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The Colorado hype train crashed at Oregon. Now what?

The Buffaloes came crashing back to reality in their 42-6 blowout loss on Saturday. Now the real work starts in Deion Sanders’ rebuild.

Head coach Deion Sanders of the Colorado Buffaloes walks on the field before their game against the Oregon Ducks at Autzen Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Eugene, Oregon. Photo by Tom Hauck/Getty Images

The No. 19 Colorado Buffaloes got absolutely vaporized by the No. 10 Oregon Ducks on Saturday, losing big in an 42-6 blowout loss.

The Oregon quarterback-wide receiver combo of Bo Nix and Troy Franklin ripped apart the Buffs’ defense while Buffs defense apart for three quarters before throwing it into neutral in the fourth. On the other side, Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders was under duress for the entire afternoon as the Ducks defense compiled seven sacks in the Pac-12 opener.

Head coach Deion Sanders summed up Colorado performance in the postgame presser:

This beatdown takes some of the wind out of the sails that has been the Colorado hype machine at the start of the season. Following their upset victory over TCU in Week 1, Sanders’ program became the biggest story in the entire sport and the intrigue only grew with a blowout victory over Nebraska the following week. Their rivalry tilt against Colorado State last week received a massive amount of national attention, with numerous media outlets and celebrities pulling up to Boulder. And then over nine million people stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to witness the Buffs take down CSU in double overtime.

Now it’s back to reality for a program that through all of the attention and hype, is still rebuilding from a disastrous 1-11 season a year ago.

The Oregon game exposed deficiencies CU has on both lines and it will take a few recruiting cycles to shore that up. They could not move the ball at all on the ground on offense and were gashed for 6.3 yards per rush on defense. The game also exposed how much a player of Travis Hunter’s caliber is needed to make plays in these types of games. They were able to pull through without him last Saturday, but definitely could’ve used him on the field at Autzen Stadium this week. These are issues that will plague them as they get deeper into Pac-12 play and staring them right in the face is a visit from Caleb Williams and USC next week.

What this means is that Colorado-Mania will most likely die down over the next few weeks as the Buffs navigate their way through conference play. The trash talk, the sunglasses, and all of the catchphrases were fun, but they will most likely fade into the background as losses pile up. And that’s ok!

We got a brief glimpse into what this program can be at its absolute peak under Sanders and they will experience some growing pains before getting back to being the talk of the sport. In Sanders’ mind, the climb back up begins now.