With the beginning of the season just around the corner, I thought I would chime in and let you know how I think the Buffs will fare game by game. Back in May when I did something similar to this for the first roundtable by Crimson and Cream, I had the Buffs coming in at 7 - 5. I will also include Neil Woelk's from the Boulder Daily Cameras picks. Both Woodrow and Woelk picked the Buffs to finish with 8 wins. Here are my final predictions (as well as a multitude of team previews for each team courtesy of The Joe Cribbs Car Wash) before going into the season.
Aug. 31, vs. Colorado State
My Take - This game is seemingly always close and is very unpredictable. The more and more I think about what TE Kory Sperry did to the Buffs last year and the 1 - 2 punch of RB's Kyle Bell and Gartell Johnson, I start to lower my score prediction. Then I remember that this will be Sr. QB Billy Farris' first game as the starter for CSU and how porous the Rams defense was last year and I start to think logically again. CU 34, CSU 17
Neil Woelk's Take - The games in this series haven't been decided by more than a touchdown in the last six years. That streak ends this year as the Buffs flex their muscles against their little brothers from Fort Fun. CU 31, CSU 10
Sept. 6, vs. Eastern Washington
My Take - I know that Eastern Washington is a good FCS team but all week the Buffs will hear about the CU loss to Montana State two years ago and Appalachian State beating Michigan last year. Eastern Washington will be coming off a game versus Texas Tech that should remind EWU why they aren't playing in the FBS. Hawkins will show the Montana State film enough that week to motivate the Buffs to beat Eastern Washington and go to the off week 2 - 0. CU 35, Eastern Washington 10
Neil Woelk's Take - The Eagles are ranked No. 7 in the FCS preseason polls. This much is guaranteed: every player on the team that remembers Montana State won't be taking EWU lightly. CU 27, Eastern Washington 13
Sept. 18, West Virginia
My Take - This is the circle game on most Buff fans' calendar. Thursday night at Folsom Field, nationally televised on ESPN, black out game, recruits in Boulder...it's going to be a great scene in Boulder. Will the Buffs be able to match the speed of Noel Devine, Pat White and the defending Fiesta Bowl champs? That is the million dollar question. I was at the Fiesta Bowl last year and they embarrassed one of the best teams in country last year in Oklahoma. But they do have let down potential...see the game last year against Pittsburgh to play for a National Championship. I think the Buffs will play well but Pat White is a bona fide star and West Virginia will win. West Virginia 31, Colorado 21
Neil Woelk's Take - Hello real world. The Mountaineers bring a talent-laden, experienced bunch to Boulder for a nationally televised night game. The atmosphere will be electric, but it won't be enough to shock WVU. West Virginia 24, Colorado 19
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Sept. 27, Florida State (at Jacksonville)
My Take -The second game of a brutal middle stretch for the Buffs takes them to one of those supposed "neutral site" games against Florida State in the state of Florida. On paper both Colorado and Florida State seem like very similar unranked teams. Both have talent but no one really knows what to expect. How does Florida State's suspended players come off their suspension? I predict this will be a battle and when a battle is about the take place, I look to the quarterbacks. I take Cody Hawkins over Drew Weatherford and the Buffs win a squeaker. CU 24, Florida St. 23
Neil Woelk's Take - Hawkins still hasn't recorded a "signature" road win at Colorado. This is the perfect place to put one of those on his resumè. (For those of you who insist it's a neutral site, tell that to the 60,000 Seminole fans who will be in attendance). CU 24, Florida St. 19
Oct. 4, Texas
My Take - This has been the sexy pick in the preseason as a game in which the Buffs will win. The Buffs supposedly have this 70 - 3 loss in the Big 12 championship game as extra motivation even though that was 4 years ago when Vince Young was rolling. Coming off an emotional win at Florida State, the Buffs will have to be a special team to win this game. I think they are one year away from being able to win back to back games against two quality opponents. Buffs keep the score close but Texas has the upper hand throughout. Texas 27, Colorado 14.
Neil Woelk's Take - Strictly in terms of talent up and down the roster, there's no way Colorado should beat Texas. But the Buffs have a secret weapon -- Mack Brown is still coaching the Longhorns. This one will be a lot closer than most folks think. Texas 31, Colorado 27
Oct. 11, at Kansas
My Take - Can the Buffs pull the upset? Yes, but I go back to the statement I made in the Texas game preview. The Buffs are still one year away from being able to win a back to back against quality teams and are still a year away from being able to win on the road against a top 20 opponent. Todd Reesing is a good quarterback and the Kansas defense will be strong up front. If the game was being played in Boulder, I would pick the Buffs. Since it is in Lawrence, I have to go with the Jayhawks. On a side note, I am the first to say that Kansas' schedule was weak sauce last year but they beat Va. Tech in a BCS bowl game and they covered the spread 12 out of the 13 times they played last year...with Vegas being the "know-it-all" of sports, this is an impressive feat and a sign of a good ball club. Kansas 23, Colorado 20.
Neil Woelk's Take - CU's Hawkins is still kicking himself over letting this one get away a year ago. The Jayhawks enter the year with big plans, but this will be just one of the many signs for KU folks that last season was an aberration. CU 17, Kansas 13
Oct. 18, Kansas State
My Take - This may sound crazy but this is the game I want the Buffs to win more than any other. It made me sick to watch that game last year and I am tired of all the talk about how good QB Josh Freeman is and how this new JUCO runningback will make Big 12 defenses look silly. They give Ron Prince a contract extension and everything seems optimistic in Manhattan. The only thing that is optimistic is their weak non-conference schedule. A Buffs win against KState probably keeps the Wildcats from being bowl eligible. Hawkins will bring extra motivation for this one in Boulder and the Buffs have their most impressive showing thus far this year. CU 31, Kansas St. 10
Neil Woelk's Take - The Wildcats manhandled the Buffs a year ago. Colorado gets to return the favor this year as the clock on Ron Prince's time in Manhattan begins to tick. CU 33, Kansas St. 21
Oct. 25, at Missouri
My Take - It was ugly last year and it will be double digits again this year. I think Missouri can go undefeated in the regular season and give Oklahoma a run for its money in the Big 12 championship game to play for the National Championship. It can't get much worse than the game last year but it probably won't be considered a more victory by the Buffs either. This will be the toughest game for the Buffs this year. Missouri 42, Colorado 21
Neil Woelk's Take - This is the one team against which the Buffs looked horribly overmatched last season. It will be closer this year, but the end result will be the same. Missouri 39, Colorado 22
Nov. 1, at Texas A&M
My Take - I know it is on the road, I know the College Station and the 12th man are going to be hard to deal with but I am not buying QB Stephen McGee. I am not buying new head coach Mike Sherman. Just because he was a pro coach doesn't mean he is qualified or adequate for the college game and until he gets a better quarterback, I think it will be a long season for A&M fans. Colorado needs this win more than A&M to keep in the bowl hunt and the Buffs prevail. CU 24, Texas A&M 23
Neil Woelk's Take - The Buffs have historically played well at A&M, and they've won three of the last four games in the series. This is a game they'll likely be favored to win -- but they'll have one stumble before going on a season-ending roll. Texas A&M 23, CU 17
Nov. 8, Iowa State
My Take - The game last year against Iowa State tied Kansas State as the "bad taste in your mouth games." The Buffs are at home against an Iowa State that is in true rebuilding mode and will be dealing with the growing pains of a new quarterback. Buffs win and become bowl eligible.
Neil Woelk's Take - The Buffs gave one away in Ames last year. They won't have forgotten. CU 31, Iowa State 21
Nov. 15, Oklahoma State
My Take - I am very intrigued by Oklahoma State this year. If you look at their box scores last year, this team scored a lot of points but the defense gave up a lot in a trend that will continue this year in the Big 12. If it was in Stillwater, I would side with the Cowboys but since it is in Boulder, the Buffs will probably be a 3 point favorite and that is what they will win by. CU 31, Oklahoma State 28
Neil Woelk's Take - The Buffs have momentum, home-field advantage and they're smelling a nice bowl trip. CU 24, Oklahoma State 14
Nov. 28, at Nebraska
My Take - Take my CU fan card away. This is a sin but I don't see the Buffs winning 8 games. I hate putting down a loss to Nebraska but I like my predictions above. I have a feeling that Nebraska will win a nail-biter at home and end the Buffs three game win streak. Nebraska 30, Colorado 27 OT
Neil Woelk's Take - The Huskers will be playing for pride; the Buffs will be playing for their eighth win. Pride and Pelini take a back seat. CU 29, Nebraska 24
That's my run down. Getting to 7 - 5 with this schedule would be a major accomplishment and they will be eligible for a decent bowl game. I have the right to change this in about three weeks, especially that Nebraska game!