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Colorado Football tabbed as a team that can alter college football in 2023

Athlon Sports 3/24/2023 Kevin Borba
© Provided by Athlon Sports

The aura that surrounds Colorado's football program is unlike any other in the country following the hiring of Deion Sanders.

It's not often that a program that has consistently been a college football bottom dweller rises to the top in not only popularity amongst fans, but also amongst players. Coach Prime has attracted elite talent to Boulder to join him on his quest to revive the once ultra-competitive program, with names like former No. 1 overall recruit Travis Hunter and former four-star quarterback Shedeur Sanders headlining the over 40 new players on the roster. 

Aside from all of the talent that Sanders has brought in personnel wise, he also assembled an all-star staff that have both elite recruiting chops but have experienced success in college football. This combination of talent on the roster and the staff along with the newly found energy in Boulder has many people around college football viewing the Buffs in a whole different light compared to a year ago.

While their win projections have ranged everywhere from some bettors calling for a championship and analysts calling for a sub .500 season, one thing is for certain, and that is the fact that the Buffs have a chance to ruin someone else's season. Colorado has four, maybe even five teams with legitimate College Football Playoff aspirations, and if the Buffs are able to turn things around quicker than the sub. 500 crowd thinks they will, Colorado can be on the right end of a major upset. Something 247Sports foresees happening, as they named Colorado as one of the 13 teams in college football that can alter the season.

One of the aforementioned teams with championship aspirations is USC, who were two better defensive performances away from winning the Pac-12 and making the College Football Playoff. The Trojans are returning a ton of fire power headlined by arguably the sport's best quarterback in Caleb Williams, and while it is only year two of the Lincoln Riley experience, the Trojans have inherited the criticism of Riley-led defenses that he brought over from Oklahoma. All of this to say, that the pressure on Riley to finally get over the hump is on. 

However, unfortunately for USC fans, their Week 5 matchup in Boulder is one that could derail their season according to 247Sports. Here is why Colorado has a legitimate chance at running USC's hopes and dreams according to Raymond Lucas Jr.:

Last year USC sometimes played down to its competition before finding a spark and pulling through late. USC is better than Colorado by a comfortable margin, but it can not afford to let the Buffaloes land a few confidence-sparking haymakers. Colorado isn't expected to win many games in 2023, but that's merely due to depth, not star power. Sometimes the latter is all you need to carry you toward a massive upset. USC should win this game, but things tend to get crazy on the west coast, especially after dark.

Even as the roster currently stands, depth could be an issue, but programs across the country better hope that Sanders and company don't go big game hunting when the transfer portal window opens up again. Their depth has been the only criticism of the roster thus far, and if it can be further addressed, more teams on their schedule might end up like Lucas foresees USC will; the wrong side of a Coach Prime led upset.

Calling all Buffs fans! Colorado on Athlon is your new home for all things Colorado Buffaloes athletics, recruiting and much more. Following along on social media via @BuffsonAthlon on Twitter, Facebook at Colorado on Athlon, as well as the brand new Locked on Buffs podcast.

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