The 2017 Colorado Buffaloes football team is different than the team in 2016 team that was ranked in the AP Top 25, the school’s first time being ranked in the top 25 since 2002. This is a different team than the team in 2016 that won the Pac-12 South and made it to the Pac-12 Championship. It’s a completely different team than the one that had the nation taking notice of the team located in Boulder, Colo. and something called “The Rise.” Just because they are different doesn’t mean they don’t have their eyes set on those same goals and feeling as if they could achieve something even bigger.
At 2017 media day for the University of Colorado there were questions aplenty about how this bunch will live up to last year’s team.
“How will you replace so and so?”
“Who will fill the role of _______ (enter any name from the talented bunch on the defensive side of the ball that had seven starters from last season earn a chance to play in the NFL, including four draft picks)?
Many of the questions inferred the notion of a possible drop off. But doubt is what fuels the Buffaloes. It’s something they’ve become all too familiar with.
Their head coach stood firm in his belief that this year’s bunch is different, but just as special.
“With every year, it’s a new team,” Mike MacIntyre said. “This is a new team from last year’s team. Last year’s team, it was an awesome experience and we’ve built on that; our team has some awesome players, but we’re throwing some new players out there in positions and they’ve got to go play. So we go back to square one and we start all over again.”
MacIntyre is an experienced coach that has experienced some of the highs, and for sure experienced some of the lows, so he knows what it takes to battle in the mighty Pac-12, which is set to be just as strong as last year.
“When you play in the Pac-12 you expect for big caliber programs to come to town and you want them to.” Macintyre said before saying, “You want to go on the road and play at their place too and we were undefeated at home all last year, which we hope to do again.”
The impressive record at home, taking down teams that the Buffs have historically struggled with, is the reason that Macintyre feels as if they’ve made the jump to being a team that other schools must take seriously.
“We’re a team that surprised some people last year and we’re a team they can reckon with, so it’s not like, there’s Colorado, that’s a W for the other team.” MacIntyre said. “I feel like we’ve gained that respect, but every year it’s a new team. So we have to go out there and earn it again. It’s not going to be given to us; it’s not going to be handed to us by any stretch of the imagination, and just because we did last year doesn’t mean we’re going to do good this year.”
While MacIntyre stood firm on his belief to this being a new year-new team, he concluded the day by saying that he sees the players that stepped up from last year’s team taking over more of a leadership role, in which he feels they’ll lead by example. When asked what it’ll take to for his team to have another successful year, he simply answered, “We have to do a little more. We have to go a little harder. We have to hold ourselves more accountable.”
Colorado kicks off the 2017 season on Sept. 1 against Colorado State in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.