“We Hope To Get It Out Relatively Quickly” | Pac-12 Exploiting The Deion Sanders Brand From Early

Deion Sanders signs $29.5M contract with Colorado
(Photo via Getty Images)

Deion Sanders’ arrival at Colorado is a big deal, especially for a Pac-12 conference trying to put itself back in the limelight after some down years on the Left Coast. With the 2023 college football season to be Sanders’ first in FBS and at a Power Five, it behooves the conference to take advantage of a possible early season Pac-12 matchup featuring the Colorado Buffaloes and Arizona State Sun Devils.

One with all the bells and whistles, meaning a visit from ESPN’s “College GameDay” as well.

On Tuesday it was reported that the Pac-12 and ESPN are working to have that game moved in order to focus all its attention on Coach Prime’s debut in Boulder.

Since the Pac-12 has yet to have its 2023 football schedules released, making it happen won’t be nearly as hard as it would be if schedules were already solidified within each program in the conference. In December, senior associate commissioner for football operations Merton Hanks told the San Jose Mercury News that the conference was taking a look at some other things before finalizing schedules

“We hope to get it out relatively quickly,” Hanks told the paper. “There are some things we’re taking another look at, so we’ve asked the athletic directors for more time. It’s difficult because there are so many good teams.”

This is a direct result of Sanders taking the Colorado job on Dec. 4.

Sanders Showed Out When “College GameDay” Came To Jackson State

In October, “College GameDay” made the trek to Jackson, Mississippi, as the Tigers hosted rival Southern. It was a spectacle down in Jackson, and just the second time the famous pregame show came to an HBCU. The Pac-12 is hoping to capitalize on some of that magic, and it’s a conference in dire need of some energy and attention. The once proud conference has had just two participants in nine years of the College Football Playoff. And hasn’t had a team hoist a national champion since 2004. The “Conference of Champions” has been reeling for some time now. 

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This is also a showcase for Sanders and his Buffaloes program who’ll be asked to help carry the mantle of the conference with power USC and UCLA departing for the Big Ten in 2025.

What Is Week Zero?

Week zero is the last week of August when traditionally there’s not much action across the CFB landscape. A few games here and there, but no season-shaping games. Those are usually reserved for Labor Day weekend, when college football makes its official reappearance to the world. But after last year’s Northwestern vs Nebraska Big Ten bash in Dublin, Ireland, which drew a solid 4.4 million viewers, the Pac-12 is saying let’s give it a try.

It’s a smart move and Hanks sees an opportunity to get all eyes on his conference for a week, with Deion Sanders roaming one of the sidelines. The Coach Prime effect is officially in Boulder, and the Pac-12 needed it in the worst way.