South # 6: COLORADO   The University of Colorado si..."/> South # 6: COLORADO   The University of Colorado si..."/>



South # 6: COLORADO

The University of Colorado sits in the Eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains, overlooking the high plains, with the nation’s largest mountain range separating it from the rest of the Pac-12.  Head Coach John Embree is preparing for his 2nd season leading a last place Buffalo team that is separated from the rest of the Pac by more than just geography.

CU was 3-10 their first year in the Pac, including a 2-8 mark against conference opponents (though their loss to Cal was not considered an official conference game). They were last in the Pac in total offense, last in scoring defense, and last in the standings at the end of the season.

The Buffalo’s biggest accomplishment in 2011 came in their final game of the season when God’s elaborate plan to put UCLA in the Pac-12 Championship game (for more info on this plan, consult your nearest ASU fan and be ready to hear some cursing) handed them their first road win since 2007.

Utah’s Pac-12 leading kicker, Coleman Peterson missed 3 Field Goals, star tailback John White left the game with injury and the Buffs won in Salt Lake City, 17-14. Thus, a road-losing streak that lasted more than 4 calendar years and 23 games, came to an end.

Star Watch:

Oddly, at Colorado, having star players isn’t a great indicator of success.

Consider: Colorado’s #1 all-time Passer (Cody Hawkins), #2 all-time Rusher (Rodney Stewart) and #3 all-time Receiver (Scotty McKnight) played together for three seasons from 2008-2010. At most programs, that would be a golden age. At Colorado, it was just 3 seasons in the midst of a 6 season losing streak. The Buffs never won more than 5 games in a season with that trio and had a win percentage of just .361.

This year there’s not a lot of returning star power for the Buffs. They lose #2 all-time rusher Rodney Stewart and All-Pac guard (5th round NFL draft choice) Ryan Miller.

Safety Ray Polk is an All Pac-12 Candidate (though the conference is stacked at that position), and they have a potential star in the making in Sophomore quarterback Connor Wood who was a highly prized High School recruit who transferred to CU from Texas.

Roster Changes:

Many. The Buffalos started 4 Seniors on the O-line last year, so only one player, RG Ryan Dannewitz returns. However, the line saw a rash of injuries last year, which means that many of this year’s new starters gained considerable experience.

Colorado’s splashiest recruit is DB Yuri Wright who was one of the top rated corners in the country before his stock fell after he was suspended from his High School for firing out some vulgar tweets that you may be able to find on the internet

If he plays well, he could just be more than just fodder for fraternity T-shirts. CU’s pass defense was decimated by injury and graduation a year ago. One young guy stepping up at that position could make the whole team much better.


The Buffalos had it VERY tough last year schedule-wise, getting a 9th conference game by joining the Pac, having that quazi-conference game with Cal, and non conference games at Ohio Sate and Hawai’i.

Though no one will be calling the Buff’s schedule this year easy, it’s not brutal either. In the non-conference, they trade Ohio State and Cal for a couple of Cal States (Sacramento and Fresno). They also get 5 Pac-12 Home games this year.

However, they drew both Oregon and Stanford from the North and have to play USC and the Ducks on the road. The Buffs also do not get to play their projected-last place counterpart from the North, Oregon State.


The Offensive line is rebuilt, the quarterback and tailback are brand new, only one of the top 5 receivers returns and the schedule is no cake walk. Colorado should better their 3 win total from a year ago, but their chances at bowl eligibility seem remote.