The Colorado Buffaloes are 3-0 and (unofficially) ranked 26th in the nation. Thus far, the Buffs have a dominant win over Colorado State, a clutch victory over Nebraska, and a ho-hum thumpin’ of New Hampshire. The Buffs certainly deserve to be 3-0, and combined with their bye week and a general dearth of quality college football teams this season, they deserve to be in or around the Top 25.
As you readers have made known in the Twitter replies and Facebook comments, the Buffs haven’t proved anything in their first three games. CSU, Nebraska and New Hamsphire have combined for a woeful 1-10 record. The only win was the Rams beating an awful Arkansas team in the final minute, but they followed that win with embarrassing losses to Florida and FCS Illinois State. Nebraska, supposedly a “good team” under Scott Frost, were defeated by Troy before being dismantled by Michigan. Nebraska was certainly a better team with a healthy Adrian Martinez (lol) and without any game tape on their offense, so CU’s win was better than it looks, but yeah, that’s not really a quality win anymore.
The schedule doesn’t really change with UCLA. They’re terrible and everyone knows it, up to and including the Buffaloes. Wilton Speight will be back as starting quarterback, but as Colorado learned in their game at Michigan in 2016, he’s certainly not a world-beater. Besides former top-rated recruit Jaelin Phillips, the UCLA defense is probably the worst in the Pac-12, if not the Mountain West as well. If CU’s offense looks anything like it has early on, the Buffs should score 40+ on Friday. If the CU defense is remotely functional, they should be more than capable of holding down Chip Kelly’s struggling offense.
The problem with this UCLA game is that it may be too easy. The Buffs could sleep on them, assume a win and show up without expecting anything resembling resistance. If the Buffs come into this game thinking they’re a great team for being 3-0 right now, there’s a chance they slip up and lose to a winless team. CU has to stay motivated and energetic if they want to secure what should be a blowout win. There are no excuses to lose this game, and that’s exactly why they might lose.
You already know that CU has to focus to win this game. I suppose I’m writing this for myself, because I’m an idiot who writes articles like “The Buffaloes might go undefeated and win the National Championship,” and sometimes I need to stop and be reflective of what is realistic. Are the Buffs good? I think so, but I really don’t know. Are the Buffs focusing on practice and not the polls? I really have no idea, but the players still seem hungry, I think. Nothing will really change between now and Friday, so hopefully — hopefully — the Buffs don’t mess up everything against a bad team.