BUFFS

Report: Deion Sanders in talks with CU Buffs about vacant coaching gig

Nov 21, 2022, 12:57 PM | Updated: 1:15 pm
Deion Sanders...
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

Remember the 1990s? Gas was 60 cents a gallon, Boyz II Men were on the radio, the Colorado Buffaloes were one of the best football programs in the country and Deion Sanders was staring in Super Bowls and World Series.

What-a-time.

What if two of those things joined forces?

Sanders is in talks with CU about becoming the next head coach of the Buffs, according to 24/7 Sports. The outlet detailed on Thursday locally and again on Monday nationally that Colorado is in pursuit of “Coach Prime.”

The current head coach at Jackson State has led the Tigers to an 11-0 record this season.

Because of his world-known name due to his incredible two-sport success—playing in the NFL for 14 seasons and MLB for nine—he’s helped revitalize Historically Black Colleges and Universities football. The FCS school has hosted gameday this season, while Under Armour is making tons of off one of their star endorsers. Sanders has made it well known he is not long for the FCS level and is seeking an FBS job.

Last year Sanders interviewed at TCU and Colorado State. The Rams couldn’t close the deal, but what if the Buffs do?

Colorado is 1-7 and fired head coach Karl Dorrell at the beginning of October. The once-great Buffaloes program has made it to just two bowls in the last 15 years and hasn’t won a postseason game since 2004. Outside of a few blips, CU hasn’t been relevant for an extended period since the turn of the century.

If Prime came to CU, he’d join the program at a very tumultuous time. The Pac-12 seems to be in disarray, with the two highest-profile schools, UCLA and USC, bolting for the Big Ten. Colorado has never truly been successful since leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-12 and have struggled to develop a recruiting pipeline. The Buffaloes have mainly gone from getting Texas kids to California ones.

“The Buffaloes might not fit Sanders’ recruiting footprint, but as a Pac-12 school they can offer the best chance for Sanders to pay his assistants well and build out the staff infrastructure he believes he needs (two items he doesn’t come close to satisfying at Jackson State),” 24/7 Sports wrote in their report. “With the resources Colorado could offer, Sanders has mapped out a plan to recruit nationally to Boulder.”

The Buffaloes could have more resources with Prime and Under Armor coming in to possibly change Colorado’s long-standing and good relationship with Nike. But for a long-time now, CU has had a lower-paid staff compared to their conference and have proven not to have the resources worthy of true relevance.

Jackson State plays for the SWAC title in a few weeks, and if they win will play in the Celebration Bowl for a second-straight season.

Hiring Prime would be an inspired move from Colorado, but it has to be asked, is it realistic, and why would Sanders make the massive jump to FBS with a school that has struggled so much for years? For better or worse, it’d be a lot more of a Buffs move to hire Bronco Mendenhall.

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