Big 12 News

ESPN FPI Projects Colorado to be Among Most-Improved FBS Teams in 2024

Nov 4, 2023; Boulder, Colorado, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders (2) drops back for a pass against the Oregon State Beavers at Folsom Field. Mandatory Credit: Chet Strange-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN recently released its Football Power Index (FPI) for the 2024 season, and it has caused quite a stir among Big 12 fan bases.

Whether it was the fact that the league has just a 3.6% chance to win a national championship or that the Kansas Jayhawks were the team with the highest chance (1.1%) of winning it all, there’s been a lot of talk about how the Big 12 fares.

But there’s another big storyline emerging from the releases, as the Colorado Buffaloes are projected to turn the corner in 2024 and to be a bowl team in ESPN’s projections.


According to FPI, Colorado is projected to win 6.3 games, much of which is thanks to the model ranking the Buffaloes’ offense as the No. 16 unit in the country with Shedeur Sanders at quarterback.

But we’re not just talking about the offense getting better here, as the FPI sees Colorado as a vastly improved team in 2024. In fact, they are the second-most improved team in the model, according to ESPN’s Neil Payne.

“Along with a season forecast of 6.3 wins, that might not be to Sanders’ liking — but by rising from 77th in the FPI in 2023, the Buffaloes are projected to be the second-most-improved team in the FBS, trailing only Stanford (who’s up from 106th to 59th),” Payne writes.


“Colorado should benefit from a slightly easier schedule in 2024 — the Buffaloes rank 45th in projected FPI schedule strength, versus 39th a year ago — and its scoring differential indicated a team slightly better than its record last season, both signs that point to continued improvement in Boulder.”

Deion Sanders’ squad will have quite a difficult Big 12 slate as they’ll face Kansas State, Arizona, Texas Tech, Utah, Kansas, and Oklahoma State, with each of the last four opponents coming in succession to end the year.

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