It's the price of high expectations that Sonny Lubick is paying for now.
A year removed from a 4-7 record, and after going 10-12 in the past two years, all of a sudden people are telling me how bad our football team is. Never mind we have a small howlitzer as a quarterback, a national award contending wide receiver, a veteran team and a coach that took a program from the bottoms of the Western Athletic Conference and made it into the premiere program of a conference knocking on the door of the Bowl Championship Series.
No, we're going to suck. Cause that's what CSU does these days. They suck.
To dip into my political jargon, forget the pundits. Forget the media polls and the coaches' polls.
I may be a fool, and I'll probably regret this later when the fans (especially from down south) point out that I was wrong.
There is of course, the biggest game of the year. And, I'll get up with confidence and tell you right now; we are going to beat Colorado. No, we probably won't blow them out of the water, but we're going to beat them. The Golden Buffaloes and their poor embattled ball coach are good and will probably challenge for another Big XII North title again this year (in which every team probably could be beaten by the state high school champion of Texas.) *Gulp* Call it a win.
After that comes the toughest game of the year, at Minnesota. It's always good to take the thing you were the worst at (stopping anybody who was running the football towards out defense) and play a team that, well, just loves to run the ball. And smash the ball. And shove the ball down your team's defensive throat. I'll concede; it'll be a loss, but I have a feeling a few eyebrows will be raised around the Mountain West when CSU plays a close tight game against a Big Ten power. But, still, a loss.
Nevada. Please. Other than calling Nebraska's offense the "Corn Coast," the Nevada "Air Wolf" attack is the worst nickname in college football. And it's Nevada. If we can't beat Nevada at home, we probably don't deserve to play in a bowl game. Win.
Air Force can be beat, unless Minnesota runs for a couple of miles and we realize the defense hasn't improved. Shawn Carney is a good quarterback, but embarrassment last year alone should be motivation for a win.
It's the same with Utah. Call it payback. Call it the fact the Utes can't win like they did without Urban Meyer and Alex Smith. Call it a win.
That's 4-1, almost to a bowl game.
BYU on the road will no doubt be tough. In fact, I'm penciling this in as a loss. Too much Cougar offense and too much of wide receiver Todd Watkins (who could be starting at Southern California). But, the Rams are still in good shape.
Wyoming is easily the most hyped team in the Mountain West. It's also the most overrated, no offense toward head coach Joe Glenn. Wyoming is still Wyoming, and they still lost last year with a better team. Call it poetic, but Sonny Lubick gets his 100th career win at CSU over the border rivals.
New Mexico. The second most hyped team in the conference. And although it's on the road, I'm going out on a limb (the smallest of the tree that I can stand on, actually) and say CSU becomes bowl eligible with a win. 6-2 isn't so bad. Not for a team that was supposed to suck.
From there on out, things are just academic. You can hope for a conference title this year and still call yourself a realist, but the MWC has become too much of a power in the past three years to assume that you won't trip somewhere you aren't suppose to.
Call Texas Christian that game. It's winnable, but, after knowing they'd be bowling the week before, a letdown and a close game leads to a TCU victory. It's small change in the bigger bank picture.
San Diego State will do what they always do, under-perform with talent that could be a Pac-10 team. A win. UNLV? Good in a couple of years, but not now. A win.
8-3? Wow, I'm more optimistic than I even thought.
Of course, it could all be proven wrong in a little over a week. Trying to predict how a season of college football will go is like trying to herd chickens. Many have tried, but few have succeeded.
The chickens might always win.