5Dimes has set Colorado’s 2012 college football win totals at over 3.5 (-135) and under 3.5 wins (-105). The Buffs are coming off of a school-record tying sixth straight losing season, going 3-10 last season.
Helping us preview and project Colorado’s 2012 season win totals is Stuart Whitehair of the Colorado blog CU At The Game.
Colorado will once again be one of the youngest teams in the nation this year. The Buffs have only eight seniors and it’s possible that nearly 30 true and redshirt freshmen could see playing time this season.
With the quarterback situation still unresolved, and star wide receiver Paul Richardson likely out for the season with a knee injury, the Buffs are going to have some major issues on offense.
And it doesn’t get any better on the defensive side of the ball either. Colorado was 102nd in the nation last year in total defense and 109th in scoring defense. The defensive line will likely be stocked with freshmen, but there could be some improvement from a more experienced back seven.
Despite the loss of leading rusher Rodney Stewart, the Colorado RB’s and offensive line should be the strength of this team. RB Tony Jones is a sophomore who filled in ably last fall when Stewart was injured, rushing for 297 yards (3.80 ypr) and 2 TDs.
The offensive line is young, but does return 6 players with starting experience. Junior David Bakhtari returns for his third season in the starting lineup, and his second at left tackle. Junior Gus Handler returns at center and sophomore Daniel Munyer moves out to right guard.
The softest non-conference schedule in over a decade gives a young Colorado team an opportunity for early success, which might lead to an improved overall record.
For the first time since 2001, Colorado does not play a BCS Conference school in non-conference play, taking on Colorado State (in Denver), Sacramento State from the Big Sky Conference at home, before traveling to Fresno State to play the Bulldogs.
Colorado State and Fresno State are both breaking in new coaches, and did not have much more success in 2011 than did the Buffs (3-9 for Colorado State; 4-9 for Fresno State).
Unfortunately for the Buffs PAC 12 play is a different story as they are unlikely to be favored in any conference games this season and will more than likely go 0-4 on the road (Colorado did end a 24-game losing streak for games played outside the state of Colorado by beating Utah in Salt Lake City last year).
There are too many issues on this team to make a definitive guess as to how many games they are likely to win. They’ll probably finish 3-9 and in the Pac 12 South basement.
However if you believe the Buffs can run the easy non-conference schedule (personally the game at Fresno State looks daunting for a team with Colorado’s issues), they are more than likely to upset at least one unsuspecting PAC 12 foe at Folsom Field like they did with Arizona last season. In which case, four wins is not out of the question.
What do you think, can Colorado win 4 games this season?