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Taking a Peek Back and Ahead

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The incoming Pac-12 teams next year are as below the sports horizon for many current conference followers, and reporters, as they literally are below the horizon of the mountains to the east that separate us physically. But it might be a good idea to keep an eye on the Buffs.

You might recall them as the group that laid a 26 point, 83-57 whipping on the Beavers that almost no one (except Jon Warren, who got tasked with calling the game) saw back on Civil War Saturday, when most of us were, uh, busy, with ESPN, and then a small matter that determined the holiday plans for a lot of Oregonians.

Those Buffs are the now co-leaders of the Big 12, after today's 73-71 win over Oklahoma St., a team that has won 10 games already this season. Colorado (14-4, 3-0) has won 7 in a row, and 12 of 13. Prior to that, their Big 12 wins were over then eighth ranked Missouri, and at #20 Kansas St., both programs that almost always have #_ as a prefix to their name.

Colorado does lose three of their top four players to graduation at the end of the year, Cory Higgins, Levi Knutson, who torched Oregon St. for 22 points, and Marcus Relphorde. But 6'6" soph. guard Alec Burks, who hung 15 points on OSU, and today put up 20 against that other OSU, figures to be even better by the time we see him again. And the Buffs have three youngsters that are 6'10 OR BIGGER.

The program clearly understands what they are doing. The Buffs should be yet another tough out next year in the Pac-12.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com