Here we are on the doorstep of a new era in Colorado football and almost nobody expects the Buffs to reach the postseason in their first year in the Pac-12 Conference and the first season under the direction of a coaching staff led by Jon Embree.
Some say the schedule is too tough. Thirteen consecutive weeks, facing Bowl Championship Series schools in 11 of those games.
Some say there isn't enough speed on the roster.
Some say there isn't enough depth.
Some say the change in schemes from whatever it was Dan Hawkins was doing to a West Coast, pro-style system on offense and a 3-4 scheme on defense will be too big of an adjustment.
Some say a program that hasn't won a road game in more than three seasons can't be expected to produce at least seven wins when eight of its games are played away from Folsom Field.
I'm here to tell you a bowl game is possible this year and it's not so crazy to believe it. That shouldn't be taken as a prediction this team will make it happen. It isn't intended as such. But can the Buffs do it? Of course they can.
Consider this for a moment. The black, silver and gold was just a monumental fourth-quarter collapse at Kansas from winning six games and being bowl eligible last season. Sure, a vitally important core group of players from that team is no longer here, including four NFL draft picks, but a huge chunk of the roster returns.
Embree has added some talented freshmen to the mix and he hired a top-notch coaching staff to guide the players through the journey.
If you haven't been paying attention these past nine months, you've missed players being pretty outspoken at times in how significant the change has been in the coaching they are receiving. It remains to be seen if that translates to wins, but at least the players will believe in the game plan from week to week. That wasn't the case at times over the past five seasons and particularly the past two years.
Believing in who you are and what you're doing is a vital element in achieving success whether you're building a bridge, writing a novel or playing football. The Buffs seem to have that on their side heading into the season opener Saturday night at Hawaii.
Here is the rest of the recipe for reaching the postseason in 2011:
The one area in which they need luck on their side most is health. This team won't thrive if it loses many players to significant injuries.
That isn't an overwhelming list. If the Buffs can get the job done in those areas, they should be in every game this fall, and that would make for an entertaining season, regardless of whether it ends in a bowl game.