It was the most anticipated clown show since Ringling Bros. visited Fort Worth, and the masses were entertained Saturday for the entire afternoon.
The first game for Deion Sanders as the head coach at the University of Colorado was a full frontal assault on the all of the senses.
No. 17 TCU versus Deion’s Colorado Buffaloes was the modern day college football experience: Players who make money over the table, rosters loaded with transfers, played out in front of a crowd that no longer has to smuggle alcohol inside the stadium.
The temperature for the game was hotter than the sun. Fox Sports’ Big Noon kickoff crew was there, in front of Amon G. Carter Stadium. The crowd of 53,294 was a stadium record.
Oddly enough, the team that prepares in this heat and reached the national championship game just last season was not ready for any of it.
This is going to make a lot of people upset, or sick, but Deion Sanders out-coached Sonny Dykes and TCU.
Ever the child, after the game Deion called out a reporter in his post-game press conference and asked a specific person (not me), “I saw what you wrote. Do you believe?”
(Any time a coach or athlete says they don’t see or hear what’s said or written, they are all lying).
“You gotta start by giving Colorado a ton of credit; they were more ready to play than we were,” Dykes said. “Seemed like they had more determination down the stretch than we did. Their coaching staff did a good job of getting them ready to play.
“Felt like our guys came out a little flat, which is crazy after the way we played in the national championship game. ... It seemed like those guys were more excited to play than we were. That’s on me. That’s my fault.”
TCU committed 10 penalties for 78 yards, and quarterback Chandler Morris threw two interceptions inside the 5-yard line, including one in the end zone.
Colorado was on TCU immediately, and even when the Horned Frogs eventually took the lead, in the second half, it felt like they were chasing this game.
The Colorado team that came to Fort Worth is not the team TCU played in the season-opener in 2022.
Shortly after he arrived in Boulder, Sanders ran off everyone but Ralphie the mascot; Deion brought in a handful of elite-level, NFL-caliber skill players who bought his sales pitch.
Those players, and TCU’s defense, are the reason why Deion will look like the 2023 National Coach of the Year this week, and will be linked to NFL jobs.
His son, quarterback Shedeur Sanders, passed for 510 yards and four touchdowns. His passing total could have been closer to 600 had his receivers not dropped a few.
Four Colorado players had more than 100 yards receiving, including receiver/defensive back Travis Hunter.
By halftime, the NFL scouts in attendance already pegged Hunter as a top five draft pick in 2025. Not sure if it’s as a receiver or defensive back. Hunter played 120 snaps.
Credit Deion and his staff for milking their money players all afternoon.
TCU and defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie could devise nothing to stop any of them.
“We had high expectations coming into this season on defense,” Dykes said. “We did.”
Modify those immediately.
In TCU’s last three games — against Michigan, Georgia and Colorado — the defense has allowed an average of 51.6 points and 560 yards per game.
“We got schemed pretty good today,” Dykes said. “Defensively it’s hard to say we played well anywhere.”
It’s not hard to say it; it’s impossible to say it.
Against Colorado, TCU’s tackling was atrocious. The play of the front seven was sporadic at best. The secondary’s best play were dropped Colorado passes.
This is how bad TCU’s defense was: The offense rolled up 541 yards, including 262 yards on the ground, scored 42 points, and they still lost.
“The season ain’t over,” TCU defensive back Josh Newton said. “We got 11 more ball games. Eleven.”
Other than the atmosphere, it’s first one could not have gone much worse.
Deion Sanders just came to Fort Worth with what amounted to four players, and the Clown came away a winner.