Preview 2018: Previewing and looking ahead to the Colorado season with what you need to know.
Preview 2018: Colorado Buffaloes
And the hard part about it? The 5-7 season was the program’s second-best since joining the Pac-12 in 2011.
But there’s a window open right now that’s going to slam shut very, very soon.
With one winning season since 2005’s strange run to the Big 12 Championship Game, it’s been a long, long time since the former national championship-level superpower has been more than just a team on a schedule.
This year’s version has a whole lot of flaws and concerns, but if it’s ever going to make a push, this has to be it.
UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State might all need a little bit under their respective new head coaches to get going, USC doesn’t quite appear to be the USC of the last two seasons, and Utah is a home game for the Buffs. All five of those programs are going to be looking at 2018 as a stepping-stone season.
But where’s the identity? It doesn’t have to be the old option days under Bill McCartney, but the offense has struggled way too often in a league that thrives on getting into the occasional shootout.
Where’s the defensive consistency? Other than the South-winning shocker of a 2016 season, the D hasn’t picked up the slack.
And now it’s time to surprise and amaze again. No one saw what was about to happen two years ago, and absolutely no one will pick the Buffs to do anything great this year.
It’s going to be a fight, though. The offense has to replace RB Phillip Lindsay, the top three receivers are gone, and the leaky line has to be far, far stronger to keep talented QB Steven Montez in one piece.
The D that was so good two years ago has to find its pass rushing groove again, the run defense has to be stronger, and the takeaways have to come.
Fortunately, the schedule isn’t a total killer – even with road trips to Washington and Nebraska thrown into the mix – and there are just enough winnable games to get to a bowl game.
Best of all? No one will see the Buffs coming. No one will pick them to do much, and none of the attention will be on them with all the other big things going on in the division.
Not to be too dramatic, but this is most likely the make-or-break season for MacIntyre. But as 2016 proved, he can pull off a stunner.