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Preseason Magazines

Note … between now and the start of Fall Camp, there will be any number of preseason magazines and websites, picking the Top 25, win totals, and bowl candidates. With CU coming off of its 12th losing season in the past 13 seasons, optimism for the Buffs will not be overwhelming, but there will be some prognosticators who do a better job of doing a deep dive than others …

May 26th

Laviska Shenault named to third-team All-American team

From Athlon Sports … All-American teams

From Pac-12 … 

First-team All-Americans

  • Offensive lineman – Walker Little, Jr. – Stanford
  • Offensive lineman – Calvin Throckmorton, Sr. – Oregon
  • Linebacker – Evan Weaver, Sr. – California
  • Cornerback – Paulson Adebo, So. – Stanford

Second-team All-Americans

  • Tight end – Hunter Bryant, Jr. – Washington
  • Offensive lineman – Trey Adams, Sr. – Washington
  • Defensive lineman – Bradlee Anae, Sr. – Utah
  • Linebacker – Troy Dye, Sr. – Oregon

Third-team All-Americans

  • Running back – Eno Benjamin, Sr. – Arizona State
  • All-purpose – J.J. Taylor, Jr. – Arizona
  • Wide receiver – Laviska Shenault, Jr. – Colorado
  • Offensive lineman – Nick Harris, Sr. – Washington

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May 25th

Athlon predicts ten Pac-12 teams will be bowl-eligible in 2019

From Athlon Sports …

Pac-12 North predicted Order of Finish:

  1. Washington … 11-2, 7-2 … Rose Bowl v. Ohio State
  2. Oregon … 9-3, 7-2 … Alamo Bowl v. Texas
  3. Washington State … 8-4, 5-4 … Redbox Bowl v. Minnesota
  4. Stanford … 7-5-5-4 … Las Vegas Bowl v. Boise State
  5. California … 6-6, 3-6 … no bowl bid
  6. Oregon State … 2-10, 1-8 … not eligible

Pac-12 South predicted Order of Finish:

  1. Utah … 10-3, 7-2 … Holiday Bowl v. Iowa
  2. UCLA … 7-5, 6-3 … Sun Bowl v. Florida State
  3. USC … 6-6, 4-5 … Cheez-It Bowl v. Baylor
  4. Arizona State … 6-6, 4-5 … no bowl bid
  5. Arizona … 6-6, 3-6 … no bowl bid
  6. Colorado … 4-8, 2-7 … not eligible

And …

  • Colorado State … 4-8, 3-5 … not eligible
  • Nebraska … 9-4, 6-3 … Citrus Bowl v. Texas A&M
  • Air Force … 7-5, 4-5 … Armed Forces Bowl v. Purdue

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May 22nd

Sporting News projects bowl teams (CU not in the mix)

From the Sporting News … The 2019 college postseason schedule features 40 bowl games between FBS teams, with the finale at the College Football Playoff championship game on Jan. 13 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. This year’s semifinal games will be on Dec. 28 at the Peach Bowl and Fiesta Bowl.

The big question is whether anybody other than Clemson or Alabama make their way to the Big Easy for the championship game. Georgia, Ohio State, Texas and Oklahoma are among the teams we believe could be in the hunt for the other two Playoff spots as the sixth College Football Playoff chase begins.

Sporting News has projections for all 40 bowl games here, and they will be updated throughout the season as dates for bowls outside the New Year’s Day Six are revealed.

The Pac-12 … 

Jan. 1Rose BowlMichigan vs. Oregon
Valero Alamo BowlUtah vs. Iowa State
San Diego County Credit Union HolidayWashington vs. Iowa
Redbox BowlStanford vs. Minnesota
Hyundai Sun BowlWashington State vs. Miami
Las Vegas BowlFresno State vs. UCLA
Cheez-It BowlUSC vs. Baylor
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces BowlArizona State* vs. Boston College*

Read full list of bowl projections here

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May 21st

Athlon All-Pac-12 teams includes seven Buffs

From Athlon Sports … Utah, Oregon, Washington and Washington State are the early favorites to win the Pac-12 this fall, so it’s no surprise those four teams headline a chunk of the selections for the 2019 All-Pac-12 team. The Ducks lead the way with 13 selections on Athlon’s all-conference picks, followed by Washington State, Arizona State and Utah with 11. The Huskies check in with 10 picks, including three on the first-team offense.

Athlon Sports has released its top 25 for 2019Now, it’s time to take a look at the best of the best and honor the top players in the league with a release of first, second, third and fourth all-conference teams for 2019.

An important note on the all-conference teams: These are based on how players will perform in 2019. Career statistics and awards matter in the evaluation, but choosing players for the 2019 all-conference team is largely based on predicting and projecting the best for the upcoming year.

Colorado players listed … 

1st team offense … WR Laviska Shenault

1st team offense … DL Mustafa Johnson

2nd team defense … LB Nate Landman

3rd team special teams … PR Ronnie Blackmon

4th team offense … OL Tim Lynott

4th team defense … LB Davion Taylor

4th team special teams … P Alex Kinney

Random Thoughts … Disappointing that three-year starters Steven Montez and Alex Kinney haven’t made more of an impression on preseason list-makers … A lack of any receivers from CU other than Laviska Shenault is a sign of laziness on Athlon’s part. CU has perhaps the deepest wide receiver roster in the conference. Daniel Arias, K.D. Nixon and/or Dimitri Stanley will make names for themselves this fall … Nice recognition for Mustafa Johnson, who will need to be a monster this season … Nate Landman should have been first team this summer – he will be need summer …

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May 20th

Athlon releases its preseason Top 25 – Four CU opponents make the list

From Athlon Sports … The 2019 college football season officially begins on Saturday, Aug. 24, but it’s never too early to start thinking about what might transpire this fall. Each FBS season brings plenty of surprises, disappointments and unexpected teams emerging in the national title picture. However, two teams – Clemson and Alabama – are a step ahead of the rest of the college football world and are poised for a rematch in the national championship game.

Alabama is Athlon’s projected national champion, with Clemson at No. 2, followed by Georgia and Michigan in the top four. Ohio State, Oklahoma and LSU headline the next trio of teams, with Florida, Notre Dame and Texas A&M rounding out the projected top 10. The 2019 season concludes with the national championship on Jan. 13 in New Orleans, La., in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

CU opponents in 2019 … 

No. 17 Nebraska … Scott Frost has Nebraska trending up entering the 2019 season. The Cornhuskers finished 2018 by winning four out of their last six games. The two losses – Ohio State and Iowa – came by a combined eight points. Quarterback Adrian Martinez averaged 295.1 total yards a game as a freshman last year and will only get better with another offseason to work with Frost. Martinez’s development is a big reason why the Cornhuskers are the pick to win the Big Ten West Division. The offensive line returns two starters, and JD Spielman (66 catches in 2018) will move into the No. 1 role after the departure of Stanley Morgan Jr. The status of running back Maurice Washington is uncertain due to legal issues, but junior college recruit Dedrick Mills should help in the backfield right away. True freshman and all-purpose threat Wan’Dale Robinson is a name to remember and a potential breakout candidate this fall. There’s room for improvement on a Nebraska defense that allowed 5.8 yards per play and 31.3 points a game last fall. The good news for Frost: A good foundation is in place up front, and the line was bolstered by the addition of Oklahoma State transfer Darrion Daniels at tackle. Mohamed Barry (linebacker) and Dicaprio Bootle (cornerback) are two of the best in the Big Ten at their position. In addition to the projected improvement by Martinez and the offense, along with some gains on defense, Nebraska’s schedule sets up favorably for a run at the West Division title. The Cornhuskers play Ohio State in crossover play but catch Indiana and Maryland in their other two games against the East. Additionally, Nebraska hosts Iowa, Wisconsin and Northwestern in Lincoln this fall.

No. 15 Oregon … Oregon returns all of the necessary pieces to win its first Pac-12 title since 2014. Quarterback Justin Herbert passed on the NFL for one more year in Eugene, and the senior ranks among the best in college football for 2019. Herbert started every game in 2018, throwing for 3,151 yards and 29 touchdowns to just eight picks. His supporting cast features one of the nation’s top offensive lines and a solid one-two punch at running back in CJ Verdell and Travis Dye. The receiving corps is Oregon’s biggest question mark. Dillon Mitchell left early for the NFL, leaving Jaylon Redd (11.4 ypc on 38 catches) and tight end Jacob Breeland (24 receptions) as the top statistical options for 2019. However, coach Mario Cristobal tapped into the transfer portal, landing Juwan Johnson from Penn State. Oregon’s standout recruiting class could provide some solutions to the receiving corps. Freshman Mykael Wright is a name to watch this fall. New coordinator Andy Avalos inherits a defense that allowed only 25.4 points a game in 2018 and features a promising core of talent at every level. Freshman Kayvon Thibodeaux is an impact addition in the trenches, and linebacker Troy Dye – an All-America candidate – is likely to lead the team in tackles for the fourth year in a row. The Ducks ranked fourth in the Pac-12 in pass efficiency defense last season and should own one of the league’s top defensive backfields once again. Cornerbacks Thomas Graham and Deommodore Lenoir combined for 27 pass breakups last fall and are joined by Jevon Holland and Nick Pickett at safety. The biggest obstacle to Oregon’s Pac-12 North title hopes could be the schedule. The Ducks play at Washington and Stanford this season. Additionally, the opener versus Auburn is one of the top non-conference showdowns of 2019.

No. 13 Utah … Utah crossed an important hurdle in its program history by claiming the first Pac-12 South crown. The next step for coach Kyle Whittingham’s team is clear: Win the Pac-12 title and play in a New Year’s Six bowl. Both goals are attainable for 2019. As expected from a Whittingham-coached team, Utah’s defense ranks among the best in college football. The line is one of the best in the nation, with Bradlee Anae and tackles Leki Fotu and John Penisini poised to challenge for All-America honors. Transfers Manny Bowen (Penn State) and Francis Bernard (BYU) are likely to fill the void left behind by Chase Hansen and Cody Barton at linebacker. Some retooling is needed in the secondary following the departures of safeties Marquise Blair and Corrion Ballard. While the starting unit will look a little different, the level of performance shouldn’t change. Cornerback Jaylon Johnson, safety Julian Blackmon and defensive back Javelin Guidry lead a group that held Pac-12 teams to just 58.6 percent passing last fall. Injuries to quarterback Tyler Huntley and running back Zack Moss hindered Utah’s offense in 2018. The Utes ended the year by averaging 5.7 yards a play and 28.1 points a game, but there’s room for improvement. Coordinator Andy Ludwig’s return to Salt Lake City is one of the offseason’s top coordinator hires, and he’s tasked with helping Huntley take the next step in his development. Assisting Huntley is a solid group of receivers, including all-around playmaker Britain Covey and tight ends Cole Fotheringham and Brant Kuithe. The Utes have to replace two starters up front but usually do a good job of rebuilding in the trenches. Special teams are often overlooked, but Utah will miss standout kicker Matt Gay and punter Mitch Wishnowsky. The Utes left spring with concerns at kicker and tapped into the transfer portal for help with the addition of UCLA graduate Andrew Strauch. Utah is clearly the class of the Pac-12 South and the Nov. 2 date at Washington could be an early preview of the conference title game.

No. 12 Washington … It’s a close call between Washington and Oregon for the top spot in the Pac-12 North. With the Huskies hosting the Ducks this season, and a belief in Chris Petersen and his staff, Washington is Athlon’s pick to win the division once again in 2019. The Huskies held teams to 16.4 points a game and 4.67 yards a play last fall. The defense may not match those totals with just two returning starters but a significant drop-off isn’t likely. Coordinator Jimmy Lake should have this unit performing at a high level in short order, especially with plenty of talent returning in the secondary and Benning Potoa’e and Levi Onwuzurike back to anchor the trenches. Washington’s offense did just enough to win the Pac-12 last season, but Petersen and coordinator Bush Hamdan need more out of this group. Georgia transfer Jacob Eason is slated to replace Jake Browning under center, and the Huskies have a breakout star in Salvon Ahmed ready to move into the No. 1 running back role. Eason brings more arm strength and downfield passing ability to the offense, which will open up more opportunities for Ty Jones and Aaron Fuller. The return of tight end Hunter Bryant to full strength should provide a boost to the passing game. The line is among the best in the nation, with left tackle Trey Adams back to 100 percent after missing most of 2018 due to injury. The schedule sets up in Washington’s favor. The Huskies catch USC, Oregon, Utah and Washington State all in Seattle this fall.

Read full rankings list here

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May 15th

Athlon rates the Pac-12 quarterbacks 

… Steven Montez is a senior and a three-year starter. One would have hoped Montez would have been higher rated by now … 

From Athlon Sports … High-scoring offenses and standout quarterback play are usually an annual staple for the Pac-12. That’s again the case in 2019, as the conference returns an All-America candidate in Oregon’s Justin Herbert, followed by Stanford’s K.J. Costello and two dual-threat quarterbacks in Utah’s Tyler Huntley and Arizona’s Khalil Tate. The development of USC’s JT Daniels, UCLA’s Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Washington’s Jacob Eason will only add to the depth of this conference.

Ranking the quarterbacks by conference or nationally is no easy task. To help compile the rankings, there was some projection involved for 2019. This was not a ranking of quarterbacks only based on accomplishments so far or pro potential. All factors – pure talent, supporting cast, having a clear hold on the No. 1 position, previous production, 2019 projection and scheme changes (just to name a few) – were considered and projected to rank the quarterbacks in the Pac-12 for 2019.

7. Colorado – Steven Montez

Montez returning for his senior year was a big boost for new coach Mel Tucker. After an impressive stint as a part-time starter and backup to Sefo Liufau in 2016, Montez threw for 2,975 yards and 18 touchdowns in ’17 during his first full year as the No. 1 quarterback. The Texas native continued his development with a solid junior campaign last fall. Montez started all 12 games for the Buffaloes, throwing for 2,849 yards and 19 touchdowns to nine picks. He’s also added 576 yards and seven scores on the ground over the last two years. Montez should finish his career in Boulder on a high note, especially with All-America receiver Laviska Shenault back in 2019.

Read full story here

Pacific Takes lists top units for each Pac-12 teams

From Pacific Takes … Each Pac-12 team has one unit that stands out above others:

Colorado – Wide Receiver – Laviska Shenault Jr. alone makes this a strength for Colorado. He’s going to be impossible to account for. Throw in an excellent number two with KD Nixon and you have a unit that’s going to be very tough to stop in 2019.

Read full list here

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May 6th 

College Football News see a bowl game in CU’s future …

From the College Football News

– The offense has more than enough good parts to find its groove again. It was rocking and rolling early on, and then came the power outage in Pac-12 play, scoring 21 points or fewer in five the last seven games. In comes new offensive coordinator Jay Johnson after spending the last few years on the Georgia staff. The offense will be balanced, but the passing game should be too good not to rely on early and often.

– Steven Montez has the talent to grow into a good pro prospect. He has to be more consistent, he has to maintain and even keel, and he has to be the veteran leader with several big-time receiving weapons to be far, far more explosive.

It’s no coincidence that the O slowed once Laviska Shenault went down with an injury. If he can stay in one piece, he’s the best receiver in college football – but he’s not alone. KD Nixon and Tony Brown are dangers deep threats, too …

– Head coach Mel Tucker is a defensive coach by nature, and his coordinator Tyson Summers is going to bring the fire, too. There are just enough personnel losses to hurt, but get ready for the pressure to come from a group that wasn’t all that bad at getting into the backfield and finished fifth in the Pac-12 in total D.

Biggest Key for Defense … Come up with takeaways. With a defensive-minded head man in Mel Tucker, and with a good defensive coordinator in Tyson Summers, the Buff defense should be far more active and far more productive. That starts with figuring out how to start taking the ball away.

The 2016 team that got to the Pac-12 title game generated 26 takeaways. The following year, the turnovers stopped with just 14, and none in the last three games. Last season, the defense once again failed to come up with a takeaway over the final three games – the Buffs went -11 in turnover margin during the stretch. The D recovered just three fumbles over the last nine games, and only generated multiple interceptions once all year.

Key Gameat Arizona State, Sept. 21 … If Colorado is going to have a good season, the opener against Colorado State has to be a given, and the date with Air Force has to be a layup. To have a really good year, the Buffs have to show they’re the real deal by taking care of Nebraska for the second straight season. But with what’s coming in Pac-12 play, starting out with a win at Arizona State – it was the final Buff win of last year before the slide – would mean the world.

There’s a week off before facing Arizona, but the back half of the slate is an absolute bear – there’s no Oregon State on the schedule this time around. Lose to ASU, and it might be a scramble to go bowling.

Season Prediction … The Buffs need to get their mojo back.

The brutally ugly seven-game losing streak after starting 5-0 was all about confidence. The schedule wasn’t that brutal, and the team didn’t play all that bad in parts. But the offense fell off the map over the final few weeks, and the defense followed closely behind.

Every new coaching staff says it wants to create a culture change, but that’s really what was needed after last year.

Mel Tucker and his staff will change up the energy, but the defensive parts aren’t quite there with just enough holes to be annoying. As long as the D can start taking the ball away and hold serve, the O should be able to do the rest.

The offensive line will be just a wee bit better, and that should be enough for the skill stars to blow up in a much, much stronger season.

Set The Regular Season Win Total At … 6

Continue reading story here

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6 Replies to “Preseason Magazines”

  1. Yeah, well…..NOBODY SAW THE 2016 TEAM GOING TO A BOWL GAME, LET ALONE THE ALAMO BOWL!!! CBS Sports called it but people thought they were nuts. Pass the Kool Aid Ccornhuckers!!

  2. Maybe Hebert and Costello but the rest of em aint as good as Montez. Once again the pander magazines are ranking the schools instead of the QB’s by their past reps and in many cases not even their results. What has the periodical princess Huntley done better? Even with a superior O line. Tate? flameout. Daniels? has yet to come anywhere close to the hype. Eason? unproven. Thompson-Rob? puhleeez.
    Once again preseason sewer slurry

  3. As per the article and the poll there will certainly be a host of important games facing Tucker’s first CU team. In my mind the most important game will come where the Buffs are able to bounce back after a loss. A feat that hasn’t occurred since 10/28/17 when the team defeated Cal after falling to Washington State the previous week.

  4. Wow preseason mags.

    4 months to game time

    Okay golf season. That is all

    Buffs

    Note: Kornkob kommunity kollege. Dang nab it whip em. They are gonna come in here cocky, ranked, looking for payback, with a good QB andwith the worse fans in the kountry,,,,,,,,,,”Them red-arsed (for a reason) kornholer klutz-nowledge from stinkn linkn” contaminating the best college town in the country.

    ………………………………..BUILD THE WALL

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