Bad news, everyone: the Buffs are cooked. If you’ve been wasting your time “with your loved ones” or “at work” or “watching all three Lord of The Rings back-to-back for 14 hours’’ and haven’t been monitoring your COACH PRIME Google alerts closely, let me fill you in – Year 2 is already a failure. Total flop. And even that Very-Bullish-And-Defintiely-Super-Accurate economic report commissioned by the school won’t change a thing; it seems all but certain now that the Buffs are destined for Big12 mediocrity, which somehow sounds even worse than Pac-12 mediocrity.
Still not sure what I’m talking about? Getting tired of this needlessly long introduction full of dopey rhetorical questions? It’s only because I’m trying to stall and protect you from the brutal news you’re about to learn for the very first time, but fine, let’s just get to it.
A CU player entered the transfer portal. And actually, it gets worse: multiple players did.
Next season, Michael Harrison, Van Wells, Marvin Ham, and Gerad Christian-Lichtenhan will be playing elsewhere. There will probably be more. Some 2025 recruits even bailed, too. It’s an undisputed and unprecedented crisis, one that The Athletic declared will be a ‘major issue for Colorado’s build.’ The Denver Post agreed, adding that the catastrophe has “CU Buffs looking more like CU Bluffs.” (Got ‘em!!!) If you need a few moments to collect yourself, now’s the time.
So uhhhh what exactly are we doing here? One third of the country is in the transfer portal – THE Ohio State University just lost their starting quarterback – but the departure of a few players on the worst offensive line in Division 1 is a “major issue”? How will Shedeur Sanders lead this team to Big12 glory without their 5th-best pass catcher? Their offensive coordinator is literally Pat Shurmur, and we’re all sitting here pretending that recruiting is the Buffs’ biggest issue. Pat Shurmur, guys. Pat Shurmur.
This feels like the right moment to mention that I fully recognize just how uninteresting a ‘Don’t Criticize The Progrum’ blog looks on a team site, even one that’s not officially affiliated with the school. You either buy into what CU is selling or you don’t, and after a season that somehow featured both astonishing levels of improvement and also only four wins, it’s hard to blame anyone for what they think – unless you use a bad pun. Then it’s easy.
This isn’t even necessarily about calling out The Athletic, or The Denver Post, or The Worst People In The Comment Section, for being wrong – although at this point, you probably could; Jordan Seaton’s a huge get, and Tyler Johnson, Justin Mayers, and Yakiri Walker all have plenty of starting experience with some good stats to boot. They’re also, for whatever it’s worth, all at least 6’3 and close to 300lbs. Add to that the best group of verbal commitments (I know, I know) in the Big 12 next year with 4-star receiver Dre’Lon Miller, and suddenly recruiting doesn’t feel like the ‘major issue’ it was for, like, three days in early December.
More importantly, it feels worth reminding everyone that recruiting may be an art, or a science, but it’s mostly just an educated guess. The Buffs brought in like 400 new players last year, and it worked until it didn’t. Seaton was the best offensive lineman in high school football last season, but that won’t make anyone feel better about anything if they’re getting worked by Oklahoma State next year. The Prime Era isn’t any more a failure because they lost a few kids than it is a success because they won a few games. I promise that there’s going to be plenty of time for grand proclamations from the press box about whether it was a good idea to hire Deion Sanders, so wouldn’t it be more fun to wait until there’s an actual body of work to talk about? And in the meantime, maybe a few less puns.