Tag Archives: CSU Football

Colorado State Should Quit Playing Colorado Anyway

Welcome to the 96th edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where I am unable to think of a clever or creative opening line. Let’s get into it…

The Rocky Mountain Showdown might only have a few games left in its storied history. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

I’ll start with Wednesday’s news out of Boulder that Colorado athletic director Rick George is not interested in continuing the Buffs’ yearly rivalry game with Colorado State once the current contract expires in 2020. George doesn’t like that the game is played in Denver. He would prefer a true home game in Boulder each year, which would bring in more revenue and better chance at a rare CU victory.

As far as the remaining games on the contract, George would like to bring those back to campuses, but indicated that CSU isn’t cooperating. (It’s clear that the CSU folks like the game played in Denver.)

Regarding the location of the game, I would be fine with it returning to the schools’ campuses. I’ve been to each of the last nine Rocky Mountain Showdowns– eight in Denver, one in Boulder– and it’s probably my favorite party of the year. I live in the greater Denver area, so having the game nearby is always nice. But the attendance and electricity just isn’t there anymore. The atmosphere on either campus would be much more charming and captivating. It would just feel right. (Imagine the Rams opening up their new stadium in two years by blowing out the Buffs in Fort Collins.) Of course, bringing the game back to campus provides lots of logistical complications. It sounds like George would want two games in Boulder for each game in FoCo; CSU would be nuts to agree to that.

Most folks on the Colorado State side of things reacted to all of this news by calling out CU as quitters who were tired of getting beat by their supposed little brother or saying the talk is a “cry for attention.” I think there are some hints of truth to this mindset, but CU is definitely looking at things mostly from a financial perspective. George wants a home game because home games mean more money.

The CU folks also note that Colorado doesn’t have a lot to gain from playing the Rams, saying when CU wins they don’t get much credit because that is the expectation. (Never mind that CSU was the best nonconference team on CU’s schedule last year by a mile.)

But for Rams fans, all of these conversations leave out what I think is the most important question:  What is Colorado State getting out of scheduling a game with CU each year? They get a fun rivalry game. They get a chance to rally their fan base. And they get an awful team on their schedule and a waste of a precious nonconference game.

I should preface this by saying it is tremendously unclear what either program will look like in 2021. Beyond that, it’s unclear what the college football landscape as a whole will look like in 2021. And I wouldn’t be surprised if both parties come to some sort of resolution within the next five years and keep the rivalry intact.

But as it stands now, removing the albatross that is the Colorado game from CSU’s schedule would benefit the Rams. If Mike Bobo can build on Jim McElwain’s momentum and keep elevating the CSU program the way lots of Rams fans are envisioning, it would be wise to simply leave CU behind.

Colorado State has its eyes on Mountain West championships and New Year’s Day bowl games. (Not to mention more-than-occasional glances on the potential move to a larger conference like the Big 12.) Playing one of the worst Power 5 teams in the country each season isn’t moving things in that direction. Last year, when CSU was in contention for a Fiesta Bowl berth before losing to Air Force, it was clear the CFP committee was completely unimpressed with the Rams’ win over the Buffs. That makes sense, because CU was terrible.

Colorado State needs to think bigger. If they “schedule up” and play a good team each year instead of CU, it would benefit the program, win or lose. Boise State, the program CSU is trying to track down, lost to Ole Miss and beat Connecticut last year. Ole Miss turned out to be a really good team; UConn turned out to be pretty bad. Nonconference scheduling is tricky, because you never know how good your opponents will be. But for the last decade, CSU has known what it’s getting when it schedules CU, and that’s a bad team from a major conference. This was fine for a lot of years when the Rams were an equally bad team from a smaller conference. But times have changed in Fort Collins, while the futility in Boulder has no end in sight.

I’ve grown up watching this rivalry, so not having it around would feel odd and wrong to me and my generation of Colorado sports fans. And again, enough could change in the next few years to make this whole conversation moot. But as of right now, it makes sense for CSU to happily let CU walk away.

I also wanted to write about how awful the Nuggets are, but instead I’ll just direct you to these four links.

Things are bad in Nuggetland.

And a quick update on CSU basketball, which is the only team on the Front Range with a chance to earn an at-large bid to the Big Dance.

Currently, ESPN has them as an 10-seed. CBS has them as a 9.

Basically, what all this means is that if CSU closes strong for the final seven games of their schedule (starting tonight at home to New Mexico, 9 pm, ESPNU) they should make their third NCAA tournament in four years. If they win the games I think they should win, they’ll finish the year either 26-5 or 25-6 and go either 13-5 or 12-6 in the Mountain West. Follow that up with a decent showing in the Mountain West tourney, and they would be pretty comfortable on Selection Sunday. One bad loss, though, and that changes in a hurry.

Off to the weekly departments…

Douche(s) of the week:

I’ve always respected Brian Williams’ career as a Journalist/TV-News-Reader-Guy. Then this week we learned that sometimes he just makes stuff up. Like this story, in particular:

Williams is truthful for zero of those thirty seconds. That’s appalling. Not only is he lying on the news, he’s diminishing the things our members of the military go through to try to make himself sound like some kind of badass. Here’s part of his explanation for the dispute from the New York Times.

“You are absolutely right and I was wrong,” he wrote, adding that he had in fact been on the helicopter behind the one that had been hit. Constant viewing of the video showing him inspecting the impact area, he said, “and the fog of memory over 12 years — made me conflate the two, and I apologize.”

Right. Conflated the two …Or you were just making crap up, bro.

His reporting on accounts during Hurricane Katrina have also been called into question. What a douche. At least it provided some fun for the internet masses with stuff like this:

Then there’s this big dumb idiot who goes around poking his opponents in their eyes. All three of these sure look intentional to me. This is not okay.

Stud of the week:

Some dude in Alaska took a 46-mile, 15-hour walk while it was 35 degrees below zero because… he just kinda felt like it.

He’s a hero in my book.

Vine of the week:

Check out this interaction between Chris Paul and Kevin Durant. Paul’s Clippers are getting blown out, but he stares at the Thunder bench after hitting a jumper anyway. Durant retorts with, “You’re down twenty now, homie. You’re down twenty now, homie.” Pretty awesome.

Tweet of the week:

Dickie V has just never quite got a complete grasp of Twitter, which makes him one of my favorite follows.

And finally, the latest SportsCenter commercial just came out a few hours ago. If you read my blog last week, you know I think it’s awesome.

Lots of people think the Halftime Sharks have jumped the… never mind. I’m here to tell you they’re still funny. THHHISS!!! is always funny.

Gawker

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

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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 @TuesWithMitch.

Dee Hart Transfers and Your Weekly Roundup

Welcome to the 71st edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where we’re officially in the dog days of summer. That usually means there’s not much to talk about. But the internet provided plenty of material this week. Let’s get into it…

Dee Hart is now a Ram. (USATSI)

We’re jumping right into the weekly departments after a few words on someone I’m hoping is a future Stud of the Week.

Colorado State football just made an interesting move that could potentially change their 2014 (that’s the upcoming one!) season dramatically. Yeah, I’m talking a little college football. We’re getting close.

Colorado State needs a running back. Kapri Bibbs left with two years of eligibility remaining to try to make an NFL roster. Donnell Alexander, who is also pretty damn good, transferred to Akron in a strange story that seemed to involve his family clashing with the coaches. (Or something like that.) So the Rams didn’t really have anyone to tote the rock this year. They might have found one.

It was announced this week that Alabama running back Dee Hart is transferring to CSU and will be eligible to play immediately, since he already has his degree from ‘Bama. Hart is a former 5-star recruit from Orlando, who didn’t find much playing time with the Tide after tearing his ACL in his sophomore year and re-injuring it on a punt return a year later.

This could turn out to be a huge move. Garrett Grayson has turned into a stud at quarterback and the receiving corps figures to be the deepest and most talented we’ve seen in years. Having a capable running back can provide some important balance.

Now, I’m not saying the Rams have found the next Kapri Bibbs or anything, but I do think this could prove to be an important pick-up. If Hart can earn the starting job and just be a solid player, the Rams would all of the sudden be set at all of the offensive skill positions. A couple hundred carries for 800 or so yards and 12 touchdowns would go a long way for this team.

Nobody knows if this move will even work out for the kid, but if it does, it could be one that changes the landscape of the Mountain West.

So that would be cool.

I hope to have some sort of Colorado State football preview in the next few weeks to break things down a bit more. PINS AND NEEDLES, AMIRITE?!

Stud(s) of the week:

Last week was full of crap and sad/annoying stories. We’re taking the opposite approach this week, with 5 different studs. Yay!

Speaking of Alabama football, all of their fans are freaks. But I love this video so much that these people all get a nod for their studliness.

Here’s the scenario: Fans line up with a chance to get an autograph from Nick Saban (who all of these hillbillies absolutely worship), but there’s only a limited amount of time (or something, I honestly don’t care to know the specifics) so they all hit the field at Bryant-Denny and really have to hustle to ensure their spot in line.

They do it every year. This is the first I’ve heard of it. And I fell in love before I even watched the video because it was introduced to me as “The Running of the Gumps”, which makes me laugh hysterically every time I hear it. THE RUNNING OF THE GUMPS!

All hail THE RUNNING OF THE GUMPS:

Okay…

Oooookayyyyy….

Okay. I wasn’t planning on doing this, but I need to break this down a little further. We gon peple wutchin’ n Tuscaloosa!

umbrella

Determined GUMPS are prepared for the rain; or possibly wanting Nick Saban to sign a blue and white umbrella.

trash bag

“Sir, Nick Saban will not sign a trash bag full of human heads. We apologize for the inconvenience.”

smile

Whassup baby?

mustache

Not enough old dudes with mustaches tuck their Alabama football T-shirts into black shorts.

3 fat people

The emotions vary greatly during THE RUNNING OF THE GUMPS.

old couple

I bet this lady runs the 40 in 10.6 seconds flat in those kicks.

heisman

Ten bucks says this dude tried to talk Saban into giving him a tryout.

bama

Saban will be really confused when this guy asks him to sign a giant painting of his four cats. Wait, no he won’t.

more fat people

These people are cheating. You are supposed to run, GUMPS!

4 losers

I think this was the part of the video when I stopped and thought, “Seriously, WHAT IN THE HELL is going on?”

sign guy

Your RUNNING OF THE GUMPS MVP

I just don’t understand how all of these people got off work on a Monday (haha). But seriously, can someone remind me to never go to the state of Alabama?

And to wrap this little segment up… An Auburn fan gave this whole scene a different soundtrack.

ROLLGUMPS!

THE RUNNING OF THE GUMPS is my new favorite holiday.

The Ray Rice story is still horrible, but the news producer who screwed this up gets some studly props. Perhaps my favorite news blooper of the year.

I also give props to the male anchor for making that face and casually pointing towards the screen he’s watching like Hmmmm….. I uhh…. I don’t think that’s the right video. Yeah. Yeah, that appears to be a fight between an old guy in a sweat suit and a guy in a spiderman costume. Definitely not Ray Rice. Right? Yep.

Absolutely hysterical.

More news bloops: Louis Slungpue: Absolute stud.

I have the sense of humor of a 12-year-old sometimes, so getting the phrase “took a really large dump” on the news is hero-level stuff.

Shifting gears to a more traditional stud, you ought to know I loves me some Vin Scully. So the announcement that he was returning for his 66th season (think about that) was a pretty awesome moment, even if all those Dodgers flags make me want to projectile on my laptop.

Well done and creative job by the Dodgers with this announcement as well. Vin is just an American treasure.

And this week’s true Stud Of The Week is Jim Kelly. Watch this SC Featured that takes an intimate look at his battle with cancer. ESPN is so good at this kind of thing. I can’t embed this one, but it’s available here. NBC also aired a powerful video on Sunday night during some stupid preseason game. It’s available here. They’re both worth your time.

Douche of the week:

I can’t think of anyone else, so we’ll go with Dick Monfort again, because why not?

Vine of the week:

Pretty sweet catch. (Kind of.)

Picture of the week:

This is what it looks like when 29 sumo wrestlers are all on the same flight.

A couple links worth sharing:

And finally, just look at this freaking catch from last night:

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GIF: Ezequiel Carrera's diving catch in slow motion, fantastic shot from ESPN

@cjzero

Play of the year in 2014.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. Enjoy your preseason football. See ya next week.

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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 @TuesWithMitch.

Your Weekly Roundup From the Sports World and Internet

Welcome to the 32nd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where CSU is winning, the Broncos are losing, their fans are panicking, the World Series is starting, and some dude at College Gameday is my new hero. Off we go…

The Bronze Boot is coming home. (Andy Cross/Denver Post).

So I didn’t see that coming. A week after CSU played poorly and losing at home in front of a large crowd against a pretty bad team, they had to go on the road in front of a large crowd and play a good team. That week they were favored by 4 points. This week they were 7 point underdogs.

Then they went to Laramie and just dominated Wyoming for 60 minutes. They outplayed the ‘Pokes on offense, defense and special teams.

They were up 21-0 and 31-7 and 52-15.

This one had the feel of a monumental win that people will remember. Taking back the Bronze Boot for the first time in four years while completely dominating on the road could be the kind of win that fans look back on in a few years. Maybe this was the win that turned things around.

Then again, maybe not. Maybe Wyoming isn’t all that good after all. Maybe CSU goes and loses to a horrible Hawaii team this week. With the Colorado State football program, there’s not a whole lot of reasoning to support a mindset that things will be different from now on.

Either way, Saturday was a hell of a day for CSU fans, and provided reason to be optimistic, if only for a week. If they play well against Hawaii, the Boise State game the following week could draw a big crowd and be very interesting. (Particularly since BSU’s starting quarterback is out for the year, which is unfortunate.)

This team has a lot of talent and when they put everything together, they actually look pretty damn good. If (a very big “if”) they play like they did on Saturday for the remainder of the year, finishing 7-6 and earning a bowl appearance is not out of reach. After the San Jose State game, I can’t believe I just wrote that sentence.

The Broncos lost and the 16-0 train has been derailed before it could pick up much steam. The Colts are good and that environment in Indi created a tough situation. Throw in a few costly turnovers and you got yourself a loss.

You generally can’t turn the ball over 3 times and expect to win on the road in THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!

The team I thought would go 16-0 is now in second place in the AFC West.

Looking at the big picture, I don’t think this loss is really a very bad thing. The Broncos should still win their division. I still think that will be accomplished fairly easily. The Broncos are still a very good football team. Probably the best in THE NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE!

Games like Sunday are entertaining as hell and fun to watch and stress over and overreact to. But like I’ve been saying all year, for the 2013 Broncos, the real season starts in the playoffs.

And Broncos fans, go ahead and pretend this wasn’t the most amazing play of the night, but we all know it was.

via Bleacher Report

I have been waiting all week to share this video with you all. Ole Miss party girl is a star.

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So many good quotes in there I don’t even know where to start. Just kidding, these two are the winners.

“I love school spirit, but let’s not get me wrong,  I wouldn’t have school spirit without, like, a couple vodka waters.”

“My favorite thing about Ole Miss is the education that I receive here. Psyche.”

The fact that the above video comes in a distant second place this week is remarkable. But this one is an instant first ballot TWM Hall of Famer.

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That young man is living an incredible life. A life that should be the envy of all of us. In a few years he’ll have a boring job and he’ll be worrying about money and kids and his caloric intake. He’ll sit in a button-down shirt in an uncomfortable chair with a stiff back and think about the days when all he cared about was ripping his shirt off and pouring some kind of fluid all over his face and intentionally acting like a complete idiot in the background of a national TV show. Then he’ll get sad. Because we all grow up. And then we all get sad.

This catch.

(via deadspin.com)

The Fox broadcast informed me that’s more than a 40-yard dead sprint to get to that ball.

In the long run it didn’t matter since the Red Sox won the series on Shane Victorino’s grand slam in Game 6, leading to a a rematch of the 1946 World Series. And the 1967 World Series. And the 2004 World Series. Having that kind of history is pretty cool. It also makes me hope for rain or a strike or an epic electricity blackout or something.

Cardinals fans are the absolute worst. Except for Red Sox fans. Red Sox fans are the worst. No, Cardinals fans are.

Still, I’m excited for the Fall Classic and I’ll take the Cardinals in six. Keep an eye out for Allen Craig. The Cardinal’s MVP candidate has missed the whole postseason but should return for the World Series. I’ll say the Series MVP will be Carlos Beltran because he’s like the best Postseason performer of all-time. Seriously. His numbers are ridiculous.

In addition to all of the drama and grit and pageantry, let’s just hope the World Series features someone pulling a Prince Fielder.

via @corkgaines

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I use GIFs a lot. The New York Times profiled one of the guys who makes these weird things yesterday.

And finally, where’d coach go?

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Just two excited fat guys aimlessly lugging around a big Gatorade cooler. Awesome.

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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.

Your Weekly Roundup From the Sports World and Internet

Welcome to the 25th Tuesdays With Mitch, where I hope you didn’t bet the mortgage like I told you to. Lots going on in the sports world. Let’s get to it.

Paul Richardson and CU were too much for the CSU defense to handle. (AP Photo, Jack Dempsey).

The Rocky Mountain Showdown was a heck of a game. Didn’t go well for CSU though. One huge turnover and two huge blown coverages made the difference. Congrats to CU, who I can no longer consider the worst team in the nation. The better team won, because the better team always wins. It will be interesting to see the effect this game has on each team moving forward. It’s hard to envision CU carrying over much momentum when conference play begins. CSU fans better hope this doesn’t prove to be a hindrance against Tulsa and Cal Poly and ummm…. Alabama.

Congrats are also in order to Todd Helton, who notched his 2,500th hit during that game on Sunday.

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Really cool moment. Cool of the fans who were on top of the situation for a couple days. They probably read my blog. As a lifelong Todd Helton fan, it’s a cool moment for him to get some league-wide recognition as he plays out his last season. It’s also very fitting that it came on a double. He’s a Hall of Famer. I’ll be screaming that from the rooftops for the next 5 years.

There’s a pretty big Broncos game in a couple days. I like the Broncos to cover the 7.5 point spread. If they can’t get jacked up for this game, they shouldn’t be in the league. Also Baltimore shouldn’t be all that good this season. I’m picking the Broncos to win the AFC West and finish at 12-4. I have no idea what happens from there.

As a fan, I’m really excited to see Peyton Manning work with Decker, Thomas and Welker. I just don’t understand how teams are going to stop that passing game. As I eluded to a while back, it should be interesting to see how well the defense plays, particularly the first six weeks without Von Miller.

Since I’m clearly really good with predictions:  Broncos 33, Ravens 24.

It wouldn’t be college football with out weirdos being weird.

via @sbnationgif

If you’re a fan of “It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”, you’ll be glad to know Chase Utley finally responded to Mac’s fan letter.

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This is a really interesting read about Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr and his unconventional story of dealing with a sick child.

Yeah, these guys are pretty funny.

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And finally, here’s the best person I can imagine trying to define the word twerking. Thanks America.

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Shorter post this week. Blame the holiday weekend and my three fantasy drafts. 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.

Colorado State Football Preview

Welcome to the 24th Tuesdays With Mitch, where I’ll start with a quick congrats to Randy and Emily on your new engagement. (And also making me feel old as hell.) It’s game week. Football is here in a couple days. Locally it all starts on Sunday afternoon with the Rocky Mountian Showdown, which has the potential to be the best day of every year. Most of my readers come from a Colorado State point of view, so let’s breakdown the 2013 Rams.

Sophomore running back Donnell Alexander could be Colorado State’s best player.

We’ll start with a quick glance back at last year. Here’s the schedule and results from 2012:

screenshot via espn.com

screenshot via espn.com

So the Rams started 1-6 last year, then got it together a little bit and won three of their last five. They finished 4-8, which was a one-game improvement from the past three years, each of which ended at 3-9.

Things should be better this year. Jim McElwain appears to know what he’s doing and if he does, we should see a noticeable difference between the coach’s first and second years.

The offense returns nine starters, including four on the offensive line. The best player on the offense might be senior center and four-year starter Weston Richburg. If the line improves around him the way it should, CSU figures to have a pretty potent running game. Donnell Alexander is a stud and he produced much more than most would have imagined as a true freshman last year. Chris Nwoke battled injuries, but two years ago ran for over 1200 yards. If both those dudes can stay healthy, the Rams should have a very solid ground attack.

Quarterback is an interesting spot. Two guys are capable of starting and they have very different skillsets. It sounds like junior Garrett Grayson will win the starting job. He’s a smaller, scrambling, rollout style quarterback. The other option is sophomore Conner Smith who is bigger and a more traditional pocket passer with a strong arm. Each player started a handful of games last year, with Smith taking over after Grayson was injured. Fans should hope one person can take over and be the every down quarterback. Like they say, if you have two quarterbacks, you have no quarterbacks.

The depth chart is a little murkier (real word) at wide receiver. Charles Lovett, Joe Hansley and Thomas Coffman are all coming back. They all had shoulder-shrug seasons last year. It sounds like some true freshman will be making an impact at receiver as well, led by Rashard Higgins. Kivon Cartwright and Crocket Gillmore are two very good tight ends who should be very active in the passing game. Gillmore is considered by some to be a fringe NFL prospect.

There are more question marks on the defensive side, but the unit returns six starters from last year. The strength figures to come at the linebacker position. Shaquil Barrett has the potential to be a beast if he can build off his production last year. Cory James had a great freshman season, leading the team with 7.5 sacks. He’s back as a sophomore. Both those guys are linebackers, but they figure to be utilized mainly as pass rushers. The defensive line has to improve, but there’s not much there to suggest it will.

Shaq Bell is a senior corner and a leader in the secondary. He’s one of the better defenders on a team with only a few recognizable faces on the defensive side of the ball. It sounds like sophomore Kevin Pierre-Louis will take over as a starter at safety. He played well in limited time as a reserve last year.

Overall the offense should be a strength. The defense will be trying to hold their own.

So there’s a quick breakdown of the roster and talent on the team. Here’s the Mountain West preseason predictions from the esteemed media experts and the wise guys in Vegas.

MWC predicts

Vegas odds according to bovada.com as of 8/26.

It’s pretty clear that Boise and Fresno appear to be the class of the MWC. Colorado State should be in the middle of the pack. Wyoming and Air Force could have set backs. Vegas likes CSU more than the media, which fans should find encouraging. Vegas knows more than everybody, and the media can be clueless.

Here’s the Rams’ 2013 schedule:

csu 2013

screenshot via espn.com

Adding Alabama on a would-be bye week means the Rams have 13 regular season games instead of the standard 12. One interesting note is that CSU plays eight straight games without a bye week to end the year, which could lead to an additional loss or two. Notice they don’t play Fresno State or San Diego State (both probable losses). They don’t get to play UNLV (a probable win). Here are my predictions with a short breakdown.

COLORADO (WIN) 1-0

CU might be the worst college program in the nation. They are a unanimous pick to finish last in the Pac-12 and are coming off a 1-11 campaign. Going through a coaching change. No way they win three games. All that said, CSU is currently only a 3-point favorite. Bet the mortgage.

@TULSA (LOSS) 1-1

Tulsa has a really good program. One of my close friends has worked with Tulsa football for the past couple years so I’ve been following them pretty closely. They are the defending Conference USA champions and Bill Blankenship doesn’t seem to have bad years. Most are picking Tulsa to repeat as conference champs. I expect the Rams to be underdogs by about 10.

CAL POLY (WIN) 2-1

Cal Poly is another threat of a FCS team that the Rams will host at home. (They lost to North Dakota State last year.) Cal Poly beat Wyoming in Laramie last year, so they are no joke. Still, I expect CSU to handle their business against a lesser opponent this go ’round.

@ #1 ALABAMA (LO$$) 2-2

Ha. Thi$ one will not be clo$e. $hould be a cool experience for the Colorado $tate who will take home $1 million for playing thi$ game. (Just hope none of those NFL players in red jerseys injure any Rams too badly).

UTEP (WIN) 3-2

Texas-El Paso is a mid-to-bottom level C-USA team. Playing them in Fort Collins is the key. CSU should not lose this game.

SAN JOSE STATE (WIN) 4-2

This would be a small upset for Colorado State. San Jose State has quite a bit of talent returning and has beaten CSU the past two years. Quarterback David Fales is tough to contain. But the Spartans have a new coaching staff and I just feel like this is the type of game the Rams need to start winning to get over that hump. This year feels like the year they make that move.

@WYOMING (WIN) 5-2

Brett Smith is one of the best quarterbacks in the Mountain West. Some are pegging the dual threat signal-caller as an NFL draft pick. Last year Wyoming finished with an identical record to Colorado State (4-8, 3-5). They beat CSU 45-31 last year. I expect CSU to be improved. I expect Wyoming to be about the same. This game should be close one way or the other. Another swing game for the Rams this season. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I think they’ll pull it out.

HAWAII (WIN) 6-2

Hawaii is pretty bad.

#19 BOISE STATE (LOSS) 6-3

Not happening. Might be a little more competitive than in year’s past. But it ain’t happening.

NEVADA (LOSS) 6-4

This seems like a coin flip game. Chris Ault is gone after 28 years with the Wolf Pack, but his pistol offense remains. CSU is not good enough to win every 50/50 game on their schedule. It’s inevitable for them to drop a game or two like this one.

@NEW MEXICO (WIN) 7-4

CSU won’t lose to New Mexico, even on the road. The Lobos should suck again.

@UTAH STATE (LOSS) 7-5

The Aggies should contend for the MWC title, even with a coaching change. They went 11-2 last year and were 6-0 at home. Asking the Rams to win in Ogden this season is a little much.

AIR FORCE (WIN) 8-6

Air Force has beaten CSU seven straight times. Seven! The Falcons are only returning three starters on offense and are replacing almost every skill position. Things aren’t much better on the defensive side and Troy Calhoun would have to pull off quite the coaching job to give Air Force a winning season. The Rams get the Zoomies at home, which could turn out to be key to Colorado State breaking their awful streak and beating the Falcons for the first time since 2005.

So there ya have it. 8-5 and a trip to the Calahan Auto Parts Inline Rotary Girder Bowl in Flint, Michigan. Honestly 8-5 seems a little overzealous, but when I went through the schedule game-by-game, it kind of made sense.  Before breaking down each game, I probably would have predicted a 7-6 or even 6-7 season. So credit a diminished Mountain West and a fairly soft schedule for the Rams turnaround.

*OTHER STUFF*

Last week, I showed you a news report from some kid at Ball State who made a half-court shot to win free tuition for a year. Apparently my Alma Matter did not want to be outdone. This is so awesome.

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They didn’t have those pep rally things for new freshman when I went there. Looks like a ton of fun. And that kid will remember that moment for a very, very long time. Pretty clutch.

This is one way to score a touchdown.

Good old preseason football.  (via @cjzero)

This is hilarious and well done.

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I love watching the Little League World Series. This stole the show for me.

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So did this.

(GIF via guysim.com)

I’m not sure which is better. Tumbling down 6 rows and exploding countless empty plastic chairs or an all out faceplant into some bushes.

Deadspin is great at showing how stupid ESPN can be and this story on how they just made up a topic and turned it into a story is really interesting. You should read it.

This thing on MLB Payrolls is a really cool timewaster.

Welcome to school, kids.

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LIKE A BAAADASSSSS! Like a badass indeed, nerdy Andy Samberg. You really got those dorky ACC engineers riled up. I think a few of them even clapped a couple times. Seriously, were those kids sedated?

I fancy myself a bit of a beard aficionado, so I really enjoyed this cool stop-motion video some dude with a great beard made.

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Gets a little weird at the end, but it’s still cool.

And finally, don’t try to rob this store in Brazil. (Wait for iiiitt….)

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I really hope that’s real and the worker inside is just an animal.

Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. Enjoy your Labor Day Weekend. We’ll talk some Broncos next week. See ya then.

…and Go Rams!

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.

Reaction to Colorado State’s Hiring of Jim McElwain

A press conference at noon Tuesday will be the first opportunity for the Colorado State community to welcome their newest member. Jim McElwain, currently the offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at #2 Alabama, will be introduced as the next head coach of the CSU Rams.

Jim McElwain (Photo courtesy of Mark Almond/Birmingham News)

Jim McElwain is a good hire as your next head coach of the CSU Rams. (Photo courtesy of Mark Almond/Birmingham News)

You can read his official bio from the Alabama athletics webisite here, but I’ll give you some of the highlights.

  • Arrived at ‘Bama in 2008; team went 12-2 after losing seven games in 2007.
  • Tide went 14-0 in 2009 and set Alabama all-time record for yards from scrimmage.
  • Coached 2009 Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram.
  • Helped lead team to BCS championship game this season.
  • Coached 2011 Heisman finalist Trent Richardson.
  • In 2007, in his only season as the offensive coordinator at Fresno State, he led a somewhat dramatic turnaround of the Bulldog’s offense.

It’s unlcear what role McElwain played in recruiting at Alabama, but his biography didn’t mention anything, so my guess is not much.

It is also unclear (until the Tuesday presser) how much CSU will be paying McElwain or how many years will be on his contract. I’ve heard/seen a couple reports that McElwain will be making between $1.2 and $1.5 million, which means he could earn double the $700,000 Steve Fairchild was bringing in. McElwain made $510,000 in 2011 according to al.com.

If McElwain’s future contract numbers are accurate, the contract should not be for five or more years. Commiting around $6 million to a guy with no head coaching experience would be silly.

Anyway, this should be considered an impressive hire for new A.D. Jack Graham. As a Ram fan, I was hoping for an up-and-coming assistant coach who was familiar with big time college football and has seen what success looks like. Colorado State isn’t a likely destination for a head coach on the rise and I think hiring NFL assistants is stupid.

McElwain’s biography showed no connections to Colorado State, which should not be held against him by the die-hards in Fort Collins. If he can coach, we’ll take him.

There’s one simple way to bring back passion, interest and streams of revenue in a football program:  Win. Winning is a challange at CSU and the Rams have hitched their wagons to Jim McElwain.

Let’s hope he can recruit, motivate, run a clean program and embrace the Fort Collins community. And let’s hope he can win.

A Tumultuous Week for CSU Football and Other Musings

Jack Graham (Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post)

CSU fans sure hope Jack Graham knows what he's doing. (Helen H. Richardson/Denver Post)

I know I haven’t been around all that long, but I think Colorado State football fans will be hard-pressed to come up with a more tumultuous week than the one we all witnessed recently. Here’s a quick timeline of the events:

  • Thursday morning:  Highly respected athletic director Paul Kowalczyk fired completely out of the blue. The final 3 1/2 years of his contract are bought out using “private funds” (meaning donors/boosters likely pushed Kowalczyk out).
  • Thursday morning:  Kowalczyk replaced by Jack Graham, a passionate donor with zero athletic administrative experience.
  • Thursday afternoon: CSU President Tony Frank posts a letter in which he confirms his commitment to athletics at CSU. One eyebrow-raising sentence mentions “the impact that a privately funded football stadium on our campus would have.”
  • Saturday:  Nearly pull off a large upset against arguably the Rams’ biggest rival, only to fall short in the fourth quarter (no surprise there).
  • Sunday:  Fourth year coach Steve Fairchild fired by Graham.
  • Monday:  Graham announces his perplexing hiring of a national search firm to look for coaching candidates. Someone is paying the firm a quarter of a million dollars.
  • Tuesday morning:  Fort Collins Coloradoan article confirms that Jack Graham wants/is thinking about an on-campus stadium.

Whew… Need a few shots of Pepto Bismol to digest all that.

Other local and national sports musings:

  • How cool was it to see CSU play on Coach K court in front of the Cameron Crazies? It would have been cooler if they had a contributor taller than 6′-6″.
  • Am I the only CSU fan who was very disappointed to see the students rush the court after beating Colorado? We did the same thing two years ago and Kowalczyk sent us all an email saying how stupid it was. He was right.
  • In six or seven years the St. Louis Cardinals will be glad they’re not paying Albert Pujol$ $25 million a year, but don’t tell that to the 12-year-old in Missouri who has slept in a Number 5 jersey-T for as long as he can remember.
  • It seems like David Stern is losing control of the NBA. His nixing of the Chris Paul trade screws over three different franchises, but none more than the small market New Orleans Hornets, which he was trying to protect. Superstars in the final year of their contract will always have the power to dictate where they want to sign. It’s just an unfortunate truth.
  • The Rockies better sign some starting pitching during this offseason, the sooner the better. Getting rid of Huston Street and his contract to create flexibility was fine, but now it’s time to make some moves.
  • I would like to see Nene come back for the Nuggets, but I have a feeling some other team is willing to overpay for him. I think the Nuggets have to let them. A max contract would be a little much.
  • And no post would be complete without this:  TEBOOOOOOOWWWWWWWW!!!!! At this point, there’s no sense in being skeptical. I’m all-in on the Tebow Train, and I worry that lots of people in Denver and across the country are too busy trying to be quarterback experts to enjoy what we’re seeing. This is the most remarkable football season of my generation’s lifetime, just shut up and enjoy it already.

Keeping Steve Fairchild at CSU… Is It Really That Crazy?

Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Apparently some folks out there think Fairchild should be given another year. I am not one of them. (Photo courtesy Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Yes.

I’m surprised at the number of people I interact with who are somewhat opposed to firing Steve Fairchild. Tweets, texts, friends, family, random dudes in CSU hats, whatever. I was skeptical coming into this season and I became completely anti-Fairchild after the homecoming loss to San Jose State. I’ve already moved on and started looking for new coaches, but apparently I may have gotten ahead of myself.

Chris Dempsey of the Denver Post wrote an interesting and in-depth article that was posted online Tuesday afternoon weighing the complications of keeping or firing Fairchild. I encourage you to read the article here.

The chief arguments for sticking with Fairchild are these, followed by my rebuttal (a term I usually save for beer pong):

CONTRACT:

The biggest issue in firing Fairchild is, naturally, money. He has one more year left on his five-year contract and will make $700,000 next season if he is retained. The obvious argument here is that a school like Colorado State cannot afford to pay two coaches at once.

My response to that is simple:  Do what ya gotta do. Kowalczyk made a mistake with this hiring and we all end up paying for our mistakes, financially or otherwise. In other words:  Yes that is a lot of money, but too damn bad.

Another point that cannot be overlooked here is the recruiting situation with a lame duck head coach. It’s tough to imagine Fairchild being granted a contract extension, and a struggling coach in the final year of his contract isn’t attractive to young recruits. Competing schools would undoubtedly let recruits know that CSU’s staff probably won’t be there much longer.

Can we afford to throw an entire season of recruiting in the toilet for the sake of saving money? I understand $700,000 is not chump change, but waiting a year to fire Fairchild would prove very costly in its own right.

RECRUITS/YOUNG TEAM

Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Fairchild has not translated supposedly strong recruiting classes into wins. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Most of Fairchild’s supporters point out that the players who are leading this team are all young kids, which is actually a pretty strong argument. Chris Nwoke has had a breakout year to say the least. Garrett Grayson has shown some promise as a true freshman. Shaquil Barrett, Mike Orakpo, Nordly Capi, Crockett Gillmore and Weston Richburg are all sophomores making huge contributions as starters. They argue that Fairchild has done a great job recruiting and this team will be very good in a couple years. Firing Fairchild may even cause some of these kids to transfer schools.

My response: Let’s not get too caught up in how many stars a kid has next to his name coming out of high school. Pete Thomas was the greatest recruit for CSU in years; Fairchild’s crown jewel. He’s had his time to prove himself and hasn’t done it. Yes, all of these sophomores are leading the team, but the team is getting beat every week.

After Air Force pounded CSU, Tim Jefferson, the Falcons’ senior quarterback said, “No offense to CSU, but we moved the ball down the field way too easily against a Division I defense.” That’s a classy kid from a service academy saying he didn’t think the Rams looked like a Division I team.

That’s not exactly saying, “They have a lot of young talent. I was impressed with some plays those guys made. They should have a great team a couple years down the road.”

INJURIES

This 2011 team has been hit very hard with injuries. Mychal Sisson is our best player and he was out for the bulk of the year. Pete Thomas is going to miss the last three games of the year. E.B. Smith missed some games.

My response: Don’t wanna hear it. Every team gets hit with injuries; next man up. If Fairchild is such a good recruiter, we should have a deep enough team to beat UNLV and San Jose State regardless of who is stuck on the sidelines. I don’t remember injuries hitting the Rams this hard in 2010 or 2009 and we went 3-9 each of those seasons too.

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Keeping Fairchild would be a simple case of overthinking the situation. We can talk all we want about potential, about attitude, about tough luck, and even about money.

Paul Kowalczyk (courtesy colostate.edu)

Paul Kowalczyk has a huge decision to make. It's not a tough one if he doesn't overthink things. (Photo courtesy colostate.edu)

The truth is simple and it’s right in front of our eyes. Colorado State has descended to the bottom of the college football world over the past three years. Nine wins, 26 losses– soon to be 27 after Wyoming heads back to Laramie with the Bronze Boot Saturday– while playing in the Mountain West Conference (and not exactly traveling to SEC country in non-conference games).

Things have gone from frustrating, to disappointing, to sad, to embarrassing. CSU fans are too proud, if not apathetic, to put up with this for another year. Listen, I understand Colorado State isn’t Oklahoma or LSU, but this isn’t Louisiana Tech or Portland State either. This is a program with a tremendous history and strong tradition. This is a university located in one of the nation’s best cities with a huge alumni base just down the road in Denver, a major market and one of America’s great sports towns.

Colorado State football can be a very respectable college football program. Unfortunately– and it is unfortunate, because he’s a proud Ram and a good person– I don’t think they ever will be with Steve Fairchild running the show.

Don’t overthink it, Paul Kowalcyzk, it’s time to move on.