Colorado football: What can we expect in year two of Deion Sanders?

Nov 25, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders on the field
Nov 25, 2023; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders on the field / Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

Year one of Deion Sanders was a wild ride. Colorado football started off red-hot, winning at TCU which shocked the college football world. The Horned Frogs were ranked and coming off a national runner-up season while Colorado had won a single game the year prior.

But that was the Prime effect.

Things fizzled out as the season progressed and there was some drama with Sean Lewis being demoted from offensive coordinator midway through the season. It felt like weird timing considering the offense was not the team's problem.

The Buffaloes started the year 3-0 and jumped into the rankings after beating TCU, Colorado State, and Nebraska, but they suffered setback after setback, falling to 4-8 to finish the season. Yes, that means they won just one game after Sept. 16. It felt like 2022 Colorado all over again.

But there were signs of life. The Buffaloes beat Arizona State, nearly upset USC, fell to Stanford in a crazy double-overtime thriller, lost by a touchdown to No. 16 Oregon State, lost by a field goal to No. 21 Arizona, and then closed the season with a six-point road loss to Utah.

OK, so this wasn't quite like 2022 Colorado, but the failure to close out games was a problem and it was the difference between 4-8 and potentially 7-5 or even 8-4 at the very best.

Now that Colorado has a year of Deion under its belt and he's also grown accustomed to the program and brought his own culture, what can we expect in year two with Travis Hunter and Shedeur Sanders back to lead the way in the Big 12?

Well, just like last year, the roster is going to look almost completely different with 24 incoming transfers and a lot of high-impact guys. In top of that, Colorado has the No. 22 recruiting class coming in, according to 247Sports, although it's on the smaller end with just six players signing their letters of intent. Talent is coming in to help out.

All of it depends on the schedule and if Colorado has six-plus games that it can legitimately win.

The Buffaloes start the season with a win against North Dakota and I can see them going on the road to beat Colorado State a couple of games later, but the Nebraska game will be a toss-up on the road (I'll give Colorado a win here). Then they take on Baylor at home and then go to UCF. I say they split those games. And then they host Kansas State before going to Arizona which is going through a major coaching transition before hosting Cincinnati ahead of a bye week.

Those first two months should yield a 5-3 record, at worst.

Is there one win left on the slate in November? The Buffaloes have a road game against Texas Tech (potential loss), a home game against Utah (will be close), a road game against Kansas (likely loss), and then they come back home to face Oklahoma State (I'll throw them a win here).

So while year two probably won't be the resounding success that Deion Sanders and Colorado football fans are hoping for, a bowl berth is likely.

I'd be shocked if the Buffaloes were worse than 6-6 in 2024.