Colorado's 'Big Noon' clash vs. USC is fifth straight national TV game under Deion Sanders

Coach Deion Sanders and the University of Colorado Buffaloes are set to play their fifth straight nationally featured game in five weeks just one season after winning a single game.

According to The Athletic's Stewart Mandel, Colorado's game against USC in Week 5 will be broadcast on one of college football's most prominent television programs: Big Noon Saturday on FOX.

The Colorado Buffaloes will play in their fifth straight nationally televised game on Sept. 30.

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Why is Colorado vs. USC a national game?

The announcement is just the latest example of how the "Coach Prime Effect" is shaping the Colorado program and college football as a whole in 2023. Three weeks into the season, immediately after the Buffaloes won one game and were featured on national television just five times, the team already has tripled its win total and will have matched its number of national features by Week 5.

Colorado's season opener against TCU and its Week 2 game against Nebraska both aired on FOX. In Week 3, Colorado-Colorado State was on ESPN. In this upcoming Week 4, Colorado plays Oregon on ABC. Monday's announcement that the Buffaloes will play USC on FOX makes it five nationally televised games in a row.

With those national features, Sanders' team is drawing plenty of eyes to Boulder. Despite starting at 10 p.m. ET, Colorado's in-state rivalry win over Colorado State on ESPN still garnered more attention than any other college football game of the day, according to Sports Business Journal's John Ourand.

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Changing Big Noon tradition

The Coach Prime Effect has even caused some networks to break from tradition.

FOX's Big Noon Kickoff pregame show usually travels to where its Big Noon Saturday featured game kicks off every week. However, despite the network's featured early game taking place in Champaign, Ill. for Penn State vs. Illinois last Saturday, the FOX crew instead traveled to Boulder for a third straight week.

It was the first time in the history of "Big Noon" programming that the Kickoff crew did not travel to the location of FOX's featured game.

Colorado football schedule

The Buffaloes stand at 3-0 after three games, but their schedule gets harder from here as they open Pac-12 play.

  • Week 1: Colorado 45 - 42 TCU FINAL

  • Week 2: Colorado 36 - 14 Nebraska FINAL

  • Week 3: Colorado 43 - 35 Colorado State FINAL/2OT

  • Week 4: Colorado @ Oregon, 3:30 p.m. ET, ABC

  • Week 5: Colorado vs. USC, Noon ET, FOX

Reigning Heisman winner Caleb Williams will lead the USC Trojans against Colorado in Week 5.
  • Week 6: Colorado @ Arizona State

  • Week 7: Colorado vs. Stanford

  • Week 8: BYE

  • Week 9: Colorado @ UCLA

  • Week 10: Colorado vs. Oregon State

  • Week 11: Colorado vs. Arizona

  • Week 12: Colorado @ Washington State

  • Week 13: Colorado @ Utah

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Travis Hunter injury update

Colorado's star two-way athlete, wide receiver/cornerback Travis Hunter "will be out three weeks," with an injury suffered against Colorado State on Saturday, according to Sanders.

FOX's Skip Bayless reported on his show, Undisputed, that Hunter had suffered a lacerated liver and would be out three-four weeks. Neither Sanders nor Hunter have confirmed the report.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Colorado vs. USC: Pac-12 matchup is FOX's "Big Noon" game Week 5