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The Fraudulent Reality of Coach Prime, Colorado Buffaloes

Deion Sanders on the sideline
© Joe Rondone/The Republic/USA TODAY SPORTS

Coach Deion Sanders, perhaps better known as "Coach Prime," came to the Colorado Buffaloes program on a promise to win.

"I have the best coaching staff assembled, some of the best scouts, some of the best kids that we're recruiting ... I truly understand what you want—all you want is the opportunity to win ... and darn it, I'm gonna give you that," Sanders said in his introductory news conference.

Sanders promised the program would win, and win they did—4 games that is. Still better than the abysmal 1-11 campaign of 2022, but not quite what Colorado fans and many media talking heads were expecting.

Now, going into the 2024 season, Coach Prime has made yet another frivolous promise: to make the College Football Playoff. Here's why that will likely not be happening and why Colorado may need to cut their losses by kicking Coach Prime to the curb sooner rather than later.

Coach Prime: Snake Oil Salesman

For Sanders, this is not the first time he has failed to meet expectations as a head coach and is certainly not the worst offense, at least so far.

While he led Jackson State to a 27-5 record during his tenure, he also left the Tiger faithful with a bad taste in their mouths when he jumped ship for Colorado. Sanders promised to bring not only Jackson State into the limelight by attracting top talent, top opponents, top facilities, and more, but to completely revamp Historic Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) football as a whole.

"Who is SWAC, if I ain't SWAC?" Sanders said in response to criticisms of him being disingenuous about his intentions.

He wanted to make himself the face of HBCU football, and did so, only to leave shortly after. He promised to be the savior of HBCU football, to where it no longer had to play second fiddle to band competitions and could compete with the best in the FBS.

He did not do that and left it high and dry, fending for its own. He recognized he couldn't do it to where it made him look good and was easy, and left. While the problem may have been bigger than him, he should have been responsible enough to recognize that. While it does make sense to leave for a higher-paying, higher-profile job, Sanders proved when he took the Colorado job that he was only in this business for one thing and one thing only: Himself.

He doesn't care who he steps on along the way and what empty promises he makes. That's what his journey has been all about so far: His celebrity status and his own vanity.

What exactly makes this time at Colorado any different? Thus far, it hasn't been, seeing that he has thrust himself and his sons Shadeur and Shilo into the spotlight, outshining everything and everyone else at the Colorado program.

Even Travis Hunter, one of the nation's best overall players, has taken on a supporting role in the "Coach Prime" show. The fact of the matter is that Sanders wants attention and fanfare. He doesn't want to build a program, he wants to be the face of one and make money simply by being him and bringing attention to himself.

While it's nice to see him comforting players during a tragedy in a conveniently timed video, the writing is on the wall. The mass exodus of players to the transfer portal, the things other coaches and personnel are saying and the way he entered and has treated the Colorado program so far tells you everything you need to know about what his intentions are.

Take Cormani McClain for example, who just entered the transfer portal from Colorado. McClain posted a YouTube video expressing his displeasure with the Coach Prime regime, saying he "Doesn't want to play for clicks" and wants to be a part of a program that "is going to develop players."

This seems to be a consensus among those leaving the Colorado program, both players and coaches and while Colorado has one of the top transfer classes in the nation right now, the mass exodus says more about the program than who they're bringing in for this reason.

Sanders can sell a program, but Sanders is not a program builder. If this year does not go as planned, Colorado's administration needs to seriously consider their options in potentially firing Sanders if they want a program that will be good for the long-term and not just a sideshow circus, because as of now, that's what it is shaping up to be.

Uphill climb

Now that the elephant in the room has been addressed, let's talk through other reasons this Colorado team is in over their head. There are roughly seven of them: Utah, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Kansas, Arizona, Oklahoma State and West Virginia. Maybe more, not likely less.

All teams are more likely to win the Big 12 Conference because of how well-built their programs are and how much depth, talent and experience they have. Colorado may have big names and may have competed against solid programs in the Pac-12 Conference, but it doesn't get any easier in the Big 12.

This Colorado team is going to have to fight for every single win, there are very few gimmes on their schedule. Shadeur Sanders and Hunter are both pro-caliber players already, however as was shown last year, they can't carry a program to victory week in and week out, especially over high-level competition.

Adding offensive line help will be fruitful, but will it be enough to cover up the glaring issue the Buffaloes have at that position? Does Colorado have the linebacker help they didn't have last year? Can a running back finally stand up and take the reins? All valid questions can be answered with player development and putting the right guys in the right spots, but can Coach Prime and his regime do that?

This Colorado team needs to develop and gain cohesion before they can compete with big-time opponents and you simply can't have that development when you have the type of player and coach turnover Colorado has right now.

These are experienced, well-coached teams they will be facing when coming into the Big 12. Having talent doesn't automatically make you the best team and even so, Big 12 teams are brimming with the same or better talent.

What kind of potential did you lose to the transfer portal? Does Colorado truly have players that are "program guys?" Talk a big game about Pac-12 competition (that you went 1-8 against), talk a big game about how the players you lost in the portal weren't worth your time, and make all the recruiting and transfer splashes you want, the Big 12 is about to teach a lesson to this Colorado program in developing marquee programs.

If Colorado doesn't take a good, hard look in the mirror and recognize what changes need to be made to not only players and personnel but overall team culture and development, then they will not survive Big 12 competition.

Reality Check for Colorado, Coach Prime

Sanders and his sideshow circus are, at least so far, not the answer for an ailing Colorado program. We saw something similar (to a lesser degree) with Les Miles and the Kansas Jayhawks.

Big names that carry weight do not equal good hires. While Sanders promised wins and a return to glory for Colorado football, can we really take him at his word when he has done next to zero program development for every program he has been coach of, has made many unkept promises and has overall made everything about himself to this point?

Deion Sanders paces the sideline
© Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY SPORTS

The fact is you can't, and the sooner Colorado realizes that, the better. Hopefully, this year will be either a wake-up call for Sanders to be more program-focused or a wake-up call for Colorado to get rid of a narcissist who was only ever in it for the money and attention.

Depending on the actions taken this year by each side, we will see what plays out. This year will prove to be a gigantic crossroads year for the Colorado football program and for Sanders. If they don't play their cards right, it could lead to long-lasting disaster and dumpster fire status for the foreseeable future.

That is the reality of Colorado football in 2024 and the hole Coach Prime has dug so far in his career as a head coach. We can only see if he will dig farther or pull himself and the Colorado program up, but it is time for a reality check for both Sanders and the Buffaloes. You can't survive in this league off of talent and vanity.


Wins are what matters. Good luck in the Big 12 You're gonna need it. 500 would be a good Season IMO


I'm so sick and tired of the jealously towards Coach Prime. Other big name coaches have done the same thing, both at the major college level and Pro level, and nothing HERE, oh no man, nothing here. Get off his butt. To all you pundits out there who arm chair quarterback people to death, I'd like to see you all do any better. Give the man his due.


Ankh Kore
Ankh Kore
Apr 26

This article is purely "Buffalo Shat" so much so the writer did not even take credits. Dieon has brought nothing but the best to this program. I predict he will continue to break school records and set many players up for future successes. "Haters Love Slow, but they reap what they Sow!" #1HiT -Ankhkore ##OnMyWord

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