For the first three weeks of the season, Colorado was the talk of the college football world. After going 1-11 in 2022, the Buffaloes jumped out to a 3-0 start under first-year coach Deion Sanders. Colorado came back to earth in Week 4, with Oregon’s 42-6 domination. But in a way, Colorado is still the talk of the college football world.
What happened to the Buffaloes against the Ducks? Speaking on Undisputed on Monday, Keyshawn Johnson made one obvious observation before making a rather head-turning claim.
Johnson made it clear that the better team won the game, saying “They played against an Oregon team that is better. They’re a better football team.” But then he made a more interesting comment.
“I spoke to somebody in the coaching fraternity right after the game,” Johnson said. “And they know some people that coach at Oregon. And they were telling me, they said, ‘Man, I’ve never heard from another assistant coach of how much information was being given to that staff,’ about, I’m being real with you, about game-planning against Colorado. So they could beat them. That’s the reality of it. I ain’t making this up. I ain’t gonna disclose names, but you all know who I’m talking about if you’re watching.”
— UNDISPUTED (@undisputed) September 25, 2023
While some seemed to believe this, most people were significantly more skeptical. The reason for the skepticism was rather simple. As Johnson noted, Oregon is a significantly better football team.
All the other FBS coaches: “You know what might work, Dan? You could try having MUCH better players than they have on both lines of scrimmage. Kind of experimental, but it’s got a shot!” https://t.co/cdXz1fd3eB
— Andy Staples (@Andy_Staples) September 26, 2023
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) September 25, 2023
Come on now. Y’all don’t have to do this. Just give Oregon their credit and move it along. https://t.co/QVJNJebFC1
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) September 25, 2023
— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) September 25, 2023
Can confirm. Jay Norvell and Matt Rhule called Tosh and secretly told him to sack Shadeur a bunch. https://t.co/1BlYhQcgaZ
— James Vos (@WhosTheVos) September 25, 2023
— Ben Stevens (@BenScottStevens) September 25, 2023
This is so dumb and the media creating narratives like this is why nobody likes us
We were completely outclassed on both lines. They beat our ass. Let’s move on https://t.co/WSatzdWeMW
— Barstool Colorado (@CUBarstool) September 25, 2023
— Pregame Empire (@PregameEmpire) September 25, 2023
This is embarrassing and sad. When you can’t be objective, even about the people/teams you like, you lost. https://t.co/np7tNRmIXi
— Reeta the CFB Gatekeepa (@theNFLchick) September 25, 2023
Nobody needed a secret gameplan to know Colorado can't stop the run or protect the quarterback.
Also coaches share bits of scheme info with each other all the time. https://t.co/MvYUClrxPK
— Chris Vannini (@ChrisVannini) September 25, 2023
Dan Lanning and Oregon football got help to game plan for Colorado. 🙄
#1 coaches close friends always call them w/tips or keys
#2 Oregon beat Colorado by doing what everybody who saw Colorado play would have done. And they are better upfront on both sides.
Stop it. https://t.co/96MhjcM96S
— George Wrighster III (@georgewrighster) September 25, 2023
There’s another issue that needs to be considered. As we look ahead to Week 4 of the NFL season, we see that the San Francisco 49ers are hosting the Arizona Cardinals. Coaches in the NFC certainly see the 49ers as a bigger threat than the Cardinals. So even if they’re close friends with Kyle Shanahan and/or don’t like Jonathan Gannon at all, they’re probably not going to be too likely to offer any pointers to help the 49ers. It’s counterproductive. The same logic applies here.
More than that, the Ducks didn’t do anything particularly abnormal or fancy to win the game. They were simply able to exploit Colorado’s obvious weaknesses in a way that TCU, Nebraska and Colorado State could not — especially with Travis Hunter out. It doesn’t mean that the sky is falling in Boulder. It means that the Buffs lost a game to a better team and everyone got a pretty good indicator that, as good as Colorado has been, the program still has a ways to go.