Yesterday Paul Kowalczyk announced his plan to sick our big bad (emphasis on bad) Mountain West football team on the lowly FCS Bears of Northern Colorado. Does anyone think this is a good idea?
Now, it’s true that there is no guarantee that CSU will play the Colorado Buffaloes after the 2010 season. But, let’s assume in the interest of argument that the schools decide to continue the Showdown in 2011. That means we will play Colorado (a true rival), Wyoming (another true rival), Air Force (an in-state pseudo rival) and UNC in the same season. Hell, throw in Nevada Las-Vegas (our current annual rival for sole possession of the coveted No. 8 spot in the MWC) and our schedule gets crowded with “rivals” pretty quickly.
There’s a reason that most major schools cap their rivalry count at two, with the majority of colleges focusing their loathing on one true rival. There just aren’t that many teams out there that fans can be excited about hating. There’s only so much excitement to be had over a bad football team, and stretching the limited interest over too many “rivals” will lead to an even more lackluster fan base.
So why force it? 16-0-1 in 17 games is not a rivalry any more than Globetrotters-Generals, kick returner-Ivory Herd or Collegian-Ram Republic are rivalries. True rivalries are not manufactured, announced by ADs or even born from proximity. True rivalries are developed over decades of tradition.
So PK, thanks for the effort, but please tell your marketing department to not hype this anymore than it deserves as the game approaches. Stick to focusing on mending your ties with CU so we can make sure the Centennial Cup stays in Fort Collins after 2010.