a total rebuild around Christian McCaffrey, Washington State is Washington State – it’ll put up a ton of numbers, but it won’t be enough – and Cal seems to have the system in place. But the North should be more interesting because Oregon State will be better and Washington has the talent and coaching to break through under Chris Petersen.

The South is all full of wild cards. Colorado should be far, far better, but that might not matter much considering Utah isn’t going anywhere, Arizona State will be fine despite some key losses, and Arizona, as always, will be dangerous.

UCLA has just enough to take the division, but will it underachieve/have injury problems again? And then there’s USC, who has the skill, and the depth – finally – but is Clay Helton ready for primetime?

 

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June 29th

Pacific Takes … Colorado offensive line no better than 11th in the Pac-12

From Pacifictakes.com … “Ranking the 2016 Pac-12 offensive lines: USC has best line in the Pac-12”

Rankings … 1. USC … 2. Utah … 3. Stanford … 4. UCLA … 5 … Washington … 6. Oregon … 7. Washington State … 8. California … 9. Arizona … 10. Arizona State …

11. Colorado (C Alex Kelley Sr. G Shane Callahan Sr. G Gerar Kough Jr. T John Lisella So. T Sam Kronshage Jr.) The Buffs have had a tough time on the offensive line for a while, but they are putting it together. This is a solid group.

… 12. Oregon State

 

Stassen compiles consensus from preseason magazines for the Pac-12 standings

From Stassen … Not a surprise, but Colorado is once again the consensus pick to finish last in the Pac-12 South. The Buffs are getting closer to 5th, or, better stated, the consensus is that Arizona is getting closer to the bottom.

There is no consensus as to the winner of the Pac-12 South, with USC and UCLA tied for first. In the Pac-12 North, Washington is the pick to unseat Stanford. Oregon, meanwhile, is picked to finish third this fall.

In the national race, Alabama is the choice to collect another national title, with Clemson and Oklahoma tied for second. Stanford and Washington were in a three-way tie for the No. 10 team in the nation (along with Baylor … pre-melt-down). USC was picked to be the No. 17 team in the country, with UCLA coming in at No. 19 and Oregon at No. 24.

 

Pacific 12

RankTeamTotal
Points
AthlonMcIllece
Sports
TSNLindyESPNPhil
Steele
North
1Washington8112211
2Stanford11231122
3Oregon17323333
4Washington State24444444
5California31565555
6Oregon State35656666
South
1tSouthern Cal9221112
1tUCLA9112221
3Utah20½34334
4Arizona State23½43445
5Arizona28½55553
6Colorado35½66666

Notes:

  • Phil Steele predicted a tie between Arizona State and Utah for 3rd-4th in the Pac-12 South.
  • Phil Steele predicted a tie between Arizona and Colorado for 5th-6th in the Pac-12 South.

 

 

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June 24th

Phil Steele analyzes “two-deep” rosters

From Phil Steele … For more than 8 years I have published an “Experience Chart” in my National College Football Preview. The old version of this chart just took into account the overall experience from the 2 deep for each squad. Several years ago I revised the Experience Chart and created a New and Improved version. The updated chart uses 20% of the experience grade from the old chart, 20% from the % of lettermen returning, 20% from the percent of tackles returning, 20% from the percent of yards returning and 20% from the career starts of the offensive line.

The most experienced teams when using the old chart were usually the service academies, which play a lot of seniors and juniors. Using the old method (which is listed below) the top 5 most experienced teams in terms of upperclassmen in the two deep are: 1. Air Force 2. New Mexico 3. Navy 4. Utah 5. BYU.

The least experienced teams using this method are: 128. Clemson 127. Oklahoma

To formulate a point system, I awarded 3 points for every senior starter (2.5 for every additional senior in the two deep) 2 points for every junior starter (1.5 for every additional junior in the two deep) 1 point for a sophomore starter (0.5 for every additional soph in the two deep) then subtracted 1 point for every frosh starter and .5 for every frosh in the two deep. The total points column uses that formula to figure out the points awarded to a team.

The Pac-12 by points: 

4. Utah … 85.0

31. Arizona … 71.5

37. UCLA … 70.0

48. Colorado … 68.0

76t. Washington State … 63.0

76t. Oregon State … 63.0

87t. California … 62.0

87t. Arizona State … 62.0

93. Oregon … 61.0

102. Washington … 59.0

107. USC … 58.0

123. Stanford … 53.0

And …

10. Colorado State … 80.5

29. Michigan … 72.0

 

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June 23rd

ESPN rates CU’s offensive and defensive “triplets”

ESPN is rating Pac-12’s offensive and defensive “triplets”, taking a player from three groupings on each side of the ball (quarterback, running back, wide receiver from the offense; defensive line, linebacker, and defensive back from the defense).

ESPN rated CU’s groupings as No. 11 on offense; No. 9 on defense.

On the offense, ESPN looked at quarterback Sefo Liufau, running back Phillip Lindsay, and wide receiver Shay Fields. The evaluation:

It shouldn’t be surprising to see the Buffs coming in at No. 11. They’re ahead of Utah, as Liufau’s experience obviously trumps the Utes’ current quarterback situation as does Fields’ experience in comparison to Utah WR Tyrone Smith, who only had 18 catches in 2015 compared to Fields’ 42. The Utes do have the advantage at running back in that most pundits likely would choose Joe Williams over Lindsay, but at the end of the day the scales tip toward the Buffs as they enter the fourth year of the MacIntyre era.

On the defense, ESPN looked at defensive lineman Josh Tupou, linebacker Derek McCartney, and defensive back Chidobe Awuzie. The evaluation:

Pop quiz: Name the only Power 5 team to force a turnover in every game in 2015? Sit down, Alabama. Not you, Washington. Sorry, Stanford. It was Colorado — which finished in the black for the first time in the Mike MacIntyre era with a plus-one turnover ratio. Turnovers do not equal wins, which is unfortunate for Colorado. But you can’t overlook the huge strides this defense made in 2015, especially when you consider that just a couple of seasons ago they had just three interceptions for the season — all by the same player. Besides consistently pilfering the ball, the Buffs dropped their scoring average from 39 points per game in 2014 to 27.5 last season — which was sixth in the league. Tupou’s return helps up front. And if linebacker Addison Gillam can stay healthy after such a promising freshman campaign in 2013, this could prove to be a formidable defense.

 

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June 22nd

Coloradoan: “Early projections will irk Colorado State football fans”

For your amusement …

From the Coloradoan … CSU fans expecting the Rams to be better in coach Mike Bobo’s second season aren’t getting much support from the folks who put out the national publications previewing the upcoming college football season.

Only one of the five preseason magazines available on local newsstands Monday had the Rams finishing higher than fourth in the six-team Mountain Division of the Mountain West, and the overall consensus was fourth place. CSU went 7-6 overall after a bowl loss and 5-3 in the MW last season, finishing in a four-way tie for second place in the Mountain Division.

CSU was picked No. 87 among the 128 schools in the NCAA’s Football Bowl Subdivision by Lindy’s Sports, No. 89 by Athlon Sports and No. 97 by ESPN and Phil Steele.

Continue reading story here

 

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June 20th

Phil Steele … CU rates high in percentage of yards returning and percentage of tackles returning

From Phil Steele … Today’s blog continues my in-depth look at my NCAA Experience Chart. For seven years I had listed an experience chart, which broke down the number of seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen each team had in the two deep and rated the teams experience level with a formula I devised. In 2009, I made the experience chart FIVE TIMES better by adding new categories like Career Starts on Offensive line, % of Offensive Yards returning, % of Defensive Yards returning and % of lettermen returning.

… Today I will look at the % of yards returning. I took all of the yards each QB threw for as well as all of the individual rushing yards and receiving yards for each team. I then took all of the returning yards from 2015 and divided it into those for the percentage.

14 Washington State … 89.41%
48 Colorado … 75.76%
56 Washington … 71.70%
76 Oregon … 63.09%
81 UCLA … 61.98%
84 USC … 59.50%
87 Arizona … 57.57%
94 Oregon State … 55.76%
105 Stanford … 47.97%
115 Arizona State … 36.98%
125 California … 23.13%
128 Utah … 19.69%

Also … 82 Colorado State … 61.47% … 100 Michigan … 53.44%

… 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 2015 and divided it into that number for the percentage.

5 UCLA … 82.84%
13 Colorado … 79.90%
31 Washington … 72.53%
50 Oregon State … 67.07%
56 Washington State … 65.32%
63 Arizona … 63.30%
79 Arizona State …  60.49%
84 USC … 59.10%
89 Stanford … 58.26%
104 Oregon … 53.16%
108 Utah … 51.19%
116 California … 44.20%

Also … 102 Michigan … 53.70% … 111 Colorado State … 50.00%

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June 19th

Just how bad is Idaho State?

Colorado takes on Idaho State at 3:30 p.m., MT, on Saturday, September 10th.

By about 4:00 p.m., MT, on Saturday, September 10th, the game should be well in hand.

The Bengals, from the Big Sky Conference, are not a good team. As in Nicholls State bad. As in worse than Charleston Southern bad.

When facing FBS competition, Idaho State (2-9 last season) hasn’t fared well of late:

2011 … Washington State, 64-21 … BYU, 56-3

2012 … Air Force, 49-21 … Nebraska, 73-7

2013 … Washington, 56-0 … BYU, 59-13

2014 … Utah, 56-14 … Utah State, 40-20

2015 … Boise State, 52-0 … UNLV, 80-8

Here is a brief writeup on Idaho State from The Sporting News pre-season magazine:

“Big things were expected last year at Idaho State (2-9, 1-7), but the Bengals fell flat. After graduating several top players and experiencing a shakeup of the coaching staff, the Bengals may struggle to win many games this year. Tanner Gueller saw a lot of action as a red-shirt freshman and should be the quarterback”.

… Both The Sporting News and Lindy’s have Idaho State pegged as the 12th team in the 13 team Big Sky Conference (before you get too down on the CU administration for scheduling the Bengals, please note that Idaho State also plays Oregon State this fall, and that the No. 13 team in the Big Sky, UC-Davis, will be playing Oregon in September).

Note … there will be full previews posted on CU’s fall opponents once we get closer to September … I just thought I would take a look at Idaho State because I was bored …

 

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June 18th

College Football News – Getting to Know Colorado State

From College Football News

What You Need To Know About Colorado State’s Offense

Give the Rams’ coaching staff credit in its first year – it did a nice job of keeping things going. The passing game might not have been the killer it was in 2014, but the attack averaged 426 yards per game and was efficient enough down the stretch.

Now the offense needs to be far more consistent and far more dangerous despite the loss of the top receivers, including Rashard Higgins.

Quarterbacks Nick Stevens and Georgia transfer Faton Bauta are a good place to start building up the attack even more, while Dalyn Dawkins is a good back working behind an experienced. Expect another balanced offense with more emphasis on the ground game.

Key To The Colorado State Offense

The running game should take over for a stretch. Colorado State will always have a decent passing attack with a head coach like Mike Bobo at the helm. But with Rashard Higgins and the top four receivers of last year gone, and with the power coming from a solid veteran line paving the way for running backs Dalyn Dawkins and Izzy Matthews, this should be a stronger, tougher ground game that occasionally takes over games – at least that’s the hope. New receivers will emerge – there’s talent coming back – but it’ll be too easy to keep giving the ball to the backs.

What You Need To Know About Colorado State’s Defense

The Rams lose their entire starting front four. However, the linebacking corps is terrific, so it’s not a drastic move going to a 3-4 to take advantage of one of the team’s biggest strengths.

At the very least, the defense will be versatile enough to switch to whatever it needs to be on a given day with a hybrid linebacker doing a little bit of everything. While the Rams struggled against the run, they were fantastic against most good passing teams with a strong, veteran secondary – that’s gone.

The defensive backfield will be a work in progress, and now the pass rush needs to make up for it.

Key To The Colorado State Defense

Can the front seven start coming up with more production against the run? It’s not the biggest group, but it’s not going to be a thin bunch even when it’s working out of a 3-4. However, there’s plenty of overhaul on the line and the deep linebacking corps will have to do most of the heavy lifting for a while. Somehow, the defense that came up with just 22 sacks has to get into the backfield more while getting nastier against the dangerous ground games. The Rams allowed 200 rushing yards or more in eight of the last ten games and gave up over five yards per pop.

Continue reading story here

 

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June 17th

College Football News – Pac-12 Week One predictions

College Football News has posted its June predictions for Week One games for the Pac-12. Overall, the predictions call for the conference to go 9-3, with the losses coming from USC (against Alabama), UCLA (against Texas A&M) and Oregon State (against Minnesota).

As for Colorado …

Colorado State vs. Colorado
6:00 PM (MT) ESPN Sports Authority Field, Denver, CO
Line: Colorado -8.5
June Prediction: Colorado 31, Colorado State 27

 

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June 14th

Phil Steele – Colorado 5th in Pac-12 (and 34th nationally) in returning offensive line starts

From Phil Steele … When most judge a team for the upcoming season they look at the QB, RB and WR’s that are returning. A few may take the time to look at star defensive players that are back (those with a lot of sacks or interceptions). However, very few look at the offensive line and yet the team that controls the line of scrimmage wins the game more often than not.

The Pac-12:

USC – 2nd nationally –  131 career offensive line starts returning
18 – Utah – 90
20 – California – 89
28 – Oregon St – 82
34 – Colorado – 77
49 – Washington St – 69
57 – UCLA – 63
60 – Washington  – 62
66  – Oregon – 60
71 – Arizona – 57
103 – Stanford – 40
125 – Arizona St – 15

… and …

Michigan – 8th in the nation (105 career starts returning) … Colorado State – 49th (69)

 

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June 13th

CBS – Pac-12 will fail to produce a single ten-win team

From “Making five bold predictions for the 2016 college football season” at CBS Sports:

The Pac-12 will fail to produce a 10-win team in the regular season. Or to put another way, the Pac-12 fails to reach the playoff for the second straight year. As for the bold prediction itself, no Pac-12 program emerges from the regular season with more than nine wins. This actually almost happened a year ago. Stanford comfortably won 12 games, but the only other conference team to eclipse the double-digit win mark was Utah — and that was with the help of a Las Vegas Bowl victory over BYU.

This year, the number of 10-win teams in the Pac-12 goes to zero. For the record, Las Vegas didn’t set any win totals at 10 or higher from either the North or South divisions. Granted, Vegas is about maximizing bets, not necessarily predicting the future, but it’s worth noting all the same.

The South division looks wide open again and Washington is the team du jour to win the North (and maybe the entire Pac-12). Overall, though, this looks like a conference of several good teams, but maybe no great teams, on paper.

 

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June 12th

Colorado in danger of falling out of the Top 25 in all-time victories

The University of Colorado football program entered the 2001 season ranked 16th in all-time wins (611), and 23rd in all-time winning percentage (611-376-36 – .615).

Fifteen years later, the University of Colorado enters the 2016 season ranked 25th in all-time wins (687), and 37th in all-time winning percentage (687-490-36 – .581).

It has been decades since the Buffs have not been amongst the Top 25 teams in terms of victories, but that could change this season. Right behind Colorado on the all-time win list is Michigan State, four behind the Buffs with 683 wins. (Five years ago, CU had 673 victories; Michigan State had 629. Since then, the Spartans have won 54 games to 14 for the Buffs … how quickly things can change).

The Pac-12 … All-time victories …

9. USC … 21. Washington … 25. Colorado … 31. Utah … 34. California … 40. Oregon … 41. Stanford … 46. Arizona … 52. Arizona State … 57. UCLA … 79. Oregon State … 81. Washington State

… No. 78. Colorado State

The Pac-12 … All-time winning percentage

9. USC … 20. Washington … 23. Arizona State … 30. Utah … 32. UCLA … 37. Colorado … 38. Stanford … 44. Arizona … 49. Oregon … 56. California … 97. Washington State … 103. Oregon State

… and … 101. Colorado State …

 

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June 7th

ESPN (updated) way-too-early Top 25

From ESPN … We’re now less than 100 days ’til California and Hawaii kick off the season down under at ANZ Stadium in Sydney, Australia. (It’s 80 days from June 7 to Aug. 26, but who’s counting?)

So is it still technically “Way Too Early” to rank teams? Maybe, maybe not. But we’re voting for yes.

In likely the final batch before August, defending champ Alabama stays at No. 1, Clemson sits tight at No. 2, Baylor drops out and Tennessee moves into the top 10. The one new team joining the top 25: the TCU Horned Frogs.

1. Alabama … 2. Clemson … 3. Michigan … 4. Florida State … 5. Oklahoma … 6. LSU

7. StanfordPost-spring outlook: The Cardinal will head into the summer with a full-fledged quarterback battle; neither senior Ryan Burns nor sophomore Keller Chryst did enough during the spring to create separation. Both looked more than capable of replacing departed starter Hogan, who won 36 games at Stanford. The offensive line also remains in flux after losing three starters. Coach David Shaw praised tackle David Bright, and Casey Tucker remains an option to move from right tackle to left tackle.

8. Notre Dame … 9. Ohio State … 10. Tennessee

11. USC … Post-spring outlook: Clay Helton wrapped up his first spring practice as the Trojans’ coach without naming a starting quarterback, although Max Browne seems to have a lead over Sam Darnold in the race to replace Cody Kessler. USC’s more pressing concern heading into the summer is its lack of depth on the defensive line. The Trojans already had to replace four defensive linemen who were in the rotation last season, and then starting defensive tackle Kenny Bigelow tore the ACL in his right knee in the fourth practice of the spring and will miss the season.

12. Georgia … 13. Ole Miss … 14. Oklahoma State … 15. Michigan State

16. Washington … Post-spring outlook: After losing six games in each of coach Chris Petersen’s first two seasons in Seattle, the Huskies look more than ready to make a move in the Pac-12 North. Sophomore quarterback Jake Browning spent the spring trying to improve his deep balls, and he was helped by the return of speedster John Ross III, who missed the 2015 season with a torn ACL in his left knee. The offensive line, which surrendered 34 sacks last season, is also getting something of a makeover, with Coleman Shelton moving from right guard to center. Of course, Washington’s Rose Bowl hopes are riding on its defense, which led the Pac-12 in scoring (18.8 points per game) in 2015.

17. Houston … 18. North Carolina

19. Oregon … Post-spring outlook: Unlike last season, when graduate transfer Vernon Adams Jr. arrived late and was still handed the starting quarterback job, the Ducks appear to have an ongoing battle heading into the summer. Montana State grad transfer Dakota Prukop is already on campus, and he looked pretty good in the spring game, completing 20 of 29 passes for 190 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. However, redshirt freshman Travis Jonsen will probably push him into preseason camp; Jonsen completed 15 of 24 passes for 188 yards with one touchdown and one interception in the spring game. The Ducks must replace three starting offensive linemen. On defense, former Michigan coach Brady Hoke unveiled his 4-3 scheme. He’ll have to replace five of the Ducks’ starting linemen and linebackers from a year ago, and safety Charles Nelson is now focused on playing wide receiver.

20. TCU … 21. Texas A&M

22. UCLA … Post-spring outlook: The Bruins unveiled a new offense under new coordinator Kennedy Polamalu this spring. Sophomore quarterback Josh Rosen is lining up under center instead of the shotgun, and UCLA is expected to use a fullback and tight end a lot more this coming season. The Bruins lost their top three receivers from 2015, and converted cornerback Ishmael Adams and early enrollee Theo Howard looked like they might be able to help right away. The Bruins also have to replace three interior offensive linemen. With nine starters coming back on defense, the offense might have some time to adjust to its new scheme.

23. Iowa … 24. Miami … 25. Louisville

 

—–

June 5th

ESPN … Confidential questions posed to opposing Pac-12 coaches render interesting answers 

Coach, can you talk about whether Mike MacIntyre is the right guy? … “I think so. I think he went into a tough spot because – and I like Jon Embree a lot – but that was the wrong hire (in 2011) from where they were. You don’t give a team like that to a first-time coach. The wrong hire can set a program back years. You can see they are slowly starting to build out from that” … Pac-12 offensive coach

Coach, can you talk about why the Buffs struggle inside the 20 (last in the conference in red zone scoring)? … “Red zone offense is all about play calling. I know they brought the guy over from Texas Tech (Darrin Chiaverini) to shake things up. They didn’t have anyone who really scared us. We felt like we had a good feel for their tendencies” … Pac-12 defensive coach

Coach, can you talk about how the Buffaloes can catch up with the rest of the league? … “For a while, they didn’t have the facilities that some of the other schools did. I think they are caught up now. The best recruiting tool is winning, and until they start showing they can do that, they are going to have to put the most of their emphasis on developing guys that higher-profile schools passed on” … Pac-12 offensive coach

 

—–

June 4th

ESPN … Football Power Index projects 4.7 wins for Colorado

The ESPN Football Power Index rates Colorado as having little chance at a bowl game in 2016. The FPI projects 4.7 wins for the Buffs, with the following chance at victories:

— Colorado State … 77%

— Idaho State … 99%

— at Michigan … 10%

— at Oregon … 18%

— Oregon State … 68%

— at USC … 8%

— Arizona State … 50%

— at Stanford … 13%

— UCLA … 25%

— at Arizona … 21%

— Washington State … 43%

— Utah … 38%

... ESPN Pac-12 FPI rankings …

North … 13. Washington … 18. Stanford … 28. Oregon … 41. Washington State … 49. Cal … 72. Oregon State

South … 8. USC … 19. UCLA … 32. Arizona … 37. Utah … 47. Arizona State … 59. Colorado

ESPN Top 25

1. Alabama … 2. Clemson … 3. Michigan … 4. Florida State … 5. Oklahoma … 6. LSU … 7. Baylor … 8. Stanford … 9. Notre Dame … 10. Ohio State … 11. Tennessee … 12. USC … 13. Georgia … 14. Ole Miss … 15. Oklahoma State … 16. Michigan State … 17. Washington … 18. Houston … 19. North Carolina … 20. Oregon … 21. Texas A&M … 22. UCLA … 23. Iowa … 24. Miami … 25. Louisville …

 

—–

June 1st

Athlon: Wins have been left on the table at Colorado

Colorado is all out of excuses.

The Buffaloes and coach Mike MacIntyre need to start winning more often or this program could be headed for another coaching change at the end of the season.

MacIntyre enters his fourth year in Boulder with a roster filled with upperclassmen, many of whom have played a lot of football. There is also an influx of young talent from recent recruiting classes, and the program has made up a lot of ground on the rest of the country when it comes to facilities and other amenities that have been commonplace in other locales for years.

The Buffaloes had a long, steep climb back to relevance in front of them when MacIntyre was hired before the 2013 season, and progress certainly has been made. Consider that this program had a minus-338 point differential the season before MacIntyre was hired that was cut to minus-37 last season.

But there is also a feeling among some supporters that wins have been left on the table in recent seasons, and the 2016 campaign serves as a referendum on whether is truly the man to get one of the nation’s best programs throughout the 1990’s back to respectability. Colorado is 10-27 under MacIntyre, including a 2-25 mark in the Pac-12.

 

—–

May 31st

College Football News: Pac-12 Quarterback rankings

College Football News: Who has the best quarterback situation in the Pac-12? Going into the summer, here’s the quarterback ranking for every Pac-12 team:

1. UCLA

2. Washington State

3. Washington

4. USC

5. Oregon

6. Arizona

7. Stanford

8. Cal

9. Oregon State

10. Colorado … In an ideal world, the Buffs had hoped that Texas Tech transfer Davis Webb would have finished his career in Boulder, battling a healthy Sefo Liufau for the job. However, Webb decided to matriculate in Berkeley, and Liufau’s foot injury remains a worry. Liufau is a proven starter, but the fact that Mike MacIntyre went so hard after Webb might be an indication that the incumbent is questionable to last from wire-to-wire.

11. Utah

12. Arizona State

 

—–

May 30th

Pac-12 teams amongst the best – and the worst – at covering spreads

Using betting lines from the USA Today, Lindy’s compiled the best and the worst teams amongst the Power-Five conference schools when it came to betting against the spread. Kansas State, at 39-20 (.661) was the best at beating the spread; Kentucky, at 18-37 (.327), the worst.

Strangely enough, the Pac-12 had four of the best teams in the nation when betting against the spread, while, at the same time, also had four of the worst:

Best:

4. Oregon … 36-24 (.600)

7. Washington State … 33-24 (.579)

8. Stanford … 37-27 (.578)

9. Washington … 33-25 (.569)

Worst:

5. California … 22-34 (.393)

7. Oregon State … 23-35 (.397)

8. Arizona … 24-36 (.400)

9. Colorado … 24-35 (.407)

 

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

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

6. Tennessee … 7. Michigan … 8. Florida State … 9. LSU

10. Stanford … Stanford is the most stable and trustworthy of the league contenders, but the balanced Pac-12 is the least likely of the Power-Five conferences to send a team to the College Football Playoff

11. Notre Dame … 12. Houston … 13. Ole Miss … 14. Louisville … 15. Iowa … 16. Oklahoma State

17. USC … We’ll trust that the Trojans have moved past all the coaching turmoil and a six-loss season in which they still managed to win the Pac-12 South

18. Georgia … 19. San Diego State … 20. TCU

21. Washington … No one has ever doubted Coach Pete’s coaching chops, and he has a chance to put together the Huskies’ best team and season since they won 11 games and went to the Rose Bowl under Rick Neuheisel in 2000

22. Michigan State

23. UCLA … The Bruins have the raw materials to be a perennial Top 25 team and needs to act like it. Beat USC and these gutty littles can take the South.

24. Oregon … The Ducks have the skill to thrive and win the North, but the safer course of action here is to put the Ducks’ D in prove-it mode.

25. North Carolina

The rest of the Pac-12:

26. Washington State

32. Utah

45. Arizona State

47. Arizona

64. California

71. Colorado

76. Oregon State

 

—–

May 29th

Lindy’s – Primary Strengths and Potential Problems

Primary Strengths … The Colorado defense, in particular the secondary, should be among the team’s strengths once again, as they transition from a hybrid scheme into a 3-4 defense under second-year coordinator Jim Leavitt. If Liufau returns to his junior-season form, he’ll have a dynamic connection in Shay Fields and Devin Ross.

Potential Problems … Stopping the run is the eternal struggle in Boulder as the Buffs yielded 5.04 yards per carry in 2015. Meanwhile, if Liufau is unable to recover from his injury or return to his old form, Colorado will be forced to turn to an untested option under center.

Overview … Colorado returns an experienced team with a potential lineup that could include up to 18 upperclassmen. Experience and healthy will be key parts of the equation as Mike MacIntyre, who is 2-25 in the Pac-12 with the Buffs, tries to take the program to a bowl game in his fourth season. That could be tough with an out-of-conference slate that includes a trip to Michigan for the first time since 1997.

 

—–

May 27th

Athlon – The Verdict

2016 Projection: 4-8, 2-7 Pac-12

Colorado is making progress under Mike MacIntyre, but the pressure is building on the fourth-year coach after he’s recorded only two Pac-12 wins in three seasons. However, the Buffaloes could be on the verge of a breakthrough after losing five games by eight points or fewer last year. Taking the next step in the win column will require improvement on both sides of the ball, but the offense is a bigger concern after averaging only 24.6 points per game in 2015. MacIntyre is hoping staff changes improve an offensive line that gave up 40 sacks last season. Colorado’s first bowl game since 2007 is within reach, but the schedule – the Buffs play at Stanford and Oregon from the North – could be too much to overcome.

Rising Star … Wide receiver Kabion Ento is a junior college transfer who showed an ability to stretch the field in the spring, which should complement Shay Fields’ speed on the opposite side of the slot. Ento is expected to compete for a starting job.

Key Buffaloes

Sefo Liufau, QB … Few teams in the nation will have as much experience under center if Liufau is able to overcome his foot injury and play this fall.

Chidobe Awuzie, CB … He can play any spot in the secondary and is the leader of the Buffs’ defense.

Tedric Thompson, S … One of the most experienced safeties in the nation has recorded six interceptions over the past two seasons.

 

—–

May 26th

South Point – Over-Under for CU victories: 4.5

The Las Vegas sports book South Point has released it over-under win total projections for all of the FBS teams. The full list can be found here and here.

Colorado and its opponents for 2016:

Arizona 6: Over -110 Under -110
Arizona State 5: Over -120 Under +100
Colorado 4.5: Over -110 Under -110
Colorado State 5.5: Over -110 Under -110
Michigan 10: Over -110 Under -110
Oregon 8: Over -110 Under -110
Oregon State 3.5: Over -110 Under -110
Stanford 8.5: Over +100 Under -120
UCLA 8.5: Over +100 Under -120
USC 7.5: Over +100 Under -120
Utah 7.5: Over +100 Under -120
Washington State 7.5: Over -110 Under -110

Other Pac-12 teams:

Cal 4: Over -120 Under +100

Washington 9: Over -110 Under -110

 

—–

May 25th

Sporting News Pac-12 rankings

Pac-12 North

No. 11 – Washington – It’s been sixteen years since Washington’s last conference championship and an additional nine years since the Huskies won their only national title. An entire generation might not believe that there was a time that Washington – not Stanford, Oregon, or USC – was the premier program out west. Since Washington’s 2000 Rose Bowl season, the Huskies have had five coaches. One coach went 1-10 in his final season. Another went 0-12. At one point, Washington went seven years without going to a bowl game.

The Huskies, however, appear to be on the verge of returning to relevance, both in the league and nationally. Washington returns 17 starters from a young team that made easy work of the lesser opponents in 2015 and held its own in most of its losses.

No. 12 – Stanford – The Cardinal finished 8-5 in 2014, and the clock on the program’s reign as a national power seemed to be ticking in 2015. Stanford’s momentum changed as quickly as Christian McCaffrey could flip a field. The Cardinal shook off a season-opening loss to Northwestern and rounded into form as a College Football Playoff contender. A two-point loss to Oregon on November 14th prevented Stanford from earning that coveted postseason spot, but Stanford often looked like one of the four best teams in the country.

This will be a top-25 team again, but the new quarterback will have to be a quick study against a very difficult schedule.

No. 24 – Oregon – The Ducks are one season removed from winning the Pac-12, playing for the national championship and producing a Heisman winner. And yet Oregon seems to be a something of a crossroads. The Ducks went 9-4 last season, the first time since 2007 the program didn’t win ten games or more. A collapse in the Alamo Bowl prevented the Ducks from getting to the 10-win plateau, but also highlighted Oregon’s problems. The Ducks couldn’t hold a 31-point halftime lead against TCU as the Horned Frogs scored at will, winning 47-41 in overtime.

Unless the defense – which ranked 117th in the nation last season – shows significant improvement, Oregon could lose more ground in the tough Pac-12 North.

No. 30 – Washington State

No. 49 – California

No. 90 – Oregon State

Pac-12 South

No. 15 – UCLA – Gone are the days when the Bruins should be satisfied with a decent bowl game. Jim Mora has won 37 games in his first four seasons as UCLA’s head coach. No other Bruins coach has won more than 29 games in his first four seasons. The Bruins have been ranked in the top 10 at least a week in each of the last three seasons, and reached the Pac-12 title game in the two seasons before that. UCLA has also been one of the more volatile teams in the country; it lost its final two games last season, by 19 to USC and by eight to 5-7 Nebraska in a bowl game.

Four consecutive top-20 recruiting classes – all in the top three in the Pac-12 – have closed the gap between UCLA and the rest of the league. It’s time for the Bruins to shine.

No. 23 – USC – Promoting Clay Helton from interim coach might not have been the splashy move some USC fans wanted, but his hire is a departure from Lane Kiffin and Steve Sarkisian. Like Kiffin and Sarkisian, Helton is a former offensive coordinator with plenty of familiarity with the USC landscape. Unlike his two predecessors, Helton has no direct ties to the Pete Carroll era, and lacks their California swagger … though he may not need it.

USC is hoping Helton will create some stability … With a brutal schedule, Helton may quickly learn that being the full-time coach isn’t as forgiving as being the interim guy.

No. 32 – Utah

No. 45 – Arizona State

No. 50 – Arizona

No. 61 – Colorado

 

—–

May 23rd

Sporting News: Projected Finish (and bowl projections)

Pac-12 North

1. Stanford – Rose Bowl

2. Washington – Alamo Bowl

3. Oregon – Holiday Bowl

4. Washington State – Sun Bowl

5. California – Las Vegas Bowl

6. Oregon State

Pac-12 South

1. USC – Cotton Bowl

2. UCLA – Foster Farmers Bowl

3. Utah – Cactus

4. Arizona State

5. Arizona

6. Colorado

 

Athlon: Numbers to Know (Colorado)

6.4 … Third-and-manageable was an issue for the Colorado defense. An average third down against the Buffaloes required just 6.4 yards to go, 118th in the country. Perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise, then, that they allowed a third-down conversion rate of 42.2 percent, 94th.

84.9 … Looking at how many solo tackles opponents are making on you is a good way of determining how much you are spreading defenses out – run between the tackles, and that’s probably a gang tackle.  Opponents made solo tackles 84.9 percent of the time against Colorado, the sixth-highest average in FBS.

126.4 … Sefo Liufau has been nothing if not consistent. As a freshman, his passer rating was 128.3. As a sophomore, 131.8. And last year, his junior season, it was 126.4. If he has a late-career surge in store, it will come with a new No. 1 receiver now that Nelson Spruce and his 294 career catches are gone.

 

—–

May 22nd

Sporting News: Trending Stories to Watch

1. Stability at USC … Having received a permanent contract late last season after babysitting the end of the Steve Sarkisian Era, Clay Helton appears ready to return the Trojans to the CFP conversation.

2. Resurgent Huskies … In just two years, Chris Petersen brought Washington back to competiveness. The Huskies could break through with a North Division title.

3. A mile-high hurdle … The Buffs won only once in the Pac-12 last season because they couldn’t close out games. If that ever changes, Colorado will be bowling.

Athlon … Pac-12 Unit Rankings

Quarterbacks … 1. UCLA … 2. Washington State … 3. Washington … 4. Oregon … 7. Colorado

Running backs … 1. Stanford … 2. Oregon … 3. USC … 4. Arizona State … 11. Colorado

Wide receivers/tight ends … 1. USC … 2. Washington State … 3. Oregon … 4. Stanford … 7. Colorado

Offensive line … 1. USC … 2. Utah … 3. Washington … 4. UCLA … 11. Colorado

Defensive line … 1. Utah … 2. Washington … 3. Arizona State … 4. UCLA … 10. Colorado

Linebackers … 1. UCLA … 2. Arizona State … 3. Washington … 4. Stanford … 7. Colorado

Defensive backs … 1. Washington … 2. UCLA … 3. Utah … 4. Stanford … 10. Colorado

 

May 21st

Athlon rates Boulder as the fourth-best college town in the nation

Athlon enlisted its panel of experts to rate the best college towns in the nation.

The rankings: 1. Athens, Georgia … 2. Madison, Wisconsin … 3. Austin, Texas …

4. Boulder, Colorado

“Located in the foothills of the great Rocky Mountains, Boulder is one of the most gorgeous college settings in the country. No major college football town is more intertwined with nature and the outdoors than the home of the Buffaloes. Which may be why Boulder – with its clean mountain air and mild temperatures – is routinely ranked highly in health, quality of life and general happiness. Take the Chautauqua Trailhead to the top of Green Mountain for a view of Folsom Field; it’s a vista few campuses in college football can match”.

5. Ann Arbor, Michigan … 6. Oxford, Mississippi … 7. Eugene, Oregon … 8. Palo Alto, California … 9. Chapel Hill, North Carolina … 10. Charlottesville, Virginia … 11. Seattle, Washington … 12. Knoxville, Tennessee … 13. State College, Pennsylvania … 14. Berkeley, California … 15. Baton Rouge, Louisiana

 

Athlon: Scouting the Buffaloes

Opposing coach sizes up Colorado … “I think they’ll surprise some people, especially at home. They’ll struggle on the road, but they can beat some people in Boulder because it’s a tough place to play with the altitude, and this is the year that [Mike MacIntyre] sort of circled because they’re schedule is a little more favorable. It’s still tough to break through when you haven’t been able to get over the hump, but they’re getting close … They bring back a lot of guys on defense, but I’m predicating everything on [Sefo Liufau] coming back from that foot injury. He can throw it pretty well and has been really productive for them, so if he can’t play that’s a game-changer … They do a good job with their offensive scheme. It’s like a spread offense, similar to what they do at Arizona State, and they’ll go fast at times. There’s a little more of a drop-back passing game because that kid can throw it pretty well. But they need to get better up front. They didn’t run the ball very well, and struggled in pass protection, and they’re in a division where everybody’s got good defensive linemen, so that’s a big challenge for them to figure out … Jim Leavitt made a big difference coming in to run the defense. They did a lot of blitzing, a lot of stunting and put a big focus on stopping the run, so they were totally different. I think they’ll build on that with just about everybody coming back. That will give them a chance to be in some games, but they’re still fighting uphill from a talent standpoint so it’s crucial they stay healthy”.

 

The Sporting News … Top 25

1. Alabama

2. Clemson

3. Oklahoma

4. Ohio State

5. Baylor

6. Florida State

7. Ole Miss

8. Michigan

9. Stanford … Stanford was playing as well as anybody in the country at the end of last season, and it doesn’t hurt to have the NCAA’s single-season record-holder for all-purpose yards, Christian McCaffrey, back in the fold. Junior Keller Chryst and senior Ryan Burns, both 6’5″ and around 235 pounds, will battle for the starting job at quarterback. The Cardinal are solid on both sides of the ball, and will be favored to win the Pac-12. Stanford faces a tough road schedule, though, and an intriguing Friday night opener against Kansas State.

10. Notre Dame

11. Michigan State

12. LSU

13. Tennessee

14. Houston

15. USC … Last year, Clay Helton took over for embattled coach Steve Sarkisian halfway through a turmoil-filled campaign to flip USC’s season and lead it to the Pac-12 championship game. But the Trojans are still coming off a six-loss season and face a show-me opener at AT&T Stadium against Alabama. The quarterback battle between the Max Browne and Sam Donald should be interesting, and cornerback/wideout Adoree Jackson is one of the most exciting players. Give Helton the benefit of the doubt in his first full season.

16. Oklahoma State

17. Iowa

18. North Carolina

19. Georgia

20. Washington … Chris Petersen has led the Huskies to back-to-back winning seasons, but that’s come with a 4-5 record in the Pac-12. The sophomore tandem of quarterback Jake Browning and Myles Gaskin operates behind an experienced line, and the Pac-12’s top defense returns. Washington appears to be on the cusp of a breakthrough, but the schedule is brutal. No game looms larger than the trip to Oregon, a rival the Huskies haven’t beaten since 2003.

21. Oregon … Oregon allowed 37.5 points per game in 2015, and that was a big reason the Ducks slid to 9-4. So defensive coordinator Don Pellum was demoted and former Michigan head coach Brady Hoke was brought in to run the defense. Another FCS transfer – this time it’s Montana State’s Dakota Prukop – is the favorite to start at quarterback after the graduation of Vernon Adams (ex-FCS Eastern Washington). Those are the keys to figuring out whether coach Mark Helfrich can take the Ducks back to the top of the Pac-12.

22. Louisville

23. Arkansas

24. Texas

25. TCU

—–

11 Replies to “Preseason Magazines”

  1. the whole season looks tough to me . will take a great effort on both sides of the ball . I will be happy with 6 wins but if that dont happen I take anything better then 2 wins . this is going to be a tough year

  2. A positive write from a national publication? Things are looking up. 3 PAC12 wins. I will take it this year. 8 weeks to kick off.

  3. “we felt like we had a good feel for their tendencies”
    That is an understatement. Almost every fan in the stands did too. Chev was brought in to change that but from what I understand Lindgren still calls the plays.
    arrrgghhhh

  4. Coach, can you talk about why the Buffs struggle inside the 20 (last in the conference in red zone scoring)? … “Red zone offense is all about play calling..I know they brought the guy over from Texas Tech (Darrin Chiaverini) to shake things up. They didn’t have anyone who really scared us. We felt like we had a good feel for their tendencies” … Pac-12 defensive coach

    And there is the reason for the epic fail of the OC who is now a CO.

    Go Buffs

  5. Okay stuart, this is your chance to go big time. Beat those crazies at all-buffs, although I do like their sit it is complicated

    So you gots to get a good comment app. One you don’t have to spend all your time dealing with. Their are plenty.

    Buffzone is now dead.

    Go Buffs……………..Stuart, opportunity is right in front of you.
    Redesign site. You can do it.

  6. Stuart, I suppose you will benefit from the censorship by the Boulder Camera of their Buffzone column. Congrats to you. I have always felt your coverage of the mighty Buffs was a lot more informative and accurate. Again, I say congrats.

    1. In all fairness, I also censor comments. If someone posts a personal attack on someone else, or personally goes after a player, I will delete it. Fortunately, most of those who post here stay on topic.

  7. I could be wrong but I don’t see a lot of or hear a lot of Buff fans clamoring for Mac2″s head yet. I still think we are a year away from a bowl game. We’ll see though if everything the boys have worked goes south this year then the “hot seat” comes into play.

  8. So there is an open spot for Colorado since Baylor should fall out of the “Way to early top 25”.

  9. Athens GA????
    it must have done a 180 since I was there years ago. I almost fell victim to a cop who was controlling the traffic light remotely in an effort to write tickets. I sat at a red for over 5 minutes, thought about running through anyway until I noticed a small portion of a bumper sticking out from a wall across the intersection. So I reclined my seat like I was going to take a nap and voila it turned green. As I drove past the wall I looked back and sure enough it was one of those Georgia cops.

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