The Rams have one goal this season, and that is to play in the Mountain West championship game. They felt they were good enough to play in the game by winning the Mountain Divison this season. They thought they were the best team in the division heading to the 2014 season.
The Rams are not in first place in their division as of right now, but they are 10-1 for the season and 6-1 in conference play after a 58-20 blowout victory over the New Mexico Lobos yesterday afternoon at Hughes Stadium.
There’s still time for the Rams to win the division and play in the title game, but they are going to need help. They need to win their game against Air Force on Friday, and they need Utah State to beat Boise State on Saturday.
The Rams are in the unenviable position of asking for help rather than controlling their destiny. By losing to Boise State this season, they likely may not get a chance to win the division. Yes, Colorado State has the overall better record, but if Boise State and CSU have same conference record at the end of the season, Boise State wins the division and play in the title game after beating CSU.
Timing is everything in sports. The Rams are peaking at the right time. Their defense has been great all season, and their offense has piled up points since their win against Wyoming. They would be the favorite to win the Mountain West championship if they played in it. Who knows? Maybe they win a major bowl game like the Fiesta Bowl if they played in it.
This is why the Rams would love to have that opportunity to play in the title game and play in a major bowl game. They want to show the nation that they are a formidable team that can play with a good team in a power conference.
There’s much at stake for the Rams playing in a Fiesta Bowl. It would start the grassroots of moving to the Big 12 one day, which is what they want to do. Maybe it gives momentum to somehow finish the funding of their new football stadium.
Jim McElwain will stay at Colorado State for awhile, but at some point, he is going to move on to a better job if the Rams don’t get a stadium or play in a power conference. That’s why the Rams are invested in playing in a title game and a major bowl game.
By playing in a title game and playing in the Fiesta Bowl, it would validate a great season the Rams had. It would be a reward for what they have done.
Playing in a subpar bowl game would be meaningless for the Rams. It would be a waste of time after all the hard work they put in this season. They may not as well play a bowl game if they can’t get to a title game.
It would be a disappointment for the Rams if they didn’t get a chance to show how good they are by playing in a big stage.
Colorado State thought they had help last week when San Diego State took a 23-17 lead over Boise State heading to the fourth quarter. San Diego State outplayed and outworked Boise State for three quarters, but Boise State delivered the knockout punch in the fourth quarter by scoring 21 points in the fourth quarter to take a 38-29 victory.
Wyoming was not much of a help last night. They were outmatched against Boise State in their 63-14 loss to them.
So it comes down to what Utah State does against Wyoming.
Considering how Boise State stepped up when they had to this season, Colorado State should not get their hopes up on Utah State helping them next week. Plus, it’s hard to believe Boise State is losing that game at home, which they always do well in.
It would be a shame if Colorado State loses out on playing in the title game, but they will understand sports is not fair. It would mean they have to put more emphasis on beating Boise State starting next season now that McElwain has his football program established.
Colorado State will have no choice but to give Boise State credit for beating them and stepping up down the stretch.
It would be a harsh reality, but it would give CSU motivation to do whatever it takes to beat Boise State next year at Hughes Stadium.
Maybe being denied of a title game would be a good thing. It would help CSU avoid complacency heading to McElwain’s fourth year of the program. It would mean they haven’t accomplished anything yet.
You can bet McElwain will mention these talking points.
Still, Colorado State can only hope it does not come to that. They want to play in the title game. They felt like they earned it.
They can only hope for the best where they get help.
Not an unenviable position to be in.
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