Oct 092005
Authors: Brett Okamoto

If there's one bad thing about sports, it's that celebrating can only last so long. So by the time the last high-five had been slapped and the last car horn had been honked, Utah was already a distant memory.

As happy as the Rams were about their unforgettable come-from-behind, goal-line-stopping victory over the Utes, the first thing on their minds when that game clock ran out was, how to do the same thing to BYU in seven days?

In case you haven't heard, CSU is the new buzz in the Mountain West Conference. Last year the Rams lost to Air Force and Utah by a combined score of 110-48. This year they dominated the Falcons 41-23 and denied the Utes of a single yard, three plays in a row to nail down a 21-17 win.

The Rams haven't started the season off at home with three consecutive wins since 2002, coincidentally the same year they went on to play in the Liberty Bowl.

Does history repeat itself? Will we see the Rammies clinch the conference title for the seventh time under head coach Sonny Lubick? Let's take a look into our MWC crystal ball to find out.

TCU has been out to make a statement this year since their first game, a win over then nationally ranked Oklahoma. In MWC play the team is a perfect 4-0. They have already beat Wyoming, New Mexico and Utah, the teams, other than CSU, who had the best chance at knocking them off.

Winning Saturday's game against Utah was the first step in a monumental task lying in front of the Rams. Unless TCU has a major breakdown, chances are this is a team that will be undefeated in conference play when the two teams meet in early November. That means that for CSU to have a chance at claiming a share of the MWC title, they have to be perfect going into the game as well.

The Rams have the hardest part of their schedule coming up as they play on the road the next three out of four games, against teams who have a combined 14-9 record this year.

Their game this weekend will be at BYU, a team coming off a nail-biting victory of their own over New Mexico, the preseason No. 1 team in the MWC. The week after that will have the Rams facing off against Wyoming in the Border War. Following that home game will be road trips to New Mexico on Oct. 28 and TCU on Nov. 5.

The Rams are playing noticeably better after remembering what winning feels like and have found their leaders for the season. The home advantage over Wyoming should help them out against the Cowboys, and their talent advantage should be enough to get by overrated New Mexico.

If the Rams can ride their momentum through the next three games and survive a showdown against TCU it should be smooth sailing from there. All they'll have to do is not trip on one of the MWC 'Smurfs', San Diego State and UNLV.

So to recap, all the Rams have to do is take this winning streak to nine games straight and not lose a game in two months.

Sounds impossible?

So did Saturday's goal-line stand at the 1-yard-line.

Brett Okamoto is a sophomore technical journalism major and Sports Editor of the Collegian.


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