Over/Under 4 Wins () vs Colorado Buffaloes ()Date : 08/31/2018
Time : First Game: Colorado State Rams @ Colorado Buffaloes 9:30 PM
Location : Folosm Field
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Over/Under 4 Wins vs Colorado Buffaloes
Mike MacIntyre had this Colorado football program at an all-time high back in 2016 as they won the Pac-12 South and peaked as high as 9th in the AP rankings but the Buffaloes took a leap back in 2017 as they went 5-7. MacIntyre was worthy of the extension he received last year but he needs to prove it in 2018 especially after both his offensive and defensive units took a turn for the worst in 2017. His defensive unit will be the most experience out of the two sides of the ball as they return 6 starters but they need to improve in both the run game and pass rush. The Colorado Buffaloes got shredded on the ground last season as they allowed 208 YPG but opposing teams went to the air there wasn’t much threat of creating turnovers as they ranked 105th in the country. MacIntyre lost his offensive coordinator this past offseason but they promoted within as Darrin Chiaverini will be taking over the playcalling role which could beneift one of the worst offenses in the Pac-12 as he will employ an uptempo offense. The Buffaloes will have a ton of talent on their offense which will be needed after they lost the program leading rusher as well as three of the most productive WRs in school history. Colorado has lacked landing top-notch recruits in the MacIntyre era and that was once again on display with the 2018 recruiting class as they ranked 10th in the Pac-12 with only one 4-star recruit signed which of whom is coming out of JUCO.
Over/Under 4 Wins's Latest Performance :
The Colorado Buffaloes have not experienced much success since the Big 8 turned into the Big 12 back in 1996 and this decade is a prime example of that as the Buffaloes have gone 34-66 with only 1 bowl appearance. Colorado does return a veteran QB but the problem is he will be missing his top running back as well as three of his top receivers which means the fill-ins will go through growing pains in a must-win season. The defense should be much better this season as they return a solid back 7 but they will still have question marks up front which is why oddsmakers have shot low with over/under as it sits at 4 wins.
The Colorado Buffaloes want to return back to relevancy in the Pac-12 South but unfortunately, this might not be the year for them as they will have a tough slate of games in both the non-conference and Pac-12 portions of their schedule. The Buffaloes will open the season against their in-state rival in Colorado State as they will welcome them to Boulder on 8/31 in what could go either way. They will be battle-tested early on in their schedule as they will have a road matchup against a revived Nebraska football program in week 2 of the season. The Pac-12 schedule isn’t generous to MacIntyre and company either especially from 10/13-10/20 as they will have back-to-back road matchups with USC and Washington, two of the toughest teams in the conference. Colorado may need to play upset if they want a shot at competing for a postseason appearance but that may be out of reach for an inexperienced football team.
Colorado Buffaloes's Latest Performance :
Colorado is losing 4 of the most productive offensive weapons in the 117 years of existence which could be problematic in a conference like the Pac-12 but luckily for MacIntyre, he will have a veteran QB with junior Steven Montez onboard for another year. Montez has the talent to be the leader of the Buffaloes but he has shown signs of inconsistency and we saw that last season as he had games where he threw 347 yards and 3 TDs against a solid defense like California but followed that up with a 195-yard outing with only 50% of his passes completed against a mediocre team like Utah. Montez has been able to depend on the run game in the past and that was due to Phillip Lindsay (1474 yards & 14 TDs in ’17) being behind him but the all-time leading rusher has run out of eligibility which leaves a void to fill. MacIntyre was able to land a solid transfer in Virginia Tech RB Travon McMillian who has rushed for over 2,000 yards in his collegiate career, expect the veteran to be a valuable asset in the uptempo offense. Montez will be missing his three 500+ yard pass catchers from a year ago but he still returns some valuable playmakers like Juwann Winfree and Jay McIntyre. The duo was able to combine for 721 yards and 4 TDs in a reserve role last season but they showed the ability to be big-play threats as they averaged 14.8 yards per catch. The defense got shredded in every aspect of the game last season and the loss of their all-conference corner in Isaiah Oliver (2 interceptions & 12 PDs in ’17) doesn’t do defensive coordinator D.J. Eliot any good. The linebackers will be the strongest unit on the defense as they return their top two tacklers in seniors Drew Lewis and Rick Gamboa who combined for over 194 tackles, 8 TFL, and 3 sacks from the middle of the defense. The secondary seemed to have the life sucked out of them when Isaiah Oliver was drafted in the 2nd round last season but they still return some solid assets with veterans Nick Fisher and Evan Worthington coming back for another year. Senior Nick Fisher was a big play DB for the Colorado Buffaloes last season as he returned his lone interception 100 yards for a TD, and on top of that, he was also a force in his man-to-man defense as he racked up 6 pass deflections. Worthington isn’t an ordinary one-dimensional safety as the senior did it all last year with a team-high 3 interceptions and an additional 87 tackles. The defensive line will be young this season but they will need to take a major step forward in improving their last place rushing defense.
Player To Watch
Alex Tchangam, OLB, Jr.
The pass rush was non-existent in 2017 as they sat 102nd in the nation in sacks but MacIntyre made the necessary moves to bolster their weak unit and one of those guys is JUCO transfer Alex Tchangam. Tchangam didn’t receive any offers out of high school because he simply didn’t play football but he has been a student of the game and showed that last season with 12.5 sacks. Tchangam is a physical specimen as he sits at 6’3 250 LBS and I expect him to add depth to an already solid linebacker unit. If the junior can deliver 5 sacks to the Colorado defense it will make the defense that much better and I expect him to do just that during his first season.
How Over/Under 4 Wins & Colorado Buffaloes Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
Over 4 Wins -110
Under 4 Wins -110
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
8/31- Colorado State- W
9/8- @ Nebraska- L
9/15- UNH- W
9/28- UCLA- L
10/6- Arizona State- L
10/13- @ USC- L
10/20- @ Washington- L
10/27- Oregon State- W
11/2- @ Arizona- L
11/10- Washington State- L
11/17- Utah- L
11/24- @ Cal- L
Overall Record: 3-9
Against The Spread Selection: Under 4 Wins -110
My reason for the pick :
It is hard to understand the fact that a Pac-12 South champion has turned around to be one of the worst programs in the conference in a matter of years but that is what we have on our hands with the Colorado Buffaloes. A huge reason why I believe the Buffaloes will reside under the 4 win total is that they won’t return much production on the offensive side of the ball in what was already a bad unit to begin with. RB Phillip Lindsay was able to cover up Montz and his flaws last season but with the program leading rusher elsewhere I don’t see the junior QB shouldering more of a load this year. The defense has the potential to be better this season as they return veterans in the back half of the unit but it won’t be good enough to carry the whole team to 6 wins, not in the Pac-12 at least. Take the Colorado Buffaloes to go under the 4 win mark as they will take a major step back in MacIntyre’s 6th season.