Four Reasons Coach Prime’s Critics Got It Wrong

Deion Sanders certainly was criticized heavily for leaving Jackson State and the way he handled matters when he took over as the head coach at Colorado. It now appears that the criticism was not justified.

Why Coach Prime’s Critics Got it Wrong

The Facts

In the season before Deion Sanders arrived to take over the Colorado Buffaloes football team, their record was 1-11. It’s even worse than that. The Buffaloes were outscored by almost 30 points per game and were outgained by an average of 228 yards per game. Yet his critics want to point out how he left Jackson State.

What Sanders said was that he was concerned about the stability of his assistant coaches and staff. He doesn’t need the money but he knows that assistant coaches and staff members don’t get paid much at HBCUs. Hopefully, that will change but it hasn’t so far. Colorado has the resources to pay his assistants a lot more than Jackson State could.

His critics also questioned the number of departures and incoming players. When he arrived, Colorado had 83 players on scholarship. Of those, 46 entered the transfer portal and only 20 remain. Of course, to replace them he had to bring in an infusion of players from other programs.

Sanders didn’t create the new transfer portal guidelines. All he did was take advantage of the rules better than almost anyone else did. Given the disaster he inherited, it’s fair to ask. What else was he supposed to do?

And just this week, Colorado State head football coach Jay Norvell criticized Sanders for wearing a hat and sunglasses to a press conference. With all of the momentum on Colorado’s side heading into this Saturday night’s matchup between the in-state rivals, this was not only petty and unnecessary but did Sanders’ team really need any additional incentive? Talk about poking the bear; or in this case, the Buffalo. 

The Strategy

This rarely ever gets discussed but it’s almost impossible to quickly turn around a defense that gave up over 44 points per game the previous season.

What can be done, what has been done before, and what Sanders has done is quickly put together a prolific offense. The Buffaloes have averaged 40.5 points per game in their first two games and there is no reason to believe they will slow down against Colorado State.

Think about how difficult it would be to put together a top-flight defense overnight and put it up against the talent and experience of all the quarterbacks in the PAC-12. Caleb Williams, Michael Penix, Jr., Bo Nix, Cameron Ward, Cameron Rising, D.J. Uiagalelei, Jayden De Laura anyone?

Does anyone think came to Boulder to get better slowly or have a slightly improved defense and lose 30-14 most of the time? Let’s not forget the schedule. The top quarterbacks that were referenced earlier are all on the Buffaloes schedule this season. The bottom line is they will need to put up points and so far so good. 

Nepotism, Really?

While there weren’t loud rumblings about Coach Prime bringing his son with him from Jackson State to play quarterback, there were some whispers about whether he was showing favoritism toward his son who had only played at the FCS level previously.

Well, don’t look now but Shedeur Sanders has completed over 77% of his passes for over 900 yards with six touchdowns and zero interceptions so far. That is no fluke. Shedeur has quickly inserted himself into the Heisman conversation. Can he win it? It’s way too early to say but he’s now being talked about as a surefire NFL quarterback prospect. Yes, it’s only two games, however, that’s two very good games and it’s reasonable to expect this level of production will continue throughout the season. 

Bet Against Prime At Your Own Peril

Have people forgotten the things that he has accomplished in his sporting life? A perennial All-Pro cornerback for three NFL teams, a dangerous kick returner, and a standout baseball player who played both sports on the same day. Coach Prime has been called a lot of things over the years in part because of his consistent outward showing of confidence but one thing nobody can ever call him is dumb.

Did anyone really think that he would have taken on his most recent challenge if he didn’t know he would succeed? And if anyone still wants to criticize him be advised that he already has succeeded.

Main Image: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

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