A college football coach at a somewhat major program can’t lose to a terrible San Jose State team on homecoming weekend in his fourth year as head coach, coming off back to back 3-9 seasons, after a supposed-to-be-big road win, and expect to keep his job. He just can’t.
Yet that is the position Steve Fairchild finds himself in after Saturday’s embarrassing and pathetic loss at Hughes Stadium. San Jose State– I guess they’re called the Spartans or Aztecs or something– jumped out to a 24-7 lead with 5:43 left in the first half.
The Spartans had lost 16 straight games on the road before taking down the Rams.
Given the lack of homefield advantage at Hughes stadium, maybe Colorado State’s new athletic slogan should be: CSU Rams: If you can’t win on the road, come win in Fort Collins.
It didn’t help that Fairchild chose to go for it on fourth-and-two early in the second quarter down by three points inside the SJSU redzone. The innovative offensive mind chose to run the ball up the middle. The play was stuffed and the Rams gave the ball back to the Spartans instead of tying the game with a chippy field goal (even for Ben DeLine). The questionable call certainly changed the dynamic of a game that stinks worse than the kids hanging around outside the Aggie on a Saturday night.
Losing Mychal Sisson for the season grants Fairchild a mulligan in certain games. San Jose State on homecoming weekend is not one of them.
The lackluster start of this game is the most bothersome aspect of Fairchild’s teams. Sometimes they just don’t bother to show up. Paul Kowalczyk cannot continue to overlook tremendously disheartening losses like this one and last year’s indelible performances against Wyoming and Brigham Young. Losing nine in a row to end 2009 wasn’t much fun either. Fairchild indisputably struggles to motivate his team on a week-to-week basis, something that should come naturally to any qualified coach.
The San Jose State loss nullifies any progress made with the Utah State win and then some. I thought that win was a season-changer, now it looks like a lucky fluke.
Yes, it takes time to rebuild a program. Four years is a long time.
As someone not associated with the program in any way I might be out of line asking this, but doesn’t it seem like Fairchild’s players don’t seem to like playing for the guy?
What do Colorado State fans have to build on from Fairchild’s tenure? What have we seen that provides the encouragement that a turnaround is imminent? He took Sonny Lubick’s players to a 7-6 record and a win in the Bozo Bowl in 2008. That’s it. From that point on, things have been a disaster.
I would love for the Rams to finish the season strong with a couple big upsets along the way and force me to eat my words.
Fairchild wrote the forward to John Hirn’s in-depth book Aggies to Rams. In it, I learned that Fairchild’s mom was buried in a CSU sweatshirt. He was married across the street from the practice field on Shields St. When it was time for his daughter to go to college, he sent her to CSU. Everything seemed perfect upon his hiring.
Fairchild is a proud Ram. A loyal alumni who wants the best for Colorado State University and Fort Collins in general. His hard-ass attitude and stern demeanor were refreshing for a while. I’d be thrilled if Fairchild is the man that returns this program to glory. If he does see success, he, like his predecessor, won’t use Colroado State as a stepping stone to a larger program. Unfortunately that won’t be a problem.
Because after 3 1/2 years, haven’t we all seen enough?