Deion Sanders’ first season in Boulder is officially a losing one. Washington State blasted Colorado on Friday night, 56-14, with quarterback Shedeur Sanders leaving the game in the first half following several substantial hits. Backup Ryan Staub was miserable in relief while Cam Ward and Cougar fans celebrated what could be the university’s final Pac-12 game in Pullman.
It was Colorado’s fifth loss in a row, seventh in eight tries, and guarantees no bowl game. (That is unless they beat Utah and get a 5-7 exemption because there are not enough 6-6 teams.) The last time CU won a game was against Arizona State on Oct. 7, and for context, USC was undefeated, no one had heard the name Connor Stalions, and Jimbo Fisher was still employed.
While the Pac-12 is either 1A, or 1B, in this season’s conference pecking order, Washington State came into Friday with the same record as Colorado (4-6), and a longer losing streak.
The last time Washington State scored this many points it was a 64-piece in Week 3 against Northern Colorado, but we know the Buff defense is bull junk. (Fun fact: The Cougs are averaging nearly 57 points against schools from the Centennial State this season as they also hung 50 on CSU. So I guess bet Wazzu big if they make a bowl game and draw Air Force.)
Friday would be Sanders’ worst loss of the season if not for that 29-0 collapse against now 3-7 Stanford. The Buffs’ only win against a school .500 or better was the 36-14 win over Nebraska, who, at 5-5 with games against Wisconsin and Iowa remaining, will likely finish in the red themselves.
Deion never had a backup plan for Shedeur nor developed balance by any definition of the word, but pundits are so in love with Coach Prime that they’re giving him a pass, and hoping he goes somewhere with more resources. Sanders has already been asked about the Texas A&M job, and shot that down, because it’s as toxic of a gig (heh) as there is in college football. Also, his son would literally die if the strategy going forward is to enable Shedeur like Mike D’Antoni did James Harden, but in the SEC.
Wazzu tallied five sacks of Colorado QBs, pushing the Buffs’ season total to an FBS-leading 54 allowed. That’s inexcusable, and it finally became unsustainable when Shedeur mercifully left with an arm injury in the first half. I’m not sure how many injections the young quarterback has had this season, but I’ve watched games with at least two of them.
For a team that was careening in the wrong direction, the needles felt especially unnecessary. This year was always going to be about rebuilding considering the extensive overhaul, but what about this finish is promising? You know what kind of coaches switch offensive coordinators midseason? Panicking coaches.
A move to the Big 12 should help CU going forward, but there are three Pac-12 teams tagging along, and one is Utah, who should be the betting favorite (or close) to win that conference next season. So, yeah, schedule those Big Noon and College Gameday visits to Boulder early once again, because there are not a lot of gimmes in 2024 either.