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NCAA Football Colorado BuffaloesPac 12 Football

2013 Colorado Football Schedule: Initial Reactions

Ron Chenoy- USA TODAY Sports

Mike MacIntyre’s first season as the new head coach for Colorado will not be easy, especially their Pac 12 schedule.

Colorado’s complete 2013 football schedule was released this afternoon and there are several differences from previous year’s schedules to note. But before that here is their full 2013 schedule:

The 2013 Colorado Schedule:
Date Opponent Site
Aug. 31 Colorado State Denver
SEPT. 7 CENTRAL ARKANSAS BOULDER
SEPT. 14 FRESNO STATE BOULDER
Sept. 21 Bye
Sept. 28 at Oregon State Corvallis, Ore.
OCT. 5 OREGON (FW) BOULDER
Oct. 12 at Arizona State Tempe, Ariz.
Oct. 19 Bye
OCT. 26 ARIZONA (HC) BOULDER
Nov. 2 at UCLA Los Angeles, Calif.
Nov. 9 at Washington Seattle, Wash.
NOV. 16 CALIFORNIA BOULDER
NOV. 23 SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA BOULDER
Nov. 30 at Utah Salt Lake City, Utah

The first thing that stands out is that Colorado’s Pac 12 slate of games is brutal. There’s obviously the annual matchups with their South division rivals but their remaining Pac 12 schedule is pretty tough. Colorado does avoid playing Stanford for the first time since they joined the new conference but they play both of the Oregon teams including their first meeting with greatly improved Oregon State.

MacIntyre will make his coaching debut against in-state rival Colorado State and he will try to match former coach Jon Embree by winning his debut against the Rams. The Buffaloes traditionally dominate the Rams but they have lost two of their last five games against Colorado State, including a loss at Folsom Field in 2009.

Looking specifically at Colorado’s home games in 2013, there is a possibility that they win one, maybe two, games at Folsom Field. Central Arkansas is one while Fresno State and Cal are the other two games that they might have a chance to win. Colorado traditionally plays better at home but they’re coming off a winless season at Folsom, the first time since 1920 that the Buffaloes failed to win a home game.

There are some other quirks to Colorado’s schedule that are interesting to note. The Buffs will be playing all 12 of their games this season on a Saturday, the first time since 1995 that Colorado will not be playing any sort of weekday game. With that said, it means that the Colorado-Utah “rivalry” game will not be played the day after Thanksgiving, like it had the past two seasons, instead it will be played that Saturday. It will be unusual for Colorado to not be playing on Black Friday due to the fact that they played a game on that day for the past 17 seasons, or since 1996. Also worth noting, Colorado will play five games in the month of November for just the fifth time in program history ad the first time since 1958.

Fortunately for MacIntyre, Colorado will have two bye weeks in 2013 to regroup and get healthy. Their bye weeks are on the weekends of September 21 and October 19. It will be the first time since 2008 that Colorado has two natural bye weeks in the same season. This also comes just two seasons after Colorado played 13 straight games and did not have one single bye week.

Colorado is looking to rebuild after going 1-11 and having arguably their worst season in program history. MacIntrye has a difficult road ahead and his first full schedule won’t provide much leniency.

At first glance I say Colorado wins two games in their first season under coach Mac. Colorado State and Central Arkansas seem like the only two winnable games but you never know when it comes to Colorado. Hopefully they surprise everyone and scratch out a few more but that’s just wishful thinking at this point.

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David LaRose is one of the featured College Football writers for Rant Sports covering the Pac 12 and the University of Colorado. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his Facebook page.