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The Buffaloes are projected to be one of the worst teams in the Pac-12, according to the oddsmakers at SportsBetting.com as they have them tied for the longest odds to win the conference title at +10000.
After showing some promise last year under first-year head coach Mel Tucker, the Buffs are at square one once again after Tucker bolted for Michigan State in the middle of February, leaving the program searching for a new head coach on short notice.
Colorado eventually hired Karl Dorrell about two months after most teams completed their coaching changes, and given that he’s spent all but one year as an NFL position coach since he was fired from UCLA in 2007, there’s plenty of skepticism about his ability to coach and recruit at the college level.
If there’s any glimmer of hope for the Buffaloes on offense, it’s that the new coaching staff has plenty of experience on that side of the ball. Dorrell has more than 30 years of experience coaching offense at both the college and NFL level, and Darrin Chiaverini returns as the team’s offensive coordinator.
However, coaching can only take a team so far. Colorado needs players to step up this season, and that starts with the quarterback after the departure of three-year starter Steven Montez. With no spring practice or fall camp, the Buffaloes had little time to evaluate or develop a starting quarterback. They’ll choose between senior Sam Noyer, who has the most game experience with 41 pass attempts, or junior Tyler Lytle, who was the team’s starter last season.
Whoever takes the reins as the starter will not have an easy task, leading a passing offense looking to replace its top two receivers from last season. The Buffaloes do, however, return running backs Alex Fontenot and Jaren Mangham, who combined for 1,315 yards and eight touchdowns last season, as well as three starting offensive linemen, including veteran Will Sherman.
For all the turnover on the offensive side of the ball, Colorado can lean on a little continuity and experience on defense with the Buffaloes returning defensive coordinator Tyson Summers along with eight starters from last season.
The Colorado defense will be led in the trenches by a pair of talented defensive ends in Mustafa Johnson and Terrance Lang, who combined for 11 tackles for loss and 10 sacks last season. Behind them is a sound and experienced linebacking corps of Nate Landman, Akil Jones and Carson Wells, all of whom saw plenty of action last year with Landman leading the team with 113 tackles.
In the secondary, Colorado returns cornerbacks Mekhi Blackmon and Chris Miller, who were starters before suffering season-ending injuries last season. Corner K.J. Trujillo and safety Derrion Rakestraw, who were regular starters last year, are also back in the fold.
It’s an experienced group that the team will have to lean on with a new head coach and an offensive transition.
Betting on Colorado Buffaloes 2020 Schedule
Colorado will face a shortened seven-game schedule this season due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, and there are certainly no easy wins. In fact, there’s a good chance the Buffaloes will be underdogs in every game it plays this season.
Colorado avoids Pac-12 frontrunner Oregon, but drew USC, Arizona State and Utah, which will be decided favorites. The Buffaloes also have contests against Stanford and UCLA, and will likely be underdogs in those contests as well. The most winnable game is a Dec. 5 showdown with Arizona, though even that game is on the road.
Buffaloes Bold Odds Prediction
The Buffaloes have finished 5-7 for each of the last three seasons and Dorrell never finished worse than 6-6 during his time at UCLA, but there just aren’t many wins to be found on this schedule. At best, this is looking like a 1-6 year for Colorado so play the under on the Buffs’ minuscule win total of 2.
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