Home Sports Three-Point Stance: Deion Sanders, Demarcus Riddick, title contenders

Three-Point Stance: Deion Sanders, Demarcus Riddick, title contenders


Rivals national recruiting director Adam Gorney has thoughts on recent comments made about Deion Sanders and his reaction, the recruitment of four-star linebacker Demarcus Riddick and five potential title contenders not named Georgia or Alabama.


I don’t know which coach in the Pac-12 made the comments to Athlon Sports that ruffled Deion Sanders’ feathers this week and, while they were taken as controversial by the new Colorado coach, they might not be completely wrong.

“It feels like a lose-lose for Colorado with Prime,” the anonymous coach told the preseason magazine. “Either he’s going to be really good really fast and leave for another gig, which, looking at that roster doesn’t seem possible. The alternative is that they’re going to be bad, and they’ll end up firing him in a big circus.”

I disagree that the Buffaloes cannot be really good, really fast. The entire roster has been flipped and there are elite players at a lot of positions. I believe there is some significant hype about just how good Colorado can be right away.

But I agree with the coach’s premise: If Sanders blows the doors off Boulder and has a winning season or more – 15 of the last 16 full seasons have been losing ones – then desperate teams at higher-profile Power Five programs will come calling for Sanders just like Michigan State did for Mel Tucker after his one season at Colorado.

The other scenario is that a tough early-season schedule humbles Sanders. The Buffaloes’ games against TCU, Nebraska, Oregon, USC and Arizona State by early October won’t be cupcakes.

Of course, Sanders is going to say that the anonymous coach’s comments are bull. What else can he say? When was the last time a coach admitted using a smaller program’s success for a bigger job?

Maybe Sanders is truly loyal to Colorado and athletics director Rick George for giving him a Power Five shot. But Sanders wouldn’t be the first opportunist coach out there who parlayed success into a bigger pay day.




Demarcus Riddick

Demarcus Riddick (Nick Lucero/Rivals.com)

Shortly after four-star linebacker Demarcus Riddick committed to Georgia in November, the Clanton (Ala.) Chilton County standout basically shut down talking to the media or giving much insight into his recruitment.

That’s fine. It’s understandable. And it’s not the first time.

But now there are lots of rumors that Riddick is poised to flip to Alabama with Auburn also working on the in-state prospect. From what I’ve been told by a good source, Riddick will not announce anything until later this month.

And it doesn’t necessarily mean a flip is imminent. Georgia is still very much in the picture here especially since Riddick has such a strong connection to that coaching staff and he decided it was the right place for him all the way back in November.

I would not be shocked at all if he flipped to Alabama especially since the Crimson Tide have never given up on him and it’s only about 75 minutes up the road. We probably won’t learn anything more on Riddick until July 26 when he announces his final decision.




Jim Harbaugh

Jim Harbaugh (© Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)

Michigan: The Big Ten teams sort of blew it in the College Football Playoff last year as Michigan let TCU score at will and Ohio State missed a field goal to beat Georgia. The Wolverines should be back in the playoff hunt as the schedule is very favorable and doesn’t really get difficult until November. All the key pieces are there for Michigan although the last time a Big Ten team won the national title was in 2014 (Ohio State) and before that it was 2002 (Ohio State, again).

USC: Can Lincoln Riley take the Trojans to the College Football Playoff in only his second season? It looks more than reasonable since scoring points won’t be an issue and the defense has to be improved, right? Adding some serious players such as Bear Alexander (Georgia) and Anthony Lucas (Texas A&M) in the portal should help. Plus, the schedule is very favorable other than games at Notre Dame and Oregon.

LSU: Brian Kelly made a real statement by winning 10 games and taking the Tigers to the SEC Championship in his first season. The guy does know how to coach and win games. The defense has a lot of stellar pieces and should come together. It’s not going to be easy starting again with Florida State, going to Alabama and playing a full SEC slate but this could be the year LSU takes another step forward.

Florida State: Ten wins and a bowl game was definitely an improvement by coach Mike Norvell and his program but it’s a massive leap now to the playoff. The Seminoles have one of the nation’s top quarterbacks and a lot of roster talent to make it happen. The schedule is a major challenge which could hold back FSU.

Penn State: The Nittany Lions should be undefeated heading into Ohio State on Oct. 21. Get past the Buckeyes there – which will be no easy task – and Penn State hosts Michigan on Nov. 11. Those are the two major roadblocks for the Lions to make a run to the playoff but they’ve been significant problems during coach James Franklin’s tenure. Still, this is Penn State’s best shot in years with a loaded roster to make the Final Four.


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