Coach Mike MacIntyre led the Buffs to four wins in his first season as coach in 2013, but two of those victories came against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision, one level down from major college football.
Athlon's presason edition predicts the Buffs will finish sixth in the south division of the Pac-12 again this season. However, the magazine predicts CU will go undefeated in nonconfernece play at 3-0 and struggle against its Pac-12 rivals. CU has won a total of four Pac-12 games in its first three seasons in the league combined. Athlong predicts the Buffs will finish 4-8 overall and 1-8 in conference play, the same record it produced last year.
Lindy's preseason outlook also forecasts a sixth-place finish for the Buffs in the south. The magazine highlights sophomore quarterback Sefo Liufau and sophomore linebacker Addison Gillan has strong building blocks, but notes it takes more than two players to be successful.
"Coach Mike MacIntyre has Colorado on the right track, but this will require more time," the magazine said.
(Full disclosure here: I have written the Colorado preview for both Athlon and Lindy's for the better part of the past decade, but I have no role in any of either magazine's preseason predictions.
Those decisions are made by in-house editorial staffs).
USAToday also publishes a preseason college football magazine and also forecasts a 4-8,1-8 record for the Buffs. USAToday lists the Buffs as the 95th best team in the nation going into the season out of more than 120 teams at the Football Bowl Subdivision level.
USAToday does list CU senior punter Darragh O'Neill on its preseason first-team All-Pac-12 team.
My take on the Buffs with about three months to go before the start of the season is this. I expect improvement and a more competitive overall team that will experience fewer 20-point losses in Pac-12 play. I think the Buffs have a chance to win six games and become bowl eligible this season, though I think five wins is more likely.
I think the Colorado State game is as big this year as it ever has been for the Buffs. Win the season opener against the Rams and CU will have a much better chance to get to end its six-year bowl drought. Lose to the Rams and its hard to see from where six wins will come.