With the season dwindling and opportunities to inch closer to the College Football Playoff discussion running out, the CFP No. 8 Washington State Cougars will take on the Colorado Buffaloes today in a matchup that the Cougars must win to remain relevant nationally.
Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. PT on ESPN. You can also stream the broadcast on ESPN.com/Watch or by downloading the ESPN app on your favorite device. The radio feed can be found on TuneIn or over the air from this list of stations.
The Cougars’ last visit to Boulder didn’t go great, as the 2016 Cougars ran out of steam down the stretch in a 38-24 loss to the No. 11 team in the nation. But while WSU has sustained its success since then, wining 17 games and counting in the one-plus seasons since, the Buffaloes have had a rougher go of it: 5-7 last season, and now 5-4 this season.
It didn’t look like it was going to be this way for Colorado; the Buffs got off to a 5-0 start that saw them rise as high as No. 19 in the AP poll. But it all has come crashing down in the last four weeks, with consecutive losses to the USC Trojans, Washington Huskies, Oregon State Beavers (!), and Arizona Wildcats.
In the process, the Buffs gave up an average of just over 35 points, including 41.5 over the past two games to the Beavers and Wildcats. Both of those offenses rate worse than the Cougs by just about any metric you want to use, which means WSU should be in prime position to put up a bunch of points. The Cougs have only scored fewer than 31 points twice this year, and we can safely say that the Buffaloes are not the Utah Utes or California Golden Bears on that front.
The question is whether Colorado has much of a chance to keep up with the inevitable points WSU is going to score. The Buffaloes’ offense has suffered the past three games without all-world offensive threat Leviska Shenault Jr., who is probably the most explosive player in the Pac-12. He seems to be slated to return for this one, but given that he’s been out of practice for some time, logic would dictate that he’s unlikely to be fully recovered from his turf toe injury, even if he plays.
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How is WSU going to do vs. Colorado?
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Big win! (14+ points)
Moderate win (7-13 points)
Close win (1-6 points)
Close loss (1-6 points)
Moderate loss (7-13 points)
Big loss (14+ points)