At the end of last season, it felt as though the Colorado Buffaloes football team had reached an all-time low. They had just finished an abysmal 1-11 campaign, matching the 2012 team as the second-worst team they’ve fielded in program history. Their head coach and defensive coordinator were fired midseason, and it was yet another forgettable season in Boulder. As the calendar flipped to the 2023 season, the Buffs needed to find someone to right the ship. They needed someone who was a leader of young men. They needed someone as bold as the Rocky Mountain backdrop of their home stadium, Folsom Field.
Enter Coach Prime, Deion Sanders.
Sanders had just wrapped a great season at Jackson State University, where he essentially put the HBCU on the map. His star quarterback (and son) Shedeur Sanders had put up fantastic numbers, while multi-positional star Travis Hunter wowed SWAC (Southwestern Athletic Conference) audiences with his prowess at wide receiver and defensive back. However, when Sanders was announced as the 28th head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes in December 2022, many questioned his ability to transition from the SWAC to the Pac-12 conference.
And so far, it’s safe to say that the transition has been pretty smooth.
Colorado currently has a 3-0 record, with wins coming against the defending National Championship runner-up Texas Christian University (TCU), and rivals Nebraska and Colorado State. Shedeur Sanders went from relative unknown in the college football world to national star in three weeks, seemingly breaking school records every week. His name is also shooting up NFL Draft boards. Travis Hunter went from someone who people thought couldn’t maintain his multi-positional status to doing it at one of the highest levels of college football. And Deion Sanders went from questionable coach to unquestioned leader just as quickly.
And they’re not just breaking Colorado records. They’re breaking viewership records as well.
Their game against Colorado State (which kicked off at 9:20pm CT) set an ESPN late-game college football record for concurrent viewers, drawing 9.3 million people. It was also touted as the most-streamed regular-season college football game ever for the network. And both of their previous match-ups against TCU and Nebraska over on the Fox network averaged 8 million viewers.
The reality is that the college football landscape has completely shifted this season. That illustrious list of notable college football programs such as Ohio State, Alabama, LSU, Texas, Notre Dame, Georgia, USC, and Michigan might have to add another name to the list.
The Colorado Buffaloes.
By Jermale Dabney, Junior, Lindblom Math and Science Academy
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