Colorado Buffaloes Prediction Time! Bowl or No Bowl in 2010?

With the season less than a week away, it's time for some Colorado Buffalo football predictions. We have gathered The Ralphie Report writers to give their take on how the season will turn out. Do we foresee success in 2010 or will we be waiting for the day after the Nebraska game for a change in the program's direction? Personally, I am more excited for this year than I thought I would be. It might just be the long days without football or it might just be that I see a depth chart that has some experience and some potential talent.

Let's move on to the predictions, we invite you to give your thoughts to our questions in the comment section below:

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?

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

3) Will Cody Hawkins get 40 snaps this year?

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

5) Who will be the offensive MVP?

6) Who will be the defensive MVP?

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

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

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

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

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?

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

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

Bob Bell's Predictions

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?

Doesn't look good. The Buffs probably won't be favored in any of them. We all know how well the Buffs have done against Missouri the past few years so you can probably skip right to Kansas. That will be Colorado's best chance to win on the road this year (although, CU sports has had some good luck against Oklahoma in recent years, but winning in Norman is a whole different animal). Last year, the Buffs beat a 5-0 Kansas team at the time in Boulder and this year's squad will be missing key players like WR Dezmon Briscoe, WR Kerry Meier and QB Todd Reesing. If there is a game to break the streak, Saturday, November 6th looks to be it.

The most important road game will certainly be Missouri. The Buffs could be 2 - 2 going into that game (who knows?) but when you look after CU's first four games, you have three contests in Missouri, Baylor and Texas Tech in the middle of the season that will determine if this team will be bowl eligible or not. IF, a big IF, Colorado can surprise at Missouri, maybe the Buffs can get hot, win the next two at home against Baylor and Texas and then who knows.

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. There is a reason he has led Colorado in receiving the last three years. Clemons and Patterson's ability to attract attention on the outside will help McKnight work the middle of the field which should only increase his productivity.

3) Will Cody Hawkins get 40 snaps this year?

Probably. Considering all we have seen the last few years, I can see it happening.

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

Fragile. You can look at Tyler Hansen's comments last weekend about Aric Goodman and tell that if something goes wrong with this team early against Colorado State, you worry how they will respond.

Things need to go good against Colorado State early, get this team moving in the right direction and hopefully, they will get confident. If CSU comes out and scores first or picks off Hansen, watch to see how they respond.

5) Who will be the offensive MVP?

RB Rodney Stewart

6) Who will be the defensive MVP?

CB Jalil Brown

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

WR Paul Richardson

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

I have a lot of worries. Could go special teams easily with freshman Zach Grossnickle punting and Aric Goodman named the starting kicker. I think Goodman is plenty capable but worry what happens when he gets in the game. My biggest worry is certainly the three other offensive lineman not named Ryan Miller and Nate Solder (although, I am still worried about Nate Solder playing up to the level everyone has him pegged at right now). RT Bryce Givens has been battling injuries throughout camp so it is very likely that redshirt freshman David Bakhtiari will be starting. Last year, the center and guard spot where revolving doors for CU offensive line so until those three positions are stabilized, this offense will have a hard time moving the ball. Yes, Colorado has two great talents in Nate Solder and Ryan Miller. They had those talents last year when the Buffs offense put up these numbers: 113th in rushing offense, 104th in total offense, 92nd in scoring offense and 117th in sacks allowed...out of 120 division one teams. Having some weapons on the perimeter will help, having a mobile quarterback in Hansen back there for a full year will take some pressure off but it all starts up front and for Colorado to be successful, look no farther than the five big guys up front.

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

Higher, I think the Buffs have too much talent on the outside for Hansen not to have success this year

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

Colorado State. Yes, I am scared of a repeat of what happened last year but if this team has any piss and vinegar in their system, they will approach this game like it's their Super Bowl after what happened last year and take it to the Rams. It is the most exciting game for me because of how much we will learn about the Buffs.

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?

Tough one. I think it will be the former.

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

Nebraska wins the North. Oklahoma wins the South. Oklahoma wins the Big 12. Alabama wins it all.

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

Colorado State Rams (Invesco Field @ Mile High) - Saturday, Sept 4th - WIN
at California Golden Bears - Saturday, September 11th - LOSS
Hawaii Warriors - Saturday, September 18th - WIN
#23 Georgia Bulldogs - Saturday, October 2nd - LOSS
at Missouri Tigers - Saturday, October 9th - LOSS
Baylor Bears - Saturday, October 16th - WIN
Texas Tech Red Raiders - Saturday, October 23th - LOSS
@ #7 Oklahoma Sooners - Saturday, October 30th - LOSS
@ Kansas Jayhawks - Saturday, November 6th - WIN
Iowa State Cyclones - Saturday, November 13th - WIN
Kansas State Wildcats - Saturday, November 20th - WIN
@ #8 Nebraska Cornhuskers - Friday, November 26th - LOSS

FINAL RECORD - 6-6

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Jon Woods' Predictions

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? 

Well, there certainly aren't a lot of opportunities that jump out at me looking at that road schedule. I have to hope that we can get a win at Kansas and hopefully sneak out one other road win in what would certainly be an upset. Pulling off a victory in Lincoln in the last game of the regular season would be oh so sweet.

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

I do think that Clemons and Patterson will make a big difference this season, but Scotty is the most experienced and he knows how to be a safety valve for the quarterback. When Hansen is scrambling McKnight will be the one that moves to the right spot for Tyler to get rid of the ball.

3) Will Cody Hawkins get 40 snaps this year?

Nope, not unless Hansen gets hurt. This is his team now and I don't not believe they will be splitting snaps this year.

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

Unknown. We know that this roster has talent, plenty of it. What we don't know is whether or not that talent will finally translate on the field.

5) Who will be the offensive MVP?

Speedy Stewart. We don't have the depth at running back this year, but we know who our guy is. Rodney will be the feature back and he will end the season and a top 3 rusher in the Big 12, behind an offensive line that finally lives up to it's billing.

6) Who will be the defensive MVP?

Jimmy Smith. Smith and Jalil Brown have an opportunity to be really special this season. Brown will have a bigger opportunity to make plays as opposing teams will stay away from Smith for most of the game. Last year, Zac Robinson called him the best cornerback he faced all season. This year, the rest of the Big 12 will find out the same thing.

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

I'd like to pick one of the running backs,  but I don't know which one I'd go with. I'll say Terrel Smith. He has impressed throughout camp and I think he will see plenty of action this season.

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

Running back depth. After Speedy and Lockridge we just don't have any experience. The least of my worries is the secondary.

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

Call me wishy washy, but I think he finishes right around seventh.

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

Nebraska. Of course that could change if we have struggled to that point, but I can dream and hope that the last CU - Nebraska game is for the North title.

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?

If I stick to my prediction that the Buffs will have a pretty good season this year, then I have to go with past Nebraska games.

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

Ugh... Nebraska. Oklahoma. Oklahoma. I have no freaking idea. 

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

Colorado State Rams (Invesco Field @ Mile High) - Saturday, Sept 4th - Win
at California Golden Bears - Saturday, September 11th - Lose
Hawaii Warriors - Saturday, September 18th - Win
#23 Georgia Bulldogs - Saturday, October 2nd - Lose
at Missouri Tigers - Saturday, October 9th - Win
Baylor Bears - Saturday, October 16th - Lose
Texas Tech Red Raiders - Saturday, October 23th - Win
@ #7 Oklahoma Sooners - Saturday, October 30th - Lose
@ Kansas Jayhawks - Saturday, November 6th - Win
Iowa State Cyclones - Saturday, November 13th - Win
Kansas State Wildcats - Saturday, November 20th - Win
@ #8 Nebraska Cornhuskers - Friday, November 26th - Lose

FINAL RECORD - 7-5

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David Gerhardt's Predictions

Now here's something for everybody to remember: I am an optimist. There, I said it. You can get on me all you want, but that's just how I am. It shades my predictions, even after seeing the team up close at practices:

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?

Yes they do! Whew, and it'll feel good. I think going from the neutral site game at Invesco (which I predict will be a win) to a real road game will help a ton. I see 3-4 road wins this year, with OK or Nebraska being the one loss (not sure which one, but there's no way we go undefeated on the road). KU has new coaching staff and is replacing a ton of offensive talent. Cal is underrated, but I think we match up with them well. I'll get into more detail at the end.

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

Leading receiver how...? I stick by my earlier prediction: McKnight leads the team in receptions, but Clemons is 1st in receiving yards. I think the production will be pretty balanced in three tiers: McKnight, Clemons and Patterson, and then Richardson, Jefferson and maybe Cefalo. And don't sleep on Ryan Deehan! He should be pretty high up on both lists. Teams are going to spend manpower covering our guys outside, which should open up big holes in coverage for our TEs. And Deehan is a pretty good receiver.

3) Will Cody Hawkins get 40 snaps this year?

Yes. ...wait, stop all that boo-ing! It'll be coming in for Hansen when he gets beat up a bit and at the end of a few games. (wow, when was the last time we had a QB in for mop-up duty??) I feel like we'll see him towards the end of the CSU and Hawaii games, definitely, and maybe a few more.

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

Deservingly underrated. We haven't produced a thing in the last few years, so nobody sees us as contenders, and our team knows it. That's something they'll carry with them to every game. They will be seen as underdogs at nearly every stop, no matter how well they play the week before. That can be a very good thing.

5) Who will be the offensive MVP?

Numbers-wise I think it goes to Hansen. He'll have too many options not to be successful. But in reality, I think it'll be Matt Bahr/Scooter Fernandez. We were miserable in short-yardage and red-zone situations last year, and I think those two guys will make a big difference.

6) Who will be the defensive MVP?

My vote is LB Michael Sipili. He's one of the leaders of the defense, and he may not lead the team in any categories (except for big hits), but his leadership will help the defense develop into a force by season's end. And Anthony Perkins should get a mention. He lines everybody up and is the QB of the defense. He deserves some appreciation

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

Nick Hirschman! No, just kidding (though I can't wait for him to see the field). This will be the first year in a while that we probably won't have a true freshman that sees much of the field. Based on who will get the most playing time, I've got to go with JT Torres, though. He will probably grab a few big 1st downs and TDs this season. But don't sleep on Speedy in short-yardage situations!

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

Most worried about: Field Goals. Aric Goodman is our FG kicker once again. He's averaging LESS THAN 50% on FGs in his career at CU. Phew. There's no way he can be as bad as he was, but I feel like if he gets a bad break early in the season, he may be doomed once again to be terrible.

Least worried about: Wide Receivers. Wow, just wow. When was the last time that this was the position I was least worried about?!? It's been a while. Yes, all but McKnight are essentially unproven. Only a few combined catches between all of them, but they should be something special this year. And they're ALL good, so I don't see anybody putting up substantially higher numbers than anybody else.

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

Higher. This will be a down year in the Big 12 with regard to elite passing QBs. And quite a few teams seem to be talking about running the ball a lot more, like Texas and Oklahoma. Hansen has a shot to be a top-5 Big 12 passer this season.

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

That's really tough. Seriously. Georgia would be the easy answer, but just based off the game last season, I might have to go with Kansas State. The game against them last year was one of the most painful ones all season. I'm looking forward to the Buffs wiping them off of Folsom Field this year.

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?

(Remember that warning at the top? The one about me being an optimist?) I think the talk is about which one of us advances to the Conference Championship game. ...I take it from the silence that you think I'm an idiot. Well, I'll explain below why I think it's possible that we could be playing in Dallas come December.

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

OK, you guys ready for this? (drum roll please) ...Not CU. Feh. It would be awesome, but I don't think we can make that big of a jump in one season. BUT I think we're fighting Nebraska at the end of the season for the honor to go the the Championship game. I think NU makes it. Feh.

I think Texas wins once again. I know Oklahoma seems to be the popular pick, but I think UT will make it again.

In my surprise pick, I pick the Big 12 North winner to take the Big 12!!! Unfortunately, according to my earlier pick, that means Nebraska wins. Feh. It's less about Nebraska here (I know they've got some serious questions on the Offense and on replacing guys on Defense), and more about the fact that they North has got to win another one some time. Maybe now...?

Nat'l Champ? That's Alabama. They've got to replace a bunch of guys on D, but they will. And they've got two of the best RBs in the country in Ingram and Richardson, not to mention Julio Jones and a pretty imposing O-line. I think they take more steps forward on Offense than they take backwards on Defense, which means they win another one.

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

Colorado State Rams (Invesco Field @ Mile High) - Saturday, Sept 4th - Buffs start the season strong...finally. I think a Mile High Beatdown occurs week one, building a little momentum going into their first road win in a while. 1-0 

California Golden Bears - Saturday, September 11th - Cal is good, don't get me wrong. They've got a very, VERY underrated running back in Shane Vereen and an Offense that can build off his success on the ground. I think they lost more talent than they gained on Defense, and their secondary seems to be a little suspect. I think our new WR corps takes advantage and we put up some eye-catching numbers for the W. 2-0
Hawaii Warriors - Saturday, September 18th - They shouldn't have let June Jones go. I think this is a win where we are able to get some playing time for younger guys at a few spots, and especially on Defense. I think our D starts to really gel in this game, causing a bunch of turnovers. I'm thinking in the double-digits. 3-0

#23 Georgia Bulldogs - Saturday, October 2nd - I believe, that we will win if we come into this game 3-0 (which is exactly what I've predicted...hmmm). Georgia is a good team, though they may be missing their starting RB (he's suspended indefinitely). A.J. Green may be the best receiver in the country, but I think our secondary shines in this game and shuts the Georgia passing game down. This is an evening game now, so it may be our "blackout" game, and I think we make a big statement here. 4-0
at Missouri Tigers - Saturday, October 9th - I truly believe that this season may be the perfect storm in a few different ways. This game is an example of that. Mizzou looks pretty good on paper (though their starting RB is currently suspended too), but I think we finally exercise our Tiger-Demons. On the road no less! Double-demons, you could say. I think we get a very solid road victory in our first conference game against a team that has had our number recently. 5-0 

Baylor Bears - Saturday, October 16th - "Robert Griffin, he's so cool" "He's like, the greatest thing to happen to Baylor football like, for ever!" Shaddup you imaginary Baylor fans. Go away. The best thing to happen to Baylor football isn't going to be enough to beat the Buffs in Boulder. I think our improved speed on Defense keeps him under wraps (by which I mean keep him from running, because he is far from a polished passer). I wouldn't be surprised if we see fewer nickel-looks in this game from our D in favor of a 4-th LB. I think Webb would love to knock Griffin down a few times. 6-0

Texas Tech Red Raiders - Saturday, October 23th - This game is tough to read. They definitely have offensive talent, but they're installing a completely new system on both sides of the ball. I think Tech will be regretting the decision to let Mike Leach go by this point in the season, and I think the Buffs help hammer the point home. I think our secondary shuts TT down and I think we run all over them. What's that you say? A guaranteed winning season? Yes, that's exactly what I'm saying. 7-0

@ #7 Oklahoma Sooners - Saturday, October 30th - Tough game. I don't know if we pull through here. I think we are in the game all the way through, but I don't know if we've got enough moxie to eeek out a road win in Norman against a really good team. That is one tough place to play. 7-1


@ Kansas Jayhawks - Saturday, November 6th - We beat them last year. We've gotten better, they haven't. I think we get back on track with a nice old-fashioned Jayhawk beatdown. They're replacing a ton of talent on offense, not to mention a new coaching staff. "Gill-Love" doesn't flow quite as well as Hawk-Love does, and I think it shows on the field. (I realize that last line was a stretch, but I'm just trying to hammer home the fact that we're going to beat Kansas. Let it go) 8-1
Iowa State Cyclones - Saturday, November 13th - I think this game will be close, but I think we win. Close, you say? Well count me as impressed with the job that the new coaches are doing over there at Iowa State. I think they might pick themselves up off the floor of the Big 12 for a few seasons. Let's see if recruiting can catch up with the coaching staff to sustain a little success there. 9-1 (wow...look at that prediction...I told you I was an optimist)

Kansas State Wildcats - Saturday, November 20th - I think K-State is ranked by this time...but you know what, so are we. This game takes on some meaning in the fight for the Big 12 North, and I think we exact some revenge on Bill Snyder and those darn Wildcats for that uber-painful loss last season. And I think we do it in style. We get to double-digit wins on Senior Night, and Cody gets some playing time in the second half. And if it hasn't happened yet in the season, Solder catches a TD as the eligible extra lineman. 10-1 (Holy Moley!!!!)

@ #8 Nebraska Cornhuskers - Friday, November 26th -You know what? I'm going to change my earlier prediction. "But David, you can't have contradictory predictions in the same piece." Oh yeah? Who says? "The tenants of good journalism." ...Good point...balls. ...But wait, this is a BLOG!! Journalistic integrity be damned, I'm changing my prediction! We WIN!!!! WooHOO!!!! OK, but seriously. Nebraska has quite a few questions on both sides of the ball. They were very good on D last year, but they lost quite a few players, including one of the better College Football players we've had to play in a LONG time in Suh. Crick was good, but that was partly because he was playing next to a beast. I don't see them replicating their dominance on Defense. And I don't think their Offense has taken the necessary steps to pick up the slack. I'm not so sure the Iowa State game last year was a fluke. I think we see more performances like that on O. Sure they've got a couple of good RBs, but their QB situation is pretty pitiful. I'm not judging that on the fact that they haven't announced a starter yet, I'm basing it on the fact that none of those three guys scare me at all. I think teams will consistently be able load up the box against them, and we will do that successfully. Wow. Last game against Big Red as a conference foe, and WE WIN!!! 11-1. Wow. Do you see the record I've given us? That means WE GO TO THE CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!!! And while we're at it. I'm changing another prediction. I think Oklahoma DOES win the South, and we play them in Dallas. We've made it this far in my mythical dream-world called Prediction-Land, I think we keep it going and win the conference. We wouldn't be up for a Nat'l Championship, but I think we make a sweet bowl and get another win!!

 

FINAL RECORD - 13-1 (according to the above prediction). Now, if we falter in game one or two, I think our season goes down the drain. I think we can be good if we've got momentum on our side. But if we lose early, I'm not so sure our record isn't more like last years. But apparently we're "this close," so why not 13-1?

And don't worry I'll be the first to call my prediction crazy, but I think we've got the ability to win those games. There is more talent on this team than Hawk has had since he's been here. Way more. WAY more. My prediction may be crazy, but I will call anything less than 9-3 in the regular season a disappointment. We have winnable games nearly every week. The big ones are Georgia (and I pick that as our big home upset that we seem to get each year, not to mention we played them pretty darn close a few seasons ago), Oklahoma (we beat them when they had Bradford, and Landry Jones is no Sam Bradford), Mizzou (we can't lose to them again, can we?) and Nebraska (I think they are overrated).

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