Colorado football's 2024 win total line is 5.5. Will the Buffs go over or under?

Colorado Buffaloes safety Shilo Sanders (21) runs for a touchdown after making an interception against the Colorado State Rams during the first half at Folsom Field.
Colorado Buffaloes safety Shilo Sanders (21) runs for a touchdown after making an interception against the Colorado State Rams during the first half at Folsom Field.

Editor's note: Running back Rashad Amos flipped his transfer commitment from Colorado to Ole Miss on May 18.

The national spotlight will once again be on Deion Sanders and Colorado football in 2024.

Each of the Buffaloes' first two games this fall will be broadcast on national TV, and that's before the Big 12 slate even begins.

Speaking of the new, 16-team Big 12, Colorado is expected to be one of the conference's worst teams in Sanders' second year at the helm.

Both Action Network and FanDuel have the Buffaloes' over/under win total line set at 5.5. That's tied with Cincinnati and Baylor, which combined to finish 6-18 last season. The only Big 12 teams with a lower win total line are Arizona State, BYU and Houston (4.5).

Here's the argument for why Colorado will hit the over or the under on that projection:

Why Colorado football will soar past 5.5 wins

This win total line has too much to do with what occurred during the 2023 season and not enough to do with what has transpired since.

Simply put, Colorado is better and deeper at just about every position.

More: Colorado football projected offensive starters: Who will shine alongside Shedeur Sanders?

The Buffs are led by one of the best quarterbacks in college football, Shedeur Sanders, who set the program's single-season passing yards record (3,230) while being the most sacked signal caller in FBS (52) last season. The projected first-round NFL draft pick will be surrounded by arguably the Big 12's best receiving corps (led by Travis Hunter, Will Sheppard, LaJohntay Wester, Jimmy Horn Jr., Omarion Miller) and an improved offensive line.

Colorado will have an entirely new starting five protecting Sanders, including the No. 1 offensive tackle in the Class of 2024 (Jordan Seaton) and experienced transfers. They should also help incoming transfer running backs Dallan Hayden and Rashad Amos find plenty of daylight after the pair combined to rush for 1,745 yards and 19 touchdowns over the last two seasons.

Defensively, Deion Sanders added proven pass rushers via the transfer portal (B.J. Green, Samuel Okunlola, Dayon Hayes). A lack of depth of linebacker was addressed with the additions of Nikhai Hill-Green, Johnny Chaney Jr. and Jaylen Wester.

Hunter, Cam'Ron Silmon-Craig and Shilo Sanders will once again be patrolling the secondary with transfers DJ McKinney and Preston Hodge stepping in at corner following productive 2023 campaigns.

More: Projecting Colorado football's starting defense: Transfers give Buffs a new look for 2024

After the season opener against North Dakota State (FCS) on Thursday, Aug. 29, Colorado won't face a team that had a winning record last season until Week 7 vs. Kansas State. The Buffs could very well enter that matchup at 5-0, needing just one more win the rest of the season to hit the over on their win total line.

Why Colorado football will finish under 5.5 wins

Colorado plays seven of the nine Big 12 teams with the highest projected win totals in 2024.

The three Big 12 teams with the lowest projected win totals in 2024? Colorado plays none of them.

A hot start to the season by the Buffs could easily turn into a rough finish, much like last year, due to how the conference schedule is set up.

More: Colorado football mailbag: Has defense improved enough? Early record prediction?

The month of October will be crucial and features back-to-back matchups against Kansas State and Arizona. Colorado must split this pivotal two-week stretch at the very least.

A brutal month of November awaits the Buffs and begins with a road game at Texas Tech, a historically difficult place to play for visitors. Colorado hosts Utah, which is tied with Kansas State for the Big 12's highest projected win total, the following week before traveling to Kansas (game will be played at Arrowhead Stadium) and closing the regular season at home vs. Oklahoma State, which played in last year's conference championship game.

The Buffs will need to prove they can stop the run and run the ball — particularly against the likes of Kansas, Oklahoma State and Utah — in order to avoid another late-season letdown.

If Colorado is unable to improve those two facets, 2024 could mark the fourth consecutive year that the program failed to appear in a bowl game.

2024 Colorado football schedule

  • Aug. 29 (Thursday): Vs. North Dakota State

  • Sept. 7: At Nebraska

  • Sept. 14: At Colorado State

  • Sept. 21: Vs. Baylor (homecoming)

  • Sept. 28: At Central Florida

  • Oct. 5: Bye

  • Oct. 12: Vs. Kansas State

  • Oct. 19: At Arizona

  • Oct. 26: Vs. Cincinnati (family weekend)

  • Nov. 2: Bye

  • Nov. 9: At Texas Tech

  • Nov. 16: Vs. Utah

  • Nov. 23: At Kansas (at Arrowhead Stadium)

  • Nov. 29 (Friday): Vs. Oklahoma State

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This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Will Colorado football hit the over or under on 2024 win total line?