If you’re looking for 2023 bold predictions in college football, then perhaps you start with the Colorado Buffaloes football team. The entire construct of the program has been nothing short of bold in and of itself from the moment athletic director Rick George hired now head coach Deion Sanders from Jackson State back in December. From that point forward, the Colorado football program has been given a facelift greater that any aging Hollywood actor could imagine.  So, in making the predictions below, there’s nothing off the table, because no one knows what exactly this team is going to be like this season.

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4. Colorado will win six games

Let’s start off hot here. Colorado only won one measly game last season against a 4-8 Cal team by six points. In all other games, they were trounced, losing by an average of 29 points per game, which was the worst in the nation. This season they have a projected win total of 3.5 games, according to FanDuel. So, yeah, I guess you could say this is a bold take.

However, this isn’t even close to the same Buffaloes football from last year. There’s a mile high difference between the 2022 squad in comparison to 2023’s. And that goes without seeing this year’s team even touch the field. No one knows what to expect from this team this season, and as I mentioned in a previous article, this will be Sanders greatest advantage in his first season in Boulder.

Even the Buffaloes first opponent, TCU and head coach Sonny Dykes, have admitted that it is essentially worthless to view any of last year’s Colorado tape as everything is brand new, different from last season. Would I be shocked if Colorado came out and beat TCU in game one? No. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they were beaten by at least three touchdowns. But the reality is — no one knows who or what this team is under Coach Prime yet. But, I think they’ll surprise people, they’ll pull some upsets, and win six games.

3. Colorado will pull a huge upset

Speaking of upsets, there’s likely to be a few as most still are not counting on this team to win more than four games. Sanders brought in the No. 1 transfer portal class in 2023, meaning Colorado probably has more talent now than they’ve had in maybe a decade (or ever). If the coaching and the schemes come together, then who is to say they can’t put together a formidable team willing to cause chaos in the Pac-12 this season?

As mentioned, I can see Week 1 win at TCU as giving notice to the college football world that they have arrived. But my boldest prediction will be their matchup on September 30 against none other than USC.

USC, who ranked sixth in both the coaches and AP polls, is the favorite to win the Pac-12 this season, making the College Football Playoff. They have last year’s Heisman winner in quarterback Caleb Williams returning, made defensive pickups in the transfer portal, along with good recruiting. But we all know that USC and Lincoln Riley are prone to laying an egg during the season. Who’s to say it won’t be against Colorado this season?

USC’s only losses last season were to Utah twice and Tulane during the bowl game. The defense was their problem last year, as has been with Riley throughout his tenure as a head coach so far. If Colorado can get pressure on Williams with their defense, while exploiting the Trojans defense with their offense, this is all but likely.

2. Shedeur Sanders makes all Pac-12 team

There’s no secret who QB1 is on the Colorado football team. But he didn’t earn that title merely through nepotism, Shedeur, a former four-star recruit, is looking the part.

Shedeur has been producing since his two years at the FCS level, playing for his dad at Jackson State. While there, he threw for 70 touchdowns to only 14 interceptions, amassing almost 7,000 yards in the process for a 68 percent completion percentage. If that can translate to the FBS level — oh my.

He’s said to have looked really good in practices and fall camp thus far. The question will be what does he have around him that can help him? He’ll for sure have one of the highest rated recruits from last season in Travis Hunter to throw to, among some other talent at the wide receiver position. If the Buffs o-line can give him time, Shedeur could put up some monster stats, maybe hitting 3,000 yards and 20 touchdowns.

1. Deion Sanders will win AP coach of the year

Even if none of these bold predictions come true, if Sanders can truly make Colorado look nothing like last year’s team, then it’s probably a no-brainer who the college football head coach of the year should be by the end of the season.

I do believe Colorado would have to at least get between 4-6 wins for this to happen, however. But if he’s also able to pull some major upsets in year one and continues to disrupt the entire landscape of college football like he did all offseason, then Sanders will once again add another award to his trophy case.