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Preseason Rankings

Discussion in 'CU Buffs Newsroom' started by RSSBot, May 25, 2014.

  1. RSSBot

    RSSBot News Junkie

    Jul 8, 2005
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    By Stuart

    [h=3]Preseason Rankings[/h]–
    May 25th
    Orlando Sentinel ranks Colorado No. 92 nationally
    Full write-up can be found here.
    Strengths: Freshman Sefo Liufau stepped into the starting quarterback role midway through last season, replacing struggling Connor Wood. During seven starts, Liufau completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,779 yards and 12 touchdowns while throwing seven interceptions. It will be up to offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach Brian Lindgren to continue to polish Liufau into a premier Pac-12 quarterback. Colorado’s offensive line finished fourth in the league in sacks allowed, only giving up 20 sacks in 2013. The unit returns three of its five starters from last season, including fifth-year senior guards Kaiwi Crabb and Daniel Munyer.
    Colorado will have to make up for the loss of wide receiver Paul Richardson, who finished the season on the All-Pac-12 first team. Nelson Spruce and D.D. Goodson should provide dependable targets for Liufau, while Christian Powell returns to lead the running backs.
    Weaknesses: Colorado finished the season ranked next-to-last in total defense, allowing more than 468 yards and 38 points per game. Seven of the Buffaloes’ eight losses were by double digits, with three of those being by 40 points or more. The group struggled to stop the run — allowing a league-worst 208 rushing yards per game — while only sacking the opposing quarterback 17 times.
    The departure of defensive end Chidera Uzo-Diribe, who led the team with four sacks and chipped in 46 total tackles will be tough. The team also must replace the production of linebacker Derrick Webb (second on the team in total tackles with 99). The secondary, which returns three of its four leading players, ranked ninth in the Pac-12 in pass defense.
    Outlook: Colorado hasn’t had a winning football season since 2005, but despite only winning four games in 2013, there is some promise the 2014 season could be different.
    The offense and defense, which both finished near the bottom of the league statistically, need work.
    The good news is the front end of the schedule features winnable games before Colorado faces a string of difficult Pac-12 games.
    … 2014 opponents ranked below Colorado: No. 125 Hawai’i; No. 123 UMass; No. 121 Cal; No. 101 Utah.

    May 18th
    USA Today ranks Colorado 101st in the nation
    Full*write-up can be found here.
    It’s easier to list the categories where CU didn’t improve: passing yards allowed per game, fourth-down offense, net punting, punt returns, punt return defense and time of possession – the latter an antiquated way to gauge success.
    In comparison, the Buffaloes made enormous strides in passing offense, scoring offense, pass efficiency defense, third-down offense and total three-and-out possessions on defense, improvements that underline MacIntyre’s blueprint for returning this program to its place among the nation’s upper crust.
    But improvement is relative, of course. Colorado improved, yes, but let’s remember where MacIntyre started. Let’s also remember where CU plans to go, not to mention how many more next-step strides must be taken before CU contends in the Pac-12 South Division.
    This was just the start: MacIntyre has inched the needle past zero and into the positive, though the Buffaloes remain very much on the non-Oregon end of the Pac-12 spectrum – a spot ahead of California, perhaps, but behind the rest of the pack in the nation’s deepest conference.
    In a nutshell: The idea of what tomorrow could bring to this program should – or will, even – help Colorado smile despite another season spent on the outer edges of the Pac-12 race. Tomorrow will be better than today: CU was better in 2013 than in 2012, will be better in 2014 than in 2013 and will be better in 2015 than 2014, continuing the multiple-year rebuilding project placed on MacIntyre’s plate upon his arrival 18 months ago. With a stronger identity in place, the priority this fall should be developing talent, finding another set of answers and locating the sort of depth this team needs to battle for six wins in the nation’s deepest conference.
    Now, eight – yes, eight – fairly obvious facts: Colorado’s offense is improved, the defense is improved, the offense is deeper, the defense is deeper, the offense has potential, the defense has potential, the offense is ahead of the defense and both sides of the ball aren’t quite up to the challenge. It’s a step-by-step process both offensively and defensively, but the latter remains a step behind in the push for increased competitiveness. But you have to think about where things were, where things have gone and where things can be once MacIntyre’s team fully grasps the system and the staff adds enough depth to run with the Pac-12. In total, the basic foundation has been set; next, Colorado needs to be finely tuned.
    Certain players are part of a winning future. One is Liufau, who should be measured more by overall command of the offense rather than his statistical output – for one more year, at least. Another is the backfield pair, as well as the younger crop of receivers. Likewise with Tupou, Gillam, the underclassmen ends and the sophomore defensive backs. To be blunt, there are other areas where CU still seems to be trimming the excess weight left over from the previous regime; at some point, MacIntyre will recycle the roster with his players. I would fully expect Colorado to be ready for a realistic push at the postseason in 2015. This season, however, will be another spent outside the bowl picture, scratching and clawing for wins inside and out of the Pac-12.
    Dream season: Colorado sneaks into bowl play with a 3-0 mark in non-conference play and league wins against California, Oregon State and Utah.
    Nightmare season: The Buffaloes from 4-8 to 2-10. That’d be sour.
    … 2014 opponents ranked below Colorado … No. 128 UMass; No. 123 Hawai’i; No. 116 Cal.

    Originally posted by CU At the Game
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