Probably the only group of people in the country who believed the University of Colorado Buffaloes football team could come down to Texas and knock off the 2022 national championship runners-up were coach Deion Sanders and his 86 players.
Even if you’re not a football fan you’ve got to be impressed by one leader’s ability to create a turnaround of this magnitude.
The Buffaloes weren’t just one of the worst teams in college football last season, they were one of the worst teams in recent memory. The head coach was fired after an 0-5 start. The team finished 1-11. Colorado lost games by an average margin of 29.1 points last year, the worst in the country.
When the Buffaloes took the field in Fort Worth, Texas ESPN said “the only resemblance to last year’s team was the uniforms. Only 10 scholarship players from the 2022 roster remained with the team.” Nine players followed Sanders from his previous school, led by his son, Shedeur Sanders, the Buffaloe’s new starting QB.
TCU was a 20.5-point favourite. Colorado pulled off an upset-of-the-year type of performance with a 45-42 win in a 95-degree Texas scorcher that was engineered because of an organizational revitalization by Coach Prime.
New Coach In Town
After Colorado spent most of the past two decades mired in irrelevance, Sanders put the school squarely in the spotlight. Season tickets sold out. Merchandise sales spiked, with sales of Colorado gear in December up 505% over the previous year. Coach Prime and the Buffaloes have been one of the most talked-about teams in the country.
Prior to coming to Colorado, Sanders had turned around his previous team, Jackson State, going 27-6. He lead the program to consecutive Southwestern Athletic Conference championships.
Five Championship Qualities
Sanders points to five qualities he’s looking for in his players:
They were all of that in their game.
What stood out to me was a 26-minute sideline video of the game. Not one swear word from players or coaches. A disciplined team from top down. Sanders took time to talk and pray with many of his players.
Watch Coach Prime address the Buffaloes for the first time.
Even if most of this was news to you, what do you think of Deion’s ability to turnaround an elite level organization? Please leave a comment below.
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