Heading into 2024, Mile High Sports’ Mark Knudson is offering up his long predictions for the sports year to come. Strike 1 dealt with the early months of the year. In Strike 2, he predicts another championship parade making its way through downtown Denver.

Strike Three: The winter of Deion…

Nov. 23, Boulder – The Colorado Buffaloes complete their first season back in the Big 12 with a 36-17 win over their latest “designated rival,” the Iowa State Cyclones, at Folsom Field. The Buffs finish 7-5 under second year coach Deion Sanders, and accept a bid to the TaxAct Bowl in Houston where they’ll face Kentucky from the SEC.

Dec. 2, Coppell, Texas – During a press gathering at the headquarters of the Smoothie King Corporation, Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Shedeur Sanders announces he’s skipping the Buffaloes TaxAct Texas Bowl game against Kentucky and declaring for the upcoming NFL Draft. Shedeur says he will be leaving Boulder to continue his pre-draft preparations at the nearby D1 training facility in Dallas. He tells the media that Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has promised him the Cowboys are going to find a way to move up to draft him.

Later in the day, Buffs All-America two-way star Travis Hunter announces he’s also skipping the bowl game and turning pro, but he makes his announcement in front of two dozen media members at the Chippers Lanes bowling alley in Broomfield.

Dec. 4, Miami – University of Miami athletic director Dan Radakovich introduces the newest head football coach of the Miami Hurricanes, Deion Sanders, to the assembled media. Deion immediately announces he’s bringing in 49 new players, a new coaching staff, and wants to replace several members of Radakovich’s staff with “his people.” He also announces that two former Hurricane All-Americans and NFL Hall of Famers, Michael Irvin and Warren Sapp, along with former All-Pro receivers Terrell Owens and Chad Ochocinco will be part of the ‘Canes new coaching staff.

Dec. 11, Los Angeles – New University of Miami head coach Deion Sanders shocks the sports world by announcing he is resigning his new position at “The U” and instead will be joining News Corp, the parent company of both Fox News and Fox Sports. Sanders will be the new host of the Fox News network’s weeknight 6pm Eastern time slot, aptly named, “Prime Time with Deion Sanders.” As part of his new TV deal, Deion will own all commercial inventory, which he will be allowed to use to promote each of the various product sponsors he endorses, as well as those endorsed by his quarterback son Shedeur, during his one-hour weeknight show.

Fox Sports also announces that Deion will be replacing James Brown as the host of their Sunday NFL studio coverage during the football season, starting with the upcoming NFL playoffs.

“He brings in big ratings numbers, simple as that,” notes News Corp executive chairman Lachlan Murdoch.

Meanwhile, the University of Miami announces that former Hurricanes All-American Warren Sapp will become the programs’ new head coach.

Dec. 23, Boulder – After a two-week search to find a replacement for the departed Deion Sanders, University of Colorado athletic director Rick George announces the hiring of CU alum and Washington Commanders assistant head coach Eric Bieniemy as the 29th head football coach at CU. In his remarks, George admits that the school and their former star running back have had differences in the past, but that all of that is behind them now. “We think EB is the best coach and person to keep the momentum that we have going – especially in the transfer portal area – and take us to the next level. If you doubt him as a coach, just look at how the Kansas City Chiefs fell off after he left.”

Dec. 29, Kansas City – The Denver Broncos are soundly beaten by the Kansas City Chiefs 38-13 and fall to 6-10 on the season. With rookie quarterback J J McCarthy struggling in the latter part of the season, Broncos head coach Sean Payton turns back to veteran Jarrett Stidham, who is ineffective as the team’s new starter. Payton says after the game that neither of his QB’s have done well at “processing” what he’s been telling them to do from snap to snap.

The salary-cap hamstrung Broncos miss the postseason for the ninth consecutive season.