The 2018 spring college football rankings, taking the first look at the Colorado Buffaloes.
No. 54: Colorado Buffaloes
Spring Practice Starts: February 23
Spring Game: March 17
Colorado Buffaloes Spring Status
Colorado concluded the first session with one of the nation’s earliest spring games. QB Steven Montez’s biggest highlight was a dunk over the goal post after a big run, but he also threw two interceptions to go along with his two scores. Best of all for the Buffs, there weren’t any major injuries.
Coming off a mediocre 5-7 season – losing the last three games and four of the last five – the program needs a winning season to prove that 2016 wasn’t a total fluke. This might not be a good enough team to get to 10-4 with a trip to the Pac-12 Championship, but it should be a lot stronger.
However the top receivers have to be replaced, three starters are gone on the O line, and losing RB Philip Lindsay is a problem. On the other side, Isaiah Oliver is a top-shelf corner who’ll start on Sundays next year, and five starters are gone in all on D.
Colorado Biggest Depth Chart Battle
Receiver. Having a quarterback as good as Montez should make everyone around him better, but losing Bryce Bobo, Shay Fields, and Devin Ross – the team’s top three receivers – hurts, and not having Lindsay around is a concern, too.
Jay MacIntyre is the leading returning receiver, and Juwann Winfree is a good one, but it’ll be an ongoing battle to replace the main men. Tony Brown led all Buffs in the spring game with five catches for 58 yards.
Colorado Biggest Issue
The O line has to keep Montez from getting hit. Pass protection has been a problem for the Buffs over the last few years, giving up 41 in 2015, improved in the ten-win season allowing just 31, and then last season allowing 39.
It was a problem for the rushing offense, and the downfield passing game wasn’t always great. Losing the left side of the line and center Jonathan Huckins doesn’t help.
Colorado Biggest Positive
Montez. If all goes according to plan, Montez should rise up, rock, and become a big-time pro prospect. He’s got the 6-5, 225-pound size, the mobility to take off and be worth paying attention to, and he’s got the big arm to push the ball all over the field.
However, he’s wildly inconsistent, struggling during the middle of the season, only to come back roaring. This is his season. If he’s fantastic, Colorado will be, too.
Really, Why Are The Colorado Buffaloes Ranked Here?
As long as the Buffs are just a little bit better offensively, all will be fine. That’ll be tough to do, though, with so many new parts.
In an improved Pac-12 South, the team needs to catch a little bit of a break, and it’ll have to get used to winning games in shootouts. With Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen out of the division now, Montez has to join Arizona’s Khalil Tate as the South’s new star quarterback.