Midseason report: Colorado

Keep in mind the Colorado Buffs have already doubled their win total from last season. With that said, is it enough to call the first half season of Mike MacIntyre’s tenure a success? Yes, and here’s why.

Talking with MacIntyre last week, he said that there are telltale signs that the culture is changing. He looked for them (and saw them) at San Jose State and he’s seeing similar progressions with Colorado. Does that mean the Buffs are going to run the table the second half of the year? Doubtful. Will they break through with a conference win? Maybe, maybe not. They are behind-the-scenes milestones that he sees his team meeting weekly.

There is progress the way they are practicing, putting in the time in the weight room and responding to wins and losses. That’s what you want to see from a first-year coach changing a culture.

The year started on a high note with wins over Colorado State and Central Arkansas, but following the cancellation of the Fresno State game due to flooding, the Buffs have dropped three straight league games and looked unimpressive in the process.

One of only three teams in the league to have only played five games so far, the Buffs picked up an extra game against FCS Charleston Southern, which they’ll play this week, as a replacement for the Fresno State game.

The back end also includes trips to No. 9 UCLA and No. 20 Washington. Tough sledding, but home dates against Arizona and Cal could swing the momentum toward the Buffs. Will be interesting to see what impact Sefo Liufau has as the new quarterback in the second half of the year.

Offensive MVP: Wide receiver Paul Richardson is even more dynamic than we remembered. With 35 catches for 660 yards and five touchdowns, he’s tied for third in league in catches per game and he ranks second in the league in receiving yards per game (132).

Defensive MVP: True freshman linebacker Addison Gilliam leads the league, that’s right, the league, with an average of 10.6 tackles per game. He’s been more than a pleasant surprise for the Buffs, he’s been dominant. He’s also posted two sacks, four tackles for a loss and 11 tackles have come on third down.