Deion Sanders Confident Colorado Will Improve, Other Coaches Aren't So Sure

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Colorado v Utah
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - NOVEMBER 25: Deion Sanders head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes arrives for their game against the Utah Utes at Rice Eccles Stadium on November 25, 2023 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

A lot of skepticism will follow the Buffs to the Big 12.

Several college coaches are skeptical that things will improve for Deion Sanders and Colorado in 2024. Six coaches spoke anonymously to The Athletic. All six cast doubt on Sanders' notion that the Buffaloes are headed in the right direction. Many of the coaches pointed to Sanders' recruiting as a major sticking point. While Sanders did well recruiting at the skill positions, both the offensive and defensive lines were some of the worst in college football. Colorado gave up the second most sacks in the country with 56. Furthermore, as one coach noted to The Athletic, the transfer portal will contain around 30 "Power 5-caliber" offensive linemen. However, 65 Power 5 schools are vying for their commitment. Furthermore, the same coach noted that consistency was one of the most important qualities of an offensive line. Swapping out starters every year while also not developing recruits is not a recipe for success.

Furthermore, many coaches noted that Sanders has not been good to his coaches. He demoted offensive coordinator Sean Lewis after a 3-1 start because the Buffs were blown out by Oregon. Lewis has since left to become the head coach at San Diego State. The coaches who spoke with The Athletic predicted an exodus of coaching talent out of Colorado, with Sanders struggling to attract the game's top assistants. For his part, Sanders has so far teased that former NFL star Warren Sapp will be joining his coaching staff next season. Sapp has no coaching experience at any level. However, he is the sort of headline-grabbing name Sanders has chased throughout his time at Colorado.

Read More: Deion Sanders Says He "Loves" His Players Fighting During Practice

Is Colorado Ready For The Big 12?

Next season, Colorado joins the Big 12. Alongside them comes Utah, Arizona, and Arizona State. All three schools either beat Colorado or lost by less than a score this season. Traditional Big 12 powerhouses Texas and Oklahoma will be gone. However, Colorado is by no means expected to suddenly become a title contender. Nine of the conference's teams finished with a better record than Colorado this year. So did all three of the other Pac-12 teams also moving to the conference.

Shedeur Sanders is expected to return under center for the Buffs, but is that really the right move? Sanders missed the final game of the Buffs due to a back fracture. With no real improvement on the offensive line expected, Sanders can expect to take another pummelling behind the line next season. Not only will that affect his draft stock, but it could also impact his innate ability to play. However, the "Deion Doubters" will have to wait until commitment days, the portal, and the 2024 season itself to see if Sanders sinks or floats in Year 2.

Read More: Deion Sanders Isn't Leaving Colorado Anytime Soon, Manager Claims


About The Author
Benjamin Mock (they/them) is a sports and culture writer working out of Philadelphia. Previously writing for the likes of Fixture, Dexerto, Fragster, and Jaxon, Ben has dedicated themselves to engaging and accessible articles about sports, esports, and internet culture. With a love for the weirder stories, you never quite know what to expect from their work.