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College Football Hist-O-Graph Project - #4: Colorado State Rams Suck

Examining CU Football, Pac-12, and Big XII Football  over the last 10 years using The Hist-O-Graph...and then saying stuff

This is now a weekly thing; regardless of current, past, or future conference affiliation CU's opponent gets a hist-o-gram and a strongly-worded letter from the UN.

For anybody not from CU, I'd like to tell you a little story:

There's this pretty little town called Fort Collins with fields and a mountain and a brewery where people settled down. Once they were done killing indians, people started to learn to farm there and this place to learn to farm miraculously became a 'college.' Even though the college was founded in 1870, it took them NINE FREAKING YEARS to actually begin teaching students.

And they suck, The End.

Just Kidding (about 'the end'). Not much after the founding of the college, a dude donated a bunch of nice buildings to this crummy ag & mechanical college and said "Poof! You're a University! Because you have buildings that look like University buildings, and also I said so!"   Which is how the Agricultural College of Colorado became Colorado State University.  And they still suck.

I'd talk about CSU football, but they don't actually play football as we know it.  Instead they play a game informally known as Ram-Ball.  You see, their live mascot, Cam the Ram, they take him...  and...    ...actually, just... no. I'm closing wikipedia now.

The Colorado State Rams Hist-O-Graph: Ram Balls are Leathery


So, first off: let me apologize for invoking that imagery. Secondly, let me assure you that I did not merely trace a colorado license plate and post it.  The green shows CSU's actual year-to-year two-star recruiting juggernaut, routinely above 80% as it did in '02, from '04-'08, and will for the forseeable future.  It just conveniently looks like mountains.

For the last 20 years it's always seemed like CSU's ramball team went in lock-step with CU.  When we were up, they were up. When we were down, they were down.  Kinda like how your sibling 3 years younger than you always had to do exactly what you were doing, with chimpanzee-quality mimicry.  We win the Big 8, they win the WAC.  We win a National Championship, they win the WAC.  We win the Big 12, they win the WAC MWC.  You get the idea.

It's tough to find a pair for each and every school; partly because we play 13 teams this year, but also because no matter how much CSU sucks; and they do; they still don't suck as much as Baylor.  Jump with me...

Even though they had 10-win seasons in '00 and '02, they've obviously fallen from those heights.  Flying in the face of that, however, is their recruiting.  They're actually one of the few non-royalty teams that recruits in spite of itself.  Conference Championship? Here's a boatload of 2-star recruits.  Consecutive 3-9 seasons ('09-'10)? Here's the best recruiting class you've had in a decade.  I don't know if they're serving cult-grade kool-ade to recruits, but something changed in ram-town and it wasn't their on-field performance.

Speaking of on-field performance, I don't know if part of the reason they fell so hard was due to Sonny Lubick having a component of the stadium/field named after him while he was still coaching the damn team.  I have yet to interview Joe Paterno and Bill Snyder on the effects of that phenomenon.  It can't be a good thing.  

What I do know is that in the 90's they busted heads* in the WAC to the tune of three conference championships in four years; also won the Mountain-Vest three times in four years upon entering that conference**, and then tanked. 

*No actual heads were busted, it was the WAC, afterall.   **The word Conference used loosely here

Beyond that, there's not a lot of analysis to draw; they went from losing to TCU and Navy in bowl games to losing to TCU and Air Force in conference games.  Over the last five years they've come to play mediocre football with mediocre players.   Last year they were outscored an average 37 to 16, and were shut-out by TCU (13-0, respectable) and Wyoming (3-9, disrespectable).  You'll also notice my future prediction for their team as well (you can spell it with the help of the letters C, S, and U).

Despite all that, CSU still isn't as bad as Baylor. So instead of a Pac-12 or Big-XII team to compare them to, I'll just use our graph as a comparison.


Okay; look between both graphs really quickly and answer me this: why have we ever lost to these jokers? And do we have any excuse at all to ever lose to them again between now and the heat death of the universe?!?!

No. But also kind-of.  

Which brings me to Kyle Ringo's erm, Ryan Thorburn, um, MY final point; that the CSU game is a no-win scenario for the Buffs.  Everyone thinks that CSU stinks, and Kirk Herbstreit told me so.*  The hist-o-graph even shows it to you in technicolor.  Which means everyone else's expectation is for us to win by 14 points. Anything less is some kind of failure according to news media and therefore recruits, the public, and the State of Colorado. Sometimes ourselves, too.

*No he did not...liar.

Whereas if CSU wins, they're automatically the giant-killer.  It's been said elsewhere that partitioning Mile High Stadium exactly half-way between schools and teams that are anything but equals artificially elevates CSU and by extension denigrates Colorado (the school, not the state. OK, maybe the state, too).  The David and Goliath drama gets hammed up while at the same time the trappings of a neutral site and 'equality' pervade.  Now it's a no-win sandwiched with a double-standard.

'In years past,' the complaint went, 'CSU gets all offseason to prepare for a one-game season-opener against CU whereas Colorado has no such luxury.' Is the same true this season? The Rammies have played two no-caliber teams as warm-ups. There's no reason that they couldn't have been scheming for us since August.

So, should we ever lose to CSU ever again? No. Will we? Maybe, but not this year.  They've played so-so against quasi and actual I-AA competition.  Notwithstanding the 'No-Win' Situation, there's no reason that we shouldn't win Saturday's game. Why? Because CSU sucks.

Go Buffs! Beat those Rams! 


#1: Introduction: Colorado and the Hist-O-Gram 

#2: The Three Kings: Texas, Oklahoma, and USC

#3: California Bears Have A Deal With the Devil and their counterpart, the Missouri Tigers