filed in Features on Aug.30, 2005
Since the season kicks off on Saturday, I expect that it’s high time I posted my annual season preview. What can we expect from the Buffs this season? To tell you the truth, the crystal ball has been a bit hazy as I’m having trouble trying to figure this team out. One thing is for sure, the Buffs won’t be able to blame inexperience this go-round. The Buffs return 17 starters from last year’s team so everyone has been through the battles before. I think there are 3 keys to this season:
1. Improving the defense. The Buffs struggled on defense last year and have to improve if they have any hope of returning to the Big 12 Title Game. Says here that they do as Coach Hank has had a chance to really get his system in place. Hopefully that means a return to the days of “Linebacker U”.
2. Catching passes. The receivers were terrible last year and there are no anticipated stars at the position this year either. The loss of Blake Mackey is a big blow and others will need to step up big to improve this facet of the Buffs offense.
3. Offensive play-calling. I’ve harped on this enough, but Shawn Watson must do a better job of calling the plays. I hope we don’t have to sit through another season of third down plays that go for 1 or 2 yards short of the first down.
Now onto the season predictions….
Sep 03, CSU – The Buffs are favored in this year’s match up and seem to be stronger in almost all areas. However, this rivalry almost always winds up being close. I see a CU win in one of the better games of the season. CU 27 CSU 20
Sep 10, New Mexico State – This match up is scheduled for 8:00 pm and includes fireworks at halftime. The fireworks may be the most exciting part of the game. CU 42 NMSU 10
Sep 24, @ Miami, FL – Ouch. I just don’t see any way that the Buffs can go into Miami and come away with a win. Hopefully, they can keep it close. CU 13 Miami 35
Oct 1, @ Oklahoma State – IT will be tough to go into Stillwater and beat the Cowboys, but I think the Buffs do it this year. OSU has a new head coach and is making some changes to their offense and the Buffs take advantage of Cowboy mistakes. CU 24 OSU 21
Oct 8, Texas A&M – A&M looks very tough this year and frankly, their band scares me a little. I think the Buffs blow this one at home. CU 17 A&M 31
Oct 15, @Texas – Texas will be coming off of the annual “Red River Shootout” (I know they changed the name, but it’s stupid) and either way that game ends up, the Buffs pay the price. A UT win over OU and the Longhorns are gunning for a national championship. Another loss to OU, and they’re going to be angry. Not a good situation for the Buffs. CU 12 UT 29
Oct 22, Kansas – Don’t have much to say about Kansas. CU 41 KU 20
Oct 29, @ Kansas State – How the mighty have fallen. KSU has questions everywhere and may be repeating the poor season they had last year. Should be easier than usual to get a win in Manhattan. CU 34 KSU 19
Nov 5, Missouri – Brad Smith is fantastic, but the Tigers don’t really have anyone else. CU 30 MU 22
Nov 12, @ Iowa State – The Cyclones should have won the Big 12 North last year, but couldn’t finish off Missouri. I don’t think they have the heart to compete for it this year. CU 19 ISU 12
Nov 25, Nebraska – The Callahan west coast offense continues to sputter and the “Blackshirts” are no longer menacing. Another big win for the Buffs. CU 45 NU 20
Big 12 Championship – I expect the Buffs to win the North division and face Texas in the Big 12 Championship game. Unlike 2001, the Buffs don’t get it done. CU 22 UT 31
Bowl – I don’t know what bowl game the Buffs will end up in (I can’t even keep up with them all), but I know they will struggle as Barnett seems to have trouble getting his team to show up in bowl games. No prediction here.
So, looking over the predictions it looks like an 8-4 (6-3 Big 12) record for the Buffs. Let’s hope the team can prove me wrong in a positive way.