Tag Archives: Colorado State Washington State

Colorado State Wins New Mexico Bowl in Truly Astonishing Fashion

Welcome to– and Merry Christmas from– the 40th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I just recovered another Washington State fumble.

Dan Byers/CSU (@@danbyersphoto)

One of the Colorado sports pictures of the year. An incredible shot from Dan Byers/CSU (@danbyersphoto)

I should probably start with the New Mexico Bowl. That was a fun one.

Things didn’t go so well in the early going.

With under three minutes remaining in the first half, the Rams were down 35-13. Things looked bleak. CSU was able to score 10 straight points to close the half and were getting the ball back to open the third quarter. But the momentum didn’t carry over and the Rams were consistently down between 8 and 15 points throughout the second half.

My buddy and I took a shuttle to the game and I’m glad we did because if we had our own mode of transportation, I might have headed for the exits before Colorado State took over with 4:17 left in the game and a 45-30 score. As a CSU fan, I’ve seen this script play out before. And it never goes in the Rams’ favor.

Here’s a breakdown of what happened next:

  • CSU ball at their own 28, 4:17 left, down 15. Nine plays, 72 yards, 1:25 off the clock, touchdown Rams. So now the Rams are down eight with 2:52 remaining, but the defense hasn’t stopped WSU all game. At this point, the touchdown didn’t appear to matter a whole lot.
  • Washington State gets the ball back and the Rams burn two timeouts on the first two Cougar plays and force a huge 3rd and 6 with 2:36 left in the game.
  • Washington State easily picks up the third down in what seemed like a back-breaker for the Rams. Now CSU is almost completely reliant on getting their first turnover of the afternoon.
  • On the next play, the best defensive player in the Mountain West does just that. Shaquille Barrett rips the ball from Connor Halladay and CSU finally gets the break they’ve been waiting for all afternoon. The fans go nuts. The sideline goes nuts. The offense trots out on the field.
  • Nope. They’re reviewing it. He was down. Way down. Crushed. Game over. Typical.
  • On the very next play the Cougars run it at Barrett again. This time he stands up Jeremiah Laufasa, rips the ball out again and recovers the damn thing himself. The fans go nuts. The sideline goes nuts. The offense trots out on the field. Except for real this time.
  • So now the Rams take over on the Cougars’ 33 with 1:21 left, no timeouts, down by eight. All kinds of momentum, but still not a particularly desirable situation.
  • Eight quick plays and a fairly easy Kapri Bibbs touchdown later, they’re down by 2 with 33 seconds left.
  • I suggest they attempt a two-point conversion.
  • Statue of Liberty trickeration play to Donnell Alexander. IsHeIn? He’sIn! TieGame!
  • Nope. They called him out at the one. (At this point I get on Twitter….)

tweets

  • Wait they’re reviewing it and oh my gosh he is in and it’s not even close what a play are you kidding me CSU just scored 15 points in like one minute and we’re going to overtime this is unbelievable I can’t even believe this because it’s unbelievable.

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  • Now there’s still a tiny bit of concern with what will happen when CSU gives the ball back to WSU with those last 33 seconds.
  • Or not because they just fumbled the kickoff they fumbled again CSU has it they can kick a field goal and win this game in regulation did any of this really happen I guess it did this is unbelievable no really even more unbelievable than before I can’t even believe this because it’s unbelievable.
  • Run.
  • Spike.
  • Snap.
  • Hold.
  • Kick.
  • Good.
  • Celebrate.
  • Fight song.
  • Drink.

It was just the New Mexico bowl against a Washington State team that isn’t exactly a national championship contender, but this was absolutely one for the ages.

The 2013 New Mexico Bowl victory is destined to go down in Colorado State lore forever. Like rushing the field in Boulder or marching the goal posts down Elizabeth, stories will be told about this one for many years to come.

While we’re on the topic, let’s revisit my prediction from last week. Here’s a screenshot:

bowl predict

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Of course, the final score was 48-45 Rams. And it was certainly a wild one. Not too bad; not too bad.

Aside from all that excitement, I did some research and realized that by winning this bowl game Colorado State had accomplished something no other athletic department has done in Colorado.

Going into Saturday, no department from this state had ever won a bowl game and a men’s NCAA tournament game in the same year.

Obviously the two most popular collegiate sports are men’s basketball and football. Really, that’s all anyone cares about. So let’s look at the best combinations of basketball and football seasons this state has seen. (All I’m looking at here are bowl appearances coupled with NCAA tournament appearances. I am not taking into account national rankings.)

Air Force has made four NCAA tournament appearances but has never won a game. None of their tourney invites came in the same year as one of their 23 bowl appearances.

In 1962 Colorado went to the then 16-team NCAA tournament and won one game. Their football team also played in the Orange Bowl on New Years day of 1962, but lost 25-7 to Louisiana State.

In 1969 Colorado won the Liberty Bowl against Alabama. And the Buffs’ basketball team won a game in the NCAA tournament. Kind of. The Buffs lost in the first round to Colorado State, then beat Texas A&M in the regional 3rd place game. Obviously those types of consolation games no longer exist. So that doesn’t count in this exercise.

The next of these noteworthy seasons didn’t happen until 1990. In March, Colorado State made the NCAA tournament but lost to Alabama. That December the Rams beat Oregon 32-31 in a dramatic ending to the Freedom Bowl.

The Buffs won a tournament game in 1997 behind Chauncey Billups, but that year their football team failed to go to a bowl game for the first time in nine years.

And in 2003 Colorado State lost to Duke in March. On New Year’s Eve of that year they lost to Boston College in the San Francisco Bowl.

Until this year,  those were the only seasons in Colorado history with both a tournament appearance and a bowl game. And this year, CSU was able to win in both, becoming the first program to do so.

2013 was kind to the Colorado State Rams.

And finally, it’s Christmas Eve so none of the weekly installments (there are no douches on Christmas Eve) or funny videos this week. But here’s a little Christmas cheer from David Bowie and Bing Crosby.

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As Charles Dickens once said, “Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home.”

I can’t say it any better than that. But from me to you, I hope this Christmas finds you well. I hope you take in the music and the lights and the smells and the food and the drink and the family and the friends. Be kind to one another, if only for a day. I wish you all of God’s peace and goodwill to men.

And as always, thanks to each of you for reading. See ya on New Year’s Eve.

Merry Christmas.

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.

New Mexico Bowl Preview (And Other Stuff)

Welcome to the 39th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’m removing my name from the Texas coaching search. It just isn’t a good fit for me.

Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Shaq Barrett will be a key factor in the New Mexico Bowl. (Dan Byers, Colorado State University)

I’ll start with a quick glance at the New Mexico bowl on Saturday. Colorado State plays Washington State in the first bowl game of the year. The two teams have never played each other.

Expect a lot of offense.

A big concern for the Rams is their passing defense. They have a nasty little habit of giving up enormous passing touchdowns just about every week. That doesn’t bode well against a Mike Leach coached team. The Cougars rank ninth nationally in passing yards per game. The Rams rank 111th in passing defense. That’s not a good combo for the boys from Fort Collins.

Of course, the Rams’ strength is their offense, obviously led by breakout star running back Kapri Bibbs, who ran for 1,572 yards and 28 touchdowns. WSU gives up 184 rushing yards per game. Garrett Grayson has turned himself into a good quarterback (3,327 yards passing) and shouldn’t have too much trouble with the Cougars’ 96th ranked passing defense.

And we can’t forget the Cougar’s head coach, Mike Leach. He’s a character. Mike Leach, I need some dating advice.

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Pretty simple question. Pretty awesome answer.

Mike Leach, why did you guys lose today?

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Also, he was fired for locking an ESPN personality’s kid in a shed in one of the most bizarre stories I’ve ever heard.

Anyway, it should be a fun game. Oftentimes when teams from smaller conferences play against a team from a power conference the game represents something of a letdown for the larger school. I don’t think that will be the case here, since Washington State has not been to a bowl game in ten years. Both teams will be hungry.

In Vegas, the over/under is only 65. That seems like a small number in this matchup.

There will be points.

For the Rams to win they will have to find a way to put some pressure on Connor Halliday. If he has time to comfortably look down field, he could shred the CSU secondary. Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year Shaq Barrett will be key in putting some pressure on Halliday. (Speaking of… the Rams had five first-team selections, more than any other MW team.)

On the other side of the ball, if the Cougars lock in on Bibbs and find a way to bottle him up early, Grayson will need to look to his two stud tight ends to loosen up the defense. And look for Donnell Alexander to get some touches in space when Bibbs is on the sideline. Oh, and look for Bibbs to score a few TDs, because that is what he does.

I guess I’ll take the Rams without much confidence. 47-45 in a wild one.

Weston Richburg starts his 50th and final game Saturday. (Rich Abrahamson/The Coloradoan)

Stud of the week: It is important to recognize a great, great Colorado State football career coming to an end. Future NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! center Weston Richburg will playing his last game as a Ram on Saturday. It will be his 50th consecutive start. 4 years, 50 games, and he started every one of them. That’s never been done before at CSU. The first-team All-Mountain West selection will also play in the Senior Bowl in a few weeks. Weston Richburg: Stud.

Douche of the week:  Dez Bryant is nuts. He stormed off the field after the Cowboys’ meltdown. This is no big deal for a crazy diva wide receiver, but saying you did it because you were embarrassed that you were crying is pretty douchey. Kind of a weak week for douches, but Dez gets the honor. Dez Bryant: Douche.

Tweet of the week:

CaptureBoom. One of my first Man Crushes breaking some huuuuuge news. That whole Saban/Mack Brown/Texas/Alabama thing was such a strange story.

What to watch the next seven days:

  • The Nuggets play the Thunder tonight. The NBA in December is pretty dumb, but this might be an intriguing litmus test for Denver.
  • Fresno State – USC is the most interesting of the early bowls. They play Saturday at 1:30.
  • Lots of good NFL games this Sunday. Colts vs. Chiefs, Saints vs. Panthers, Patriots vs. Ravens, Bears vs. Eagles. Four legitimate matchups; can’t ask for much more than that.
  • #20 Colorado plays #7 Oklahoma State at 7:30 on Saturday in Las Vegas. It’s a chance for local basketball fans to watch Marcus Smart, who is good at basketball.

Peyton Manning won the SI Sportsman of the year. Lee Jenkins does a good job of capturing Manning’s unbelievable journey in this feature. It’s worth your time.

Tom Brady is an honest guy.

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What a great snap:

via @corkgaines

The Rice Owls are going to a bowl game and they’re happy about it.

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DeSean Jackson just wanted some help up.

via @cjzero

via @cjzero

This is pretty cute:

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This is one of those GIFs that absolutely cracks me up even though I’m not really sure why.

via @cjzero

Dick Vitale has been at ESPN for 30 years. This video is a little long but some parts are pretty great (namely Fowler and Bilas).

I love Dick Vitale.

Have you seen this 16-year-old, Canadian Elvis? This is unbelievable.

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And finally, here’s a cool holiday video of magic (I guess) messing with people.

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Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See ya on Christmas Eve.

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.

Your Weekly Roundup From the Sports World and Internet

Welcome to the 38th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we’re fully immersed in the busiest sports time of the year. I’m talking Broncos, Rockies, CSU Rams, CU Buffaloes, Nuggets and all the other stuff this week. Get after it.

Peyton Manning doesn’t care about the weather. (AP Photo)

The Broncos beat the Titans 51-38 Sunday. A few quick takeaways from your favorite blogger:

THE COLD. It was freaking cold out. I was there. And it was freaking cold. The narrative for much of the season has been Peyton Manning’s inability to play well in, and his overall disdain for, the cold. The Super Bowl is in New Jersey in early February and the playoffs will be in Denver in January and it will probably be cold for all those and Peyton Manning doesn’t like the cold so the Broncos are in serious trouble. If you are as level-headed and reasonable as I am, you’ve known this idea has been completely overblown.

Manning seemed motivated to disprove this theory on Sunday. He threw the ball 59 times, which is a career high. The offense lit up the scoreboard for 51 points and Peyton threw for four touchdowns and 397 yards. He did so not only by throwing crisp, short routes; he was throwing darts down the field for long gains again. My sources tell me all that makes for a pretty good game. My sources also tell me it was freaking cold out.

So put that theory to bed. Manning is fine in cold weather.

THE DEFENSE. It’s not a great look for the defense to give up 28 points to the Tennessee Titans. Naturally, lots of Broncos fans are awfully concerned that the defense is horrible and the Broncos are doomed. The Broncos won the game by 23 points and when that happens, I fail to see much of a problem. Should it have been 51-24? Would everything be okay if it was 51-17? 51-14? What is an acceptable margin of victory for you nut jobs? If the Broncos’ patchwork defense can keep their opponents’ scores in the mid-30s or below in the playoffs, they should be fine. Getting a little healthier will make that easier. (12/11 update: In the original posting I had the final score incorrect at 51-38. I regret the error but am blaming the flask of Jack Daniel’s I sneaked into the stadium for fogging my gameday memory.)

WHAT DOES VEGAS THINK? Again, Vegas knows more than everyone, so I think it’s telling and interesting to see what the Wise Guys think of the various favorites in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE. Of course, one must consume Vegas odds with a grain of salt. The Broncos were favored to win it all last year and that didn’t work out so good. So while I think these figures represent an accurate picture of the likelihood of success, they also kind of do not mean a damn thing.

Right now, according to Bovada, the Broncos and the Seahawks are both equally favored to win the Super Bowl at 11/4 odds. (If you like to think of it with a “1” as the denominator like I do, that makes 2.75 to 1, which I know isn’t a real ratio, but helps put it all in perspective.) If my memory serves me correctly, the Broncos were about 8/1 to win the Super Bowl at this point last year. So Vegas likes the Broncos way more this year than last season. After the Broncos and Seahawks, the Saints and 49ers are the next most likely to win it all at 8/1.

The Broncos are very heavily favored to win the AFC at 4/5 (or 0.8 to 1). The Patriots are a significant step behind at 7/2 (or 3.5 to 1).

So if you put any faith in a horde of well-paid insiders that make a living analyzing every tiny detail of every aspect of everything regarding every team, the Broncos are in pretty good shape.

Matt Prater kicked this ball a long way and it went over that yellow post and between the two other yellow posts.

via @cjzero

via @cjzero

That was good from 64 and I’ll tell ya what, it would have been good from 64 and a half!

The Colorado State Rams earned an invitation to the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, where they will take on the Washington State Cougars. The game is December 21 at noon– the first bowl game of the year. Here’s what Washington State has done this season:

screenshot via espn.com

screenshot via espn.com

There was a chance that CSU would get left out of a bowl. The Mountain West had seven teams finish at or above .500, but only six can receive bowl bids. Thankfully for Rams fans, San Jose State is on the outside looking in. Albuquerque is only a six hour drive from Denver if fans are interested in making the trip. The Cougars opened as 3.5 point favorites over Colorado State.

Dexter’s days in Denver are done. (USATSI)

I’m underwhelmed by the Rockies’ trading of Dexter Fowler and subsequent signing of Justin Morneau. They had to dump Fowler’s salary in order to sign Morneau so I look at it almost like a trade of the two players. Dexter’s defense will be missed and he had flashes of offensive brilliance but could never deliver at the plate as consistently as fans always hoped. The Rockies were in need of a first baseman and Morneau provides that, but I don’t think fans should expect huge offensive numbers. Simply put, the Rockies gave up on a good player and a signed a decent one because it was cheaper. That should not come as a huge shock to fans of this organization.

The Nuggets finished their East Coast road trip 4-2 and have now won nine of their last  eleven games. After starting 0-3 and 4-6, they’re now sitting at 13-8. They’re doing it all without JaVale McGee and Danilo Gallinari, both of whom won’t be back for a while. I hope the Nuggets play well, but I get the feeling they’ll be seeded somewhere between 5 and 8 in the playoffs and will lose in the first round. And I’ve seen that story before.

On to the weekly segments…

Stud of the week: Colorado’s own Roy Halladay retired on Monday. The future Hall of Famer spent most of the last two seasons injured, but before that he was the most dominant pitcher of his generation. He threw a no-hitter in his first postseason start. He won two Cy Young Awards. But for me, the defining statistic for “Doc” will always be complete games. He finished his career with 67 of them. The next-closest active pitcher had 37. That is just a wild statistic. The Arvada West graduate might be the best Colorado-born athlete ever. (Feel free to comment with other suggestions.) Roy Halladay: All-Time Stud.

Douche of the week: These two giggling douche bags. In discussing a rape investigation — a RAPE INVESTIGATION– Florida State attorney Willie Meggs and his buddy, former Florida State Senator Al Lawson, treated the conference about DNA and sexual consent and drunkenness and a young man’s reputation with giggles and backslapping. It was just weird as hell and wildly inappropriate.

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HuhHuhHuhHuh our favorite football player isn’t gunna be charged isn’t that great HuhHuhHuhHuh.

What to watch the next seven days:

  • It’s pretty clear which college basketball team is the best in the state (more on that later). But Colorado State plays Denver in a fairly intriguing match-up in what should determine the second best Colorado team tomorrow night at Moby. It’s televised on Root at 7.
  • Army – Navy. Saturday. CBS. 1:00. Don’t need to say much more than that.
  • Heat – Pacers tonight is about as good as it gets for an NBA game in December. It’s on NBAtv.
  • Friday nights usually don’t offer much in terms of good sports to watch. This week Iowa plays Iowa State in hoops. They’re both ranked. Could be worth checking out.
  • This is a horrible week for the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE, with only one game consisting of two teams with winning records (Patriots and Dolphins). So unless you’re living and dying for your fantasy team, it might be a good Sunday to get some shopping done.

Colorado beat Kansas on this buzzer beater. It was a pretty wild finish to a doozey of a game that moved the Buffs to #21 in the AP Poll (still unranked in the coaches poll). Tad Boyle has a very solid program rocking and rolling in Boulder. I am no CU fan, but this was probably pretty fun for all those drugged out hippies:

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via deadspin.com

Check out the scrub ripping off his warm-up shirt for no reason. He was just too elated to wear sleeves.

How cool is this video?

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Pretty darn cool. Explanation can be found here.

I had the Auburn Radio call of the final play of the Iron Bowl last week. Here is the (pretend) Alabama version. These dudes had me laughing.

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Very creative sign-making here.

via @sbnationgif

See? It spells ESPN!

The NFL had a game Thursday night. The Jaguars played the Texans. Apparently some people even went to the game and even more watched on television, which I don’t really understand. Anyway, this is all you needed to see.

via @gifdsports and foxsports.com

Jeff Pearlman wrote a thought provoking open letter to Wes Welker asking him to retire immediately. I’m a fan of Welker and the Broncos, but it’s hard to argue with Pearlman here. A Super Bowl just can not be worth ruining your mental health for the rest of your life. So many things about football have to change. I might expand on these thoughts in a later post.

Nelson Mandela, who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as his country’s first black president, becoming an international emblem of dignity and forbearance, died Thursday night. He was 95.” How’s that for a lede? The New York Times obituary on Nelson Mandela is epic and required reading ’round these parts.

And finally, my man Ron Burgundy has been everywhere lately. He’s been hereAnd here And here. But this SportsCenter piece is pretty darn epic. If you haven’t seen or heard this one yet, you’ve been living under a rock. That said, I felt compelled to include it here because it is as good as these kinds of things get. Will Ferrell is incredible and Peyton is perfect for this spot.

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Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. See ya next week.

Comment on any of this stuff below, or email me at mdhahn1@yahoo.com with post ideas, videos or other media I should know about. Subscribe at the top right of this page. Follow me on Twitter @MitchDHahn.