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Colorado’s MacIntyre front-runner for National Coach of the Year

Dedicated coach trying to follow in his father's footsteps with an unpredictable season

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Colorado Buffaloes head coach Mike MacIntyre has spent his career taking programs from worst to first and his efforts are about to payoff again. CU's has gone from one of the worst teams in FBS to being recognized on a national level in his fourth year in Boulder. MacIntyre has been named to several mid-season watch list's as the front-runner for 2016 national Coach of the Year.

The Buffs currently have a 9-2 record, rank No. 10 in the College Football Playoff and need a win next week against Utah to play in their first ever Pac-12 Championship.

MacIntyre's knack for coaching was handed down from his late father George, who like his son turned a struggling Vanderbilt team into contenders. George won the Bobby Dodd Coach of the Year award in 1982 after leading the Commodores to a bowl game for the first time since 1974.

Perhaps the quote that defines CU's season came from MacIntyre when he said, "If we win the Pac-12 Championship, we'll have an opportunity to do things nobody dreamed we could do." And he's right, if Colorado advances to win the conference, it would mark the biggest turnaround in Colorado history and the Buffs could present their case to join the four-team playoff.

Historically, how good has this season been for Colorado?

It's the 14th season in school history the Buffs have eclipsed the nine win mark and represents the best record since 2002. CU is currently ranked the highest it has been since the start of that season at No. 7 (Aug. 26, 2002). They're also ranked in the top 30 for both total offense and defense for the first time since 1989.

Bill McCartney is the only coach in Colorado history to receive national honors, winning coach of the year in 1989 (unanimous: UPI, AFCA/Kodak, FWAA, Walter Camp, Sporting News, Maxwell Football Club, CBS/Chevrolet).

MacIntyre deserves the honor of being named the best in college football for CU's accomplishments. Expect to see his name on a short list of finalists in the coming weeks.