Colorado is set to take on the Oklahoma State Cowboys in the Valero Alamo Bowl, so here are some storylines and predictions for the Buffaloes ahead of the game.
The 2016 season turned out to be much better than many might have anticipated for Colorado, who finished 10-3 and reached the Pac-12 title game.
Well, what did the Buffaloes’ first winning season since 2005 yield? It landed them squarely in the Alamo Bowl with Oklahoma State being the only opponent left standing in their way.
They’ll kick off at 9 p.m. ET on Dec. 29 in the Alamodome in San Antonio, but here are a few storylines you’ll need to know about Colorado before the game.
1. First Bowl Appearance Since 2007
That’s right. It’s been nearly a decade since the Buffaloes last made it to a bowl game. Colorado’s last appearance was in 2007 when it fell to Alabama in the Independence Bowl, 30-24. However, they haven’t won one since the 2004 season when they beat Texas-El Paso in the Houston Bowl.
2. Say Goodbye, Sefo
This will be Sefo Liufau’s last game as a Buffalo, and he can use this game to spring his football career into the NFL. Liufau has made some serious strides forward this season, but he’s a Day 3 pick right now and is probably looking at the sixth or seventh round of the 2017 NFL Draft. However, a great game against Oklahoma State can really say a lot to NFL scouts and help get him drafted sooner rather than later.
3. Completing The Culture Change
When Campus Insiders spoke to Sefo Liufau, the senior quarterback was over the moon about what Mike MacIntyre is doing in Boulder. He spoke about how MacIntyre was changing the culture, something that is apparent when looking at the play on the field. Winning this bowl game would help build some momentum for Colorado, who is already making moves on the recruiting trail. It may not be long before the Buffaloes are consistently playing for a Pac-12 title every year.
4. The Mike MacIntyre Resume
That culture change MacIntyre brought forth may not be enough for him to cash in on now, but it’s coming. Unfortunately for the good people of Boulder, it doesn’t feel like MacIntyre will be at Colorado for too much longer. That’s the nature of the coaching carousel. He’ll likely stick around for a couple more years before ultimately bolting for a bigger job, a bigger paycheck and a bigger challenge. And it will all be because he put Colorado back on the map.
5. Losing Leavitt
Under Jim Leavitt, the Buffaloes were ranked No. 19 in scoring defense, allowing only 20.5 points per game this season. Now, Leavitt has left to take the defensive coordinator job at Oregon, so we’ll have to see how the Colorado defense is affected by his departure with Joe Tumpkin calling the plays.