Colorado has a target on its back, and it’s been there since December 2022 when Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders came to Boulder. So you knew that any setback, such as Saturday’s loss to Oregon, was going to be a big deal. 

It doesn’t matter that Oregon is a football team capable of playing in the College Football Playoff. 

It doesn’t matter that the Ducks have a Heisman hopeful at quarterback in Bo Nix — the first player in the history of the sport to account for 55 TDs at two different Power 5 programs — who was terrific Saturday.

What moved the masses — and certainly Dan Lanning — is the unprecedented attention Prime’s Buffaloes brought with them to Autzen — and which will follow them right back to Boulder. Lanning was right to hope folks who have set viewership records watching Colorado were still paying attention, because many of them didn’t know Oregon was good to begin with.

Now they should know how good Oregon is, though they’ll undoubtedly remain focused on Prime. And they’ll watch as he continues to build the program from the awful 1-11 team it was in 2022, to a 3-1 program in 2023, and certainly toward unseen heights in the weeks and months to come.

So get your licks in now, because this is as bad as Colorado is going to be. Prime went 4-3 in his first season at Jackson State before flipping the Tigers into a 12-win program.

There’s a good football team in Boulder, but wait until Prime gets comfortable. They’re hunting Colorado now. But the rabbit will get the gun sooner than you think.

Colorado-Oregon breakdown: Are the Ducks CFB contenders?

Here are my Top 25 rankings after Week 4.

1. Georgia (4-0)

Defeated UAB, 49-21

The Bulldogs have won 21 games in a row and yet seem to be under the radar. Such are expectations around Georgia.

2. Michigan (4-0)

Defeated Rutgers, 31-7

After going down 7-0 in the first, the Wolverines reeled off 31 straight points to secure the win. Michigan has won 17 of its last 18 games.

3. Ohio State (4-0)

Defeated Notre Dame, 17-14

Ryan Day called out Lou Holtz after the last-second win.

“Toughness. Toughness, that’s it,” Day began. “Physicality across the board. Guts. I’d like to know where Lou Holtz is right now. What he said about our team … I cannot believe. This is a tough team right here.”

Hard to argue otherwise.

Reacting to Ohio State’s gritty win vs. Notre Dame

4. USC (4-0) 

Defeated Arizona State, 42-28

Caleb Williams was great — 322 yards, three touchdowns, no interceptions — even if the Trojans were slow to get going in this one.

5. Texas (4-0)

Defeated Baylor, 38-6

Quinn Ewers passed for 293 yards and a TD in an easy Longhorns victory.

6. Penn State (4-0)

Defeated Iowa, 31-0

The Nittany Lions were never threatened, and the Big Ten race looks like the three-team affair we thought it was.

7. Oregon (4-0) 

Defeated Colorado, 42-6

The Ducks put up 522 total yards, allowed just 199, and sacked Shedeur Sanders seven times in the win. The Buffs didn’t get on the board until there was 2:57 left.

Dan Lanning comments on beating Deion Sanders, Colorado

8. Washington (4-0)

Defeated California, 59-32

The Huskies led 14-0 before they even had a possession. Still, Michael Penix Jr. ended up with 304 yards and four touchdowns.

9. Utah (4-0) 

Defeated UCLA, 14-7

The Utes sacked UCLA quarterback Dante Moore seven times. The Bruins were shut out until the final 3:44 of the game.

10. Florida State (4-0) 

Defeated Clemson, 31-24, OT

FSU never led in regulation. Keon Coleman caught six passes for 89 yards with two TDs in the win. Coleman has caught as many TDs at FSU as he did at Michigan State all last year. 

11. Notre Dame (4-1)

Lost to Ohio State, 17-14

No shame in this loss for the Irish, who showed they can play a little defense.

12. Alabama (3-1)

Defeated Ole Miss, 24-10

Bama held Ole Miss to 56 yards rushing and Jalen Milroe passed for 225.

13. Oklahoma (4-0)

Defeated Cincinnati, 20-6

The Sooners have picked off seven passes in their last two games and allowed just 31 total points through the first four games of the season.

Oklahoma is playing defense! Breaking down win over Cincinnati

14. Duke (4-0)

Defeated Connecticut, 41-7

The meat of the Blue Devils’ schedule is still to come with two of their next three games against Notre Dame and Florida State. 

15. LSU (3-1)

Defeated Arkansas, 34-31

Jayden Daniels passed for 320 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Tigers.

16. Washington State (4-0)

Defeated Oregon State, 38-35

Cam Ward put up 404 yards and four TDs without an interception. The Cougars look like a problem.

Cameron Ward and Josh Kelly connect for a touchdown

17. North Carolina (4-0)

Defeated Pittsburgh, 41-24

Drake Maye passed for 296 yards and scored three total touchdowns as the Tar Heels cruised.

18. Oregon State (3-1) 

Lost to Washington State, 38-35

The Beavers made a valiant comeback to make it close late in a tough road game.

19. Miami (4-0)

Defeated Temple, 41-7

Since giving up 33 points to Texas A&M in Week 2, the Hurricanes have allowed just 14 points in their last two outings. Miami put up 543 total yards and 31 points in the second and third quarters against the Owls.

20. Ole Miss (3-1) 

Lost to Alabama, 24-10

Lane Kiffin can talk a good game, but his offense couldn’t get anything going against the Tide.

Alabama shows off an impressive new defense

21. Missouri (4-0)

Defeated Memphis, 34-27

Brady Cook passed for 341 yards as Mizzou remains unbeaten.

22. UCLA (3-1)

Lost to Utah, 14-7

Dante Moore received his Utah baptism, but he wasn’t alone among Bruins.

23. Florida (3-1)

Defeated Charlotte, 22-7

Ricky Pearsall had six catches for 104 yards as the Gators roll.

24. Kansas (4-0)

Defeated BYU, 38-27

The Jayhawks notched a consecutive 4-0 start for the first time since 1915.

25. Colorado (3-1)

Lost to Oregon, 42-6

“That was a good old-fashioned butt-kicking,” Deion Sanders said after this one.

Now, he gets to prep for USC’s arrival next weekend.

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RJ Young is a national college football writer and analyst for FOX Sports and the host of the podcast “The Number One College Football Show.” Follow him on Twitter at @RJ_Young and subscribe to “The RJ Young Show” on YouTube.

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