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When Smackdown announcer Corey Graves read a promo calling Saturday’s TCU-Colorado game “the biggest season opener we’ve seen in years” we all had a laugh. It seemed preposterous at the time – a one win team battling a Top 20 team who, in spite of making it to the title game last year, was predicted to fall back to earth in 2023. This was just more classic Fox Sports hyperbole that was just slightly detached from reality.
The only one laughing now is Fox, who cashed in on the absurd hype train around Deion Sanders and the Buffaloes with an unbelievably exciting game, new stars being unveiled on national television, and the biggest story in the sport on their airwaves.
Fox made a risky bet by putting Colorado on in back-to-back weeks to start the season in their premier Big Noon Saturday window. Colorado could have fallen flat and the size of Sanders’ task in rebuilding could have been laid bare for the world to see. A more optimistic viewpoint might have held that there was some hope for Colorado to lose at TCU but give a good accounting of themselves. After all, Colorado was a three-touchdown underdog on Saturday. It would have been understandable if Sanders, with an entirely new roster, needed some time to build up his program.
Instead, what fans got to see was a high-powered offense featuring Shedeur Sanders putting up over 500 yards through the air and a two-way superstar in Travis Hunter making spectacular plays on offense and defense. Beyond their two stars, the Buffaloes looked like they had playmakers all over the field. This was a team performance that stole the show in Week 1 in college football and even Sanders’ biggest doubters had to appreciate the effort all around.
It took just one week for Colorado to have two Heisman hopefuls, fulfill all the offseason intrigue and interest, and become one of the most fun teams to watch in the entire country. The Colorado Buffaloes are suddenly must-see television. Fox, and other networks, will be hoping they can keep up the momentum going all season long.