- Coach Prime puts the FBS football world on notice with Colorado upset of TCU
Coach Prime puts the FBS football world on notice with Colorado upset of TCU
If you’re a huge and informed football fan, that means you probably either love or hate Deion Sanders, the Hall of Fame NFL cornerback and multiple-sport athlete who was a lightning-rod figure and pop icon in the 1990s.
With self-nicknames, including Primtime and Neon Deion, Sanders became an easy target for fan and media abuse during his legendary athletic career. But you couldn’t deny Sanders’s abilities, especially as a cornerback. Sure, Sanders remarkably managed to carve out a notable baseball career while also playing cornerback at a Hall of Fame level, once even appearing in the NLCS just hours after playing in an NFL game. Sanders also played his share of receiver during his NFL career that began in the 80s and ended in the 21st century, but cornerback was where Neon Deion truly shined.
Sanders’s name is one of the first to come up when discussing the NFL’s all-time greats at the cornerback position. Love him or hate him, there is no denying Sanders’s place in NFL lore.
What about the annals of college football head coaching?
It remains to be seen if Sanders will ever be up there with the sport’s greatest names, but his career as an FBS head coach got off to a tremendous start when his Colorado Buffaloes marched into Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday and upset the 17th ranked TCU Horned Frogs, 45-42.
Maybe you didn’t know that Sanders had spent the previous three seasons as the head coach of Jackson State, an FCS school in Jackson, Mississippi. Sanders quickly turned around the struggling Jackson State program, as the Tigers went a combined 27-6 and won the SWAC championship in both 2021 and 2022.
But could Coach Prime (that’s what he prefers to be called, not surprisingly) have similar success at the FBS (Division I) level?
Sanders was named the new head coach of Colorado last December and was more than dismissive and even a little disrespectful while addressing his roster of players that just completed a 1-11 season.
The message was clear from the start: If you’re not good enough, you might as well go play somewhere else.
Many did not agree with Sanders’s style, and only 10 scholarship players from a year ago came back for the 2023 season, while 68 new scholarships were handed out.
Some say Sanders took advantage of the NCAA’s new transfer portal, but others say he played within the rules.
And did you know that Sanders has a son, Shedeur, who played quarterback for him at Jackson State and followed him to Colorado? The younger Sanders showed up and showed out against the Horned Frogs on Saturday, completing 38 of 47 passes for 510 yards and four touchdowns.
The elder Sanders, who has been dealing with health issues that have led to the amputation of some of his toes, still has a ways to go to reach the level of some of the all-time great head coaches in the history of college football.
But he has yet to prove that he can’t be a success at both the FCS and, so far, the FBS level.
“We told you we coming,” was Sanders’s message to the fans and media after his team’s upset win on Saturday.
Maybe it’s time everyone starts taking head coach Deion Sanders seriously.