Upon Further Review …

With the Buffs playing on Thursday night, we have a few extra days to wait for the next game (next Saturday at Arizona, 8:00 p.m., MT, FS1). This being the case, I thought we could go back and take a look at the preseason magazines, and see what was predicted for your 7-2, 5-1 Buffs …

Athlon’s … 

Pac-12 rankings:

No. 11 – Washington

No. 12 – Stanford

No. 15 – UCLA

No. 23 – USC

No. 24 – Oregon

The rest of the Pac-12 … No. 30 Washington State … No. 32 Utah … No. 45 Arizona State … No. 49 California … No. 50 Arizona … No. 61 Colorado … No. 90 Oregon State

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.

The Verdict … 2016 Projection: 4-8, 2-7 … 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 since 2007 is within reach, but the schedule – the Buffs play at Stanford and Oregon from the North – could be too much to overcome.


Lindy’s … 

Pac-12 rankings:

No. 10 – Stanford

No. 17 – USC

No. 21 – Washington

No. 23 – UCLA

No. 24 – Oregon

The rest of the Pac-12 … No. 26 Washington State … No. 32 Utah … No. 45 Arizona State … No. 47 Arizona … No. 64 Cal … No. 71 Colorado … No. 76 Oregon State

Colorado …

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 have dynamic connections 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.

Our Call … This season, Colorado pulls closer to the pack. Really.


The Sporting News … 

Pac-12 rankings:

No. 9 – Stanford

No. 15 – USC

No. 20 – Washington

No. 21 – Oregon

The rest of the Pac-12 … North Division: 4th – Washington State … 5th – California … 6th – Oregon State … South Division: 2nd – UCLA … 3rd – Utah … 4th – Arizona State … 5th – Arizona … 6th – Colorado

Colorado …

Colorado won ten games over coach Mike MacIntyre’s first three years, which often means there is no fourth year. You have to look behind that won-loss record to why he’s still in Boulder.

While CU won just one Pac-12 game last season and lost its last five straight, the Buffaloes shook off a late loss against Arizona State by beating Oregon State on the road, and played both UCLA and USC tough. They couldn’t win the close games, but they weren’t getting blown out, either.

… There’s enough experience on both sides to suggest the Buffs finally learn how to close out games and reach a bowl. If they don’t, MacIntyre may find patience has finally run out in Boulder.


Pac-12 preseason media poll (first-place votes in parentheses)

North Division:

Stanford (24) … 186 points

Washington (8) … 163

Oregon (1) … 132

Washington State … 112

California … 67

Oregon State … 33 (all 33 voters picked the Beavers to finish last)

South Division:

UCLA (19) … 180

USC (12) … 173

Utah (2) … 127

Arizona … 87

Arizona State … 85

Colorado … 63

Picks to win the Pac-12 championship: Stanford (20), USC (5), Washington (4), UCLA (3), Utah (1)


CU at the Game forecast …. 

Fair is fair. The major preseason publications were not the only ones to underestimate the 2016 Colorado football team. I had the Buffs finishing 6-6 in the regular season, and – with the number of ranked teams on the schedule – was fearful that even that win total was optimistic.

“The Quest for Six” came out during Fall Camp in August, and detailed each opponent. It was long enough to cover two essays, but the game predictions are reproduced below …

From “The Quest for Six – Part One“:

Colorado State … “The Buffs need to tune out the noise and get the job done. With a lineup filled with upperclassmen, there are no more excuses”.

Prediction: Win. 1-0.

Idaho State … “We could go through the deficiencies on the Bengals’ roster, but if the Buffs need to spend too much time analyzing this game, there will be no chance of defeating another team the remainder of the season”.

Prediction: Win. 2-0.

Michigan … (Preseason rank: No. 7) … “Michigan will be breaking in a new quarterback, but there are few other question marks in the roster. The defense (6th in nation in scoring defense; 4th in the nation in total defense last season) will be a force. It will be tough for the Colorado offense to score enough to keep up in the Big House”.

Prediction: Loss. 2-1.

Oregon … (Preseason rank: No. 24) … “Colorado has improved the past few seasons, and Oregon has stepped back the past few seasons … but the gap is still significant”.

Prediction: Loss. 2-2 (0-1)

Oregon State … “The Buffs, coming off games on the road against Michigan and Oregon, will be desperate for a win to open the month of October. To get to six wins, this is a must”.

Prediction: Win. 3-2 (1-1)

USC … (Preseason rank: No. 20) … “If the Trojans are undefeated when CU comes calling October 8th, they will be a top five team nationally. If the Trojans have three losses already in the books come October 8th, the Buffs might have a chance”.

Prediction: Loss. 3-3 (1-2)

… From “The Quest For Six – Part II“:

Arizona State … “So, what’s not to like about facing Arizona State? Well, there is that 0-7 all-time record, and the 48-23 score from last season. If Colorado is going to go bowling in 2016, though, some streaks need to be broken. The first one is here”.

Prediction: Win. 4-3 (2-2)

Stanford … (Preseason rank: No. 8) … The best chance for CU keeping this one close? The game for Stanford is sandwiched between road games at Notre Dame and at Arizona. If the Cardinal is looking past the Buffs … Nah.

Prediction: Loss. 4-4 (2-3)

UCLA … (Preseason rank: No. 16) … If my predictions for the first eight games hold, and CU is 4-4 come November, I like the Buffs’ chances in this one. In August, though, this still seems like to hard a win to project.

Prediction: Loss. 4-5 (2-4)

Arizona … Colorado will have a few extra days (after the Thursday night game against UCLA) to prepare for this game. If Colorado is going to win a road game in 2016, it’s going to be this one. What the hell …

Prediction: Win. 5-5 (3-4)

Washington State … I can’t see Colorado beating both Arizona and Washington State this November … but I don’t see them losing both games, either. Since I picked the Buffs over the Wildcats …

Prediction: Loss. 5-6 (3-5)

Utah … Both teams could have a great deal to play for Thanksgiving weekend. Utah could even be playing for the Pac-12 South title – but the Buffs will be playing for so much more. If Colorado has five wins heading into the finale, the Buff Nation will show up in full voice to carry the team to its sixth win and a bowl bid.

The win will propel the Buffs to a top 30 recruiting Class, and an eight-win season in a 2017 season with a likely 3-0 non-conference schedule (CSU, Texas State, Northern Colorado) and a Pac-12 slate with no Stanford and no Oregon.

Prediction: Win 6-6 (4-5)

Looking back two months, it’s interesting to see how the Pac-12 landscape has changed. Stanford (No. 8 in the preseason poll), UCLA (No. 16) and Oregon (No. 24) have all fallen considerably from their preseason projections, and the Arizona schools are faring worse than expected. Washington State, Colorado and Utah are all exceeding expectations, with those three, along with undefeated Washington (and perhaps USC) taking over the top spots in the Pac-12 hierarchy.

We’ll have to wait and see how the final three games of the regular season play out … but it will be nice to head into those games with a bowl bid and a winning season already sewn up.

It’s a good time to be a Buff!












5 Replies to “Upon Further Review …”

  1. Hey Stuart. No problem. You been pounded for ten years.

    Looking back is nice. Now stop it

    and remember THE RISE IS REAL…………VERY REAL

    I hate to do it but

    Kornkob Kommunity Kollege took an arse whipping.


    1. I am not a fan of Ohio St. but I watched the whole OSU- un game and enjoyed the whipping put on the fusking hucksters.

  2. It is never easy being a Colorado fan in Nebraska. Half of the Nebraska “fans” I encounter can’t tell you who the Cornhuskers play next week but “know” that Nebraska is “good” and Colorado is “bad.” For the first time in a long time (2004?) the Buffs are ranked ahead of Nebraska. Add that to list of “milestones” this season on Colorado’s climb back to relevance. GO BUFFS!

  3. Buffs up to number 16 today. Not surprisingly ESPN, SI etc are real quiet about it. How much do these talking dingbats get paid to project last years results? I will answer that for you…..too much

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