Colorado hired Mike MacIntyre from San Jose State to rebuild the program from the studs. The Buffs have fallen off the face of the earth under Dan Hawkins and Jon Embree's stewardship, and MacIntyre's experience turning around San Jose State would seem to indicate that he's up to the task. This is a program that's won four games over the previous two seasons, though, so what would constitute reasonable expectations for Colorado in year one? Let's take a look at their schedule to see how it breaks down.
2013 Colorado schedule
Projections from Football Outsiders' 2013 college football almanac.
MacIntyre might be the right guy to get the Buffs back to respectability, but the outlook for the 2013 season remains pretty grim. The only team Colorado could beat last year, Washington State, isn't on the schedule this year. They went 0-3 against their out-of-conference schedule of Colorado State, Fresno State, and FCS Sacramento State, and the lineup is largely the same this year, with Sacramento State replaced by Central Arkansas. For those looking for wins on the schedule, if it doesn't come in September, it may not come at all.
Colorado faces a tough road schedule once it gets into conference play, making trips to Oregon State, Arizona State, UCLA, Washington, and Utah. For a team with as many problems as the Buffs, it's hard to predict them getting a road win this year unless they wildly surpass expectations. They also are staring down near certain losses against Oregon, Arizona, and USC at home.
It's hard to go 0-12, though, so for the sake of argument, Colorado could spring the upset on someone. The most likely candidate is probably California, who comes to chilly Boulder in mid-November. The Bears are also in the first year of a new coaching regime and offense, and it's not crazy to think Colorado might be ahead of them in terms of adapting to the new system. Between the adjustments and what should be some cold weather, this might be the best opportunity to grab a win.
Since MacIntyre is starting essentially from scratch, 3-9 would be a reasonably good first season. Take care of business against Colorado State and Central Arkansas, and then pull an upset on someone in the conference. It doesn't sound like much, but it would be progress.