The Pac-12 is trying to play its season in the spring. What does that mean for Colorado?

Henry Chisholm Avatar
August 19, 2020

BOULDER — The Colorado Buffaloes aren’t going to play this fall.

The Pac-12 decided in the last couple of weeks that the COVID-19 pandemic was too far-reaching and unpredictable to allow for fall sports. So, it canceled all competitions through the end of December. The hope is for all fall sports to play seasons next spring, and that includes football.

The effects of this change will be widespread and the most important impacts will occur off the field.  Today, we aren’t talking about those impacts. Instead, I want to talk about what’s going to happen on the football field for CU this spring.

Actually, I want to speculate about what’s going to happen on the field, because I have a whole lot of ideas and guesses about what is going to happen and as important as it is to address the really, really big and important problems that CU is facing, sports are supposed to be fun, so we’re going to ignore the negative and have some fun here.

Brendon Lewis will start at quarterback

Can a quarterback show up on campus eight months before his true freshman season kicks off and earn the Day 1 starting job?

We’ve seen it before.

What if he shows up on campus and a few weeks later watches his head coach chase cash to another school and then try to learn a new system that nobody on his team knows, while having all spring practices canceled and the rest of the offseason altered to the point that he’s given basically zero on-field time with his coaches?

Who knows, but we’ve definitely never seen it before.

Now, Brendon Lewis has an extra four months—or more—to prove that he is Colorado’s best option at quarterback.

He will.

More young guys will get opportunities

Not only will Brendon Lewis start, but the Buffs will field a much younger squad overall than we would have otherwise seen.

Carson Lee will have a real chance to start at center.

Brenden Rice and Vontae Shenault will carve out consistent roles at wide receiver.

Marvin Ham will play in the nickel package, if not more.

Jason Harris will put up half a sack per game.

The running backs and secondary will be ruthless.

This is a team that will take time to develop and it just got an extra four months.

The transfer thing won’t be a problem

Okay, so this is kind of about COVID and I’m sorry about that but we’re still going positive here and I think that makes it alright.

The debate of the day is whether players will transfer out of conferences that aren’t playing to go to conferences that are. The appeal is that those players could get their season in before they leave for the NFL in the spring.

Don’t be too concerned, though.

For starters, there’s a good chance that the SEC, ACC and Big 12 join the Pac-12 and Big 10 in moving their schedule to the spring. Second, only Nate Landman, Mustafa Johnson and K.D. Nixon have real draft stock to be worried about.

Some may get offers, others may not.

At this point, it’s pretty late in the process for a guy like Landman—a linebacker who is at his best when calling the defenses on the field—to learn a new playbook and be successful on the field. He went through that process last year and knows the struggles he would go through.

There’s no guarantee that nobody will transfer, but I won’t believe anybody is leaving until it happens.

CU will be a surprise team

Why not?

Strange things happen in strange circumstances and these are certainly strange circumstances for the Pac-12. That bodes well for teams who are projected to bring up the rear for the conference, and CU is one of those teams.

Colorado is a young team and it will have more time to grow before it needs to see the field. The Buffs will be better in the spring than they would have been in the fall. That’s true for most of the teams in the Pac-12 but the Buffs’ improvement should outpace that of their competition.

Colorado may not win a conference title but they’ll compete for a .500-or-better record.


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