Big 12 media poll places Coach Prime’s CU Buffs shockingly low

Jul 2, 2024, 10:59 AM

Shedeur Sanders #2 of the Colorado Buffaloes...

Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

EA Sports’ new college football game tabs the Colorado Buffaloes as the 16th-best team in the nation but the media which covers the Big 12 believes Deion Sanders’ squad will be closer to the 16th in the conference rather than the country.

The Buffs were picked to finish 11th in their return season to the Big 12, with the media being pretty split on the top half of the conference but certain CU isn’t among that group.

The Utes claimed 20 first-place votes and totaled 906 points for a first-place media poll, claim—just edging out Kansas State in second with 19 first-place ballots and 889 points. Oklahoma State nabbed 14 first-place votes and 829 points, Kansas five first-place nods and 772 points while Arizona notched three first-place votes and 762 points to round out the top five.

Big 12 Preseason Media Poll

1. Utah (20) 906
2. Kansas State (19) 889
3. Oklahoma State (14) 829
4. Kansas (5) 772
5. Arizona (3) 762
6. Iowa State 661
7. West Virginia 581
8. UF 551
9. Texas Tech 532
10. TCU 436
11. Colorado 400
12. Baylor 268
13. BYU 215
14. Cincinnati 196
15. Houston 157
16. Arizona State 141

First-place votes in parenthesis.

Sure the Colorado Buffaloes finished 4-8 in their first season under Coach Prime, but it was also an attention-grabbing improvement just a single win the season before. And Sanders had a similar step in his first gig at Jackson State before a giant leap in year two. There’s reason to belive that leap may be coming with the Buffs offseason thought to have been really good, adding players at key areas the team struggled last fall such as on the offensive line. Meanwhile, the Buffaloes bring back two of the best players in college football with star quarterback Shedeur Sanders and two-way marvel Travis Hunter both expected to be in the Heisman race.

CU also cycled through some players who were big figures on last year’s team and hope to find even better production on top-tier transfers. 247 Sports rated Colorado as having a top-ten transfer class for a second-straight offseason, focusing little on preps.

The money is where the media is at, setting Colorado’s win total at 5.5, which insinuates a finish around 11th in the conference.

In returning to the Big 12, two of Colorado’s toughest foes will be Utah and Arizona who also joined from the Pac-12 but the media expects Arizona State to be the worst program in its first year outside a west-coast-based conference since the early 1960s.

Colorado’s got three tough non-conference games, opening up against historic FCS power North Dakota State. Then the Buffaloes have their final games in its series with longtime rivals Nebraska and in-state foe Colorado State isn’t on the slate again until 2029. While the focus for many will be on the early trips to Lincoln and Fort Collins, there were also be a lot of eyes on the Buffaloes’ first game back in the Big 12 against Baylor after they roamed west for a decade.

This time the conference looks a lot different than the historic pastures they’re used to but there is still plenty of programs with bad blood toward the Buffs and add in a splash of Prime’s flair and it’s obvious CU will be a target even if picked to finish 11th.

Colorado Buffaloes 2024 schedule

Aug. 31: North Dakota State, Folsom Field, Boulder
Sept. 7: AT Nebraska, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE
Sept. 14: AT Colorado State, Canvas Stadium, Fort Collins
Sept. 21: Baylor, Folsom Field, Boulder
Sept. 28: AT UCF, FBC Mortgage Stadium, Orlando, FL
Oct. 12: Kansas State, Folsom Field, Boulder
Oct. 19: AT Arizona, Stadium, Tucson, AZ
Oct. 26: Cincinnati, Folsom Field, Boulder,
Nov. 9: AT Texas Tech, Jones AT&T Stadium, Lubbock, TX
Nov. 16: Utah, Folsom Field, Boulder
Nov. 23: AT Kansas, GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium, Kansas City, MO

Nov. 29: Oklahoma State, Folsom Field, Boulder

Dec. 7: Big 12 Title Game, AT&T Stadium, Dallas


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