Athlon ranks CU at 34
Behind 33. UCLA, 28. WSU, 21. Oregon and 17. Stanford
Oregon and Stanford aren't on the schedule this year. At WSU and UCLA this year. Seems like weight being given to QB and defensive loses. I believe QB will be a plus this year. Defensive scheme is still the 3-4, plenty of skill players with proven playing time return, but new D-coordinator is an unknown. Flip CU and UCLA and I'd be okay with the ranking. Flip CU and WSU for all homers.
Athlon writeup: The Buffaloes are the defending Pac-12 South champions, but coach Mike MacIntyre’s team is going through some extensive turnover on defense this offseason. A unit that limited opponents to 21.7 points per game in 2016 and featured a rock-solid secondary returns only three starters and is under the direction of a new coordinator (D.J. Eliot). Gone from the front seven is leading tackler Kenneth Olugbode, last year’s top sack man Jimmie Gilbert (10), as well as linemen Jordan Carrell, Josh Tupou and Samson Kafovalu. The list of key departures is even bigger in the secondary. The Buffaloes must replace two shutdown cornerbacks in Ahkello Witherspoon and Chidobe Awuzie, along with safety Tedric Thompson. The cupboard isn’t completely bare for Eliot, as safety Afolabi Laguda and cornerback Isaiah Oliver are among the best in the Pac-12 at their position. Additionally, the return of linebacker Derek McCartney from injury will provide a boost to the front seven. The outlook is much better on offense. While quarterback Sefo Liufau departs, the Buffaloes have a rising star in sophomore Steven Montez ready to take the controls of the offense. Montez has three starts under his belt, throwing for 1,078 yards and nine scores last fall. He’s joined by standout running back Phillip Lindsay (129.9 total yards per game in 2016), and one of the nation’s top receiving corps. Additionally, the Buffaloes should be strong in the trenches with four returning starters. Considering the turnover on defense, a repeat trip to the Pac-12 Championship Game is unlikely. However, Colorado isn’t going to fall too far in the South Division.
[Post edited by WoodbadgeBuff at 06/28/2017 4:00PM]
(In response to this post by WoodbadgeBuff
Posted: 06/28/2017 at 3:56PM