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Colorado coach Deion Sanders calls late game times ‘stupidest thing ever invented in life’

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) — Deion Sanders doesn’t want anyone sleeping on what’s happening with his reconstructed Colorado Buffaloes.

It’s just sometimes hard to stay awake until the end. A few late-night kickoffs have the Buffaloes chasing wins when many around the nation are catching “Zzzs.”

Coach Prime isn’t the biggest fan of those late prime-time kickoffs, either. The Buffaloes will play well into the night once again Friday when they host Stanford at sold-out Folsom Field. The game won’t start until at least 8 p.m. Mountain and doesn’t figure to finish until after 11:30 p.m., maybe even carry into early Saturday.

“Who makes these 8 o’clock games? Dumbest thing ever. Stupidest thing ever invented in life. Who wants to stay up until 8 o’clock for a darn game?” Sanders said on his weekly radio show. “What about the East Coast — do they even care about ratings? Is anyone watching it? What are we supposed to do with the kids all day until 8 o’clock? What are we supposed to do in the hotel?”

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Asked by the host of his show, Mark Johnson, about maybe watching some football in the downtime, Sanders quipped: “Who’s playing on Friday?”

It will be just the second time the Buffaloes play on a Friday the 13th. The only other occasion was November 2015 when they lost 27-24 to Southern California.

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Sanders only wishes these late-night games were as rare.

When the Buffaloes (4-2, 1-2 Pac-12) played Colorado State on Sept. 16 — kickoff was at 8:21 p.m. Mountain — the game didn’t finish until 12:25 a.m. It did go two overtimes, though, and lasted a little over four hours as the Buffaloes rallied for a 43-35 win. It was the longest game in Buffaloes history, the school reported.

Up ahead is another late one for Colorado on Nov. 17 at Washington State, which is set for a 8:30 p.m. Mountain time kickoff. It’s a far cry from the early part of the season, which saw three kickoffs at 10 a.m. Mountain (the Buffs won the first two).

Sanders has already had enough with games carrying into the wee hours of the evening. It’s not uncommon in the Pac-12, where conference teams have a history of playing long after dark.

“Thank God we’re not going to be in this conference,” Sanders said on his radio show as the school prepares to move from the Pac-12 to the Big 12 next season.

One thing Sanders is a fan of: Stanford (1-4, 0-3) and first-year Cardinal coach Troy Taylor. Both coaches were tasked with turning around programs.

“They have fight in them. They won’t give up,” Sanders said. “I love what they’re putting on the field.”

Sanders has made the Buffaloes the talk of college football and their sideline at Folsom Field the place to be. Their field is almost like the most popular nightclub in town, with entertainers (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Lil Wayne, DaBaby) and famous athletes (Terrell Owens, Kevin Garnett) making appearances.

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Given the red-carpet vibe, maybe it’s only fitting for a late start Friday as Colorado creeps closer to bowl eligibility a season after going 1-11.

Even with an after-hours finish, the Buffaloes are sure to get more than their fair share of viewers tuning in. The prime time game against the Rams on ESPN was one of the most-watched in team history. Colorado boasts five of the eight top-watched college football games this season in terms of viewership, according to research provided from the school.

“It’s pretty clear,” Taylor said, “that they’re a better team than they’ve been in the past. I think they’ll continue to get better.”

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AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll