The Colorado football team and head coach Deion Sanders faced their first significant obstacle in the month-long national frenzy over the team and its head coach.
After Sanders led Colorado to a 3-0 start — in turn driving tens of millions in earned media for the university, network rivalries, ticket furor, ratings surges, and even extra sunglasses sales — Oregon dominated the Buffaloes 42-6 on Saturday.
The loss dropped No. 19 Colorado out of the AP Top 25.
“Good old-fashioned butt-kicking. No excuses, no nothing,” Sanders said.
Before the game, Oregon coach Dan Lanning, with ESPN cameras rolling, told his team, “The [Colorado] Cinderella story’s over, men. They’re fighting for clicks. We’re fighting for wins. There’s a difference.”
No. 8 USC will head to Boulder to face Colorado on Saturday, providing another pivotal test for Coach Prime and Colorado with the Trojans a 23.5-point favorite.
The drubbing in Eugene has led to an immediate course correction on the ticket resale market. After soaring to the most expensive ticket in college football, low-end tickets for the USC game have fallen by more than $100 and can now be bought for as low as $260 each on multiple platforms.
The Colorado-USC game, however, will remain Fox’s “Big Noon Saturday” broadcast that day. The matchup will be the Buffaloes’ fifth-straight nationally televised game, and is expected to draw another celebrity-filled crowd. FS1’s “Undisputed” will also air from Boulder before the matchup.