The Transformation of Boulder Football

During the 2021-2022 season, everything that could’ve gone wrong went wrong for the Colorado Buffaloes. Starting quarterback J.T. Shrout threw for as little as 1,220 yards, with an abysmal touchdown to interception ratio of 7:8. With poor quarterback play and a non-existent run game, the Buffs ended the season with a 1-11 record while being in a relatively hard division. A dramatic change in the program was necessary after such a disaster of a season. 

To say that the Buffs improved over the off-season would be an understatement. After managing to acquire a new head coach in Deion Sanders- who is arguably one of the best defensive backs of all time- the spotlight on Boulder was like never before. The news sparked many highly ranked players to both commit and transfer to the school, most notably being defensive backs Travis Hunter and Cormani McClain. Hunter, who played under Sanders last season for Jackson State, was ranked one of the highest players in the country coming out of high school. McClain, a player originally committed to Miami, is a 5 star recruit and one of the best defensive players coming out of high school. 

When Coach Sanders first arrived, he made it clear that the narrative would instantly be changed for the school’s program. In one of his first meetings with the players, he emphasized that he would be “bringing his luggage with him” and even encouraged players to “enter the portal” if they weren’t ready to fight for their position. This statement was certainly felt throughout the team, as approximately 50 players proceeded to enter the transfer portal after the new hiring. Correspondingly, college football fans around the country have started to doubt the abilities of Coach Sanders regardless of the fact that the season has not yet started. 

What a large portion of the media has not considered is the amount of high-profiled athletes committing and transferring into the program. It seems as if everyday a new athlete is coming to play for Sanders, and it’s for perfectly good reason, especially for defensive players. An opportunity to play under the guidance of one of the best defensive backs of all time is a once in a lifetime chance for many of these athletes to reach their full potential. While there are many that do not trust what Sanders has in plan, there are certainly players who can see his long-term vision. 

It will be intriguing to see how this football season ends up for the Colorado Buffaloes. Even if they do end up with a mediocre record, anything is an improvement from the disastrous season of 2021-2022. Still, many people will be waiting for the downfall of this team, so expectations are exponentially higher than previous seasons.