Coach Deion Sanders is rebuilding the Colorado Buffaloes football program

It's Primetime! How Sanders Is Rebuilding Colorado Football From Scratch

In the peak of Boulder, Colorado’s winter, a roaring storm ripped through the city in December 2022. It wasn’t a gusty blizzard or freezing temperatures. Instead, it was a 6-foot-1, 55-year-old retired professional footballer that swept across the Rockies.

When he first met his Colorado Buffaloes team, who finished last season with a brutal 1-11 record, new head coach Deion Sanders had one clear message: be prepared to transfer.

Coach Prime To Lead Buffaloes

Sanders, better known as Coach Prime, wasn’t exaggerating his warnings about transfers. After the spring deadline, nearly half the roster cleaned out their lockers with 52 scholarship players entering the transfer portal.

But when asked about the massive overhaul, Sanders didn’t show any concern by saying, “This isn’t my first rodeo.” And, it’s not.

Who Is Coach Sanders?

After being drafted fifth overall in 1989 by the Atlanta Falcons, Sanders spent 14 years as a cornerback in the NFL and nine seasons as an outfielder in the MLB, proving he's a man of many hats. After winning two Super Bowl rings, the football Hall of Famer hung up his helmets and put on a coaching cap – which happens to usually be a cowboy hat.

From 2020 to 2022, Coach Prime led the Jackson State Tigers. To buff up his coaching resume, Sanders carried Jackson State to its first-ever undefeated regular season and consecutive Celebration Bowl appearances. The Tigers went 27-6 overall and picked up a pair of SWAC championships under Sanders.

After earning the Eddie Robinson Award in 2021, honoring the top head coach in Division 1, Sanders must’ve wanted a challenge – and he got one.

Transfer & Recruitment: What’s In Sanders’ Louis Luggage?

Since Colorado's only had one winning record since 2006, over 40,000 fans flooded the stands at Folson Field for the Buffaloes' spring debut game, hoping to witness the beginning of Primetime success.

@oddssharkbetting Deion Sanders effect…. by the numbers😂 #deionsanders #collegefootball #colorado #foryoupage ♬ Superhero (Heroes & Villains) - Instrumental - Metro Boomin

Coach Prime is clearly looking to build his program from scratch. As per 247sports, Colorado's transfer class ranks first in Division 1.

Sanders has snagged names like CB Travis Hunter, the 2022 SWAC Freshman Of The Year, who followed his head coach from Jackson State to Colorado. Others like Derrick McLendon, the No. 2 EDGE in the transfer portal and QB Shedeur Sanders, Prime's son, join the herd. It’s a revolving door of talented athletes leaving, but they’re also coming in.

Coach Deion Sanders is rebuilding the Colorado Buffaloes football program

Coach Prime wasted no time planning for Jackson State's future and he clearly doesn’t plan on slowing down this time, either. Colorado’s 2023 recruiting class sits 20th in the rankings.

Among the incoming stars is Cormani McClain, the top cornerback in the nation and the No. 13 player overall. A tandem of four-star commits is headed north of Denver, where RB Dylan Edwards and WR Adam Hopkins will look to get their college career started. After Edwards and Hopkins, 15 more three-star freshman recruits will follow.

How To Bet On Colorado In 2023

Now look, I’m not going to bluff and tell you to hammer Colorado’s +30000 National Championship odds, but there is an underdog story brewing for the fall.

Colorado’s Crushing 2022

Colorado plummeted to the bottom of the Pac-12 standings, being outscored by 25 points or more in all but three games of its 12-week slate. Out of 131 teams, the Buffaloes were the worst defensive group, allowing an embarrassing 44.5 PPG. There’s plenty of room for improvement.

Colorado Buffaloes’ 2023 Odds & Best Bets

Colorado Buffaloes 2023 Win Total & Odds
Win TotalOdds
OVER 3.5 Wins-134
UNDER 3.5 Wins+110

Odds as of May 4

Sanders’ first season at Jackson State was interrupted by Covid-19, but he sported a 3-3 record before the season ended early. The following year, the Tigers bounced back to an 11-2 record, their first winning record since 2013.

So, if you’re expecting a slow rebuild – don’t. Primetime has already started. The Pac-12 is still stiff with competition, so Colorado is still required to meet groups like the Utah Utes and USC Trojans with their Heisman-winning quarterback.

However, the new and improved Buffaloes could easily bulldoze through their 3.5-win total. In matchups with the Nebraska Cornhuskers (Week 2), Colorado State Rams (Week 3), Arizona State Sun Devils (Week 6), Stanford Cardinal (Week 7) and Arizona Wildcats (Week 10), it's not far-fetched Colorado comes out on top.