Analyst: Star second-year Colorado football transfer best at position, but OL puts Buffs in Big 12's bottom six

One analyst believes Colorado football has the best quarterback in the Big 12, but the offensive line puts the Buffs in the conference's bottom six.
Oregon State v Colorado
Oregon State v Colorado / Dustin Bradford/GettyImages

KSL Sports' Mitch Harper believes the Big 12's best quarterback is in the Colorado football room -- that being Coach Prime's star son, Shedeur Sanders, -- but he put the Buffs in his power rankings' bottom six due to the offensive line.

"Colorado back in the Big 12 seems right," Harper prefaced before saying, "Now, you add the star power of Coach Prime. The Buffs will be the main national attraction in the Big 12 next year. But will Colorado have some sustained success throughout an entire season? They have one of the league’s best quarterbacks in Shedeur Sanders. But his offensive line let him down a lot last season.

"Colorado gave up 4.7 sacks per game last season. That’s not going to get it done in any conference. But having Sanders back and cornerback/wide receiver sensation Travis Hunter is a strong foundation for entering the Big 12."

Harper did recognize the improvements Coach Prime and new offensive line coach Phil Loadholt brought Colorado's OL, though, in the transfer portal and via 5-star OT IMG Academy star Jordan Seaton.

"What makes Colorado fascinating again in 2024 is the talent he’s bringing in," Harper prefaced before saying, "No other team in the league, besides Texas Tech, to a lesser extent, can say they have five-star talent at the top of the roster."

Colorado football ready for weakened Big 12 conference in 2024

The switch from the Pac-12 to the Big 12 is something some pundits aren't stressing on Colorado's behalf, especially in the recruiting department.

247Sports’ Robbie Weinstein had the Buffs in the top six of his Big 12 potential recruiting rankings.

“Coaching may be paramount for a college football program’s success in the short or medium terms, but it’s impossible to ignore the impact of geography on these long-term rankings,” Weinstein prefaced before saying, “Each of the Big 12’s four schools located in Texas ranked in the top half of this poll, with three of those four sitting in the top five. UCF’s location in Florida was also a big help.

“Stability, meanwhile, might be overrated as it relates to recruiting. West Virginia and Iowa State are two programs in turmoil that rank low in this poll, but Colorado and Arizona State haven’t experienced a smooth last couple of years either. Yet both comfortably rank in the top half here, due to a combination of flashy hires (Deion Sanders and Dillingham, who promptly signed blue-chip quarterback Jaden Rashada) and location.”

Colorado football may be the CU program ready to benefit from the Big 12 move the most.