A quick rundown. QB - I think we will be better here. The floor is Webb - he looks to be as good as TH was last year and with some good coaching and NO running for his life he could be very solid. If Wood or Hirshmann beat out Webb then it means we really are better. RB - We are a little down here but not by much. Speedy was a great asset and a warrior but he was not an all=american. Will be interested to see Jones in Action. We need to average over 4 yards per attempt - hopefully closer to 5 ypa. Last years average was impacted by so many yards lost (sacks). Josh Ford showed well against Utah last year. OL - They will be Better. The OL has had a fair amount of talent over the past several years but has not played that well as a unit. I think that changes this year. The OLINE requires more unit coordination than almost any other area. The overall talent may not be better but play as a unit will be much improved. Hopefully Harris and Munyer will be healthy. TE - This area has to be better. Last year was a disappointment at TE. I expect that Kasa is going to be much better and will end up playing at the next level. WR - this is an area the Buffs could be hurting in especially with Richardson injured. On the plus side, WR is a position that a true frosh can come in and contribute very early compared to other positons. Really need some people to step up. Thomas looks like he could be playing as a true Frosh. It would be nice if Dardan and or McCullogh can step forward. Nelson Spruce needs to live up to his billing...anyway this is the biggest area of concern on the offense. PK - Will Oliver had a decent season as a PK but we did not have many FG opportunities. Offensive coaching - I thought EB called some pretty good games late in the season especially with what CU had to work with for offensive weapons. I think this year he will be even better. Overall offense - The keys are improved 3rd down efficiency -CU was horrible in this area which means that you have few scoring opportunities, better QB play and a good enough running game to keep the other team honest. CU has to be scoring around 27 to 28 points a game this year. This is a tall order but I believe they will do it. Defense. DLine - About the same - They will be more talented but some of that talent is going to be inexperienced. I think this unit is going to be very solid. Linebackers - I am a little concerned with depth. I think overall this unit is going to be a lot better especially is Jon Major can avoid injury and Rippy is fully recovered. Major, Rippy, Webb, Daigh give this unit a solid core. CBs - This unit is definitely going to be better. I am anxious to see who emerges out of this group. Definitely one of the true Frosh is going to see a lot of playing time. Henderson should be entrenched as solid player now that he has a year under his belt. Depth is definitely improved here. I would really like to see Moten step up. He has the ability. Safeties - this area will be improved if for no other reason they will not have to worry about the CBs so much. Polk is ready for a big season...I think he is going to have one. Orms will play at Safety and Nickel. P - O’Neill was okay but I am not a fan of the Rugby style kick. Need to get a few more booming kicks. But I do believe we will be improved. Defensive coaching - With youth in the DL and CBs the coaches will be challenged to teach. But it cannot be as bad as last year when offensive players were being thrown into the fray on defense. I have a lot of confidence in coach Brown - I thought he did well with the hand he was dealt. It is hard to have a defensive game plan when your CBs don't know how to play zone coverage. Overall defense - this unit has to improve. CU was at the bottom of turnover margin last year and forced very few fumbles. I expect that to change. Beef up the 3rd down defense and maybe they can get off the field more. Special teams - I have always believed the success of special teams comes down in emphasis and "want to". I hope the coaches are emphasizing special teams play and developing an attitude with the players. As an example of "want to" - CU had one blocked Extra point in the Hawkins era. Team overall - last years problems were a team effort - the offense could not convert on third down on put the defense on the field too much. The defense did not stop the opposing team enough and did not force turnovers. Special teams did not win the field position game. Improvement in all three areas could result in great improvement overall. Schedule - one of the biggest reasons for some improvement - this schedule is much better than the 13 gamer last year with a trip to the Islands (tough place to play after traveling for a full day), OSU in Columbus, no bye week. This year we have to go 3-0 in OOC and also win at least 3 road games. Add to that the number of teams we play with new coaches - that has to be a plus for CU. I know I am optimistic but that is what this time of year is for. We are undefeated so far this year so why not be optimistic. I have been waffling between 6 and 7 wins. I believe this team is going to just play better - not more talent but just a less of mentality that has haunted it for the past several years. In 2009 and 2010 you could just feel the team let down. I don't think that will be the case in 2012. So I am going with 7.