The Colorado Buffaloes won their first game of the season against the #17 TCU Horned Frogs 45-42 at Ammon G. Carter Stadium last Saturday afternoon.
Since he took the job, Coach Prime has made Colorado the talk of college football.
There's an old country saying, "If you want the bull, you get the horns." That old maxim encapsulates Colorado head coach Deion Sanders to a tee. Don't call him Deion or Coach Sanders; he expects you to call him Coach Prime. He told former players that he was coaching them to quit. Prime's first few months in Boulder were all-access.
Sanders put college football culture -- some good, some bad -- on YouTube for the world to see. He said things in public and on video that coaches have always said, just in private. Then there was the "Culling of Colorado." Seventy-one players from the 2022 team entered the transfer portal.
Coach Prime said that he was bringing in luggage. He had more luggage than a Kardashian on a week-long vacation in Barbados. Sanders brought in 86 new players, 57 from the transfer portal. After their upset win against the 17th-ranked Horned Frogs, Coach asked everyone if they believed and told everyone he had receipts for those who did not.
The man can coach; give him his credit.
Just because Coach Prime understands sports are as much about entertainment as athleticism doesn't mean he can't coach. Without going down the rabbit hole of microaggressionism and coded bigotry, there isn't any one thing that is a marker of whether or not someone can or can't make it as a big-time college football coach. Before taking the Clemson job, Dabo Swinney was never a head coach or coordinator. On the other hand, Nick Saban had successful stops at Toledo, Michigan State, and LSU before going to Tuscaloosa.
That said, there are certain things successful coaches do well. First, they recruit well. Sanders proved his ability to recruit when he convinced Travis Hunter to flip from Florida State to Jackson State. The Buffaloes finished the 2023 cycle 21st (they're 76th in the 2024 cycle, but it's early) and are in the running for 2025 number-one prospect, quarterback Bryce Underwood.
Second, coaches hire great coaches. Coach Prime assembled a great staff in Jackson and repeated that feat in Boulder. He got a sitting head coach (Sean Lewis) as his offensive coordinator and plucked from the Nick Saban coaching tree (Charles Kelly) as his defensive coordinator.
That's not to mention veteran coaches like Sal Sunseri and Tim Brewster, mixed with young up-and-comers like Andre Hart and Vincent Dancy.
Coach Prime can prep a team.
Assembling a team and hiring a staff is great, but Colorado's upset victory against TCU proved he can prepare a team to play. While the argument that the Horned Frogs were breaking in a new starting quarterback with a new offensive coordinator and eight new defensive starters is valid, Colorado had eight new starters on both sides of the ball.
The Buffaloes were the more disciplined, polished team on Saturday. Quarterback Shedeur Sanders played like he'd been in Sean Lewis' offense for three years. The Buffaloes had four receivers with over 100 receiving yards. The defense still needs work, but they made stops to help Colorado win the game.
Colorado looked ready to play and handle one of the better home-field advantages in the Big 12. The Buffaloes face a more formidable defense in Nebraska, but there should be little doubt as to whether or not they'll be ready.