Deion Sanders Primed to Coach Colorado Over 2023 Total Wins Prediction

Deion Sanders Primed to Coach Colorado Over 2023 Total Wins Prediction
Image ©Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Ty Bronicel
Author:
Ty Bronicel
Updated: 
January 19th 2023

To take everyone’s attention away from this weekend’s NFL playoffs, most college football teams announced their finalized 2023 schedules on Jan. 18, and the word most often used to describe certain slates was this: brutal.

Colorado can count itself among those teams.

The Buffaloes – if you haven’t heard, heh – hired Deion Sanders as their new head coach.

He’s already made a major splash, as expected. It should be so much easier to convince kids to play in Boulder, where the campus is cool and beautiful and the many recreational activities (ahem, cough-cough, pass; wink-wink) are plentiful.

What’s not in abundance is football talent – at least it wasn’t during last year’s 1-11 season and their average loss was 29 points a game.

Here’s how bad Colorado was last year: Out of 131 FBS schools, the Buffs were 118th in total offense while averaging 15.4 points per game. On defense, it was even worse. They ranked 131st – that’s right, dead last – in two crucial categories: points allowed (44.5 per game) and rushing yards.

Those stats take terrible to a new, lower level.

OK, that’s all the awful news from last season. However, on to the good news, as there’s nowhere to go but up.

Since his hire in December, Sanders has brought in an impressive array of offensive talent, both through recruiting and transfers from Jackson State, where he went 27-6 in three seasons with the Tigers, including a 12-1 mark in 2022.

That includes his quarterback son Shedeur Sanders, who had 6,983 passing yards, 70 touchdowns, and 14 interceptions while rushing for nine additional scores in his two seasons at Jackson State playing for his father.

Coach Sanders also convinced two-way, fiver-star stud Travis Hunter, the No. 1 overall recruit in the class of 2022, to join the rebuild in Boulder. He’ll provide the younger Sanders with a dangerous weapon on offense and be a lockdown corner on defense.

All told, according to 247 sports, Colorado’s recruiting class includes 18 high school signees and 23 transfers. The portal pickups alone ranked fourth overall in the country and their overall rank was No. 24.

Plus, remember, the transfer portal window re-opens in May for a two-week stretch prior to summer, so Deion might not be done yet.

What does it all mean? The Buffs are going to be better but by how many games?

That brings us to FanDuel Sportsbook, one of our favorite sports betting sites, in the country.

FD is the only site so far to offer an over/under win total on any team – the rest should be released in the coming weeks – and here are the numbers:

Colorado Buffaloes Regular Season Wins:

Over 4.5 (+106)

Under 4.5 (-130)

So you’re betting four wins or five. It’s an excellent line because that seems about right.

The Pac-12 had a record six teams finish in the final top 25 media poll (Washington, Utah, USC, Oregon, Oregon State and UCLA) and, unfortunately for the Buffs, they play all of them this year.

The good news for Colorado is that many of those Pac-12 teams also don’t play defense, so there’s that.

Pac-12 analyst Yogi Roth calls Colorado’s schedule “brutal” – there’s that word again – and it certainly will be.

“I still believe it takes about 18 months to instill a culture,” says Roth. “Now, the good thing for Coach Prime is he’s bringing players from the previous culture that can help with that. Guys will have to buy in. We saw it at USC, we saw it at UW. Immediate buy-in. You go 4-8 into incredible finishes for both of those teams.”

“I’d love to see (Colorado) get back to a bowl game,” Roth said. “I’d love to see them get a couple of wins early on in this season. But, again, we are totally flying blind here because we don’t know what this is going to look like. We know the style of offense and defense based on what the previous coordinators have done, but we don’t know what these players look like. There’s such intrigue in this league, and Colorado’s at the top of that list.”

Without going into each game, here’s Colorado’s schedule and how I think it’ll go:

Sept. 2 at TCU: Loss

Sept. 9 vs. Nebraska: Win

Sept. 16 vs. Colorado State: Win

Sept. 23 at Oregon: Loss

Sept. 30 vs. USC: Loss

Oct. 7 at Arizona State: Loss

Oct. 13 vs. Stanford: Win

Oct. 28 at UCLA: Loss

Nov. 4 vs. Oregon State: Loss

Nov. 11 vs. Arizona: Win

Nov. 17 at Washington State: Win

Nov. 25 at Utah: Loss

That would make them 5-7. I think it comes down to that Washington State game. If the Buffs can somehow beat Arizona State in Tempe, they could make a run at a bowl game. But I think they finish with five victories. Book it now (+106).

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