No folks, it's not going to happen. For the past three years I've dreamt, prayed and wondered about the Big 12. There are so many reasons why we belong in one of the better college football conferences but there are even more reasons why we don't.
Recently, I got a new roommate. He's from Athens, Georgia and for those who don't know, that's Bulldog country. He's looking to become a Ram fan and recently asked what conference CSU was in. I informed him of the Mountain West Conference since he had barely heard of it. To be honest, I was embarrassed.
I don't even know where to place the blame. Does the bulk of it go to the Fort Collins community for not showing up to games? The University destroyed Hughes Stadium by putting more seats on the north end. There used to be a beautiful grassy knoll that added character to Hughes. Now we have to look at empty bleacher seats. I do understand we need a bigger stadium and I commend them for the effort – but it failed. Why can't the community fill the seats? As students, we do our part.
The Big 12 has some great programs with some great stadiums. The conference as a whole has an average football attendance of 57,312 people per game. Our stadium holds 34,000, on a good day.
Basically, it's just a vicious cycle that keeps CSU from reaching its full potential. If the fans don't show up, CSU won't make money on ticket sales. If the athletic department doesn't make money on ticket sales, we can't afford state-of-the-art facilities. In turn, we may not get the top athletes in the country if our program can't compete with the other major ones.
Here's an idea. The Big 12 may be all right with kicking out a team like Baylor. The state of Texas has four teams in the conference. Not fair. Colorado has one. Colorado State is a much better football program than Baylor. The Bears haven't won more than three games in a season for the past five years. Having looked at Baylor's schedule this year, if CSU played those same teams, they would win about five of those games.
Here's a possible solution. Have CSU play Baylor in a best of three series. Whoever wins gets to play in the Big 12. It's as simple as that. But, if the NCAA doesn't like that, what about just adding us in? TCU got added to the Mountain West and it's getting kind of crowded. So now we have a Big 13. Don't laugh, it's been done in Division II.
We all can keep dreaming, but I've decided to take a new outlook on the Mountain West. It deserves more respect than many think. Last year Utah dominated in football and showed that MWC football is better than one of the major conferences, the Big East, when they beat Pittsburgh in the Fiesta Bowl.