Before this 2023 Pac-12 football season began, we wrote the following:
“Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes are the biggest wild card in all of college football. With a roster full of transfers, there are so many question marks as to how good or bad this team will be.
“In this latest edition of our Pac-12 football preview predictions, Jack Carlough of Buffaloes Wire, Matt Wadleigh and Matt Zemek of Trojans Wire, and Zachary Neel of Ducks Wire gave their predictions for the Buffs.”
Those predictions ranged from 2-10 to 6-6. No one predicted CU would have a winning record. Now, everything feels different. A 6-6 record might be the low end of a win-loss record for Colorado, with 7-5 being a real possibility.
Colorado being better than expected invites this question:
We put this question to Colorado and Oregon analysts plus Trojans Wire staffers. Here’s what they said:
MATT ZEMEK, TROJANS WIRE
“Oregon has the benefit of playing Colorado at home, whereas USC does not. That point aside, it’s a disadvantage for the Ducks and Trojans. Colorado has obvious strengths, and those strengths match up well against UO and USC, who both have problems in their secondaries. Colorado loves to throw. Oregon and USC have problems defending the pass. Earlier in the season, we could see more miscommunications in the secondary which enable CU to hit big plays. UO and USC don’t have as much time to prepare for Sean Lewis’s Colorado offense.”
MATT WADLEIGH, TROJANS AND BUFFALOES WIRE
“I feel like playing Colorado early in the year is better. However, with the momentum early on, it might not be the best idea. For the Trojans, they get to watch the Buffs face Oregon the week before in Autzen, so tht helps. For Oregon, however, Colorado could very well be 3-0 and ranked by the time they come to Eugene. “
ZACHARY NEEL, DUCKS WIRE
“As far as gameplay goes, it is probably a disadvantage because you’re still getting them while they are fresh, and before there is a ton of tape on them. Travis Hunter can still play 110 snaps a few weeks from now. From a hype standpoint, it’s a massive bonus, though. With Colorado the talk of the town, Oregon and USC now get a chance to showcase how good they can be this year by playing a middling Pac-12 team and likely blowing them out of the water.”
DON SMALLEY, DUCKS WIRE
“Colorado had a good Week 1, but can they sustain it? Upsets happen. It’s how that team responds is what is important. We still don’t know if the Buffs are real. We’ll know a lot more after the Nebraska game. Playing at Autzen is a very different monster than most of those kids have ever faced and Oregon is an experienced team ready to have a special season. I doubt they’ll let Colorado derail that.”