Deion Sanders makes his Colorado debut tomorrow against TCU. Some football players will also be involved. The Buffaloes are 20.5-point underdogs on the road. Sanders inherited a hell of a project and has perhaps increased the already high obstacles several yards by doing it his own way and the other way is the highway. The program was in a bleak spot and may still be in a bleak spot. There's no questioning that bringing Sanders in will increase the intensity of the spotlight and could lead to some excellent gains in the all-important branding department.
Look no further than this matchup serving as FOX's Big Noon Saturday offering. If Prime Time were not involved there is no way in hell that a team that went 1-11 facing a three-touchdown spread would get close enough to the property to catch a whiff of Matt Leinart or Rob Stone. And maybe that is an accomplishment. Skip Bayless marveled over Colorado's Prime Time glow-up for an extended period this morning on Undisputed.
"Only Deion Sanders could fall into this spot in his first big game at the D-1 level," he said before wishcasting big, juicy ratings for the affair. This in addition to grouping Sanders into the most hallowed of championship pedigree. "There's some people in sports I don't bet against. I never bet against Tom Brady. I don't bet against Deion Sanders."
Let's leave at, yeah, I'm going to go ahead and bet against Deion Sanders. I think quite significantly. Both tomorrow against the Horned Frogs and on whatever over-under win total you'd like to put out there — the consensus is 3.5. And it's not personal at all. A resurgent Colorado would be an excellent and enjoyable storyline for college football. They were one of the coolest teams on the planet back when they were competing for national titles.
Perhaps they'll get there down the road. Such an endeavor will take years though and if you're not at least a bit worried about long-term plans with Sanders then you haven't been burned before. He runs hot and things are combustible. That can create magic or ignite sparks near the flammable stuff.
In some ways the dawning of actual, meaningful football is a godsend because it will put some actual data and results into the world to combat the hype. To serve as the other side of the coin to holding up a marquee television slot as some sort of accomplishment instead of what it truly is: chum for the gawkers who can't wait to see how this whole thing shakes out.
It's totally unfair to Sanders criticize him for not winning anything at Colorado because he hasn't had an opportunity. It seems equally silly to lavish praise and act like the job is anywhere close to being done. That element all feels a bit astroturfed by those who either simply want it to happen or have a financial incentive to really make Sanders and the Buffaloes a thing.
Put me down for TCU, big. Put me down for Colorado tripling their last season win total but still coming in under. Put me down for cautiously betting against the guy who you can bet against occasionally because he's not Tom Brady.