Friday, Aug. 29, Colorado vs. Colorado State in Denver — Easily the biggest game in the series for the Buffs in recent times. A win could set up a nice start in September when most of the Buffs winnable games will be played. Beating senior quarterback Garrett Grayson and a CSU team coming off a bowl win won't be easy. A CU loss makes it hard to see the Buffs getting to a bowl game this year.

Saturday, Sept. 6, Colorado vs. Massachusetts in Foxborough, Mass. — This game was scheduled to help the Buffs get to the postseason. The Minutemen are routinely cited as the worst team in the Football Bowl Subdivision going 2-22 the past two seasons combined. Coach Mark Whipple is back for his second stint at UMass. CU hasn't won in the Eastern Time Zone since the "Miracle in Michigan" in 1994.

Saturday, Sept. 13, Arizona State at Colorado — The Sun Devils have beaten the Buffs by an average of 36.3 points the past three years. CU might be up to cutting that in half and keeping it more competitive this season, but the Buffs just aren't at a level where a win seems within reason. ASU freshman running back Kalen Ballage almost signed with CU. Watching him play for an opponent in Folsom Field will be painful for some Buffs fans.

Saturday, Sept. 20, Hawaii at Colorado — The Warriors have gone 4-20 the past two seasons under coach Norm Chow. He made over his defensive staff with two new hires and has four starters on his offensive line returning, but this team simply should not come to Boulder and win this year. Former Ohio State quarterback Taylor Graham is the likely starter under center.


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Saturday, Sept. 27, Colorado at California — Another opponent hoping a new defensive coordinator and a second year in the offensive system makes all the difference. Quarterback Jared Goff had a good freshman season on a bad team. He and wide receiver Chris Harper will be dangerous. This is the Buffs' best chance for a Pac-12 road win.

Saturday, Oct. 4, Oregon State at Colorado — The Beavers are the last team in the Pac-12 to visit Folsom Field since the Buffs joined the conference four years ago. They have a Heisman dark horse in quarterback Sean Mannion, but he's lacking the weapons he had a year ago. This is definitely a winnable game for the Buffs.

Saturday, Oct. 18, Colorado at Southern Cal — Coach Steve Sarkisian's teams at Washington beat the Buffs by an average margin of 38.3 points the past three seasons and he's now coaching a more talented roster of players. CU has never beaten the Trojans and this won't be the year the Buffs break through.

Saturday, Oct. 25, UCLA at Colorado — Quarterback Brett Hundley accounted for nearly 350 yards of total offense and four touchdowns in beating the Buffs last season. The Bruins were picked to win the Pac-12 South Division and could be in the inaugural four-team playoff at the end of the season. Once again, the Buffs will be looking for signs of progress and a closer game.

Saturday, Nov. 1, Washington at Colorado — Former Boise State coach Chris Petersen is now at the helm in Seattle and he should keep the Huskies formidable. Petersen might not have the quarterback for his system and there could be other bumps in his first season, but the Huskies have had little trouble in the past three years with CU. It seems like a lot would have to go wrong for the Huskies in order to allow the Buffs to steal one at home.

Saturday, Nov. 8, Colorado at Arizona — The Wildcats beat the Buffs by 24 points in Boulder last season, but Mike MacIntyre believed his team gave the game away. Arizona is in a transition year offensively trying to replace its quarterback and star running back and the strength of its defense is the secondary. This is another game a healthy, confident CU team could win.

Saturday, Nov. 22, Colorado at Oregon — Mike MacIntyre knew his team was so completely outmatched last season, he attempted an onside kick to start the game and used several more trick plays. They didn't help much but it demonstrated he's not the type to settle for the slow death on Saturdays. All you need to know about this one is the Ducks have averaged 49.5 points in the first half alone the past two seasons against CU. The Buffs aren't making all of that up in one year.

Saturday, Nov. 29, Utah at Colorado — Utah seems to have made a more successful transition to the Pac-12 in football based on results of the first three seasons, but the Utes and Buffs have played three close games as conference foes with all three decided by seven points or less. Barring major injuries that severely weaken one of these teams, we'll be expecting another dogfight to end the regular season again this year. If things go well for the Buffs early in the season, they could be playing for a bowl game.

Kyle Ringo, BuffZone.com