While many around the college football world are excited to see what the Buffs can do on the field, there’s one notable analyst that doesn’t have much belief in the roster. In fact, he suggested that it could be the worst lineup in the sport.
Tom Luginbill, an analyst at ESPN, said Colorado will struggle to find success in Coach Prime’s first season. On Monday, he spoke on the Next Round Live podcast to give his opinion on the state of Buffaloes football.
He’s saying to pump the brakes on the Deion Sanders hype.
“I think we’re going to finally see, for all the hoopla and all the hype going into the offseason with Deion Sanders and Colorado, it does not mask the fact that they don’t have the players on that roster,” Luginbill said. “You thought UMASS was the worst roster in college football? It may be Colorado’s.”
For what it’s worth, UMASS is fresh off a season opening upset over New Mexico State while the Buffaloes are 21-point underdogs for their upcoming matchup against TCU.
Luginbill isn’t the only major talking head to predict a down year in Boulder. His employer, ESPN, ranked the Buffaloes as the worst team in college football this preseason.
Still, with some of the talent that Coach Prime brought in on the recruiting trail, particularly through the transfer portal, it’s hard to imagine there are 130 schools with better rosters than the Buffs.
Luginbill backed off the claim a bit in his justification of the statement, though he still doesn’t see Colorado as a major threat in the PAC-12.
“Now I say that. Do they have a quarterback? Yes. Do they have two starting corners that could be NFL guys, and one of them plays both ways? Yes. They are so devoid of talent up front on both sides of the ball, I don’t know how they’re going to keep their quarterback upright.”
Luginbill noted the four- and five-star talent on both offense and defense, but he doesn’t believe it will be able to shine given the lack of playmakers at the line of scrimmage.
Depth has been a concern, even for those who believe the Buffs can surprise in the coming year, but on-field talent isn’t an issue for most that have seen the program up close and personal.
“They have, I believe, 70 new players. So, I call this the grand experiment,” former national championship winning coach Urban Meyer said after watching the squad this offseason. “I saw a very good team. I saw talented players… The thing they’re lacking is depth. If they can stay healthy, they have a tough schedule, they’re going to make some waves in the PAC 12.”
With that being said, Coach Prime invited Luginbill out to Boulder to take in a practice and potentially re-evaluate his remarks.
Deion Sanders claps back at Luginbill’s “worst roster” opinion of Colorado.
In an Instagram reply, the Colorado head coach responded to Luginbill’s claim that the Buffs could have the worst roster in America. He simply asked, “Wow! Have you been here to see any of the talent live?”
Many online agreed with Sanders’ inquiry as they posted their comments on social media.
“The roster is loaded with 4/5 Stars and P5 transfers and this dude is saying CU has the worst roster is college football,” one fan said.
“Bookmarking this,” wrote someone else.
“Oh, Tom. Let’s see how this take ages,” this follower jabbed.
While Luginbill doubts the Buffs in Year 1, some are on the opposite end of the spectrum. CBS analyst Randy Cross predicted a season opening upset of the Horned Frogs in Sanders’ first game.
Coach Prime appears to be ready to shock the world, saying, “We comin’,” ahead of his debut while also teasing some flashy new uniforms for Game 1.
We’ll see if he can surprise Luginbill and Co. while navigating a brutal schedule that includes matchups with TCU, Nebraska, Oregon, and USC in the month of September.
Colorado kicks off its 2023 season on Saturday at noon EST.