The 2014 college football season is right around the corner. Finally, Colorado Buffaloes football is within reach. With less than a month until the season opener, the Buffaloes have officially kicked off their fall camp. It will be the final chance of the offseason for coaches to make important roster decisions, for players to compete for starting jobs, and to evaluate the expectations for the season.
In the case of the Buffaloes, expectations must be tempered. This is not a team that’s going to make a miraculous run in the Pac-12 South, nor should they be counted on to make the postseason this year. This is a team that is still very much in rebuilding mode. To put it in perspective, the Buffaloes haven’t had a winning season since 2005 and haven’t played in a bowl game since 2007. However, there are plenty of reasons to heighten the expectations from a season ago.
In 2013-2014, the Buffaloes showed some signs of life. Head coach Mike MacIntyre was brought on board to revitalize a program struggling to keep its head above water. He did just that, as he led Colorado to a 4-8 record. This was a vast improvement from 2012, a season in which the Buffaloes managed only one win.
This season, the Buffaloes will play nine games against Pac-12 opponents and three out of conference games. They’ll face some stiff competition both at home and on the road. The season opens on August 29th, when the Buffaloes are set to take on their in-state rival, the Colorado State Rams. Dubbed as the “Rocky Mountain Showdown”, it’s always one of the most anticipated games of the season. If the Buffaloes can find a way to sink their long-time rivals, it may build some early season momentum. The game against Colorado State always has the potential to set the tone for the rest of the season.
MacIntyre believes that this particular rivalry matchup drives the team through the final fall camp. He added, “There is a lot of excitement around it. There is a lot of intensity around it. So I think it pushes your team knowing that they are getting ready for that game.”
After the match up against the Rams, Colorado will face Massachusetts, Arizona State, Hawai’i, and California. These five teams combined, racked up a 19-43 record just a season ago. It’s feasible that the Buffaloes stand a chance to win each of these first five games. If they can accomplish such a feat, it would be the first time since 1998 that a Colorado team has started the season with a 5-0 mark. Wishful thinking? Maybe. However, the Buffaloes certainly have the talent to do so and a very forgiving schedule early on.
Then the going gets a little tougher. Oregon State, USC, UCLA, Washington, Arizona, Oregon, and Utah round out the 2014 schedule. Quite the contrary from the first five opponents, the last seven combined for a 60-31 record last season. The Buffaloes have yet to find any real success against Pac-12 opponents in years past, but will look to do this season as they continue to rebuild under MacIntyre.
A young, talented roster should bode well for the Buffaloes, as they enter the 2014 season. Constantly being considered the underdog isn’t always such a bad thing, especially when there’s the potential to shock the nation. That’s precisely what the Buffaloes will look to accomplish this upcoming season. When it’s all said and done, this season will inevitably be another one full of progress and growth. The Boulder faithful must have patience in a young core of players, but should be rewarded with a talented group down the road.
Expect another tough season in Boulder, with a 4-8 or 5-7 mark when the dust settles. What do you think is a realistic expectation for the Buffaloes this season?