Deion Sanders Rips Late Kickoff Times, Can’t Wait For CU’s Pac-12 Exit

Oct 12, 2023, 3:07 PM


Head coach Deion Sanders of the Colorado Buffaloes watches as his team warms up prior to their spring game at Folsom Field on April 22, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

(Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

DENVER – Another person is upset with the kickoff times of the Colorado Buffaloes—this time it just so happens to be head coach Deion Sanders speaking up.

The CU Buffs have played only one of their six games at a reasonable time this season and with start times announced for Friday’s game and their matchup with Washington State—both in the 8 p.m. mountain time hour—this will hold true for at least the first eight games of the year. If you’re going to watch Prime’s Buffaloes, you’ll have to be up before sunrise or be at the stadium after midnight.

CU has been scheduled to play at 10 a.m. twice, the earliest kickoffs in recent memory, and once in Week 3 against Colorado State, an 8 p.m. start turned into an 8:21 p.m. kick that ended in overtime the next morning.

“Who makes these 8 o’clock games? Dumbest thing ever. Stupidest thing ever invented in life. Who wants to stay up until 8 o’clock for a darn game?” Sanders said Wednesday on Buffs PrimeTime. “What about the East Coast—do they even care about ratings? Is anyone watching it? What are we supposed to do with the kids all day until 8 o’clock? What are we supposed to do in the hotel?”

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The answer to Prime’s question is of course TV networks. All they care about is those on the couch not those in their giant studios we call stadiums. Whatever does ratings will play and the Pac-12 long ago made a deal with the devil to manipulate their kickoff times to fit into TV networks’ blocks. Friday’s 8 p.m. kickoff with Stanford is part of ESPN’s doubleheader with the first game going at 5 p.m. between Tulane and Memphis.

“Thank God we’re not going to be in this conference,” Sanders said on his radio show.

Colorado is part of the dissolution of the Pac-12, leaving for the Big 12 this summer. One of the issues that always plagued the conference was TV—from kickoff times to the distribution of the Pac-12 Network, there were simply too many issues. Maybe the main reason the Buffaloes make the switch is the more lucrative TV contract in the Big 12. For Colorado, they go back to their traditional conference but many others making the jump are doing so for the sole purpose of TV, placing LA schools in the same conference as New York schools.

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Apparently Coach Prime, a former TV analyst, is not too happy with the TV situation in college football as well as just about everyone else.

Deion Sanders may know better than anyone, that getting into a rhythm and routine is key as an athlete. Given Colorado has played football across all hours of the clock this year, it’s gotta make that more challenging. Unlike past early-game complaints, Prime’s late-game complaints likely also encompass recruiting and the national spotlight, all of which are hard to garner from the East Coast when it’s a guarantee that halftime of your game will be at midnight. Still, we are in Colorado and an 8 p.m. kick is likely a tiny bit better for the actual fans of the Buffaloes headed to the game than 10 a.m. Still, we can all agree, give us a start time between noon and 6 p.m., just like the NFL gets on Sunday—how hard is that?

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Deion Sanders Rips Late Kickoff Times, Can’t Wait For CU’s Pac-12 Exit