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TEXAS AT COLORADO
3* Colorado +14 or better over Texas - (released to the email list Tuesday) Often times in our write ups we refer to last season. Or, in some instances, the history of a program. At times, last season means nothing when looking at a game to take place this now. However, often times you can learn a lot about what to expect by doing so. This is one such case, we feel.
There is still some uncertainly with this play. That uncertainly lies with Texas. We simply don't know how good they are. Sure, they are 4-0 and blowing teams away but they have faced some pretty bad teams so far. Florida Atlantic, UTEP, Rice and Arkansas. UTEP lost to Buffalo 42-17. While Texas beat UTEP 42-13, the score was 28-13 at the half and UTEP held Texas scoreless in the 3rd, only to give up 2 TD's in the 4th. But UTEP had more total yards, more on the ground and almost as much thru the air. 412 total. It wasn't as much as a mismatch as the score board indicated.
Texas did dominate the other 3 they faced but again, look at who it was. We can't get too excited about that. Yet this line no doubt reflects that performance. That, and last weeks visit to Florida State by Colorado which didn't go as planned.
So let's take a look back to last year. We have mentioned that we felt Colorado is a team on the rise. They are headed in the right direction. Remember the West Virginia game where we mentioned stepping stones. Look at any team that turns the program around and you'll find signature victories along the way. This Colorado team already has a couple of those signature wins. Last year they beat Oklahoma at home 27-24. They played #15 Kansas close, but lost 19-14, they beat Texas Tech and they beat Nebraska in a shoot out 65-51.
How is any of that significant now? Well, Colorado returns a good chunk of last years starters on offense including QB Cody Hawkins. They also have 8 starters on defense back. Texas also returns a good chunk on offense but only 4 on the defensive side of the ball. Texas lost to Oklahoma last year and only got by Nebraska by a field goal. They also lost to Texas AM and we're damn lucky to get by Central Florida early in the year. So we have some common opponents from last year that would indicate that Colorado can play on the same level as Texas. We also have some opponents that beat or played well against Texas that were just mediocre teams. So this tells us is that the talent is there on this Colorado team, to compete with Texas. What we're asking of the Buffs is not impossible. Recent history proves that. Teams change from year to year, but they don't change drastically. They get a little better, or a little worse in most cases.
Having played two decent teams their last two games in Florida State and West Virginia is a positive for Colorado here. You don't get better, or improve areas that need improving, by playing cupcakes. When you breeze through the little sisters of the poor for 4 weeks straight, there tends to be a false sense of security. Colorado, talent-wise, is better than any team Texas has faced this year.
Having a little added motivation never hurts our cause. Such is the case with this game. Now, there's revenge in college football, and then there's REVENGE with capital letters. Plain old revenge is getting even for a loss. REVENGE is getting even for a humiliation which is what happened to Colorado in 2005, the last time these two played. Texas handed the Buffs their 3rd worst defeat in the history of their program and their worst defeat since 1946! Sure, not many of the current Colorado players were around to remember that loss, but they'll be reminded of it often enough this week.
Revenge only works if the team seeking it is capable of pulling it off. We have outlined above why we think Colorado is capable. What adds to the appeal of this play is that we are getting 2 full touchdowns or more. A valiant effort still gets us the money.
There are concerns. Colorado is hurting on the offensive line. You don't want line troubles heading into a game against Texas. This is a young Colorado team. The offense only has 3 seniors. They will be a Big 12 force in the coming 2-3 years as QB Hawkins is only a Sophomore and they have a couple of fantastic rookie backs. Whether or not they take a giant step in that direction this week remains to be seen, but the talent is there to at least put forth a huge effort.
Oh, it's also homecoming. Guess who came to town last year on Homecoming? Oklahoma. Ranked #3 at the time. They left with their tail between their legs and a 27-24 loss. We'll take our chances here. The stronger schedule to date, the results against good teams and common opponents last year, the revenge factor, the altitude, Homecoming, it all adds up. Colorado +14
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