http://cfn.scout.com/ Colorado’s Dan Hawkins said 2009 will be a 10 win season, no excuses. Do you think the Buffs can accomplish this with a lot of talent coming off IR and a comparatively easier schedule on tap? If not, does CU go back to the Boise State well and go after Peterson? – CL A: It’s not as insane a goal as it might appear. You’re right; the team was really, really banged up last year meaning that there will be a major infusion of talent to boost the depth as well as the first team. Just getting to a bowl would be a good step, but to get to ten wins it would likely take a nine-win regular season and a bowl victory. Forget about winning at Texas or Oklahoma State, and winning at West Virginia will be tough, but there isn’t another game on the schedule that’s a sure-thing loss. Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska all have to come to Boulder, and the other two Big 12 road games (besides the dates in Austin and Stillwater) are at Kansas State and Iowa State. I don’t think the Buffs win all their home games, and I think seven wins is a more likely finish, if everything breaks the right way in a mediocre North, it’s not impossible for CU to be the league’s breakthrough team. And no, if the Hawkins experience doesn’t work, Colorado isn't going back to Boise State to get Chris Petersen. I noticed your top four teams from the Big XII recruiting this year are all from the South. In fact no team from the North has won the Conference since 2003. If you had to reverse this trend as a coach from the North how would you do it? Also, if you were a betting man, (wink, wink) when would the North actually be able to overtake OU and Texas and win the Conference? – JW, Dallas A: More to your point, it isn’t even that the North hasn’t been able to win the title, it’s that the division needed an upset when it has won in recent years. Whether it was Colorado over Texas in 2001, or Kansas State over Oklahoma in 2003, the shockers showed it’s clear that the South has been the better division mainly because it has the two mega-powers. However, when the Big 12 first started in 1996, it was Nebraska’s world and everyone else was just taking up space. After Nebraska, it was Kansas State who turned into a power, and Colorado wasn’t all that far removed from being in the national title picture. And then everything switched. It seems crazy to think now, but back when the Big 12 was formed Oklahoma was down, way down, and Texas was mediocre. It wasn’t until Bob Stoops and Mack Brown entered the picture that the two legendary programs got back to national superpower status. To answer your question, it depends on what team I’m coaching. Nebraska has the history and the potential to turn the cycle back its way. I think Bo Pelini has the potential to be a special head coach who’ll make the defense a killer as long as he’s there. Kansas and Missouri will need to show some staying power, and Colorado will eventually be more prominent again. Kansas State and Iowa State have work to do, but they’ll be more competitive. The one blueprint to success might be at Oklahoma State where Mike Gundy has put together a killer offense and a slew of great athletes on defense. However, the North simply needs one team, probably Nebraska, to become a national power again to be a challenger for OU and Texas. That comes with recruiting and a few big home wins. The Huskers will get their chance when the Sooners come to town. Pre-Season Rankings - 58. Colorado 2008 Record: 5-7 2008 Final CFN Season Rank: 76 This will finally be the year Colorado finally starts to turn the corner under head coach Dan Hawkins … maybe. The offense that was so bad last year will at least be more experienced with nine starters returning, led by QB Cody Hawkins. The defense loses all-star tackle George Hypolite and two other starters up front, but five starters return in the back seven.