Yogi Roth explains why Colorado is one of Pac-12's most intriguing teams in 2023
Yogi Roth knows the eyeballs in 2023 will come to Colorado because of Deion Sanders. Coach Prime makes the Buffaloes a destination of sorts almost overnight.
But the Pac-12 Network insider isn’t fascinated by Colorado just because of Sanders.
CU went 1-11 in 2022. The run defense was as poor as any in the country. The pass game struggled mightily to move the football and keep defenses honest.
So Sanders took over and radically overhauled the roster. CU has added more than 40 scholarship newcomers to the roster in two months. The blueprint for an immediate turnaround was provided this past season by USC coach Lincoln Riley, but even Riley didn’t oversee a roster overhaul quite like the one Sanders is shepherding in.
USC’s 2022 class had eight high school enrollees and 20 transfers.
CU’s 2023 class has 18 high school signees and 23 transfers.
“It’s such a different world,” Roth said on the Pac-12 Network Wednesday during the league’s schedule reveal. “What would we have said about USC at 4-8 years ago? Would you have said, yeah, they’re gonna go to the title game and be on the doorstep of the CFP? Like, I think you have to talk about it differently (now).
“I still believe it takes about 18 months to instill a culture. Now, the good thing for Coach Prime is he’s bringing players from the previous culture that can help with that. Guys will have to buy in. We saw it at USC, we saw it at UW. Immediate buy-in. You go 4-8 into incredible finishes for both of those teams.”
All aboard the Coach Prime train! 🚂@YogiRoth details the realistic expectation for @CUBuffsFootball in year one under @DeionSanders. pic.twitter.com/Tzsflvux29
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) January 18, 2023
If the Buffs want to reach a bowl game, it’ll take an immediate and major turnaround. The season opens on the road against a team that just made it to the College Football Playoff National Championship game. Then CU faces Nebraska in a rivalry game that saw Folsom Field bleed a little too much red last time around.
Oregon and USC also take on the Buffs before the calendar flips to October.
Colorado will be tested.
“I’d love to see (Colorado) get back to a bowl game,” Roth said. “I’d love to see them get a couple wins early on in this season. But, again, we are totally flying blind here because we don’t know what this is going to look like. We know the style of offense and defense based on what the previous coordinators have done, but we don’t know what these players look like. There’s such intrigue in this league, and Colorado’s at the top of that list.”