Welcome to the 84th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where OH HEY DID YOU KNOW IT GOT COLD OUTSIDE?! Lots to get to this week. Let’s get into it…
Let’s start with the Colorado State Rams, who continued their winning ways Saturday night against Hawaii. Nothing surprising about this one because Hawaii is not good at playing football, but it was nice to see the Rams take care of business at home against a lesser opponent.
Garrett Grayson threw four touchdowns to four different receivers, even though his favorite target, Rashard Higgins, watched the game from the sideline. (Higgins should be back in two weeks vs. New Mexico.) CSU averaged 6.8 yards per carry on their way to 293 rushing yards. The Rams’ defense pulled down a couple of interceptions. 49-22 final. Saturday night went about like most people expected.
The game went well, but the two most interesting questions of the weekend for CSU football came after the Rams had finished playing. On Saturday night: Would Boise State actually lose? And, on Sunday morning: Would the Rams finally enter the national rankings?
Playing against a bad New Mexico team, Boise State was down by 11 points with under three minutes remaining in the third quarter. The Broncos then scored 22 straight points and won by 11, putting a bit of a damper on my Saturday night after getting my hopes up for a while.
So for the Rams to win the Mountain Division and host a Mountain West championship game (and remain eligible for a New Year’s Eve/Day bowl), they still need to see the Broncos lose one of their three remaining games. Boise is a 19-point favorite over San Diego State at home this weekend. That’s followed by a trip to Laramie for an 8:15 kickoff on November 22nd. Laramie. Late night. Late November. Wyoming isn’t any good, but nobody wants to play under those circumstances. I’m hoping for about a ten degree night with 40 mph winds and chaos.
The final piece of news that came out of Ram Country this weekend was good news. First, the USA Today coaches poll was released. Shortly thereafter, the Associated Press Top 25 was released. For the first time all season, Rams fans didn’t have to scroll all the way to the bottom of the rankings and scan the “others receiving votes” category.
Because, for the first time in over 11 years, the Colorado State Rams are nationally ranked.
The other rankings come from the College Football Playoff selection committee, which releases its rankings each Tuesday evening. It will be interesting to see if they also give the Rams some love and sneak them in their rankings. Frankly, that would be a bit of a surprise, as the committee hasn’t ranked any “Group of Five” teams in either of their first two rankings.
And of course, it would be wise to bear in mind that the only rankings that matter are the committee’s final rankings after the regular season ends. And even those don’t matter if the Rams don’t find a way to win the Mountain West.
All of that said, I was pretty pumped to see Colorado State in the national rankings. I’ve seen enough 3-9 seasons and stood through enough beatdowns in the cold to appreciate how awesome it is for the Rams to have a number next to their name. That means when you’re watching some dumb ESPN debate show, the CSU logo will just be scrolling across the bottom of the screen telling you who their next opponent is! Or when you click on “college football scoreboard” their game will be right there on the front page! Woooo! What else is there in life, right?
The progress this program has made in three short years under Jim McElwain is simply astounding. The CSU Rams are ranked! In 2014! Exclamation points! Who woulda thunk it? I’m sometimes accused of being too optimistic when it comes to CSU athletics, but even I didn’t see this coming. At least not so quickly.
Time for your weekly record update thing even though by now I think we all get the point and this is getting redundant I don’t care I’m going to keep doing it anyway! Colorado State is now 9-1 in 2014. They’ve won eight in a row. They’re 13-2 in their last 15 games going back to last season. 15-3 in their last 18; 16-4 in their last 20.
The Rams are off this weekend, followed by New Mexico at home in what should be a win. Then they travel to Air Force the day after Thanksgiving in a game that scares the hell out of me and has a chance to ruin everything.
But right now, we’re into mid-November and #23 Colorado State (always wanted to type their name like that) is still staring an 11-1 regular season right in the face.
Hey while we’re on the topic of important necessary changes at Colorado State, here’s a link I’ve been meaning to share for a while. First, check out “A Summary of the Four Options Under Consideration for Colorado State University’s Football Stadium.” Then provide your feedback here, but only if you agree with me. This stuff is important. (Option Four is the way to go). I should probably devote an entire post to the stadium discussion at some point. Kind of surprised I haven’t done that yet.
And one more link while I’m at it. Here’s the latest episode of “The Grind”. (Not as cool as some of the previous episodes, but still worth watching.)
Some other quick thoughts on the local squads…
The Broncos blew out the Raiders. Nothing to see here. You should know by now that I’m far too levelheaded to get concerned with just about anything in a 41-17 win, especially on the road. Nitpicking is stupid. First place in the AFC is still very realistic. This concludes my commentary on the Broncos’ victory over the Raiders.
The Nuggets might be really, really bad. I’m not one to overreact too often, but after watching them lose five in a row after winning on opening night, I think I’m going to go ahead and overreact. This team looks terrible. They’ve been blown out by the Sacramento Kings. Twice. That usually tells you all just about all you need to know about an NBA team.
I’m still convinced the roster has quite a bit of talent, but not much is going right in the season’s first couple of weeks. Bryan Shaw needs to figure this team out quickly or his tenure as a head coach will be a short one.
I also wanted to talk about the Avalanche’s slow start, but I don’t have time. Hey they look bad too! How’s that for #analysis?
Yesterday, Michael Cuddyer turned down the Rockies’ $15.3 million qualifying offer and signed a two-year $21 million deal with the Mets. I loved Cuddyer’s attitude and watching him play while he was in Colorado, but it made no sense for the Rockies to re-sign him. Simply put, he no longer fit the roster or the payroll. The Rockies’ payroll has been too top-heavy for years. Had Cuddyer accepted the Rockies’ offer, they would be even more top-heavy. That’s not a recipe for rebuilding. There’s also the matter of having Carlos Gonzales in right field, Corey Dickerson in left and Justin Morneau at first base. Oh, and Cuddyer hasn’t been able to stay healthy. Oh, and he’ll be 36 next season.
So new general manager Jeff Bridich passed his first major test. He played the Cuddyer situation perfectly. The QO was a bit of a gamble, but it worked out and now the Rockies receive a compensatory draft pick from the Mets in return. I’m told that is better than nothing.
Now, I just want Bridich to go sign Russell Martin. That should be priority Number One. (Even if it is a long shot.)
Off to the weekly departments…
Vine of the week:
We have a no-brainer this week, as the local football squad produced one of the great Vines of all time. Seriously, everything about this is absolutely incredible.
The score on the screen. Brock’s eager little jog. The fact that Peyton starts his trot right when Brock turns his back. Peyton’s sluggish, workmanlike, head-down jog. And of course the look on Brock’s face when he realizes he doesn’t get to play. It’s like a teenager inviting his little brother to the movies with the older kids and then leaving without him. The camera is positioned absolutely perfectly.
It’s just amazing. Possibly a top-5 sports Vine of all time.
Stud of the week:
I could pick a legitimate selection here, but let’s think about how awesome Carson Palmer’s agent is. The Cardinals’ quarterback has bounced around the league for years without much success. He had a mostly mediocre season in 2013 with Arizona. Now, he’s been pretty good in leading the Cardinals to the NFL’s best record halfway through 2014, though he only had five starts entering the weekend. So on Friday the Cardinals rewarded him with a three-year $50 million contract extension. $20.5 million is guaranteed. MORE THAN TWENTY MILLION BUCKS! IN THE BANK! FOR FIVE DECENT STARTS!
But odd contracts for large sums of money are fairly commonplace in sports. This is all worth mentioning because of what happened on Sunday. Two days after signing that extension… Palmer tore his ACL and is out for the year.
How amazing is that?
I mean, it reeaaalllllly sucks for all parties involved, but that is some incredibly bad timing. And– AAAAAAND!– in 2005 Palmer signed a $119 million contract with the Bengals and promptly tore his ACL 10 days later!
So props to Palmer’s agent or whoever was working to get this most recent extension in place. I want that dude picking my lotto numbers.
Douche of the week:
Before the Broncos played the Seahawks in week three, I gave Seahawks fans “Douche of the week” honors because they’re all horrible. Well they’re in the news again (kind of) with the strangest thing I’ve seen at a football game all year.
What’s amazing to me is the reaction of all the people who are not being attacked by that thing. They think watching an old dude get eaten alive by an evil, giant bird is just hilarious and all in good fun. Hahaha that guy is going to get his eyeballs ripped out of his head! Go Seahawks!
The more I watch this, the more I start to wonder if that bird thought that dude’s hair was some kind of rodent
Here’s another angle.
Tweets of the week:
The official Nuggets’ Twitter account had some fun hyping the Cleveland Cavs and all of their star players coming to town.
Pretty good stuff from the Nuggs. Yes, they got blown out by LeBron James, Kyrie Irving, Kevin Love and company, but that was going to happen anyway. Might as well get some trolling in ahead of time. I say it all the time, but I love when official Twitter accounts show some personality like this. We’re making progress in that regard.
If only the actual team– you know, like the players and coaching staff– could make some progress now.
And a bunch of other stuff:
The craziest play of the football weekend came from the Utah vs. Oregon game. Two touchdowns on the same play! (Almost.)
I saw this live and was awfully confused, so I’m glad I could track it down on the internets. The Joker really likes Jimmy Graham’s butt.
At some point, dudes just gotta quit jumping in the stands.
Pretty decent interception that I could totally do if I wanted to:
It’s rare for the best touchdown catch of the week and the best touchdown dance of the week all happen on the same play. Thanks John Brown!
A couple links worth sharing:
- An interesting and long read on Demaryius Thomas and his unstable upbringing. Required reading for all DT fans.
- I think it’s safe to say that I had more fun than most in my time at CSU. But this kid has me beat. Dude definitely had more fun in one night than I had in four years.
And finally, we’ll end on a positive note, because fist bump kid is pretty awesome.
Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See ya next week.
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