Joel Klatt says Coach Prime and Colorado will have at least eight wins in 2024

FOX Sports commentator puts faith behind the Buffs going into Deion Sanders' second year in Boulder
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Fox Sports commentator Joel Klatt is optimistic about Colorado’s football prospects as they head into the 2024 season. Despite modest improvements in Deion Sanders’ first year as head coach, the Buffaloes increased their win total and was put back on the map. Now, transitioning to the Big 12 conference, Colorado faces a new set of challenges and opportunities.

The primary issue that plagued Colorado last season was their offensive line, which allowed 56 sacks last year. New year and brand new players in the trenches. But will that lead to success and ultimately a bowl bid? Klatt argues that it will happen in 2024.

“I would pose you this question, I have been accused of being a homer and an apologist for Colorado,” Klatt said on The Herd."

"However, Shedeur (Sanders), was sacked over 50 times last year. It was the clear weakness on a team that was very competitive, if they protected the quarterback. They have totally rebuilt their offensive line through the transfer portal, mainly, and getting Jordan Seaton the number one rated offensive tackle in the recruiting cycle last year.”

Klatt's confidence is rooted in the potential reduction of sacks. If Colorado’s offensive line can reduce the number of sacks by more than half, it could transform the team’s dynamics.

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“I’m just gonna throw out a hypothetical if they can now go from giving up over 50 sacks to giving up somewhere in the high 20s, which is still a lot,” Klatt said. “I’m not saying that they’re the most dominant offensive line in college football. I’m saying that they’re middle of the pack. Average. High 20s in terms of sacks."

Klatt believes that having a better offensive line will allow quarterback Shedeur Sanders to stay upright in the pocket more often, thus improving the overall offensive efficiency. With skilled position players on the outside and a less daunting schedule, Klatt sees a clear path to bowl eligibility for Colorado. He encourages fans and analysts to consider the potential growth of the offensive line and how that can impact the team's performance over the season.

“Tell me where they’re when total goes in a schedule that’s going to be far more, easy, I would argue, than it was a year ago? You see, this is why I say yeah, there’s a path to eight or nine wins and everyone’s like, ‘What are you talking about?’”

While the path to eight wins is not guaranteed, Klatt’s argument is compelling. If Colorado’s offensive line improves as expected, the team could indeed surpass their previous performance significantly. The transition back to the Big 12, combined with the strategic improvements made in the offseason, positions Colorado as a team to watch this season. Many expect bowl eligibility to be within reach, and with some favorable breaks, the Buffs could even exceed the projections.

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Jeff Hauser