HomeSportsIs Colorado just a pit stop for Deion Sanders? Not so...

Is Colorado just a pit stop for Deion Sanders? Not so fast

The Rock was part of the pregame speech. Lil Wayne took care of his walk to Folsom Field. Key Glock performed in the locker room after the game.

Offset, Master P, Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry were among the sold-out crowd of spectators. So did a slew of former NFL players, including Jake Plummer, a legend at Arizona State but on the sidelines Saturday with CU Buffs gear.

Both ESPN and Fox pregame shows will be broadcast live from Boulder. “60 Minutes” was in town for the second time in a calendar year. The national television audience was expected to be the highest of the day in all of college football, despite the 10:20 PM ET kickoff.

Recruits and cameras were everywhere and the one thing that’s certain is that as wild as Saturday’s win over Colorado State was, just wait until USC comes to town in a few weeks.

Ten months ago, no Power Five program would hire Deion Sanders. His style was considered unorthodox. His success at HBCU Jackson State was dismissed. Not only did he not fit in the box, he didn’t even want to know what the box was. Auburn, ASU, Nebraska and Purdue, among others, were not interested. Same as the year before.

Regret? There are undoubtedly some.

Three games and an unprecedented frenzy in sports later, the proof of concept has turned around significantly. There are Alabama fans on social media who are currently pining for Sanders to come to Tuscaloosa when his Aflac commercial partner Nick Saban retires.

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Prime is not, in Prime parlance, “hard to find” these days, and that’s just the way he likes it. The question is: where does he want to be found in the future?

The conventional wisdom was that Colorado would be a pit stop in his coaching career. Either his unique approach to coaching would fail, or it would succeed and he would move on to a more traditional power. Win in Boulder, the thinking went, and then the SEC might be interested.

In reality, they might have missed their chance.

All eyes were on Deion Sanders as he started his tenure at Colorado with three straight wins. (Andy Cross/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

Colorado has been a dormant program for decades, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be the long-term stage for Deion Sanders. The man rewrites every script, every expectation. The idea that he has to leave CU to win a national title should be the latest.

After all, he once landed the nation’s No. 1 recruit (two-way star Travis Hunter) at Jackson State. He doesn’t need school to make him. He doesn’t need tradition or conference or anything to keep him afloat.

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Sanders is the show. Point. If he can bring all of the aforementioned celebrities and media to Boulder for a game against a Mountain West opponent in three weeks, why does he have to leave for a supposedly “bigger” schedule?

Which school is bigger than him?

In general, a coach must go to a place rich in money, fans and tradition to win a national title. Saban went 34-24-1, with a single bowl win, in his five seasons at Michigan State. He won seven national titles once he got to LSU and Alabama.

However, Prime is different. He doesn’t need proximity to recruits to get five stars. He doesn’t need an SEC or Big Ten membership card. He doesn’t even recruit like other coaches.

On Saturday, CU received at least eight top-100 recruits in their respective classes, including a current Alabama commit, a current Tennessee commit, a current Oregon commit and the No. 1 junior quarterback in the country. They all rushed to visit after the Buffaloes’ season-opening win over TCU.

The Colorado flip factor will be the story of recruiting as signing day for the Class of 2024 approaches in December. Meanwhile, the transfer portal, where Prime says he is most focused, will be more about picking quality rather than just quantity like a year ago. No grille is safe.

Honestly, talent won’t be an issue. It never would have been. This is the savior that elevates programs far beyond past performance. That’s why many schools screwed up by ignoring him.

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As for everything else, what does he need? A bigger budget? CU is safe with more than $30 million in Big 12 media revenue, and while that’s not Big Ten or SEC money, the program is currently awash in cash. Rick George noted that he didn’t have the money to pay Sanders when he hired him, but knew he would soon.

George now probably has more than he ever dreamed of thanks to clearance sales, merchandise sales, donations, etc.

Media attention? Colorado is the biggest show in sports and outshines everyone. As long as Sanders is on the sidelines, every CU game will be broadcast nationally, with likely high ratings. It transcends conference membership.

How about a path to the College Football Playoff? Well, the Big 12 (which Colorado will join next year) will likely have an automatic bid in the upcoming 12-team format. If Colorado is good, it will come in. And with Sanders at the helm, CU will be the hottest, most promoted, most skilled and almost certainly talented team in the Big 12, offering a much easier route to the postseason than if he were coaching. in the SEC.

Deion Sanders is going to do what’s best for Deion Sanders. Always. He doesn’t follow anyone else’s playbook.

Which could mean he stays in Boulder because he doesn’t have anywhere else to go other than wherever he is.

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