Saturday marks a historic moment with the Deion Sanders era getting underway for Colorado. The Buffaloes begin the season on the road with a trip to No. 17 TCU at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. Sanders was the talk of college football all offseason. Coach Prime added more than 70 players to his roster in what is far and away the most comprehensive one-year transformation in college football history. However, the Buffs still face some major holes on the roster after a 1-11 campaign a year ago.
The Horned Frogs earned a trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship in Sonny Dykes' first season but are replacing several key pieces from that run. Eight players were selected in the 2023 NFL Draft, including first-round receiver Quentin Johnston. Now, Chandler Morris takes over for Heisman Trophy finalist Max Duggan at quarterback.
While TCU and Colorado will share Big 12 membership in 2024, the two institutions never played until the Horned Frogs beat the Buffaloes 38-13 in 2022. Morris threw 20 passes for 11 yards before suffering a major injury in the win.
How to watch Colorado vs. TCU live
Date: Saturday, Sept. 2 | Time: 12 p.m. ET
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium -- Fort Worth, Texas
TV: Fox | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
Colorado vs. TCU: Need to know
Roster transformation at Colorado: Sanders' one-year roster flip is legitimately unprecedented, especially at this level. Colorado added 51 transfers, including 27 from the power conference ranks and 10 from Sanders' previous stop at Jackson State. Only four position players are projected to be returning players from the 2022 roster, most notably being safety Trevor Woods. Sanders is betting that talent will ultimately win out and bring positive results, but no one has ever tried a strategy this aggressive.
Key transfers at TCU: After losing several key players to the NFL, Dykes looked to the transfer portal and found answers in football's signature program. Three key players joined TCU from Alabama: Receiver JoJo Earle, running back Trey Sanders and tackle Tommy Brockermyer. Additionally, tight end Jack Bech joined the mix from LSU, while receiver Dylan Wright came from Minnesota after starting his career at Texas A&M. Position battles are open at several spots, but transfers should add some early depth to a talented roster.
Big 12 future: TCU and Colorado will both be members of the Big 12 after the winds of conference realignment brought the Buffaloes back home. This matchup could quickly set the tone in the recruiting battleground state of Texas. The Buffaloes historically thrived recruiting Texas as Big 12 members, and Sanders hopes to extend his recruiting chops into the state where he played and coached for much of his career. TCU has emerged as potentially the top recruiter in the Big 12 under Dykes. Plenty of recruits will be watching as this new rivalry kicks off.
Colorado vs. TCU prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
Colorado made plenty of headlines this offseason, but the Buffs are not ready for prime time. Opening the season on the road against a team and staff that made a national title game is far too large a gap to make up through transfers. Expect some star-studded plays from fantastic individual talents, but Colorado does not have the depth to keep up with a program of TCU's stature in Week 1. Prediction: TCU -20.5
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