Pac 12

Stanford QB Kevin Hogan Rides Momentum into His Final Season

Head coach David Shaw says Hogan "can be as good as anybody playing college football."
Stanford QB Kevin Hogan Rides Momentum into His Final Season

Stanford’s last trip to Rose Bowl Stadium was not in the capacity the Cardinal had been accustomed the last few years.

Pac-12 Football TV Schedule Planner for September

Oregon at Michigan State highlights a loaded first month of Pac-12 action.
Pac-12 Football TV Schedule Planner for September

The Pac-12 Conference released kickoff times and broadcast information for most of the league's first month of games, and the docket features numerous marquee games that could help shape the national college football landscape in 2015.

 

College Football 2015 Rankings and Predictions: #81-100

Athlon releases its 2015 ranks for No. 81-100.
College Football 2015 Rankings and Predictions: #81-100

The 2015 college football season is still a few months away, but it’s never too early to project how the upcoming year will play out on the field. Athlon Sports has released its top 25 for this season and continues the countdown to September with a look at the teams ranked No. 26-128.

 

Ability to Adjust Keeps Pac-12 Offenses on Cutting Edge

Fluid offensive philosophies from the conference's head coaches and coordinators keep Pac-12 offenses scoring big.
Ability to Adjust Keeps Pac-12 Offenses on Cutting Edge

Pac-12 football has long been synonymous with offensive innovation. In 2015, the conference’s next step in offensive evolution may very well be systems that are completely fluid.  

 

Half of the Pac-12 ranked No. 36 or better in scoring offense for a second consecutive season. The league’s most prolific systems stay on the cutting edge by constantly changing rather than adhering to a regimented style.

Ranking College Football's Graduate Transfer QBs for 2015

Everett Golson is one of CFB's top transfers.
Ranking College Football's Graduate Transfer QBs for 2015

Transfers are a big part of any college football season. And over the last few seasons, graduate transfers have become a bigger part of the offseason player movement landscape.

 

College Football 2015 Rankings and Predictions: #61-80

Athlon releases its 2015 ranks for No. 61-80.
College Football 2015 Rankings and Predictions: #61-80

The 2015 college football season is still a few months away, but it’s never too early to project how the upcoming year will play out on the field. Athlon Sports has released its top 25 for this season and continues the countdown to September with a look at the teams ranked No. 26-128.

 

Bowl Games Have No Place in the College Football Playoff

The bowls need to be removed from the Playoff.
Bowl Games have no place in the College Football Playoff

Nick Saban wants college football to focus more on the bowls.

 

His biggest fear is that the College Football Playoff is taking too much attention away from prestigious and historically significant games like the Poulan/Weed Eater Bowl.

 

COLLEGE FOOTBALL 2015 PRESEASON TOP 25

#67 Colorado Buffaloes

NATIONAL FORECAST

#67

Pac-12 South PREDICTION

#6

HEAD COACH: Mike MacIntyre, 6-18 (2 years) | OFF. COORDINATOR: Brian Lindgren | DEF. COORDINATOR: Jim Leavitt

Thought this may be tough to prove to an outsider, Colorado improved in 2014 despite a 2-10 record and a winless Pac-12 season. The Buffaloes were more competitive at least as far as the scoreboard was concerned in the second season under Mike MacIntyre. If the Buffs can flip the margins a little further and sweep its non-conference schedule, they will start to show more tangible progress.

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Previewing Colorado’s Offense in 2015 


Colorado took some big steps forward offensively in 2014, ranking 40th in the nation in yards per game, up 50 spots from the previous season. The Buffs are hoping to build on that success with many of their key contributors back. 

Junior Sefo Liufau will enter the season as the starting quarterback for the second consecutive year hoping to build on his successes as a sophomore while also focusing on taking better care of the ball. He has 18 starts under his belt, has attempted 749 passes and thrown for nearly 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns. There is a lot to like about that experience, but Liufau also has thrown 23 interceptions, and he’ll have to dramatically curtail his miscues for the Buffs to take a big step forward in the win column. 

Nelson Spruce was on the other end of almost one-third of Liufau’s completions last season, hauling in 106 passes for 1,198 yards and 12 touchdowns. Speedy Shay Fields caught 50 balls as a true freshman last year. 

Christian Powell has led the Buffs in rushing for three straight years, though his role has diminished since carrying the ball 158 times as a true freshman in 2012. Michael Adkins II and sophomore Phillip Lindsay played extensively in the four-back rotation Colorado employed in 2014.  Colorado added Boise State transfer Aaron Baltazar to the roster and also signed two running backs from the high school ranks.

Order a copy of Athlon's 2015 Pac-12 College Football Preview, which includes an in-depth look at all 12 teams, features and predictions for the upcoming season.

Previewing Colorado’s Defense in 2015 
 

Stopping opponents has been a problem since Colorado joined the Pac-12. The Buffs ranked 102nd in the nation in rushing defense and 116th in scoring defense last season. Those numbers led head coach Mike MacIntyre to hire a new defensive coordinator in former South Florida head coach Jim Leavitt, and he added former Central Michigan defensive coordinator Joe Tumpkin to coach safeties. 

Nose tackle Josh Tupou was a three-year starter, but he was lost for the 2015 season due to suspension. Samson Kafovalu took the 2014 season off for personal reasons but has returned to bolster the interior. Defensive end Derek McCartney is coming off a strong redshirt freshman season. Junior college transfers Jordan Carrell, Blake Robbins and Leo Jackson look like impact players. 

MacIntyre has two experienced linebackers in juniors Addison Gillam and Kenneth Olugbode. Keeping them healthy is a must because there isn’t much experience behind them. 

The secondary might be the deepest and most talented unit on the team, thanks in part to senior safety Jered Bell being awarded a sixth season of eligibility. Cornerback Ken Crawley will be starting for the fourth straight year. 
Related: Athlon's 2015 College Football Rankings: No. 1 to 128

Previewing Colorado’s Specialists in 2015 


CU lost four-year starters at placekicker and punter but might have addressed both positions by signing standout Alex Kinney from just up the road in Fort Collins. Kinney was rated among the nation’s best punters coming out of high school. He could steal the placekicking duties away from Diego Gonzalez, a lefty who has struggled with accuracy but has a strong leg, and walk-on Chris Graham, who competed with Gonzalez in the spring. 

Final Analysis


Colorado won only two games in coach MacIntyre’s second season and went winless in conference play for the first time in 99 years. Despite those harsh realities, there were tangible signs that the program is finally on the right track and in position to become more competitive in the Pac-12. Four of the Buffaloes’ nine league losses came by five points or fewer, including double-overtime losses to Cal and UCLA. The goal in Year 3 is to turn some of those close losses into wins and make a move out of the Pac-12 South basement.

The Debate

Is Nelson Spruce the Top WR in the Pac-12?

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