The Craze Out in Boulder

by Ralf Shockey ’25 on November 12, 2023


Colorado is known for its Rocky Mountains, but soon enough, if not already, the Pacific Northwest state will be known for Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes. Although Colorado got a reality check from Oregon on Saturday afternoon after being defeated 42–6, this game does not reflect everything Sanders has done for the Colorado program thus far. Last season, before Sanders took over, Colorado only had one win. So far this season, the Buffaloes are already 3–1 and have already been ranked as high as No. 19 in the country.

You may now find yourself asking: How did this happen? Or why, all of a sudden, is Colorado, out of all teams, the talk of the college football world? Two reasons: Deion Sanders and authenticity: Deion Sanders and authenticity. Simply put, Sanders is himself, which is why all of his players have bought into what he is preaching and why many college football fans have hopped on the Colorado bandwagon this season. Between his sunglasses, cowboy hat, and gold chain, Sanders’ swagger and authenticity are the biggest reasons why his players have trusted him. While Sanders may be 56 years old, there is no other head coach who is more relatable to his players than Sanders. When Sanders first took the job in December, he made this trait known early on during his first speech to the team, telling CU players that they should enter the transfer portal because “I’m bringing my own luggage with me, and it’s Louis [Vuitton], OK?”

One piece of that luggage has been Travis Hunter, the five-star two-way defensive back and wide receiver who chose Sanders and Colorado over schools such as Georgia, Alabama, and Michigan. Hunter was the No. 1 player in the country and in his respective recruiting class. Another recruit has been his own son, Shedeur Sanders, who many thought would not be able to play quarterback at a high level in a big-time school like Colorado compared to Jackson State where both Shedeur and Deion were previously. Both have arguably looked like the best two players at their respective positions and are Heisman Trophy worthy candidates. So far, Sanders’ luggage has certainly looked like Louis Vuitton.

Colorado has not only sold out both of their home football games so far this season but had “106 percent of capacity,” which has led CU “fielding questions about how that’s possible and if the school is over-selling tickets,” according to Brian Howell of the Boulder DAILY CAMERA. Folsom Field’s capacity is listed at 50,183, but CU had 53,241 at the Sept. 9 game against Nebraska and 53,141 for last Saturday’s game against Colorado State. Additionally, CU has had 25.3 million viewers for its three games, by far the most in the country. All three games rank among the top five most-watched games of the season. Just like a rocky mountain, Sanders and Colorado are slowly but surely climbing to the top of it. Sanders and the team will look to bounce back this Saturday when taking on reigning Heisman trophy winner Caleb Williams and the No. 8 ranked USC Trojans in Boulder.