The Colorado Buffaloes are currently in last place in the Pac-12. Deion Sanders' squad has a 4-7 overall record with one game remaining and are officially bowl ineligible. Some people thought this was the most likely outcome in his first year at Colorado, but many in the sports media landscape allowed themselves to become prisoners of the moment when Coach Prime's team started 3-0 thanks to a high-scoring offense and an unbelievable amount of hype.
About that hype...
There was palpable excitement when Sanders started his Colorado tenure with an upset win over 17th ranked TCU. Of course, no one knew then that TCU was on their way to .500 season at best. Still, it was a high-profile, exciting early season game so the bandwagon started to fill with noted non-college football watcher Bill Simmons who wanted to know where to send his checks.
Colorado would go on to win their second game against Nebraska easily, 36-14. After a 2-0 start it was clearly time to start dreaming bigger. Where would he go next? How many Super Bowls could he win with the Dallas Cowboys, Skip Bayless wondered.
Then came Colorado's toughest test, Colorado State. Both FOX's Big Noon Kickoff and ESPN's College GameDay were on campus that weekend. The Rock was the guest picker and he and everyone else took the Buffaloes, who would go on to erase an 11-point fourth quarter deficit and win a thriller in double-overtime, 43-35.
At 3-0 there was no way of knowing this was the high-water mark where the wave would finally break and roll back. Unless you believed that Colorado had navigated the easiest part of their schedule and was about to face a legitimate team in then-10th (now 6th) ranked Oregon. The real hype had one more week of shelf life and everyone piled on.
Barstool's Big Cat joined Ryen Russillo to discuss the rejuvenated Colorado football program.
Get Up dedicated multiple segments the next Monday to discussing how Sanders was changing the entire landscape of college football.
Chris "Mad Dog" Russo revealed his plans to bet $10,000 on Colorado to beat Oregon in one of the wilder morning show segments that has aired on national television. The backdrop being that he was not invited to join Stephen A. Smith on his most recent trip to Boulder as one of Deion's guests.
With Oregon looming, Coach Prime sat down with Taylor Rooks and explained that he's a monument and not a moment. Days away from losing his first game of the season, even his own takes were about to become extremely cold.
Sanders even started filing trademarks that week.
Shaquille O'Neal compared to Sanders to Phil Jackson. This offended Skip Bayless because Deion is a much more serious person than the 11-time champion.
Unfortunately, things would cool down considerably a few days later as Oregon destroyed Colorado, 42-6. It would barely cause a blip when Deion filed trademarks for “AIN’T NOBODY CARE,” “F AROUND AND FIND OUT,” “WE KEEP RECEIPTS,” “PITBULL IN PUMPS,” and “WORKING OR TWERKING" a few days later.
The Buffalos would go on to lose seven of their next eight games, including five straight and a blowout loss to what was a 4-6 Washington State team over the weekend. The only game remaining on their schedule is against 22nd-ranked Utah in Utah on Saturday.
They're staring down a 4-8 season, which is much better than last year's one-win team, but exactly where Karl Dorrell had them in 2021 and a game behind Mel Tucker's 5-7 mark back in 2019. How's that for perspective?
The stories about Colorado's ratings are gone. The anecdotes about showing up to Colorado football games like they're prize fights in Las Vegas have vanished. Just another struggling college football program getting ready to bolt for a new conference. The goal for next year? Recapture the hype and best the 5-7 record the Buffs amassed the last time they were in the Big XII back in 2010. See you on the hype train.