Top 50 teams in 2017: No. 44, Colorado

Top 50 teams in 2017: No. 44, Colorado

No. 44: Colorado

Coach: Mike MacIntyre

2016 record: 10-4

Projected 2017 record: 9-3

Circle the date: Nov. 11 vs. Southern Cal

Bowl trip: Holiday

Why No. 44: Few expected much from the Buffs going into last season other than the cool pregame sprint with Ralphie. MacIntyre fooled them all, surviving a make-or-break year with a 10-win season. Good move by former Illini Rick George not to push the panic button and stick with MacIntyre. Colorado’s feel-good story had a bummer ending with consecutive blowout losses to Washington and Oklahoma State in the postseason. Steven Montez takes over at quarterback after putting good numbers in relief of starter Sefo Liufau. The offense brings back nine starters The big worry is on defense, where only three starters return. The defense played a key role in Colorado’s comeback season. The nonconferene schedule is soft, but the Buffs open Pac-12 play with games against Washington and UCLA. Stanford and Oregon are off the schedule.

Last year’s ranking: N/A

Previous rankings: No. 50, Western Kentucky, No. 49 Vanderbilt, No. 48 Syracuse, No. 47 Duke, No. 46 Memphis, No. 45 Arizona State

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