While the Colorado Buffaloes have actually played better the last two weeks since pivoting off Sean Lewis in favor of Pat Shurmur as their offensive play-caller, they are only 4-6 on the year and losers of six of their last seven games. Colorado played way better at home vs. a very strong Arizona Wildcats team, but could not do enough to hold off Jedd Fisch's squad Saturday. Colorado has to win out now to become bowl eligible.
Admittedly, the Buffaloes' margin of defeat has not been by all that much in their losses this year, outside of the Oregon blowout at Autzen, of course... We are talking about one-score defeats in every loss outside of the Oregon game and the 12-point deficit that was not overcome vs. UCLA. While losing to teams like Arizona and Stanford were not expected this year, they could win their last two...
That would require beating a spiraling Washington State Cougars team in Pullman next week and then pulling off a monumental upset over a decent Utah Utes team in Salt Lake over Thanksgiving Weekend. Given that Washington State is holding onto dear life for bowl eligibility as well, it is a loser-leave-town match in every sense of the phrase. As far as beating Utah, this isn't last year's Utah team.
Regardless, it can't land well that Colorado was 3-0 in the non-conference before Pac-12 play began.
Colorado's slim bowl game chances took a big hit in home loss to Arizona
I think what has contributed the most to how we feel about the state of the Colorado football program vs. how we should is the order in which it all came about. No doubt, this program had so much hype surrounding it because Sanders actually took over a Power Five progam. Going undefeated in non-conference play with wins over TCU, Nebraska and Colorado State had everyone buzzing, alright!
Well, as it turns out, TCU pulled back massively after winning a national semifinal game a season ago. Nebraska may be much improved, but the Huskers have not achieved bowl eligibility yet either. And Colorado State is ... Colorado State. The Buffaloes' only other win came against the worst team in the Pac-12 in the rebuilding Arizona State Sun Devils. The Stanford loss is the one they could not afford.
In truth, I think Colorado might actually have a great chance at beating Wazzu in Pullman because that team is in a complete tailspin of late. Winning at Martin Stadium in hard, but the Cougars do a great job of beating themselves of late. As far as Utah is concerned, they are limited at quarterback and struggle to score points. In a weird way, I would not cross off Colorado entirely in this game either.
At this point in time, Colorado has no choice but to win out to achieve most sacred bowl eligibility.