Colorado has taken a big swing and offered Deion Sanders its head coaching job, according to Fox Sports' Bruce Feldman. There is interest from Sanders' camp in taking the job but no decision has been made at this time.
Sanders has emerged as a legitimate FBS coaching candidate after transforming Jackson State into a superpower at the FCS level. The Tigers are 22-2 over the past two seasons, including 16-0 in SWAC play with a trip to the Celebration Bowl in 2021. Prior to Sanders, Jackson State had not won a conference championship since 2007.
There are few programs that need a shot in the arm quite as much as Colorado. The Buffaloes have faded into complete obscurity since joining the Pac-12 in 2011. Colorado has just two winning seasons since joining the league with one coming under recently fired coach Karl Dorrell during the COVID-19 pandemic season in 2020. The Buffaloes went 4-13 under his watch following that campaign.
Sanders would immediately bring excitement to a program is desperate need of attention. He made waves when Jackson State signed cornerback Travis Hunter, the No. 1 player in the Class of 2022. Nine other Power Five transfers joined the FCS power in 2022. Sanders' son, Shedeur Sanders, has also emerged as a nationally-relevant quarterback after throwing for more than 6,000 yards and 62 touchdowns over the past two seasons.
While Sanders would bring excitement, the potential hire would come with risk. Sanders helped start Prime Prep Academy, a charter school in Texas. The school was a lightning rod for criticism and investigation after a litany of legal and financial issues came to the forefront; it closed after three years when it was considered financially insolvent. Sanders also does not have any collegiate coaching experience outside of his stretch at Jackson State.
However, for a Colorado team that needs to build recruiting inroads, Sanders would quickly make the Buffaloes a nationally relevant.
There is nothing like Rivalry Week to bring clarity to the College Football Playoff and the rest of the bowl games. All but 23 teams are done playing. Conference championship pairings are set. Bowl eligibility has been almost entirely decided. And we now have a lot of clarity from which to determine the bowl projections.
Nowhere is that more true than in the Big Ten where No. 3 Michigan annihilated No. 2 Ohio State 45-23 to take the Big Ten East and all but clinch a spot in the College Football Playoff.
We say "all but" because the Wolverines will face Purdue in the Big Ten Championship Game, and you have to wonder whether a loss to the unranked Boilermakers would put Michigan's CFP bid in some doubt depending what other teams do. While it's likely Michigan will be between two- or three-touchdown favorite in the game, even a loss to Purdue is unlikely to cost UM a playoff spot.
In fact, Georgia, Michigan and TCU all appear to be in the playoff, win or lose their league title games. The No. 1 Bulldogs dominated Georgia Tech, 37-14, while the No. 4 Horned Frogs lit up one of the best defenses in the country in a 62-14 win over Iowa State.
The fourth spot belongs to No. 6 USC if it can win the Pac-12 Championship Game and finish 12-1. The Trojans beat No. 15 Notre Dame 38-27 for its second consecutive win over a team in the CFP Rankings.
Waiting in the wings if USC fails is Ohio State, which could back into a CFP spot even at 11-1. That season-opening win over Notre Dame gives the Buckeyes two victories over teams in the CFP Rankings, and Ohio State dominated the rest of its schedule other than Michigan.
What about No. 7 Alabama? Federal law requires we discuss the Crimson Tide in all playoff scenarios. However, unless the CFP Selection Committee decides to move Bama ahead of Ohio State in this week's rankings, there is not much hope for the Tide to make the CFP. In fact, with the two teams between Alabama and No. 10 Tennessee in the rankings both losing (No. 8 Clemson 31-30 to South Carolina, No. 9 Oregon 38-34 to No. 21 Oregon State), there is a chance the Vols could leap the Tide based on their head-to-head result.
Perhaps the most stunning result was No. 5 LSU's loss at Texas A&M. The Aggies came to life for the first time all season and downed the Tigers. 38-23. That put an end to LSU's playoff hopes, but it may be even worse than that for the Tigers. Should LSU drop below Penn State in the CFP Rankings, there is a chance the Tigers will not be in a New Year's Six game at all unless, of course, they beat the Dawgs in the SEC Championship Game.