The signs of progress are small enough that it's likely only CU fans and close observers around the Pac-12 Conference and college football are noticing. For instance, CU has rarely made conference games competitive after halftime but it has managed to keep two consecutive contests competitive before ultimately falling to Arizona and UCLA.
"Our performance against a top-20 team shows that we're making progress, and that gives everybody a little more confidence," MacIntyre said. "The players listen to the coaches a little bit more. The coaches think they're doing the right thing a little bit more, and it just keeps you more and more confident."
11. Colorado: Colorado showed some fight against UCLA, but it couldn't keep up with Brett Hundley and company. Fair to say bowl chances are extremely remote -- the Buffs would have to win out. A visit to Washington is next, but the home game against California is the most likely chance to pick up a Pac-12 victory this season.
And UCLA got back to form against a Colorado team that came to play. The drama in Pasadena, Calif., wasn’t breathtaking, but Colorado quarterback Sefo Liufau looked extremely poised, and there was a sense that, even down 18 points in the fourth quarter, the Buffs believed they could win. And yes, even in defeat, it’s nice to see a little swagger out of the Buffs. I like seeing Liufau, a true freshman, shove back when Anthony Barr, a probable top-five draft pick, was penalized for excessively slamming the quarterback. I like the entire Colorado offensive line rushing to its quarterback's defense. And I like that Barr came right back and hit Liufau on the next two plays.
In building a solid foundation, MacIntyre has washed away the hopelessness that stained this program last year. Fans aren't lining up to get back into the stadium yet, but the Buffs have more energy, desire and fight in them than they have had in the past several years.
Colorado is gritty: Say what you want about the wins and losses, but Colorado is a tougher team than it was last season. UCLA won 45-23, and the final score isn't particularly shocking. But the Buffs led midway through the second quarter, and true freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau looked very poised on the road, going 25-of-36 for a touchdown and zero interceptions. They matched UCLA's physicality and even showed a bit of swagger -- be it from receiver Paul Richardson or Liufau. Culture change takes a long time. But we are starting to see the makings of a team that isn't satisfied with being pushed around. On the flip side, good performance from UCLA to get back on track. Brett Hundley looked like he was still a little uncomfortable with his young offensive line, but he looked stronger. If the Bruins can survive a trip to Arizona and home date with Washington, Nov. 23 is high noon with ASU coming to town.
The ads were promoting next week's game at Washington which is scheduled to be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. "The Buffs look to reverse a two-game losing streak when they take on Washington next Saturday," the ad said. The problem was the Buffs only had a one-game losing streak at the time the ads were broadcast prior to CU's game at the Rose Bowl against No. 17 UCLA.
"I’m out there and I can just taste it in my mouth – a win – I can just taste it," said senior safety Parker Orms. "To not get it is not a good feeling at all . . . but it’s right there." "One of these games we’re going shock somebody and people will be like, ‘Wow, you guys won that game.’ We know we’re capable of that. We just have to play four quarters," added freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau following his first Pac-12 road start.
That’s what the 22-point final margin would seem to indicate. The thing is … that’s not the game I saw. I witnessed a game in which the underdog fought throughout. I witnessed a game in which the final outcome remained in doubt until UCLA recovered a CU onside kick with six minutes left in the game. I witnessed a game in which Colorado grew as a team.
"Oh, absolutely," Miller said. "I feel it's the place for me. I'm happy with the coaching staff there. I'm happy with the school in general. I know it's great academically. It's close to home. I'm just happy with the whole package."
"He definitely was good enough," said Malcolm, a real estate agent in Woodland Hills, Calif. "I just felt he needed to be more mature to fall into a man's role. It's one thing being a kid. I wanted him be a kid as long as possible."
Colorado (Dec. 3) — The Rams won’t be favored in this one as CU touts two legitimate NBA prospects, but I like CSU’s chances. I said in 2009 that both programs had reached a point where the home team should win this annual rivalry for years to come, and with what Tad Boyle and Larry Eustachy have done with their teams, I think that remains true. This will likely be the first sellout game of the season and one even nonbasketball fans in Fort Collins should try to make.