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Culture State of the Union: Is Deion Sanders creating the blueprint for how struggling college football programs can succeed in this new era? What is happening in Boulder, Colorado? Colorado Buffaloes Head Coach Deion Sanders tried to tell us time and time again: “We comin.’” Now, as Coach Prime told his players before Saturday’s road

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State of the Union: Is Deion Sanders creating the blueprint for the way struggling school soccer packages can succeed on this new period?

Colorado v TCU

What is going on in Boulder, Colorado? Colorado Buffaloes Head Coach Deion Sanders tried to inform us time and time once more: “We comin.’” Now, as Coach Prime advised his gamers earlier than Saturday’s street sport towards No. 17 TCU, “We right here.”

On Saturday, the Buffs went on to beat the Horned Frogs in a 45-42 shootout. The Buffs got here into Fort Value greater than 20-point canine. It was one of the best sport I’ve seen Colorado play that I can keep in mind—and my father went to Colorado, so I’ve seen many video games in my life. Most have been double digit losses.

Oh, how a single offseason adjustments issues. Final 12 months, Colorado went 1-11 and was fairly probably the worst FBS crew within the nation; TCU performed within the nationwide championship sport. 

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In December of 2022, Colorado introduced on Sanders and signed a large five-year $29 million deal. Athletic Director Rick George, who was seen in tears after the Buffs beat TCU, admitted on the time that Colorado didn’t have the cash to pay Deion, however he’d make it work come hell or excessive water. Briefly order, the Buffs raised $28 million.

Sanders, employed from his position as head coach of the HBCU Jackson State College, told his new gamers at Colorado, “I’m comin,’” and “I’m bringing my very own baggage with me, and it’s Louis”—in reference to the gamers he can be bringing with him to Colorado from Jackson State due to the switch portal and different guidelines which have allowed extra mobility for faculty soccer gamers. 

Sanders was true to his phrase. His son, quarterback Shedeur Sanders who adopted his father from Jackson State, broke the report for single sport passing yards in his debut with the Buffs. He threw for 510 yards and 4 touchdowns with a completion share of over 80 p.c. Travis Hunter, one other Jackson State switch, racked up 119 receiving yards at broad receiver and had essential cross breakups and a diving interception on the objective line whereas enjoying cornerback. Sure, Hunter performed each methods—over 100 snaps whole. A two-way participant making a huge effect at nook and broad receiver? The place have I heard this one earlier than?

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In December 2022, he additionally advised his new gamers that not all of them can be on the crew come the beginning of the 2023-24 season. He saved his phrase right here, too. Solely ten gamers who have been on scholarship earlier than Sanders’ tenure are nonetheless on the crew (the gamers who had scholarships and have been lower have been in a position to preserve their educational scholarships). He added 57 transfers and stroll ons and one other 56 newcomers. In whole, he’s minted 68 new scholarships. It’s the most important roster overhaul in school soccer historical past.

Thus far, the gamble has paid off—although Sanders would most likely by no means say it was a raffle however a assure. This Saturday, Colorado hosts Nebraska at Folsom Discipline in Boulder, the centennial anniversary of some of the historic venues in all of faculty soccer. Tickets are going for lots of if not hundreds of {dollars} to see the Buffs tackle their largest rival within the Cornhuskers.

I’ve plenty of blended feelings about school soccer. I respect participant mobility and NIL—inside cause, after all. With that, nonetheless, has come the predictable focus that plagues many industries all through our financial system. My PAC-12 is useless. My California Golden Bears will quickly be within the ACC (the considered Cal being related to something “Atlantic” makes my pores and skin crawl). But, Coach Prime is likely to be displaying us a method for packages which have struggled lately to achieve this new school soccer panorama. If his blueprint works, Sanders might be saving not simply Colorado, however school soccer.

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