2014 Pulitzer Prize Winner

NCAA football: Buffs season hinges on Rocky Mountain Showdown

Published: June 9, 2014, 11:50 am, by Paul Klee

One game doesn’t make a season. 

But a close look at Colorado’s football schedule suggests the Buffs can be bowl-bound — if they beat the Rams.

On Aug. 29, CU and CSU host the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field. (I had figured the annual rivalry game would be moved to campus sites by 2014, but it appears that move will happen later.) CU has beaten CSU in three of their past four, five of their past seven and eight of their past 11.

Despite a slide into national irrelevancy, the Buffs still have the upper hand in the in-state rivalry.

To reach a bowl game next season, CU must maintain that upper hand. You rarely will find a more favorable non-conference schedule for the Buffs. It includes two neutral-site games and a home game. CSU (in Denver), UMass (in Foxboro) and Hawaii (at Folsom Field) are all winnable. The Buffs should be able to sneak out three wins in Pac-12 play, right? That would give them six wins and make them bowl-eligible for the first time since 2007.

The Rocky Mountain Showdown is always a big deal. It should be, anyway. The next edition is a very big deal to the Buffs’ bowl hopes.

Twitter: @Klee_Gazette