This week, ESPN’s College GameDay is setting up shop in Boulder, Colo., for Prime University’s cakewalk contest against Colorado State. Colorado are 23-point favorites, but the Worldwide Leader needs a reason to hop onto the Deion bandwagon before it loses steam once the schedule toughens up. Even before the season, when expectations for the Buffaloes were more modest, Colorado State was one of the forecasted wins on Colorado’s final Pac-12 schedule.
Colorado State head coach Jay Norvell should use this opportunity to tout his program. Instead, during his weekly radio show on Wednesday night, Norvell took a transparent jab at the Colorado coach’s style and manners.
“I don’t care if they hear it in Boulder,” said Norvell. “I told them, I took my hat off, and I took my glasses off. I said when I talk to grown-ups, I take my hat off, and my glasses off. That’s what my mother taught me. [Colorado’s] not going to like us no matter what we say or do.”
Who is he targeting with this? 247Sports’ top etiquette school prospects? More importantly, it won’t win Norvell any brownie points from the teenage blue chip demographic, among which Deion is far more popular, and talking smack is Prime’s home turf. He’s vindictive, loud, and a verbal locomotive whose mouth won’t stop running. If anyone’s going to give him a comeuppance, it’ll be when he starts piping up against the big dogs. And when a shih tzu starts barking in his direction, you already know Sanders is going to use that as coal to burn.
Not only are Jay Norvell’s words bulletin-board material for a team expected to smoke them and that’s always digging for external content to stoke their fire internally, but he went after Sanders for corny, and trivial reasons.
A hat and sunglasses. Even if you agree with him, is that really where your focus should be? This is undisciplined messaging at best and obnoxious policing over social etiquette at its worst. Norvell may not care about challenging the fastest clapback king in the West, but his players certainly do. If I’m a Colorado State player today, we’re holding a players-only meeting to address our Group of Five conference coach setting us up by riling up a more talented, Pac-12 team before a primetime ESPN matchup. I’d rather run gassers at 4 a.m.
The best thing you could say about Colorado State football right now is that they’re currently a one-loss program. Unfortunately, that one-loss came in a 50-24 shellacking to Washington State two weeks ago. Norvell’s first season at Colorado State resulted in a 3-9 campaign.
Jay isn’t even the best Norvell. Seminole Mike has that claim on lock.
At times, Sanders is an unpaid comedian. And at others, his vindictiveness takes center stage. We’re talking about a coach who demanded fealty from reporters who doubted his program AFTER WEEK 1! He once moaned about not being referred to as “coach” by reporters because he’s owed the same professional respect as doctors. We saw it when he was a Braves outfielder pouring buckets of ice water on Tim McCarver during the Atlanta Braves’ NL Championship victory because the announcer criticized him for playing two professional sports in one day. Nature or nurture, he’s passed it down to the next generation as well. His son and starting quarterback Shadeur Sanders used vague comments Matt Rhule made months ago about Deion’s extreme roster turnover and turned that “disrespect” into the motivation behind their beatdown of the Nebraska Cornhuskers.
Eventually personalizing everything will lead to Deion Sanders’ surging program getting humbled against a college football behemoth, however, it won’t come against Colorado State.
Follow DJ Dunson on X: @cerebralsportex