Last Friday, while I was in Hollywood for Pac-12 football media days, I sat down at a table where Arizona State head coach Todd Graham was talking with reporters, mostly the local beat writers who cover the Sun Devils.

I took the opportunity to ask Graham a question for a story I'll run at a later date, but before my question, I had introduced myself by saying that I cover Colorado.

Graham answered my question, and then another reporter began asking a question. I was surprised when Graham then interrupted the other reporter and turned to me and said, "You're with Colorado?"

"Yes," I said.

Graham then proceeded to spend the next couple of minutes raving about Buffaloes head coach Mike MacIntyre and the job he's doing in Boulder. Now, it's not uncommon for coaches to do that when specifically asked about another team. What surprised me was how Graham went out of his way to praise MacIntyre, when he wasn't even asked to do so.

With that, here's what Graham said to me about MacIntyre and facing the Buffs:

"Let me tell you, coach MacIntyre is one of the best football coaches I've coached against. What he does with his guys, how hard his guys play, the schematics that he does, how well-coached they are. He inherited a very, very, very difficult situation and look at the games every time we play them we're scared to death because of how well they're coached. I think they'll be marked improved this year. He's a good football coach, man, and he's one of the best guys.


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"When we'd go there and play, I come out of there like ... you're about have a nervous breakdown. It's so tight and you think it's not going to be. You know when you compare, you feel like talent-wise you're going to a place with a team you think you're better than, and he does a remarkable job in how he motivates his players, the passion, how hard they play and schematically what they do is very well coached.

"We know it's going to be one heck of a challenge. It always is. I've been (to Boulder) twice. I know one thing, I've never had a pleasant experience (at Colorado)."

CU, of course, would like to make this year Graham's worst visit. CU is 0-7 all-time against the Sun Devils, who visit Boulder on Oct. 15.

Among the best

For those who missed it, and I hadn't seen it until last night, a few Colorado players were mentioned by ProFootballFocus.com recently.

This recent article on ProFootballFocus.com listed some of the Pac-12's best players at certain skills. Among them were a couple of Buffs:

  • QB Sefo Liufau - Rated the best deep passer
  • RB Phillip Lindsay - Rated as having the best hands
  • DB Chidobe Awuzie - Rated as the best defensive playmaker

Contact staff writer Brian Howell at howellb@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/BrianHowell33.