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Old 09-01-2012, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
10,336 posts, read 10,507,493 times
Reputation: 13328

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As I write this, there are approximately 90 minutes counting down until kickoff. It has me thinking about how much fun this game once was, and how I wish for those days when the Buffs and Rams would square off, both teams ranked in the top 25. I believe this discussion belongs in the Colorado forum and not the College Football forum because the game is more significant to Colorado overall than to college football overall. Hopefully both programs can restore some credibility and the game will have a more significant impact on the national level once again.

Meanwhile today the Colorado Buffaloes and the Colorado State Rams will square off at Sports Authority Field in Denver. The capacity is over 76,000 but if the attendance for today's game is over 50,000 I'll be pleasantly surprised. Now it is true that both programs have looked dismal lately. In fact, so bad are they that they bring a combined 6-19 season in from last year, with both teams winning only 3 games (Colorado played a rare 13-game set last year). The truth is that this game is just not relevant anymore. That is sad and hard to say for this Colorado graduate and former Colorado State fan from my pre-college days. But as recently as 2002, this game had huge implications for both schools, and a lot of their opponents.

So what can be done to restore this game to its former glory?

Here are some ideas that I'll share.

1. To start with, both teams need to be good again.

I think that both are heading in the right direction, with John Embree really doing a fine job in his first two recruiting classes. And while few would consider last season's 3-10 finish to be anything remotely resembling successful, the Buffaloes adjusted to their new slate of opponents in the Pac-12 and perhaps most importantly, shaking that road monkey off their backs with a road win against Utah to close out the season last year. I believe this team can go 6-6 this season and earn an invitation to one of the minor bowl games.

Meanwhile up in Fort Collins the recent shakeup in the athletic department promises renewed commitment to the football program. The school was able to lure Jim McElwain away from his post as the OC for the national champion Alabama Crimson Tide in order to install him as the new HC for the Rams. This is a promising move for the program, and will likely pay big dividends with recruiting. How this will translate into wins and losses this year? I really can't say, but part of me is really hoping to see the Rams manage a 6-6 record as well and earn a trip to a bowl game as well.

2. Colorado State's credibility in the Mountain West

Colorado State inquired into their chances of joining the Big-12 and was politely written off. It will be hard to be taken seriously in a MWC that will be weakened with the loss of Boise State next season. But the truth is Colorado State is not good enough to compete in the MWC right now. The university's priorities should be to completely dominate that conference for a few seasons. If they build to a point that they can win 9-10 games every season, they may find themselves the recipients of an invitation to a better conference. Of course, winning won't be enough. Some upgrades to their facilities will be need too. Hence...

3. Build that stadium on the CSU campus!

I know that there are a lot of people on both sides of this debate. While I can respect the views of those who are opposed to it, I just see it as a no-brainer. An on-campus stadium is a much more intimate venue than the edge of town. When I was a student at CU, walking past the venerable Folsom Field always gave me a sense of pride about my school. Imagine the same thing on the CSU campus. Imagine further what a new state-of-the-arts facility can do for recruiting. There was a really well-written three piece story on this subject in the Denver post last month. Colorado State is on the brink of making a huge gamble here. But isn't innovation and risk something that is valued in the academic world? I say, "Do it, CSU!"

4. Play the game on the campuses of the two schools.

This assumes that CSU builds their new stadium. Hughes Stadium fits about 34,000. I believe that plans call for a capacity of about 45,000 in the new stadium. Folsom in Boulder fits about 55,000. Recent attendance at this game suggests that capacity at Folsom could accommodate the game, while a potentially new stadium on the CSU campus would be filled above capacity. Perhaps this could make the tickets a hot commodity once again. Last year's game drew about 57,000. Assuming both schools continue to improve their programs, increased attendance can be expected. But a home and home series in the interim, at least to welcome the new stadium, would bring this rivalry to a new high. Of course, this is not likely any time soon as the schools contract to play on a neutral site exists through 2019. The soonest Colorado State could host the game will be in 2020.

What is amazing is that nothing I've written is all that far fetched. Both schools appear to be in the early stages of building back into credible programs. In about a month we'll know more about CSU's decision on the stadium. And over the next couple of years we'll know more about the success or continued failure of these two schools.

I for one choose to be optimistic. I think this game and these two football programs can be good once again, and do the State of Colorado proud in the world of NCAA football.

It is now less than an hour until kickoff. I leave you with this final thought:

Colorado Buffaloes 24, Colorado State Rams 20.

Go Buffs!
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:19 PM
 
Location: Greater NYC
2,859 posts, read 4,715,466 times
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Great summary.

GO BUFFS!
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:48 PM
 
20,372 posts, read 37,921,184 times
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I was unaware of the game as I don't follow the teams, but if they advertised the game and if they'd run buses from COLO SPGS to Denver I'd probably go; if they did those things I've been asleep at the wheel. I won't drive in that nutso traffic and I won't spend $40+ to park a car there like for Bronco games.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
10,336 posts, read 10,507,493 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike from back east View Post
I was unaware of the game as I don't follow the teams, but if they advertised the game and if they'd run buses from COLO SPGS to Denver I'd probably go; if they did those things I've been asleep at the wheel. I won't drive in that nutso traffic and I won't spend $40+ to park a car there like for Bronco games.
An excellant idea, Mike. Advertising and bussing from Fort Collins, Boulder and Colorado Springs could prove a big help to attendance.

I think the game is important because it showcases the state's top two public universities. Holding it in Denver became a necessity because of the crowds it once drew. It has been held in Boulder several times, but Fort Collins has not hosted the game since 1996.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:13 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,105 posts, read 20,410,542 times
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I agree that CSU FC needs to build a new stadium on campus. I went to college there and never understood why the football stadium was so far away. If they do that then they should play the games at the local stadiums and not Mile Hi in Denver.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Littleton, CO
3,108 posts, read 4,685,141 times
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I think that CSU's commitment to building a new stadium is a start.

Now what they need to do is to somehow get themselves into the PAC 12. This is not as far-fetched as it might seem. The PAC 12 has 5 pairs of schools that are in close proximity (UAz/AzSU, USC/UCLA, UCBerkeley/Stanford, UOre/Ore St., UWash/Wash St) and Colorado and Utah. CSU and BYU would make great fits and return the PAC 12 to its paired format. Playing each other in all sports would also make for a good rivalry.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:17 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
10,336 posts, read 10,507,493 times
Reputation: 13328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Josseppie View Post
I agree that CSU FC needs to build a new stadium on campus. I went to college there and never understood why the football stadium was so far away. If they do that then they should play the games at the local stadiums and not Mile Hi in Denver.
Joss,
I mentioned a write-up in the Denver Post on this subject. At one point the story mentioned that the Colorado State coaching staff will take recruits out to the stadium facilities at night. How sad is that? Fort Collins is an awesome town with a great university. They shouldn't have to show potential recruits around with all the lights off. They should be able to proudly showcase their campus and facilities. They need to build that stadium.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:22 PM
 
Location: Fredericksburg, VA
10,336 posts, read 10,507,493 times
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To anyone who is interested, here are the links to the Denver Post story on the CSU stadium proposal:

Colorado State overhaul spearheads new commitment to excellence - The Denver Post

CSU leaders weigh moving forward on new football stadium - The Denver Post

Can CSU raise profile playing in a weakened Mountain West? - The Denver Post
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:26 PM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,105 posts, read 20,410,542 times
Reputation: 4143
Quote:
Originally Posted by iknowftbll View Post
Joss,
I mentioned a write-up in the Denver Post on this subject. At one point the story mentioned that the Colorado State coaching staff will take recruits out to the stadium facilities at night. How sad is that? Fort Collins is an awesome town with a great university. They shouldn't have to show potential recruits around with all the lights off. They should be able to proudly showcase their campus and facilities. They need to build that stadium.
Agreed and I really like the plan.





I think this would enhance the campus and make student life much better for all CSU FC students.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:41 PM
 
16,201 posts, read 20,244,203 times
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Solid comments by iknowftbll.

I'm hoping that both CU AND CSU can return to those better times, for sure. And you couldn't have had two better men to head those programs; Bill McCartney for the CU Buffaloes and Sonny Lubick for the CSU Rams.

I'm pulling for CSU, but CU will take it. I'm in Albuquerque right now and am not able to see the game.
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