Last week, the Colorado Buffaloes tasted their first conference win under Mike MacIntyre with a strong 41-24 home win over the Cal Bears. It was the type of win that can give a young team that’s hungry for success the kind of confidence they can use to go out and play out of their minds the rest of the season. Could that confidence plus a high-altitude late November day in Boulder be enough to pull off a monumental upset of the USC Trojans this weekend?
USC is arguably one of the hottest teams in the country right now. They have won five of their last six games since Ed Orgeron was named interim head coach and are coming off a huge win over the then-No. 4 Stanford Cardinal in the Coliseum last week. Their 20-14 triumph over their rivals from Palo Alto was a physical slug-fest for four quarters and the emotional toll of the big win could come back to bit the Trojans this week. Nothing can make a football player relax more than beating Stanford and getting Colorado on the schedule next.
But a slow start might spell doom for the Trojans this week. Weather conditions in Boulder for Saturday are expected to have temperatures in the 30s with a possibility of snow. USC isn’t known as a cold-weather team and crazy things can happen on a snowy field at altitude. If Colorado comes out riding high off the momentum of their win last week and jumps out to an early lead, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that the cold and the snow could keep USC from really finding their rhythm in this game.
It will take a monumental effort from Colorado and a major lapse in focus from USC to get it done, but crazy things happen in November in the cold and the snow. Could the Buffs build off their first conference win, upset the Trojans, and keep their hopes of a bowl bid alive?