Expectations up in the air in Colorado

Colorado two-way player Travis Hunter (12) makes a reception during the CU Black and Gold Spring Game at Folsom Field in Boulder, CO on Saturday April 22, 22023. "Offense" defeated "Defense" by a score of 39 to 27. (Photo by Laura Domingue/fi360 News).

The Colorado Buffaloes are entering a wild card type of year. After going 1-11 for the 2022 season, experts are unsure where the team is heading this season because most of the team and the entire head coaching staff is new this season.

Colorado added coach Deon Sanders as the new head coach last year with a five-year, $29.5 million deal which will earn him $5.5 million in the first year.

QB Shedeur Sanders and cornerback Travis Hunter at PAC-12 Media Day 2023. Photo by Jevone Moore

Since taking over Sanders has almost completely changed the roster. Well over 80% of Colorado’s 2022 roster moved on which includes 52 scholarship players who have entered the transfer portal, 43 since the conclusion of the spring game in April.

On the flip side, Colorado has added more than 35 players since last December. Several players added by Sanders followed him from Jackson State where Sanders previously coached, including cornerback Travis Hunter and quarterback Shedeur Sanders (his son).

Other notable players new to Colorado includes Arkansas defensive lineman Jordan Domineck, who had 34 total tackles, 9.5 tackles for a loss and 7.5 last season, and Washington edge rusher Sav’ell Smalls, a former five-star recruit in the 2020 ESPN 300.

Sanders even flipped a transfer who had already committed to another school: Auburn receiver Tar’Varish Dawson Jr, who originally committed to Colorado. He changed his mind for the opportunity to play for Sanders.

Coach Prime talks to the press at Colorado’s media day at Dal Ward Athletic Center in Boulder, CO on Friday August 11, 2023 (Laura Domingue/ fi360 News)

The added talent to Colorado will help with their tough schedule this year in the highly competitive Pac-12, which begins on Sept. 2 at Texas Christian University, who ended last season with a 13-2 record. The team will then follow with their first home game against Nebraska, followed by Colorado St, Oregon and USC.

Sanders previously coached in the Southwestern Athletic Conference and ended last season with a 12-1 record. The coach’s overall record is 27-6. His changes in the off season reflect his winning attitude that has followed the coach since his hall of fame NFL career.

Overall, this is a new team with a new coach at Colorado, and it’s hard to tell what will happen, but it all begins on Sept. 2.