We've got the news down to a science!

The Science Survey

We've got the news down to a science!

The Science Survey

We've got the news down to a science!

The Science Survey

Why Colorado Football Was the Talk of Sports

The Colorado Buffaloes have experienced a season of highs and lows, and the whole world has been watching.
Coach Deion Sanders was the key to Colorado’s turnaround. ( Photo Credit: 7 Figure Squad, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons)

The day was November 26th, 2022. As the clock clicked down to zero in the Colorado Buffaloes football season final, the scoreboard revealed the numbers 63 and 21. Colorado had lost to the Utah Utes. The Buffaloes had just completed their season with 1 win and 11 losses, leaving fans hopeless, and making Colorado one of the worst teams in all of Division I College Football. Searching for a spark, Colorado University athletics director Rick George announced the hiring of Deion Sanders as the team’s new head coach.

Deion Sanders had quite the résumé. He had a hall of fame NFL career under his belt – an accomplishment that distinguished him as one of the greatest to ever play the game. Sanders also had a 9 season MLB career, and just completed three seasons coaching the famous HBCU Jackson State University’s football team. He had led the team to back to back SWAC titles, a remarkable accomplishment. 

When Sanders’ plans to leave Jackson State for Colorado were revealed, emotions throughout College Football were mixed. While Jackson State fans were not very happy that their superstar head coach was abandoning them, the rest of the sports world was excited to see what change the move would bring. Could Sanders’ success with Jackson State translate against the real powerhouses of College Football? 

The excitement for Deion Sanders was matched by the hype around the players whom he brought with him to Colorado. Coach Sanders had authorized a complete roster remake of Colorado’s football team. 

The team brought in 86 new players, 9 of which came with Deion Sanders from Colorado. Only 10 of Colorado’s scholarship players from the 2022 season stayed with the team. They took in 53 transfers, an all time record in College Football.

“I don’t think you got to have unity whatsoever,” Sanders said while responding to his roster change. “You’ve got to have good players.”

On Saturday, April 22nd, 2023, the Buffaloes hosted their spring game, a matchup between Colorado’s defensive and offensive rosters. This was a light tackle scrimmage, and a chance for fans to see where the team was at. In 2023, about 47,277 fans came to the game – a massive change from the meager 1,950 fans that had attended the year before and a testament to the Colorado fans’ excitement over the new team. 

The Buffaloes were highlighted by star receiver/cornerback Travis Hunter, and quarterback Shedeur Sanders (son of Deion Sanders). Hunter was the number one recruit of the class of ‘22. He is seen as a generational type of talent and is considered to be revolutionizing the game of football. Hunter plays both cornerback and wide receiver, meaning he is on the field nearly 95% of the game. This is extremely rare to see, and has never been executed well with anyone aside from Hunter. 

Here is Travis Hunter in his Jackson State uniform, before transferring to Colorado. (Photo Credit: 2C2K Photography, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)

Before an injury in week 3 of the Buffaloes season, Hunter was heavily considered in the Heisman conversation. The Heisman is an award given to the most outstanding player in college football each year. There have been 86 Heisman winners, and only 3 of them were not quarterbacks. It is extremely rare to win the Heisman as a non-Quarterback, and yet Hunter was talented enough to be talked about for such an honor.

Shedeur Sanders, the new Quarterback, has made a name for himself in his time in the league. Shedeur has been everything Colorado could ask for and more. Following his father from Jackson State, questions were very high about how Shedeur would fare in a higher division of college football. He answered those questions immediately, throwing for 510 yards and 4 touchdowns in Colorado’s season opener against TCU. He earns the most NIL revenue in all of college football. Shedeur is also being discussed as a future first round NFL Draft pick. 

On September 2nd, 2023, the day finally arrived. 

It was Colorado’s season opener against TCU. The TCU Horned Frogs were coming off an undefeated regular season in 2022, making the playoffs and beating Michigan before a national championship loss to Georgia. The expectations were high for TCU. With the Horned Frogs coming in as the 17th ranked team in the country, not many people expected the Buffaloes to hand them an upset. That being said, no one knew what to expect from this revamped Colorado team. 

To say this game was exciting and electric is a gross understatement. Colorado defeated TCU 45-42. Travis Hunter had 119 yards receiving and one interception, and Shedeur Sanders threw for 510 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

After the game, Shedeur Sanders said, “Today was just like practice. A lot of people didn’t believe in us, including some of you all here asking questions, which is crazy because you have to understand our coach, Coach Prime, my dad. Everywhere he went, he was a winner. Every game, every opportunity, he took advantage of.”

The coach Prime effect was in full swing and had taken the College Football world by storm. Colorado was a good football team.

One week later, the Buffaloes faced off against the unranked Nebraska Cornhuskers. It was a blowout. Colorado defeated the Cornhuskers 36-14, with Shedeur throwing for 393 yards, 2 touchdowns, and running for one. Receiver Xavier Weaver caught 10 passes for 170 yards and 1 touchdown. Just like that, Colorado jumped to number 18 in national rankings. Up next to play were the Buffaloes rivals — Colorado State.

Tensions were high leading up to Colorado’s match against the Colorado State Rams. Colorado State coach Jay Norvell spoke against Deion Sanders in his radio show, early on in the week. “I sat down with ESPN today,” Norvell said. “I don’t care if they hear it in Boulder. I told them, I took my hat off, and I took my glasses off. I said that when I talk to grown ups, I take my hat off and my glasses off. That’s what my mother taught me. [Colorado’s] not going to like us no matter what we say or do.” This was ultimately a shot at Coach Sanders’ common appearance, highlighted by a hat and glasses. From there, that game became personal.

During warmups, players were trash-talking back and forth. Shedeur Sanders was recorded flexing his watch towards Rams players. This quickly went viral on social media, and became a trademark celebration for Shedeur. The game ended up being a double overtime thriller: Colorado defeated Colorado State 43-35. 

Colorado was at an all time high. They had national media wrapped around their fingers, and were ranked 19th in the nation. They were preparing to take on the 10th ranked Oregon Ducks in a match watched by the entire college football world. However, that game was where their season took a sharp turn towards the worst. 

Colorado lost 42-6 against Oregon, with Shedeur Sanders being sacked 7 times. It was an embarrassing performance by Colorado, as they were dominated on both sides of the ball from start to finish of the game.

Deion Sanders took to the press conference to share his thoughts. “One thing I can say honestly and candidly: You better get me right now,” Sanders said. “This is the worst we’re gonna be. You better get me right now.”

Coach Sanders was wrong. Colorado went on to lose five of their next six games, in disappointing manners. Up 29-0 at half, Colorado was on its way to an easy win against Stanford. The Buffaloes then played an atrocious 30 minutes of football and lost in a shocking manner with a score of 46-43.  

The Colorado hype train had officially come to a halt. The Buffaloes were not contenders. The team was not a college football powerhouse. That was now understood. Yet what was also understood was that the future is bright for the Buffaloes. With Sanders’ leadership, Colorado is now an attractive place for recruits. Despite a couple disappointing losses, the dramatic turnaround of the program is evident, and the team only looks to be getting better. 

Shedeur Sanders remarked, “Today was just like practice. A lot of people didn’t believe in us, including some of you all here asking questions, which is crazy because you have to understand our coach, Coach Prime, my dad. Everywhere he went, he was a winner. Every game, every opportunity, he took advantage of.”

About the Contributor
Lucas Benjamin, Staff Reporter
Lucas Benjamin is a Sports Editor for ‘The Science Survey.’ He seeks to use journalistic writing and photography as a way to dive deeper into fascinating topics that fill our world. Outside of journalism class, he enjoys playing and watching sports, specifically football and golf. He also loves exploring and listening to music, his favorite artists being Zach Bryan and Drake. Lucas also loves traveling and trying new foods, Japan being his favorite travel destination. While not certain, Lucas is interested in studying economics or business in college. In his future, he hopes to pursue a career in either real estate, investment banking, or sports media.