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 It’s so rare when the reality lives up to the hype. It’s even more rare when something you thought would not, um, happen, happens—and you are delighted by it.

Short version: I was one of those people who thought Deion Sanders would get crushed in his coaching debut at Colorado. I tuned in from the beginning, expecting TCU to make quick work of the Buffaloes.

Then I planned to dial up another likely disaster: Northwestern at Rutgers. Turns out NU was playing in Piscataway on Sunday. (I have no idea why.) Turns out I was wrong on both counts.

Cowboy hats off—and white ball caps too—to Neon Deion, who now answers to Coach Prime.

It was so unexpected. And so fun. And so college football.

With Sanders watching Yoda-like underneath his over-sized shades and pristine ball cap, Colorado, led by his standout quarterback son, did everything I did not expect the Buffs to do.

We kinda knew they had athletes. He brought in a talented bunch with his roster overhaul. But they played together. They played smart. They played tough. And they humbled TCU 45-42 in a riveting shootout.

Right out of the gate? A lot of perennial powers don’t do that.

I know. This was not the TCU that reached the College Football Playoff championship game last January. Tons of talent had departed.

But Sonny Dykes figured to reload well enough to handle a coach making the jump from Jackson State to Colorado. TCU had a whole off-season to prepare. It had home field. It had Texas heat. It had all the advantages.

That’s what made Deion’s coaching debut so shockingly fascinating.

And in the middle of it, Dykes, who should have been acting flummoxed, gave Coach Prime a big hug.

I am not exactly sure how Colorado did this. Sanders stood on the sideline so unassumingly. No rah-rah stuff that I saw. He must have assembled an excellent staff as well as a loaded roster.

It pains me to say this, because I always thought he was a flake as a player. I vaguely remember going to Milwaukee in June of 1989, to cover Sanders’ arrival with the New York Yankees. Here was this talented self-assured young man with too much jewelry telling us, ``I know they're sweating bullets down in Atlanta,'' but advising the Falcons not to worry. He would be there to play cornerback.when it mattered.

Yes, he had a modest nine-year career in the big leagues, with the Yankees, Braves, Reds and Giants.

The fact that he did that while also being a solid NFL cornerback for a dozen years? Very impressive.

And then, to go to Jackson State and become a standout coach? I have revised my natural inclination to not root for him. Yes, he had God-given talent. And yes, he was a far-out dude who enjoyed tweaking things.

But now? To do what he’s doing as a coach? To say all the right things about helping young men—and backing it up?

Can’t wait to see Colorado tee it up next week in its home opener against Nebraska.