In a matter of one week, the power of Coach Prime has overtaken the Front Range.
An athletic director who begged for fans to show up to his football stadium just a few months ago is now the toast of town. University leaders who had previously been rigid in the application of academic standards to student-athletes are now expeditiously paving the way for new transfer guidelines.
And a CU program that was the butt of Bottom 10 jokes all fall is now the talk of college football.
Prime Time — A+
There are master motivators, and then there’s Deion Sanders.
Within hours of Coach Prime officially being named the Buffs’ new head football coach, a five-star receiver from the Class of 2025 committed to play for the Buffs over Alabama, Ohio State and Miami.
Not long after that, he had boosters, alumni and administrators clapping on command in a news conference/pep rally that pulled thousands of Centennial State sports fans away from the fourth quarter of a Broncos game.
That same day, he told a gathering of current CU Buffs he’d be more than happy to see them enter the transfer portal, since that would give him additional room to bring in more talented players. Then he got those same Buffs to chant in unison the qualities he was looking for in their replacements.
As if all of that wasn’t enough of a demonstration of the power of Prime, he showed up late to a CU men’s basketball game Thursday night at the CU Events Center and his mere presence immediately inspired one of the best stretches of play the Buffs have produced all season.
All of which leaves us to wonder: What’s going to happen once the Buffs actually start playing games?
U.S. men’s soccer future — B
As is now tradition, in the immediate aftermath of the American men being eliminated from the FIFA World Cup, the future was declared bright for the U.S. Men’s National Team.
Never mind that the Americans scored three goals over four matches. Or that they struggled to put away noted soccer power Iran just to qualify for the Round of 16.
Those plucky underdogs from one of the wealthiest, most populous countries on the planet put the rest of the world on notice with their play in Qatar: This generation of U.S. men’s soccer is different.
The reasons all sound legitimate enough: The USMNT roster was the second youngest in the World Cup field. Many of the players on that roster are now honing their skills in more competitive leagues overseas. And the next time this tournament rolls around, it will be played on American soil.
Certainly, the Grading the Week staff is girding itself for victory in 2026 — albeit of the moral variety.
We’ll leave it to the U.S. women to provide the actual wins.
Rockies — C+
As billions of dollars in contracts were being handed out at baseball’s Winter Meetings in San Diego this week, the Rockies bet on themselves — again.
Yes, the franchise whose idea of self-scouting is to look in the mirror and admire their third chin, made one big move during the three-day offseason extravaganza: Trading for a pitcher who’s thrown as many MLB innings as the Grading the Week staff. (Which is to say, none.)
If this is a tacit admission that the Rockies front office is no longer deluding itself into thinking the team is one or two big moves away from instant contention, consider us on board.
Next season should be all about seeing what the Rockies have in shortstop Ezequiel Tovar, outfielder Zac Veen and the rest of their young prospects. Cody Bellinger can rack up 100-plus strikeouts while collecting a big paycheck somewhere else.