Colorado and Arizona State will play for the last time in Week 6 as members of the Pac-12 before both program depart for the Big 12 in 2024. While the anticipation of a new conference home means long-term optimism for both programs, the Buffaloes and Sun Devils still have a lot of work to do in 2023. The pair are still looking for their first Pac-12 victory of the season after stumbling to 0-2 starts in conference play. However, one team is guaranteed to finally bust into that win column as we approach the midway point of the season.
There’s still an undeniable and palpable buzz for coach Deion Sanders and Colorado following a blistering 3-0 start, but the spotlight has dimmed somewhat after back-to-back losses. They’ll look to stop the bleeding against an Arizona State team that has lost four in a row, including Pac-12 defeats against USC and Cal, after starting the Kenny Dillingham era with a victory against Southern Utah in Week 1.
Saturday will mark the 14th overall meeting in a series that has been played annually since Colorado joined the Pac-12 in 2011. Arizona State owns a 10-3 edge and has prevailed in each of the past two matchups, but the Buffaloes are favored this time around.
Get caught up on storylines, viewing information and some expert advice before Colorado and Arizona State close out the Pac-12 chapter of their series at Mountain America Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
Colorado vs. Arizona State: Need to know
Portal powers: Arizona State and Colorado are near unrecognizable from last season in terms of personnel. Not only did the schools hire coaches without previous Power Five experience, but the new regimes viciously attacked the transfer portal. Colorado led all FBS teams with 51 portal additions this offseason, and Arizona State was second on that list with 31. The results have come quicker for Sanders than they have for Dillingham, but their shared unconventional approach to roster building could soon become the new norm in college football.
Adversity piling up for Sun Devils: Rebuilds don’t happen overnight, but it’s been a rough ride early for Dillingham’s regime. Days before the season began, the university announced a self-imposed bowl ban for the football team, stemming from alleged NCAA violations committed under ex-Sun Devils coach Herm Edwards. As if four straight losses and a narrow victory against an FCS opponent wasn’t tough enough, Arizona State has also been decimated by injuries at quarterback. Drew Pyne, Jaden Rashada and Trenton Bourget have all endured ailments of varying degrees early in the season, leaving the Sun Devils with razor-thin depth at a critical position. Bourget did pass for 344 yards at Cal in Week 5, but finished with an interception and no touchdowns.
Prime Time hype fading? Sanders and Buffaloes were the talk of college football — complete with a celebrity contingent of fans — after opening the season with three straight victories. The momentum has started to wane after the Buffaloes allowed 90 points combined in losses to Oregon and USC. Beyond that, key players such as two-way star Travis Hunter and safety Shilo Sanders have dealt with injuries, and the offensive line has struggled to protect quarterback Shedeur Sanders. Colorado’s hype train may be built to survive shortcomings against ranked Ducks and Trojans squads, but losing to a struggling Arizona State team would do potentially irreparable damage going forward.
How to watch Colorado vs. Arizona State live
Date: Saturday, October 7 | Time: 6:30 p.m. ET
Location: Mountain America Stadium — Tempe, Arizona
TV: Pac-12 Networks | Live stream: fubo (Try for free)
Colorado vs. Arizona State prediction, picks
Odds via SportsLine consensus
There’s no debating that Colorado, even with Hunter sidelined, supersedes Arizona State in terms of star talent entering this matchup. At the same time, a Buffaloes defense that ranks dead last in the Power Five — the unit is averaging 480.2 yards allowed — creates pause in picking Colorado to win comfortably on the road. After all, have we not learned through five games that Sanders and the Buffaloes have a flare for the dramatic? All said, Colorado will cover against an adversity-prone Sun Devils squad, but the victory could be more stressful than needed for “Coach Prime” and company. Pick: Colorado -4
Which college football picks can you make with confidence in Week 6? Visit SportsLine to see which teams will win and cover the spread — all from a proven computer model that has returned almost $2,500 in profit over the past seven seasons — and find out.