CU’s National Media Coverage: Too Much of a Good Thing?

If you had clicked on the College Football front page on the ESPN website anytime in the past few days, you would have found Coach Prime’s face smiling back at you. The banner headline for the story written by ESPN national writers Adam Rittenberg and Kyle Bonagura is entitled, “The Coach Prime Effect: Inside Deion Sanders’ First 100 days at Colorado“.

The article, if you go to print it out, is ten pages of material, with interviews with the likes of Darian Hagan, Phil DiStefano, and Rick George. Everything from the infamous “luggage” talk to Coach Prime at the NFL Awards show are covered.

Coach Prime was, of course, also interviewed, and was, as you might have expected, not at a loss for words. “I’m a need-to-be-needed type person,” Sanders told ESPN. “If you show me a need, then I’m there, but if there’s no need, I don’t really have a place. That’s what I do, that’s what I’ve done, I’ve always been that type of guy. There’s a tremendous need [at Colorado], and I don’t just think it’s all about football. It far surpasses football on the field.”

After spending a few minutes reading about CU football on ESPN’s front page, you could have clicked on the website for The Athletic, one of the best sports websites (I recommend getting a subscription). The Athletic does a great job of covering national college football issues, with sportswriters dedicated to 23 of the 69 Power Five teams. On the list of teams The Athletic spends extra time on are the usual suspects: Alabama; Ohio State; Clemson; Georgia; Michigan; Notre Dame … oh, and as of two months ago, Colorado.

The latest CU story up on The Athletic?

Meet Danny O’Neil, Deion Sanders’ first hand-picked QB recruit at Colorado“.

On the one hand, O’Neil is only a three-star recruit, committing to a program in March of his junior year of high school. On the other, O’Neil is the hand-picked successor to Shedeur Sanders as Coach Prime’s next quarterback.

From the article:

There is no college program being discussed more than Colorado. That’s what having Sanders as your coach does. The entire sport is waiting to see if Coach Prime can turn this low-level Pac-12 program into a national title contender. Sanders’ list of accomplishments — before even coaching a game at Colorado — is impressive. He signed former five-star prospect Travis Hunter (the No. 1 player in the 2022 class) and four-star quarterback Shedeur Sanders (his son) at Jackson State and brought both of them with him to Boulder via the transfer portal. He flipped five-star cornerback Cormani McClain from Miami to cap off the 2023 class. He is making Boulder a visiting destination for prospects who wouldn’t have looked twice at this program six months ago.

Sanders has a dynamic personality. He says what he means and he gets results. That’s how you feed the hype machine.

You’d expect as an Ohio State or Georgia fan to have a national article written about your quarterback commitments.

But at Colorado? Not so much. Colorado has been an afterthought at best (and a laughingstock at worst) to the national media for over a decade.

Now? They can’t get enough.

Compare the only media story (from the Daily Camera) written about last year’s CU’s spring game:

Walking off the field Saturday, Colorado head coach Karl Dorrell breathed a sigh of relief.

“Whew, we got through it,” he said after the Buffaloes’ annual spring showcase in front of about 1,950 fans at Folsom Field.

With about a third of the scholarship players nursing injuries and not participating Saturday, Dorrell was happy CU didn’t add to the list. The Buffs were nowhere near a complete product this spring because of the injuries, but Dorrell still felt good about the work his team accomplished during the 15 practices.

“I like how our team has matured at this point,” Dorrell said. “They’re learning how to be a team. They’re learning how to compete against each other and encourage each other. So those steps of progress are really important to me. I think we can build off those things in the summer.”

National stories about Colorado football last fall?

Non-existent … unless you count CU’s constant mentions in ESPN’s “Bottom Ten” and CBS’s “Bottom 25”.

In case you have blotted it out of your memory, Colorado finished “first” in ESPN’s final Bottom Ten rankings:

1. Colora-duh (1-11)While the Buffs wait to be rebuffed by Deion, they can at least spend that time celebrating a championship. We knew that 2022 had been a total mess, but once we pushed it through the numerical cheese grater of the Bottom 10 FPI formula, Colorado became the college football equivalent of Jared Leto’s “Morbius.” We were already plenty sure it was going to be bad. We just never could have imagined it would be that awful.

And … CU had the “honor” of becoming the first Power Five team to ever win the CBS Sports Bottom 25 championship:

No 1. UMass defeats No. 2 Colorado 2-0 What more could we have asked for in our title game than a battle between No. 1 and No. 2? It was a game both teams were building toward all season, and in the end, Colorado was just a little too much for UMass to overcome. The Minutemen won 2-0 on a safety as a bad snap on a punt went soaring over the punter’s head, through the end zone and hitting Ralphie right between the eyes. This sent Ralphie on a rampage through the stadium, but after a 25-minute delay, Ralphie’s handlers got things back in order and the game was able to conclude.

Colorado becomes the first Power Five program to win The Bottom 25 championship. It’s truly a historic moment. Congratulations to the Buffaloes.


It is undeniable that CU’s roster has improved over the past few months. It is almost a given that the Buffs will be better in 2023 than they were in 2022.

But how much better?

The Buffs were not only the worst Power Five team in the nation last fall, but one of the worst teams in all of college football:

  • Total offense: 128th … Scoring offense: 127th
  • Total defense: 130th … Scoring defense: 131st (dead last)

Will the Buffs be that much better in 2023?

Coach Prime and his staff – especially when you consider CU’s 2023 schedule – could have been forgiven for pumping the brakes on expectations. Most Buff fans would have been content with aspirations of a winning record and a bowl game. Even accomplishing that much will require taking out at least one 2023 opponent which won at least nine games in 2022.

(Pause to think about that last sentence for a second).

Instead, Coach Prime has doubled down on expectations.

“We will not settle for mediocrity,” Sanders said. “You’re going to get on this program, or you’re gonna get up outta here. We plan on winning, and we don’t have time to procrastinate. We plan on winning right now.”

Coach Prime’s confidence was a selling point for CU’s newest 2024 commitment, Danny O’Neil:

“Coach Prime was coming into a spot where they hadn’t won a ton of games, and he was trying to motivate the team by telling them he is bringing guys in who are ready to compete and earn what they get,” O’Neil said. “Everyone at every position is going to have to earn their spot. That appealed to me.”

But the fear for Buff fans is – and has to be … What if it doesn’t go so well?

What if the Buffs are 3-9 or 4-8? How will the national media react? How will 2024 recruits react? How will the team react?

Buff fans have been giddy about what the Recruiting Class of 2024 might look like. After all, Coach Prime put together a consensus Top 25 Recruiting Class despite taking over the program three weeks before the primary Signing Day. The Transfer Portal Class? No. 1 in the country. Expectations for the ’24 Recruiting Class will be through the roof.

Why should Buff fans expect anything less next off-season?

Well, if the Buffs don’t live up to Coach Prime’s pronouncements, some recruits may have second thoughts. Or, perhaps even more importantly, the question should be: How many of the players who have joined the team in the past few months – some 45 strong, over half of the roster – may decide to seek opportunities elsewhere?

Food for thought over the next few months, as the national stories continue to roll in.

Until September 2nd in Fort Worth, when the Buffs take on the Horned Frogs, it’s all speculation,

Let’s enjoy the ride while we can. Even if Coach Prime’s predictions of success don’t come true as quickly as he might have hoped, Buff fans will still have enjoyed the best offseason in memory …


2 Replies to “CU’s National Media Coverage: Too Much of a Good Thing? ”

  1. I don’t think National or decent Statewide coverage is ever a bad thing. Coach Prime has brought Buzz back to the program is attempting a quick turnaround–I can’t fault him or that, and he is the best seller of the program. Personally, I would rather see somewhat gradual rebuild in that Prime sets a foundation for the program for whenever he departs. IMO, I would rather have 4-8, 5-7, or 6-6 (7-6, 6-7 with bowl) over a 9-3 (10-4 with bowel), or 10 wins in year 1. It will take time to rise into the elite areas of college football. I expect it to take 3-5 years with many twists and turns.

    We as fans of this year is not great, we have to pounce back on the detractors. Also, a wider Statewide coverage is much better than just a few homers writing about the Buffs. In that, you can drink the homer purple Kool-Aid only to be very disappointed if facing a long losing season.

    Did you know with GB, Year 2 (3-8, but they lost a ton of close games) was much worse than Year (7-6, crushed Boston College in bowl)? Then they popped in Year 3. Over those 1st 2 years, you could tell GB was building something.

  2. So far only one of those prophet/wizards has predicted anything other than 3-6. 4-8 for the Buffs in the coming season anyway.
    I didnt care about them then, I dont care about them now and I wont care about them in the future…….unless , of course, one of them arises from the manure pile and actually predicts the next TCU.
    Whatever happens……happens. The only thing that pisses me off is that the can have a chilling effect on recruiting and right now they may be actually helping.
    Without actual games to write about all they are doing is killing time and filling the air with their petard.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *