Big 12 football power rankings after spring portal closes: Did Buffaloes get better?

Coach Prime and his family have talked a big game out all offseason in Boulder, but where do the Buffs realistically stack up in the new-look Big 12? It might not be as high as Sanders and Colorado fans hope.
Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2)
Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) / Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
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. Last Year: 10-3 Alamo Bowl W. 3. Arizona . Head Coach: Brent Brennan. . 511. . .

Key losses: Jonah Coleman, Audric Harris, Jayden de Laura Key additions: Tre Smith, Quali Conley

There are a lot of questions about Arizona’s roster after Jedd Fisch left to replace Kalen DeBoer at Washington. Fisch took a lot of talent with him, but couldn’t convince quarterback Noah Fifita or wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan, so the Wildcats still have a shot to win the Big 12 in Year 1 under Brent Brennan. 

As a redshirt freshman, Fifita threw for 2,869 yards and 25 touchdowns with just six interceptions despite starting the season as the backup to Jayden de Laura. McMillan also emerged as a dominant force in his sophomore year. The 6-foot-5 receiver caught 90 passes for 1,402 yards and 10 touchdowns last season and could become a top 10 pick in the 2025 NFL Draft. 

Arizona had 27 outgoing transfers and a tumultuous offseason. If Fisch returned and retained most of his talent, this team would be the favorite, but even without him, the Wildcats have a puncher’s chance to make the College Football Playoff.