Coach Prime, it's your time.
Deion Sanders' coaching debut with Colorado comes Saturday against No. 17 TCU in Fort Worth, Texas, and it wouldn't be hyperbole to say this is the most anticipated opener in the Buffaloes' history.
CU made the splashiest of the splash hires during the 2022-23 coaching cycle, bringing in the charismatic Sanders from Jackson State after he turned the Tigers into the premier program among historically Black colleges and universities.
Sanders undertook the most massive of roster overhauls, with 86 newcomers and just three returning starters on the 114-man roster. Of those newcomers, 56 arrived since the spring.
The fact Colorado went 1-11 last season is immaterial to Sanders. The Buffs' transfer class was ranked No. 1 in the nation by 247Sports and he expects immediate results. One of those transfers is starting quarterback Shedeur Sanders, Deion's son.
Sonny Dykes’ second TCU team has compelling story lines of its own after reaching the national title game last season. The Horned Frogs are replacing eight players taken in the NFL draft, they have a new offensive coordinator in Kendall Briles, and Chandler Morris returns to the starting quarterback's role after Heisman Trophy runner-up Max Duggan took the job from him in the second game last season.
The CU-TCU matchup doesn't look so great on paper, but it should make for great TV.
TCU, which began its march to the College Football Playoff championship game last season with a 38-13 win over the Buffs in Boulder, is a 20 1/2-point favorite, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
No. 5 LSU vs. No. 8 Florida State, Sunday, at Orlando, Florida. It's the only Week 1 matchup of top-10 teams, and it will be tough to top last year's finish when the Seminoles upset LSU 24-23 on a blocked PAT with no time left.
Elite quarterbacks return in LSU's Jayden Daniels and FSU's Jordan Travis, and many of the teams' top playmakers are back.
Both teams expect to contend for CFP spots, and one of them will be able to take comfort in knowing outcome probably won't be a deal breaker for the loser. With the exception of an early November visit to No. 4 Alabama, this figures to be LSU's toughest regular-season game. FSU's only ranked opponent after Sunday is No. 9 Clemson on the road in three weeks.
Daniels and Travis get the national stage for a battle to determine the top challenger, for now, to 2022 Heisman Trophy winner Caleb Williams of Southern California.
Daniels threw for 2,913 yards and 17 touchdowns and ran for 885 and 11 TDs last season, and he still has Malik Nabers as a primary target. Travis accounted for 32 touchdowns, fourth-most in a season by an FSU player, and was Pro Football Focus' highest-rated FBS quarterback.
Of course, Williams is already on the board after passing for 278 yards and four touchdowns last week in No. 6 USC's 56-28 victory over San Jose State to open his bid for back-to-back Heisman wins.
NUMBERS TO KNOW
5 — Returning starting offensive lineman for Texas, most in 30 years.
15 — Braelon Allen's career 100-yard rushing performances, most among active Power Five running backs.
17 — Consecutive wins by two-time defending national champion Georgia.
25 — Kirk Ferentz's number of seasons at Iowa, which has him under contract through 2029.
91% — Nation-high amount of returning offensive production for Kansas.
UNDER THE RADAR
UTSA at Houston, 7 p.m. Eastern, Saturday.
Jeff Traylor's Roadrunners have won 23 of their last 28, bring back star quarterback Frank Harris and move to the American Athletic Conference after winning the Conference USA championship.
The Cougars, who left the ACC, are expected to take their lumps in their first year in the Big 12. The spotlight is on Texas Tech transfer QB Donovan Smith, who replaces the prolific Clayton Tune, and on a defense in need of improvement.
West Virginia's Neal Brown got a reprieve from new athletic director Wren Baker after last season, and no coach has more heat on him entering 2023. The Mountaineers are coming off consecutive losing seasons for the first time since 1978-79, and this week's visit to Drew Allar and No. 7 Penn State opens a schedule ranked third-toughest by Pro Football Focus.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll