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Colorado Buffaloes Preview – 2014

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Colorado Buffaloes Preview – 2014

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Reminder for first time readers: The CFBMatrix is built on simplicity. For predictions and previews I use only my trends and rankings of Talent, Location (schedule) and Coaching. T.L.C.

Talent:

It is hard to believe that this program won a national title in football and in 2002 and 2003 pulled the #15 and #19 recruiting classes in all of college football. In 2013 their class was #75 and in 2014 it was #73. These are the 3rd and 4th classes outside the top 70 in the last 6 years in Boulder. I don’t get it. The trends defy logic and most recruiting patterns. They averaged a #35 class from 2002 – 2008. In 2008 they had the #20 class and in 2009 it was #97 and has never really recovered. They have my #61 roster for 2014. This is 8 spots behind Washington State and the worst number in the PAC 12. I love the town, the location and the history. I just don’t know when or how this trend is going to turn. It was a very young team last year and it gained a lot of experience. While experience is nice, give me the better talent. They return over 80% of the offensive production along with 3 o-linemen and over 70% on the defensive side. Both of these numbers are above conference averages.

Coaching:

I really don’t have much on Coach McIntyre. This first year coaching was solid. +1 game over the CFBMatrix talent/schedule projection was dead one expectations. I am concerned about the recruiting and what he brings to the table for the Buffaloes. Even at +1 or +2 games per season, that will not be good enough to each bowl eligibility in the 9 conference game schedule as the worst recruiter and lowest ranked roster in the PAC 12.

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Schedule:

For Colorado there is really no favorable schedule in conference play. They are all tough and they are not likely to be the favorite in any PAC 12 game this year. They should be the favorite in their 3 out of conference (OOC) games. Why the first two are on the road I have no idea. Maybe it is what needed to happen to get teams on the schedule but wins are tough to come by and going on the road does not help their odds. Nevertheless, at Colorado State and at UMass I take a win and a win.

When I am looking for a +1 game for a coach, I always start with home games. Nothing says ‘win’ in Boulder. All the teams they play at Folsom Field are well coached. If I was to take one it might be Oregon State. They have a lot of holes to fill and they have a history of struggles in the first half of the season.

I have Arizona State to beat them in week 3 and for the Buffaloes to bounce back in week 4 with a win over Hawaii. Week 5 offered up two teams desperate for ANY win in the PAC 12 as the Buffs go West to Berkeley. If they win this coin flip it will push them to 4-1. This is a game where that +1 might happen. However, I can not take Cal to lose this at home. Loser of this one might not get another win this year. Colorado heads home for a tilt with the Beavers. The Beavers won’t overlook this one as they, like Colorado face a week 7 bye, but they are coming off a road loss at USC maybe the Buffs can catch them on a back to back let down. With another coach, maybe. but not Riley. Beavers win and Colorado drops to 3-3 at the halfway point.

The next 5 are just tough. Any game within 7 points, let alone a win would be great. At USC, home against UCLA, home against Washington, at Arizona and At Oregon. 3 out of 5 on the road and 4 of them are top 20 recruiters in the country. The best shot for a win comes after playing 3 of them and they should be physically shot even if Arizona is looking past them. 3-3 becomes 3-8 really fast.

The last game is at home against Utah. This is one of the best shots for that +1 game at home, especially if the Utes are a game short of bowl eligibility. I do expect the Buffaloes to find a conference win or maybe two this year but where they come from I could only guess. I’ll stick to the T.L.C. view of college football in the CFBMatrix, and take the expectations of last in the PAC 12 North and 4 wins on the season.

Dave’s Quick and Dirty CFBMatrix Preview:

They have a higher talent ranking that 3 of the teams on their schedule. The talent baseline record is 3-9. There is no game in which the pick it turn by home or road strength so 3-9 remains the projection. Throw in zero coaching effect and the T.L.C. projection remains at 3-9. They should find a PAC-12 win, but I have no idea where.

2014 Win Loss Schedule Pattern

W, W, L, W, L, L, bye, L, L, L, L, bye, L, L  Record projected 4-8 – 6th

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