As the CSU football team returns from a break, I’m going to try
and figure out exactly how the team has turned around a sub-par 2-3
start to looking like a team that could go head-to-head with
anybody in the country. OK, Oklahoma may be a stretch.
My theory is a combination of adjustments to new coaches and the
The Rams lost their defensive coordinator and linebackers coach,
their defensive backs coach and their tight ends and special teams
coach. Although the system remained the same, it takes time for
coaches to think with like minds. The coaching changes on defense
certainly seemed to have an effect in the early season.
The Rams gave up an average of 35 points a game in the three
early season losses. During the last three games, CSU has given up
an average of 14.3 points.
With Bradlee Van Pelt under center, the Rams have always had
more success when they are not counted among the nation’s best
teams. Last season, the Rams were supposed to be outmatched in
early season games at Virginia and at No. 6 Colorado. But the Rams
won both games and nearly pulled off an upset at UCLA. The Rams
entered the Top 25, only to lose a close game against Fresno State
32-20. They dropped out of the Top 25 and went about their business
in the Mountain West Conference. That success led to another surge
in the polls, as the Rams reached No. 13 in the rankings. But the
Rams suffered a season-ending loss to UNLV at home and then lost
the AXA Liberty Bowl to Texas Christian.
This season, the Rams entered the season in the Top 25 and
favored against Colorado. There was talk of an undefeated season.
The Rams then went out to a 2-3 start. Then, when people questioned
whether the Rams would even become bowl eligible, they churned out
their best three games of the season.
If the Rams ever hope to make a run at a BCS bowl in the future,
they will have to learn to win with ‘national power’ in front of
Maniac schedule for men’s b-ball
One of the few pitfalls of studying in England last spring was
that I missed the amazing run of the men’s basketball team. It’s
nice to have hope and expectations for the first time since any of
us have been here (unless you’re on the 14-year plan).
Coming off last season’s MWC tournament win and their
final-minute loss to Duke in the first round of the NCAA
tournament, expectations for the basketball team are as high as
they have been since the early 90s. Attendance and enthusiasm at
Moby has been rather pathetic over the past few years, but the Moby
Maniacs should return this season.
While regular season success was not needed for the Rams (16-14)
last year, they won’t win the MWC tournament as the No. 6 seed
MWC coaches picked CSU to finish third in the conference and
center Matt Nelson was selected as the preseason player of the
Whether CSU is a legitimate contender may be answered before
they even play a conference game. CSU is certainly not backing down
in their non-conference schedule.
The Rams play Oklahoma State in Tulsa, Okla., on Nov. 26, just
the second game of the season. The team also has road games at
Auburn and South Florida and play Pepperdine at the Pepsi Center.
The Rams were terrible in non-conference road games last season,
losing to Colorado, Purdue, Southern Illinois and Arkansas-Little
This season, CSU hosts CU and Purdue, as well as a solid Texas
Southern team before entering conference play. As with the football
team, I am always excited when CSU takes on a challenging
It could be tough going for the basketball team, but hopefully
any losses suffered will not affect their confidence in MWC
The first game is Nov. 22 against BYU-Hawaii, come get on the
bandwagon early this year.