DENVER (KDVR) — Just calling the buzz around the University of Colorado Boulder football team “hype” feels like an understatement at this point.
It seems like all eyes are on the Buffaloes as the team prepares to start conference play later this month.
Whether you’re relatively new to the area or just want to be able to hold a conversation with a diehard Buffs fan, FOX31 has four things new fans might want to know about.
1. Coach Prime
Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders has completely overhauled the program since being hired by CU in 2022, with 90 new players joining the roster, according to The Associated Press.
Sanders was hired on the heels of a 1-11 season for the Buffs. After just two weeks of play at CU, he has already broken the previous season’s record with two back-to-back wins.
Previously, Sanders coached the Jackson State University Tigers from 2020 to 2022. He led the Jackson, Mississippi, team to two consecutive Celebration Bowl appearances.
Before he became “Coach Prime,” he was known as “Prime Time.” The two-time Super Bowl winner played 14 seasons in the NFL and nine seasons in the MLB. Sanders is actually the only athlete ever to play in the Super Bowl and the World Series.
2. Buffs players to watch
The most talked about player on the field by far is quarterback Shedeur Sanders. Shedeur is a Jackson State transfer and the son of coach Deion Sanders.
In just his first game, against Texas Christian University, Shedeur Sanders broke a school record by throwing 510 passing yards, according to the AP.
Another notable player is another Jackson State transfer, Travis Hunter. Hunter plays for both the defense and the offense, as a cornerback and receiver, respectively.
Both players received Pac-12 player of the week awards after the team’s win against TCU.
Running back Dylan Edwards, a freshman, was also a Pac-12 award recipient after that game, winning freshman of the week.
3. Tough matchups this season
As of Sept. 10, eight of the 12 teams in the Pac-12 conference were ranked in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, which is currently more than any other conference.
This included the University of Southern California, the University of Washington, the University of Utah, the University of Oregon and Oregon State University. All of these teams ranked higher than the Buffs, who rose to No. 18 after a home win against the University of Nebraska.
The No. 8 Washington Huskies are the only team on the list that the Buffs are not slated to play during the upcoming regular season.
CU will see two potentially tough matchups right out the gate, with the team’s first conference game scheduled to be against the No. 13 Oregon Ducks on Sept. 23. The week after that, the team will face the No. 5 USC Trojans.
The back end of the team’s schedule might also prove a challenge to the team, with games against No. 23 Washington State and the No. 12 Utah Utes in the latter half of November.
4. The years ahead
While CU may be a current member of the Pac-12, that won’t be the case for long.
CU announced in late July that it will depart the Pac-12 and return to the Big 12 conference, starting with the 2024-25 season.
CU was actually part of the Big 12 when it began back in 1996. The team stayed with the conference until 2011, when it made the move to the Pac-12.
Three other Pac-12 teams are also moving to the Big 12 next year: Arizona State University, the University of Arizona and Buffs rival University of Utah.