Final Predictions post- Pre Big 12 Post Mortem

Alright, here's the last time I'm doing this dumb thing. I did one right after the Georgia game, but I deleted it, so that was just for practice. Without further ado, here are my nonsense opinions about unimportant things:


1) The Buffs play five games on the road this year - @ Cal, @ Missouri, @ Oklahoma, @ Kansas and @ Nebraska. Any chance the Buffs break the road losing streak this year?

I think so. It will be Saturday and/or @ Kansas. 

2) Who will be the Buffs leading receiver in 2010? WR Toney Clemons, WR Scotty McKnight, WR Travon Patterson or WR Paul Richardson?

Scotty McKnight in catches, Toney Clemons in yards. I really hope Patterson becomes a bigger weapon. I question whether our passing game is good enough to get P-Rich more than 15-20 catches. 

3) Will Cody Hawkins get 40 snaps this year?

Well, he's the holder for kicks, so yes. 

4) In one or two words, what best describes this team right now? 

Defiant. The team seems to be changing. We're running downhill. We're blocking tenaciously. We see Hansen mature as a leader every game. Plus, I sense some real "us against the world" chips on shoulders from important team leaders like Beatty, Jimmy Smith, and Ryan Miller. These guys don't want to just be a nice football team full of fine young gentlemen. They want to maul someone, and then flip you off for doubting them. That fire's been lacking throughout the Hawkins era. Most of the time, I would have described our team with the word "resignation."

5) Who will be the offensive MVP?

Hansen. I really love the way he's taken control of the offense. If we're going to have a successful season, he's going to have to do a better job of throwing the ball down the field, but that pass to Will Jefferson gives me hope. The running game will loosen up the pass, instead of the other way around like we assumed before the season.

6) Who will be the defensive MVP?

Jimmy Smith. The guy is obviously the best player on a surprisingly good defense. It's not even close. He's a great, physical cover corner, he's a beast against the run, and he's made several HUGE plays on kick coverage. 

7) Who will be the true freshman to make the biggest mark in 2010?

Well, not Justin Torres, I suppose. I hope he comes back, but if not I'll still follow his career. He played really well in his spots. He's a great blocker and he runs the ball well. Still- he didn't get any carries in high leverage situations, so it shouldn't hurt too much. I'll go with Richardson, with CUD being a close second. I still say that Richardson reminds me of Rod Smith, in body type and in his ability and willingness to be a lights out blocker downfield (yes, I love watching blocking. I'm max OCD). Plus- that was a catch. Screw you, referee.  I feel like CUD is suffering from a numbers game on DL, but I'm confident that he'll make a few big time plays. I'd say D Webb if allowed to choose RS freshies.  

8) Biggest worry for 2010? Thing you are least worried about in 2010?

Biggest worry: Special Teams. I said it before- we're good enough on offense and defense to win 10 games this year. But we're still fragile. We simply cannot afford for our special teams to be bad, or even mediocre. We need to make every FG inside 40 yards. We need to keep every kickoff inside the 30. We need good punt coverage. And we need no mistakes. 2 of the 3 penalties against UGA were on ST (and the 3rd was BS). 

Least worry: The linebackers. It's been the same all year and the same for as long as I've been a Buffs fan. Cabral's units never fall off. Never. We've got a great set of starters and Webb and Rippy are really performing well in the rotation, including a lot of high leverage snaps at the end of the UGA game. 

9) Higher/Lower: Tyler Hansen. Seventh in the Big 12 in yards passing?

Lower. I'm not even going to examine the other QB stats. Our passing game has a ways to go to even get to acceptable. Stewart should not be our leading receiver (with only 3). Our only passing TD should not go to Matt Bahr.

10) The one game you are looking forward to the most in 2010?

Ha. Still the next one. Always the next one. 

11) November 26th rolls around. What are we talking about more: who will be the next coach of the Colorado Buffaloes or reminiscing about past Nebraska games as this may be the last between the two for a long time?

62-36. Say what you will, but we're 3-1, which matches our win total from last year in 33% of a season. We've beaten the teams we were supposed to beat handily. We won a close game against a good team we were supposed to lose to. I don't remember what that other thing was. We can still win 8 games and go to the Holiday Bowl. Hawkins keeps his job if that happens. Probably even with 7 wins + a bowl win. (see below)

12) Big 12 North winner? Big 12 South winner? Big 12 overall winner? National Champion?

Nebraska/ Okie State/ Nebraska/ Boise State. Have you seen this Taylor Martinez fellow? Proving that I don't know anything about anything- I originally picked A&M to win the south (my betting record so far this year also proves it). 

13) Now time for the Buffs' game by game win/loss assessment:

Not by gam, but we've got obvious, solid path to 8-4. We're 3-1 now, and if the games were played tomorrow, we would be favored against all of our home opponents (Baylor, Tech, Iowa State, Kansas State). That leaves the road. Nebraska and Oklahoma will prove to be, um, difficult (although who knows what happens against NU. We've seen some weird stuff in that series. Stupid 57 yard field goal). So to get to 8 wins, we need to beat Mizzou or Kansas. Both of these things are possible. Even if we don't, we've got a clear path to a 7 win regular season and a bowl game possibility for 8.  

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