Full Slate Of College Football Games Kicks Off Next Weekend #41 Colorado Buffaloes Preview

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#41 Colorado Buffaloes Preview

Spring practices are already in the books and fall camps will be here before you know it, which means you’ll have an early jump into the 2006 NCAA football season. Knowing the teams now will save you time. in August and Matt Fargo is here to help you understand what to expect this coming year. We go from worst to first in this 2006 college football trailer.

#41 – Colorado Buffaloes 7-6 SU; 6-7 ATS

The Take de Fargo scandals have marred a once-proud Colorado program, and the Buffaloes hope all those negatives are gone forever. Last out was head coach Gary Barnett, who was involved in more than one doom and gloom around the team. Former Boise St. head coach Dan Hawkins takes over and has vowed to turn this team around, both on and off the field. The Buffaloes did make it to a bowl game last year, but it wasn’t due to solid play down the stretch. They were outscored 100-6 in their last two games, but won the Big XII North thanks to other teams falling down the stretch as well. Colorado will implement new systems on both sides of the ball, and if it can pick things up quickly, there’s a chance of a repeat in the North. However, the schedule is tough and there are many question marks, primarily on offense, that need to be answered in order to return to the postseason.

Returning starters on offense – 5 The offense at Boise St. flourished under Hawkins and expect the new open scheme to cause problems for the unknown Big XII defenses. For the offense to be successful, a quarterback must emerge. Youngsters Brian White and Bernard Jackson are in line to replace Joel Klatt and the battle probably won’t be decided until late fall camp. Hawkins relies on balance in both the passing game and the running game and the latter will be in good shape with the return of running back Hugh Charles. Charles rushed for 842 yards last season and could have a great junior season under the new attack. The offensive line is strong on the right side, with three returning starters, but the left side will be made up of young newcomers. Veteran receivers are ready to make the quarterback transition more seamless.

Returning starters on defense – 8 Colorado had one of the best run defenses in the country a season ago, finishing 11th in the nation, but that ranking will be hard to replicate in 2006. The defensive line needs to replace three starters and youth will be around along the. Three of the four linebackers are back, so any shortcomings the line may have will be made up for up the middle. The secondary lost Gerett Burl to suspension but gets Terrence Wheatley back, who missed all of last season with injury. The passing defense ranked a disappointing 87th in the country last season, so there will be a need to rush the quarterback, something new defensive coordinator Ron Collins promises to accomplish. It will probably be up to this unit to carry the team through the first part of the year until the offense and the new quarterback can understand the new scheme.

Schedule Playing in the Big XII North gives the Buffaloes an easier schedule than most, but is still extremely demanding. Colorado hosts Montana St. in its opener before facing rival Colorado St. in a neutral-site game in Denver. The non-conference slate finish is extremely tough with a home game against Arizona St. before traveling to Georgia. If the Buffaloes can snap out of that skid with a 2-2 record, it will be considered a success. The Big XII schedule begins with two winnable games against Missouri and Baylor, but then strengthens with a home game against Texas Tech and a road contest in Oklahoma. The end of the season will likely determine who wins the North when the Buffaloes host Iowa St. before traveling to Nebraska in their season finale.

You can bet… Colorado’s program is headed in the right direction, but it won’t succeed overnight. Hawkins is a perfect fit for the head coaching job, as he’s been successful wherever he’s coached and takes pride in his team’s character, which is actually more important right now. The first three lineup games of the season are against non-conference teams and the Buffaloes are just 10-22 against the number since 1996 in those situations. Colorado hasn’t had a profitable season since 2002, but that could change this year if the Buffaloes can improve on their 1-5 ATS road record from a season ago. Good things will happen in Boulder, but it could take some time.

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