Reports: Jim Leavitt leaving Colorado to become Oregon's defensive coordinator

One of the people that played a big role in Colorado's turnaround won't be back in Boulder next season.

Multiple reports have Buffaloes defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt leaving Colorado to take the same position on Willie Taggart's Oregon staff.

This is big news for Oregon, and a big blow to Colorado.

Leavitt joined Mike MacIntyre's Colorado staff before the 2015 season. In MacIntyre's first two seasons at Colorado, the Buffaloes had gone 6-18 and allowed 38.6 points per game. Then Leavitt showed up to fix the defense, and his presence paid dividends right away.

Colorado only went 4-9 that season, but it did so while allowing only 27.5 points per game. This year, the Buffaloes went 10-3 while giving up 20.5 points per game.

That's a major turnaround, as Leavitt's defense nearly shaved that 38.6 points per game in half.

That is obviously why he's such an attractive candidate for Taggart and Oregon. The Ducks have slipped in recent years, and even though Oregon gained national prominence for its offense, the truth is that it's been the Ducks defense that has let them down the last few years. If Leavitt is able to do for Oregon what he's done for Colorado, well, the Pac-12 North gets a whole lot more interesting in the coming seasons.

Ironically enough, Leavitt joining Taggart's staff at Oregon means two of the three people who have coached games at South Florida are now working together in Eugene. Also, before getting Leavitt, Taggart had gone after former Texas coach Charlie Strong for the job. Strong turned down the offer so he could take the head coach job at -- you guessed it -- South Florida.

CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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