Sep 302010
Authors: Matt L. Stephens

Listen up, Fort Collins, I have something important to tell you.

If for some odd reason you hadn’t heard, Colorado State is hosting No. 5 TCU on Saturday. You better get ready to dawn the green and gold and head out to Overland Trail at noon.

There is absolutely no reason that Hughes Stadium should not be sold out on Saturday. Seriously, none at all.

When I talked to the McGraw Center Box Office at 3:15 p.m. on Thursday, I was told only 6,000 of 10,000 available student tickets had been picked up.
This has to change because we, as the CSU family, need to give the Rams a home field advantage on Saturday.

With national title hopes, the Horned Frogs will be the highest-ranked opponent to ever step foot on Sonny Lubick Field and are likely expecting to face a CSU team in which its talent level reflects its record.

At 1-3, why should TCU expect an actual game from the Rams? In fact, why should anyone?

Truthfully, I don’t know because you have to be a completely irrational person to give CSU a chance. Luckily, that’s exactly what we, as college football fans are irrational people driven by emotion.

And while a CSU win is not expected by many, don’t you dare count them out just yet.

Let’s start with the obvious, why the layman shouldn’t give the Rams a chance – pure stats. Numbers don’t lie.

TCU brings to the table college football’s ninth-best pass defense, and while freshman quarterback Pete Thomas might rank No. 14 among NCAA FBS gun slingers in terms of passing yards –– 10th in completion percentage –– he’s ultimately still a freshman.

TCU has the 11th-best rushing offense, while the Rams rank 83rd in the opposite category.

TCU has what I expect to be a first round NFL Draft pick at quarterback in Andy Dalton; CSU lost its No. 1 cornerback MoMo Thomas, the only Ram with an interception this year, for the season on Wednesday.

TCU is ranked No. 5; CSU is, well, not.

Now that we have the Debbie-downer facts out of the way, there’s a reason we actually play the game.

I’ve been going to school here for four years now and not once have I seen the Rams pull a legitimate upset. Most underdog universities knock off an upper-echelon team every two-to-three years. CSU hasn’t since 2005.

In 2008, CSU was a dropped touchdown pass (by Kory Sperry and Rashaun Greer on back-to-back plays) away from taking down TCU. Later that year, it was a non-call on an obvious hold that allowed BYU to escape the green-on-green uniforms (and Joey Porter / Gartrell Johnson chest-bump) of CSU.
I think it goes without saying that the Rams are due.

Maybe I’ve just been playing too much NCAA Football 11 lately; maybe “New Noise” by Refused has rocked my iPod too often over the past week; maybe I’m just obsessed with the prospect of euphoria this weekend, but I think CSU actually stands a chance.

Last week against Idaho we saw a CSU team that had its back up against the wall and decided to show a glimpse of what it was capable of by beating a very good Vandals squad.

That created some much-needed momentum heading into the biggest game Hughes Stadium has ever seen.

It’s too often forgotten that Fort Collins has a history of being an amazing college football town. That former reputation needs to return to reality, but without community and fan support, it can’t be achieved.

Hughes Stadium only sits about 35,000 fans –– about a quarter of the Fort Collins population. Packing the horseshoe shouldn’t be a difficult task, especially against a top-five opponent.

Look, I can tell from the attitude of the team that not only does CSU think it can win, the Rams think they will win.

I’m sitting here today, asking you to believe in this team. Do whatever it takes to make it to the game Saturday.

Whether you’re a CSU student, Fort Collins resident or live in Denver, you could play a big role in helping the Rams make history on Saturday.

Anyone else want to shock the world?

Count me in.

Sports Editor Matt L. Stephens can be reached at

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