DEFINITE WINS (we won't lose under any circumstance):
vs. Western Michigan
vs. San Jose State
vs. New Mexico State
***PREDICTION: We win all four
LIKELY WINS (80-90 percent chance we win):
GRAY AREAS: We still need to prove we are going to be a better team, where we failed miserably under BC and to a much lesser extent Frank Solich. The "rivalry" issue with Colorado is more with them than us but it's enough of a rivalry to where there's a shade of unknown. In the 1990s, they were mostly close games even though we won most of them. I don't think anyone saw CU blowing us out in 2001 and I don't think anyone saw us blowing them out in 2005.
WHERE I ELIMINATE THE GRAY AREAS: The 2007 Nebraska team (the worst in the post Devaney era) was a down and out team but was leading Colorado 35-24 at halftime on their homefield and blasted K-State 73-31. We weren't down and out when Iowa State came to town but a lot of our problems were already exposed. Mark my word, Colorado won't score 65 on us for the next three years combined.
****PREDICTION: We win at least 2 out of 3 but I'll say most likely all three.
BUBBLE GAMES (Could go either way):
KEEP IN MIND: Three of the four are at home. VaTech is the first true test but we have a bye the week befire. The Hokies are good but they're no USC. Credit Mizzu and KU for what they did last year but think one of them (if not both) will falter this year. How will they do as the "hunted" as opposed to the "hunter?" As for T-Tech, most people still have 70-10 fresh in their mind which might explain why some message boarders predict a loss. The Red Raiders are a good team. They have an unorthodox system that forces you practice differently but they very schizophrentic. They are capable of beating Texas but also capable of losing to Iowa State. They are like a fastbreak basketball team that you have to force into a halfcourt game.
******PREDICTION: We'll win at least one of these games, possobly as many as three.
LIKELY LOSS (if I were a betting man):
LET'S FACE IT: I'm not saying we can't win because OU seems to have one unexplained loss per season. However, they are the superior program to us this year.
SEASON PREDICTION: 8-4 low end, 10-2 high end.
We can't just snap our fingers and expect 10-2. It won't quite be that simple. With this staff, we will definitely play harder and be coached up. Those two intangibles alone will be worth three more wins over last year. We won't lose to teams we should beat. We'll win out share of bubble games and once in a while we'll beat a team most people don't think we'll beat.
IN A NUTSHELL: Going from 5-7 last to year 8-4 should happen pretty easily. The hard part will be getting to 10-2 or better, where the margin of error gets smaller.