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2016 Pac-12 preview countdown - #11 Colorado: Colorado improves again, but still can't get out of the bottom of the South

We continue our countdown of how we think Pac-12 teams will finish at the end of 2016.

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The long torture of summer sports is almost over, but we still have a little ways to go. To get things ready, I went over every single game on the Pac-12 schedule in 2016 and predicted records for each team.

I'm going to countdown how I think the teams ultimately stack up in the final regular season standings with snapshots of each team.

#12 was Oregon State

#11 is... Colorado

Prediction: 4-8 (2-7 Pac-12) sixth in South

Wins: Colorado State, Idaho State, Oregon State, Arizona State

Losses: at Michigan, at Oregon, at USC, at Stanford, UCLA, at Arizona, Washington State, Utah

The Buffs make another baby step towards getting better under Mike MacIntyre. They don't make a bowl game, but they win another conference game and are, once again, competitive in a lot of their losses. I don't know if this will be enough to save MacIntyre, but it is still improvement for Colorado.

Non-conference: The Buffs haven't done themselves any favors by having a tough non-conference schedule. The Colorado State opener should be another slugfest the Buffs will have to fight tooth-and-nail to win and there is not much of a chance they win at Michigan so they likely go 2-1 at best.

In-conference: The Pac-12 is still tough, the South deep and the path out of the bottom of the South a difficult one for Colorado.I think they grab a comfortable win at home against Oregon State but then it is a tough sled for the Buffs. After that, the Buffs are going to get over the hump and upset another Pac-12 school, maybe two or three, but I just can't go that far. I think Arizona State in Boulder in mid-October is ripe for the picking off. The Buffs can grab a win there, but I think they will struggle to get another win after that, though I think they can easily take all fo the games down to the wire other than at Stanford.

How Will They Feel in December?

Very difficult. This will be the fourth-straight season Mike MacIntyre has gotten significant improvement from a program that was a dumpster fire before he showed up, but another season of four wins and less than five conference wins in four seasons probably just isn't enough. I have to think this might force the Buffs to bring in a new staff to try and build on the foundation MacIntyre has built.