Going’s rough for Colo. Buffs

Sep 19, 2006 5:38 AM

Colorado, top-ranked in GamingToday’s Dirty Dozen, is bidding to become college football’s richest to rags story of 2006.

The 0-3 start is not exactly what first year coach Dan Hawkins envisioned when heading to Boulder off a highly successful tenure at Boise State. Perhaps the Colorado Board of Trustees should paint its stadium turf blue.

Right now, Colorado has the blues and not a sign of improvement this month. Arizona State’s 21-3 road victory as an 11-point favorite ended Colorado’s three-game stint in-state. Now comes a brutal two-game road swing at nationally ranked Georgia this week followed by a Big 12 encounter in Columbia against Missouri.

So what’s wrong with the Buffs? Well, obviously the offense is a prime culprit. Only 13 points combined against the Sun Devils and Colorado State, not to mention that humiliating season-opening disaster against Montana State.

Really, the Colorado misfortunes date back to the final three games of 2005 when the Buffs fell 30-16 at Iowa State, 30-3 at home against Nebraska and that 70-3 debacle to Texas in the Big 12 championship game at Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium.

This week Colorado tries to buck a disheartening trend of Western schools that fail to either win or cover games in Dixie. Washington State went down at Auburn, Arizona was lit up at LSU and Cal fell apart for three quarters in Knoxville against Tennessee.

There aren’t many venues worse for visitors than Athens, where the rabid Georgia fans expect nothing less than a spanking from their beloved Bulldogs. Georgia is off back-to-back shutouts of South Carolina and Alabama-Birmingham, so it figures to be another long day for the offensively-challenged Buffaloes attack.

The Buffs will probably be getting 20-plus points against one of the nation’s brightest new QB prospects in Matthew Stafford. More bad news for CU — Georgia has Ole Miss sandwiched between this matchup and Tennessee in two weeks so chances of the Dawgs looking ahead are minimal at best.

Colorado has now lost five straight against the spread (Montana State, a Division I-AA school, was off the board). The Buffs also had an 0-3 ATS stretch in 2004 (Missouri, Oklahoma State, Iowa State) before covering at Texas A&M as a 19½-point underdog in a 29-26 overtime loss.

Hawkins may have to wait until the Oct. 7 Homecoming matchup with Baylor for his first victory as CU coach. If not, prospects only get worse. Every team remaining on Colorado’s schedule has a winning record, including matchups at Oklahoma and -Nebraska.

If there’s a bright side, basketball season is two months away.