Can Colorado beat Oregon or USC without Travis Hunter?

With Travis Hunter expected to be out the next couple of weeks for Colorado, do the Buffaloes have any hopes of stunning Oregon or USC in the early stages of Pac-12 play for them?

Travis Hunter, Colorado Buffaloes
Travis Hunter, Colorado Buffaloes / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

If the Colorado Buffaloes plan on beating either the Oregon Ducks or the USC Trojans out of the gate in Pac-12 play, then they will have to do so without their "Mr. Everything" Travis Hunter available.

Hunter had been playing both ways for the Buffs all season long. A late hit by a Colorado State defender knocked him out during the Rocky Mountain Showdown. CU would prevail over CSU in overtime to improve to 3-0, but that marked the end of non-conference play for the Buffs. The only games left for them are in Pac-12 play. Next up for Colorado is Oregon in Eugene, then USC at home.

Hunter ended up in a local hospital after the game, but it's unclear if his visit was related to the hit or not.

So if Hunter is unable to go for Colorado the next two weeks, does CU even stand a chance in them?

If Colorado comes out of Week 5 with a 4-1 or better record, then Colorado fans should rejoice.

Does Colorado have a shot vs. Oregon, USC without Travis Hunter?

Because Colorado was able to stun last year's national runner-up TCU in Fort Worth back in Week 1, I would be foolish to say the Buffalos have no shot vs. either Oregon or USC. I highly doubt that a CU team not close to being at full strength has a realistic shot at running this two-game gauntlet, but I have been wrong before. Truthfully, they might be able to steal one, but definitely not both of them.

For Colorado to win either of their first two Pac-12 games without Hunter, quarterback Shedeur Sanders must continue his September Heisman-winning ways and his father Deion Sanders must have one helluva halftime speech or two up his sleeve. To take even one of these games with Hunter available would have been brilliant, but to potentially do it without him would be extraordinary.

So is there a pathway to win either game? Sure, why not? To beat Oregon in presumably liquid sunshine, the Sanders men must outshine Bo Nix and company offensively, as well as get the best of Dan Lanning's defense. Not the least bit probable, but possible. As far as beating Colorado at home, can you say shootout? Caleb Williams is a rockstar, but Alex Grinch's defense is an embarrassment.

Combined, Colorado has around a 25 percent chance to win either game, but next to zero to win both.

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