Oct 28, 2023; Pasadena, California, USA; Colorado Buffaloes head coach Deion Sanders enters the field before the game against the UCLA Bruins at Rose Bowl. UCLA defeated Colorado 28-16. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

It was only a matter of time.

After Deion Sanders took the college football world by storm with a 3-0 start at Colorado this season, many figured he would be the next head coach linked to the sport’s biggest job vacancies. And after Texas A&M fired Jimbo Fisher on Sunday, that’s exactly what happened, with ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith calling for Prime Time in College Station.

“Deion Sanders in the SEC with that vault they have available to them, with them hogs that he could recruit — because he doesn’t have them at Colorado and he ain’t gonna get them,” Smith said while invading ESPN’s Get Up on Monday morning. “I don’t think they’ll do it. Texas A&M, Prime Time Deion Sanders in the SEC, that needs to happen.”

For what it’s worth, Sanders does have ties to Texas dating back to his days starring on the Dallas Cowboys. And the Lone Star State is also where he primarily resided during his post-playing days and housed his controversial Prime Prep Academy.

But while the idea of the Hall of Fame cornerback using Colorado as a stepping stone — just as he did during to his former employer, Jackson State — is hardly farfetched, it would nevertheless be surprising to see him bolt from Boulder after just one season. While his reported $15 million contract buyout is certainly viable — especially for a school with pockets as deep as Texas A&M’s — Sanders has already publicly stated that his sons, quarterback Shedeur Sanders and defensive back Shilo Sanders, will be returning to the Buffaloes in 2024.

Not only that, but Colorado two-way star Travis Hunter is only currently a sophomore, meaning he’s also slated to be back in Boulder in 2024. With Hunter and Shedeur Sanders having already transferred from Jackson State to join Coach Prime at Colorado, it’s highly unlikely either would receive the waiver necessary to play immediately following another potential transfer to Texas A&M (as a graduate student, Shilo could transfer without penalty).

Add it all up and it certainly seems more likely that Coach Prime will attempt to build on his first year with the Buffaloes, who are set to leave the Pac-12 for the Big 12 next season. While Colorado is currently 4-6 and 1-6 in conference play, it’s not crazy to think that with another year of recruiting and the returns of Shedeur Sanders and Hunter, the Buffaloes could be a contender in the Texas and Oklahoma-less Big 12.

And if that happens, who knows what opportunities might be available to the 56-year-old Sanders. Maybe there will be an even more high-profile head coaching job in the SEC than Texas A&M’s that opens up.

[Get Up]

About Ben Axelrod

Ben Axelrod is a veteran of the sports media landscape, having most recently worked for NBC's Cleveland affiliate, WKYC. Prior to his time in Cleveland, he covered Ohio State football and the Big Ten for outlets including Cox Media Group, Bleacher Report, Scout and Rivals.