Analyst: Colorado football bowl appearance feels further away in Big 12

Iowa State v Cincinnati
Iowa State v Cincinnati / Dylan Buell/GettyImages

Saturday Blitz's Zach Bigalke believes Deion Sanders' Colorado football program is actually further away from a bowl game in the Big 12 than it was in the Pac-12's final season in 2023; even insinuating that the Buffs could enter conference play winless.

"Coming back to the Big 12 feels like a natural move for Colorado, but it will come with growing pains," Bigalke prefaced before saying, "While they return to what was once a more geographically suited conference for their location, the Big 12 has now grown into a behemoth that stretches across most of the country. Travel issues will only be exacerbated further with this shift.

"While the Buffaloes only have one long road trip to face UCF in conference play, they could struggle to win even one game before they even get to the Big 12 slate. A bowl appearance feels even further away in the second season of the Sanders era in Boulder, given the Buffaloes enter their second stint as a Big 12 member on a six-game losing streak."

This isn't the first prediction of Colorado failing to live up to the hype this coming season. Greg McElroy predicted that the Buffs will be better, but won't win any more than six or seven games in 2024.

"So, while I think the Buffs will be better, the hype is probably going to have them in the preseason Top 25," McElroy said (h/t AthlonSports). "It will probably have them as a fringe, darkhorse, College Football Playoff contender, I don’t think that’s likely. I think they’ll make some noise. I think they’ll be an exciting team to watch, but I think six, seven wins would a great step in the right direction for Deion here in year number two.”

Colorado football will be better in 2024 than 2023

This writer is going on record and saying this now: Colorado will be better in 2024 than they were in 2023. Barring disaster, the Buffs will improve under a much more talented offensive line and with improved locker-room chemistry -- at least if Shedeur Sanders is to be believed.

With Shedeur, Shilo Sanders, Travis Hunter and others looking to show out before being selected in the NFL, it's more likely than not that CU overperforms than otherwise. That's as things stand right now, five months until kick-off.