Aug 292002
Authors: Jon Ackerman

It’s called optimism.

It’s easy to say and it’s said every year with just about every football team. People like to think nice thoughts.

But honestly, CSU will be better than the football team it was last year.

Considering CSU didn’t have more wins than losses last year until it won its regular season finale (the 11th game of the year against New Mexico), the football team and its 1-0 record are already showing signs of betterment.

But this year, more questions are answered, more things are certain as we head into the Rocky Mountain Showdown, which is also coined the Rocky Mountain Rumble, but could appropriately be called the Rocky Mountain Collegian’s Easiest Chance To Get Inside A Major Sporting Venue.

So, here’s my proof. My top four reasons why the Rams of this year are better than the Rams of last year:

1. Bradlee Van Pelt cut his hair. Not only does this give his shoulder more range by not interrupting his throwing motion, people might actually focus on the quarterback’s talent rather than his hairstyle. And I bet the ladies favor the new do, as if he needed more help in that area.

But instead of “fearing the mu11et,” teams this year will actually fear Van Pelt’s arm. His game against Virginia was better than any college game he’s ever played before, and it was only the first game, and he’s only a junior. He worked on his passing game all summer. It showed.

BVP has all the support in Fort Collins this year as the season begins, as opposed to last year when he had all the backing he could want from fans, but little from the guys who decide his playing time. He knows it’s his job and he’s playing like so.

2. Cecil “The Diesel” is back with his golden grille. Let’s hope he shines up those gold teeth of his because he can plan on showing them off plenty, starting with tomorrow and the dirty hippies. If the Virginia game was any indication, and it was, Sapp is feeling no ill effects of the bad heel that kept him out all last year.

He’s looking very similar to Sapp 2000, when he led the Mountain West in rushing. As long as the offensive line keeps making holes, and they will behind the Pears brothers, Sapp will find them. The option should be a very interesting option for the CSU offense with Van Pelt and Sapp back there.

3. Drew Wood said they’ll beat CU. This isn’t a guarantee, don’t go hounding the guy if CSU happens to lose. Besides, the linebacker is 6-foot-2, 230 pounds and can bench your mom’s side of the family.

But when Wood told me he honestly thinks the Rams will beat the Buffs, I honestly believed him. It exemplified the confidence that Wood, his fellow linebackers and this team breeds. They’re not afraid of CU, or any other team for that matter, which brings me to my last point …

4. They’re not scared. Can you imagine last year’s Rams playing this year’s schedule? They lost to San Diego State in the Homecoming game last year. If CSU loses this year’s Homecoming game, Oct. 12 against Wyoming, I retract everything good I’ve said to this point.

But if you would have said UCLA and Virginia were on the schedule last year, I might have transferred. This year, with a nice amount of key members from last year’s team returning, they can hang.

Call it optimism; call it wishful thinking. But don’t call me when it comes true.

 Posted by at 5:00 pm

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