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Friday, July 19, 2024
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Coach Prime, Unbeaten Colorado Keep Larger-Than-Life Hype Going

  • Colorado is still unbeaten under Deion Sanders and the media hype is only growing.
  • ESPN and Fox are capitalizing on the mania while Colorado benefits from new recruiting interest.
Syndication: The Coloradoan

BOULDER, Colorado — There was a sense of disbelief in the Rocky Mountain State over the weekend. 

Local media and others close to the Colorado football team couldn’t wrap their heads around Boulder being not only the epicenter of college football — but also the envy of nearly everyone in sports and entertainment.

Celebrities in town and on the sidelines during Colorado’s 43-35 double-overtime win over Colorado State — the first night game of the Coach Prime era — included actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, rappers Lil Wayne and Offset, NBA stars Kawhi Leonard and Kyle Lowry, Portland Trail Blazers head coach Chauncey Billups, and Rob Gronkowski, who was on duty for Fox Sports.  

ESPN’s factory of travel shows, anchored by its crown jewel “College GameDay,” combined with the return of Fox Sports’ “Big Noon Kickoff,” lured the Hollywood figures to the networks’ pregame programs competing for students on campus — and more importantly viewers on TV.

Colorado head coach Deion Sanders hit ESPN first on Saturday morning before taking a quick golf cart ride over to the Fox set less than a half a mile away. 

“We probably enjoy it more than the competition might,” Rob Stone, host of “Big Noon Kickoff,” told Front Office Sports of Fox’s battle with ESPN’s “College GameDay.”

ABC will air No. 19 Colorado’s first Pac-12 game of the season at No. 10 Oregon on Saturday. And while nothing is confirmed yet, anticipation is building for yet another double dip from “GameDay” and “Big Noon” on Sept. 30 for No. 5 USC’s visit to Colorado, which will be broadcast by Fox.

Bigger Than Football

Throughout the weekend, the Coach Prime hype extended beyond new national media interest — like “60 Minutes” interviewing Sanders for its season debut on Sunday. Various athletic recruits were being chauffeured around campus, taking in the mania, and athletes from Colorado’s teams outside of football were reveling in the spectacle. 

“Campus was electric today,” Sanders said after the game. “Don’t dismiss the fact that we’re always recruiting. So when those high school kids who do our recruiting trips see this kind of stuff it’s great. One of the big fellas just said hey man it’s different. This is straight up different here.”

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