Big 12 Gives Colorado, Deion Sanders ‘Tremendous Benefits’

Jul 28, 2023, 12:16 PM | Updated: 12:53 pm

SALT LAKE CITY – Getting Colorado back to the Big 12 Conference means the league inherits one of college football’s stars, Coach Prime Deion Sanders.

Sanders hasn’t coached a game yet for the Buffs. He turned around Jackson State overnight, making them an FCS power for the past three seasons. Now he will look to do the same on the field at Colorado.

Off the field, Coach Prime has already made his impact felt on the Buffs and college football at large.

Deion Sanders provided the “Prime Effect”

The Big 12, led by Brett Yormark, who loves brands, was aware of Coach Prime and his impact on the sport. Colorado athletic director Rick George recognizes that Sanders’ brand played a role.

“We’ve certainly talked about the ‘Prime Effect’ a lot. And certainly, him becoming our head football coach,” said George after the Big 12 move. “If you look at our social media accounts, and all of the different areas that you can measure on the impact that he’s had, again, I’m certain that a 1-11 team that has struggled like we have, with him being involved, was significant.”

Moving from the Pac-12 to the Big 12 beginning in 2024 reunites Colorado with old Big Eight rivals such as Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Iowa State. It also gets Colorado into parts of the country where Coach Prime has made top priorities in his recruiting efforts.

“I will tell you there are tremendous benefits for being in the Big 12 for the direction that Coach Prime is going as it relates to recruiting. Being able to play in Orlando against UCF, where he’s recruited very heavily. The state of Texas has always been a priority for us, and now [we’re] playing four teams in that area.”

Seven of Colorado’s eight commits in the 2024 recruiting class are from the central and eastern time zones.

“You look at Houston, and Houston has always been a favorable market for us in recruiting. Think back to Alfred Williams, Kanavis McGee, and Chris Hudson, and some of those guys. That area, the fifth largest market in the country, also was a factor in that decision.”

Stability for Colorado played a large role

Along with the recruiting benefits, George and Colorado Chancellor Phil DiStefano cited athletic and academic stability as a reason for the move.

“It really came down to, as we looked at this, we looked at the stability we could get in the Big 12,” George said. “And the time slot and the partners that they have in the media area. That was a significant factor for us as we made this decision.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’scoverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on Twitter and Threads: @Mitch_Harper.

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Big 12 Gives Colorado, Deion Sanders ‘Tremendous Benefits’