Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffalos are lost at sea as the college football season begins to wind down. After a tantalizing start to the year where it seemed that the Buffalos might become real contenders with their star-studded class of transfer athletes and high-profile recruits, the team is beginning to show the flaws that many pundits claimed it would suffer for later in the year.
The Buffalos lost to Washington State this weekend as they move their losing streak to five games after the hot start to the year. Quarterback and son of the head coach, Shedeur Sanders, struggled all night long on his way to throwing for under 100 yards and only completing 6 out of his 10 passes and recording one passing touchdown.
According to coach Deion Sanders, this performance from his team was unacceptable. Sanders said after the game, “We’re falling short of what we’re capable of; that’s the part of this that’s tough to digest. We’ve got high expectations here, so this is tremendously disappointing.”
Tremendously disappointing is exactly the right way to describe the season that the team is having. As morale has fallen, so has the record of a squad that once looked like it had a chance to find its first bowl game in a long time. The Colorado fanbase felt, for a moment, that the program had been resurrected by the NFL Hall of Famer.
Now, with his team heading home empty-handed on Friday, Sanders also had this to say about the opposing teams’ will to win. “They came to play from start to finish. They executed early, they executed often, they came to play. And with Shedeur out on top of that, it was tough.”
Deion has not been a stranger to calling out players who have bad performances on the field, and that is no different this time. He even went so far as to bring up his son’s name, explaining that he needs to lead better and execute better if this group is going to have high hopes for a better end to the season.
In some ways, this season will be a success for Colorado regardless of the record at the end of the year. There are more eyes on this program than in the entire history of the school. With fans tuning in to watch the Buffalos play, even during a downtrodden losing streak, the future of the program is being bolstered with every game.
For Sanders, however, this was not the goal that he envisioned when he up and left Jackson State to come to the PAC-12. Sanders is a competitor at heart, and he is there to win. It is easy to see in the way that he handles press conferences that the losses the team has experienced are weighing heavily on him this season.
For the players on the squad, this year has been invaluable in giving them exposure to fans and the scouts at the NFL level. Sanders may very well have changed the blueprint for college football in the way that he has conducted operations as the head coach of Colorado this season.
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