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The Overreaction to the Colorado Buffaloes Win Over TCU

Colorado Buffaloes Qb Shedeur Sanders

One Sanders Shows Out, One Sanders Shows off as the Colorado Buffaloes Win Opener

The Colorado Buffaloes shocked the college football world with a 45-42 shootout against the TCU Horned Frogs on the real first Saturday of college football of the 2023 season. The world was waiting to see how Deion Sanders, and his 86 new players, 51 from were transfer portal acquisitions, would fare against a team that played for the CFP National Championship a year ago. The media is giddy, but I say not so fast. There were few factors that led to this, and the awarding Deion Coach of the Year already is a little premature.

This is not meant as a slight to the players who performed superbly on the field for the Buffaloes. They played better than I thought they would, along with many others around the nation. I am not even sure many inside the program expected the type of game that was played on offense by the Buffs. Defense shows it needs some improvement, but everyone knew the TCU offense would still be potent even after losing a lot of key players. They only brought back 10 starters combined on both sides of the ball.

The Buffaloes were a 20.5-to-21-point underdog in most sportsbooks around the world. The line stayed pretty steady as game time approached the last few weeks, and I am sure Deion used it as motivation for his troops. All coaches use the spread and anything else they can think of to motivate the players. He also had to factor in people wanting and/or expecting him to fail. Moving up to FBS level in a major conference is no small undertaking.

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Talent, Expectations, and Changing the Culture in Colorado

Everyone says Deion would have to change the culture in Colorado. Well, that was thrown out the window when he came in and virtually everyone on the team transferred out or were asked to transfer out. He removed the existing culture. There was going to be no losing mentality for the Buffs football team. Fans don’t matter in the scheme of things. He brought in new kids with a lot of talent and made them hungry. The first obstacle was taken out of play before it had a chance to take root.

The transfer portal allowed him to do things no other coach in history has been able to do. The scholarship limits of the past were thrown out the window. The NCAA had yearly limits in place. This limit used to be no more than 25 allowed per season with up to 28 national letters of intent. Not anymore. The 85 max maximum scholarships for a team are still in place.

The expectations set for this team were a huge unknown as well, because of what was mentioned above. No coach has ever had the ability, not to mention the inclination, to uproot virtually an entire team and bring in all new players. We are in the world of the unknown until the NCAA comes up with a solution to stop this type of behavior. I think everyone expected Colorado to definitely win more than one game like last season. They expected an upgrade in talent and play overall. But how much is still unknown. Will this momentum carry over?

People forget that Deion recruited many Division-1-level players to Jackson State. His son, Shedeur was a 4-Star QB/Athlete. WR/DB Travis Hunter was the top player in the nation in last year’s recruiting class. Then he signed several more 4 and 5-star recruits after flipping them from other schools. Sanders won at Jackson State with a lot of players on the roster who could have played at the power conference level of the FBS. The other HBCU schools were outmanned. This will not happen at Colorado, especially starting next year when they head back to the Big XII.

Lack of a Way to Prepare for the Buffaloes

One thing that many people haven’t thought about is how TCU was supposed to prepare for the Buffaloes. The entire roster had changed. They had all new coaches. The offense was different. The defense was different. The Spring Game was of no consequence, as many new players didn’t participate and it has been known that Sanders used the game as a tryout for some players to stay, and a showcase for some players to show what they can do for other coaches.

Sonny Dykes couldn’t study film from Jackson State either. Different players, offensive and defensive coaches, and different speed of the game. The Horned Frogs were basically flying blind. They had to adjust on the fly. And they did a pretty good job of it as well. Some stuff was similar to what Deion ran at Jackson State but most was not even close.

TCU had a lot of turnover as well, only returning 10 starters. Even so, Colorado had plenty of tape on the Horned Frogs. Their first string, QB, Chandler Morris, started last year until he got injured and Max Duggan took over. Plus, Dykes has run the same offense since he was a coordinator for Mike Leach at Texas Tech in the year 2000. He had been a part of the offense since 1997, when he was a graduate assistant under the Godfather of the “Air Raid” offense, Hal Mumme. It has only been tweaked. So, the Buffs had a good idea of what was going on. TCU was at a huge disadvantage under these circumstances.

Deion had all summer to prepare for TCU. We will find out over the next few weeks how good of a coach Sanders really is. Any good coach can prepare when they have weeks on end to prepare for someone, especially when your opponent has no way to prepare for them. Very good and great coaches can adapt week to week. They now will know that other teams will have tape on them to study and will be in the film room to prepare. After week 1, expectations have been raised and it will time to show he can coach at this level and be successful.

No one that is being realistic expects him to have his team playing at the level they did Saturday, particularly on offense. The defense has talent and will improve. No one is saying Sanders can’t coach. But with that being said there are many people that can coach and are good at X’s and O’s but can’t cut it as a FBS head coach. Sanders tells you he is a great coach. We are about to find out.

Shedeur Sanders Shows Out for the Colorado Buffaloes

Colorado hasn’t had a 300-yard passer since 2019. Shedeur Sanders blew that out of the water coming out of the gate. He started a little skittish and shaky, but once he adjusted to the speed of the game, he settled in and showed off his athletic ability. He was 38-for-47 for a school-record 510 yards. Let’s just hope the kid didn’t set the bar too high for him to be able to reach his potential. The way the media and fans are nowadays, (use a comma there)  they could hold him to unattainable standards.

The young Sanders proved he belongs at the Division 1 level, and he was really helped a lot by being able to have a year under his belt in college football. He he didn’t just come in green and not know what to expect. He adjusted and kept improving the entire game. If the Buffaloes can stay healthy upfront with their undersized offensive line, he should play well the entire season.

He also has some help with Travis Hunter, who had 11 catches for 119 yards. Hunter is the first FBS player in the past 20 seasons to have more than 100 receiving yards and an interception in the same game. Sanders’ other son, Shilo, had ten tackles along with one pass breakup. Running Back Dylan Edwards only had 24 yards rushing albeit with a touchdown but really made his mark with five catches for 135 yards and three touchdowns. It was highlighted by a 75 yard catch and run that went for a score.

Deion Sanders Shows Off

Deion Sanders, the person, is arrogant, narcissistic and proud. He comes off the same way as a coach. He is so arrogant he demands people call him “Coach Sanders” or “Coach Prime” and he has done nothing as a coach to think he can demand that. What he did as a player has nothing to do with him as a coach on the field. It matters in recruiting, but not on the field. Charisma and arrogance only go so far.

He even mentioned several times that people don’t call Nick Saban “Nick”, they call him Coach Saban. Well, Nick Saban can request people to call him what he wants. He has never demanded it; people just respect him enough to call him coach. Deion wanted to be called Deion before he started coaching. He should scold reporters for calling him by his name. Not like they yelled “Hey Narcissistic Jackass” to get his attention before asking a question.

Sanders castigated reporters after the game Saturday in his press conference. He started yelling at certain ones and slammed them for saying he couldn’t coach, he would not be successful this early, etc. He then would rattle off his accolades from his college career, NFL career and his coaching career in youth, HS and HBCU Football. The man never met a moment where he didn’t love to throw his stats in someone’s face. He even had his talking head famous friends, like Michael Irvin telling everyone how great he is after the game.

Sanders should have been proud as hell the way his team played and adjusted to things during the game. He had every right to be. He wants to annoint himself King of D1 Football after one win. His arrogance shows no bounds. Lets get a few more weeks into the season and under his belt before putting him into the College Football Hall of Fame. Wins and losses will not show how good of a coach Sanders is this year. It will be how the team plays, how it improves in areas it fails in week to week, and how they carry themselves as the season goes on.

The Media begging for a star to latch on to may be eating crow by the end of the season. The jury is still out on Sanders as a coach. The sports world has a way of humbling even the best of them and the media forgets that. Let’s not even mention fans. The sports landscape is littered with players and coaches at all levels of college and professional sports who started out hot, had a couple of good years, and then petered out. Arrogance and attitude will not get the job done, and in many cases hard work can’t overcome those shortcomings many times.

Let the season play out before making Deion the greatest living coach to walk the face of the earth. The Colorado Buffaloes will be happy, and the college football world will be as well.

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Dirty has been an employee or owner of some of the top online sports gambling forums since 1998. He worked at EOG.com from it's inception until 2008 when he left and opened GamblingIQ and then in 2012 opened Handicappers Hidaway. He has written hundreds af articles over the years and always has his "Dirty Dozen" College Football poll up starting the first week of October.
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