Earlier this year, following the Colorado-State vs. Utah football game, Pat Stryker challenged fans in the Hughes Room to raise money for the artificial turf field at Hughes Stadium, saying she’d match all donations until enough money was raised to have the new field installed. Now, she’s upped the stakes. She recently informed the athletic department that not only will she match contributions towards the field, but now will do two dollars for every one raised. The athletic department fully expects to have the field in place by next season.
Construction crews will begin building the new football locker room immediately following the football season, so in late December, after the bowl game, crews will commence work. While all the money has been pledged (half by former Ram/current Pittsburgh Steeler Joey Porter and the other half through several private donors) not all is in hand yet. Donors will be making their donations over a five-year period. In the meantime, the athletic department has secured a loan to cover the costs. A prominent booster has backed the loan.
The Mountain West Conference missed a chance to fill five bowl slots when Kansas upset Iowa State to become bowl eligible and give the Big 12 enough teams to fill its slot in the Fort Worth Bowl, which is where New Mexico would have been headed. New Mexico is likely out of the bowl picture now, but has an outside shot at the Motor City Bowl due to the Big Ten not having a No. 7 team available. The bowl game has its eye on UConn since the Big East has a contingency agreement with the bowl game, but if the Huskies lose this Saturday to No. 16 Louisville, they would be 5-6 and not eligible for a bowl. However, aside from the Lobos, several teams are being considered, such as Memphis (probably the top choice), Toledo, Bowling Green, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, and Houston. Two of those teams (likely Southern Miss and Houston) will be ticketed for more regional games, such as the New Orleans Bowl and Fort Worth Bowl. Another scenario that could open up an opportunity for New Mexico, one that Ram fans would have a hard time rooting for, is for Colorado to beat Texas in the Big 12 Championship game. CU would earn a BCS bowl berth, and Texas almost certainly would still earn an at-large invitation. If the Big 12 received two BCS invitations, the other six bowl-eligible teams would slide up in the bowl hierarchy and thus there would not be a No. 8 team to fill the Fort Worth Bowl.
The MWC bowl lineup could look like this:
Houston Bowl: TCU vs. Big 12 No. 5 or 6 (possibly Missouri, Iowa State, or Nebraska)
Las Vegas Bowl: BYU vs. Pac 10 No. 5 (likely Cal, but could end up playing a non-BCS opponent such as Nevada or Louisiana Tech if Oregon goes to a BCS game, moving all other Pac-10 teams up in the bowl hierarchy)
Emerald Bowl: Utah vs. an ACC selection (possibly North Carolina State, Virginia, Georgia Tech, or Boston College). This bowl was supposed to pit a Pac-10 No. 6 team, but the league won’t have a bowl-eligible No. 6 team, so the Emerald Bowl has announced it will target an ACC team.
Poinsettia Bowl:Colorado State vs. Navy
The Rams will begin their bowl practices Thursday at 4 p.m. as head coach Sonny Lubick will put his team through a 90-minute practice, and hold a similar workout Saturday (time to be announced). Next week, the Rams will practice Tuesday Dec. 8, Thursday Dec. 10, Sunday Dec. 13, Wednesday Dec. 16, and Thursday Dec. 17. The Rams will depart for San Diego on the 18th. There, the Rams will stage their practices at San Diego State University, practicing Monday Dec. 19 and Tuesday Dec. 20, then stage a walk-through at Qualcomm Stadium on the 21st, the day prior to the game. For full bowl game information and related links, visit our Game Day page.
The Rams sold 5,200 tickets to the Diamond Walnut San Francisco Bowl in 2003, although probably half of those tickets were bought by Ram fans as a donation to help the athletic department offset some of the expenses of the trip. The athletic department is hoping to surpass that figure for this year’s Poinsettia Bowl, and could be assisted by the 5,500 alumni living in Southern California.
I encountered an incident following the UNLV game that made me not very proud to be a CSU Ram. As fans, family members, players and coaches celebrated the win outside the locker rooms, a drunk student solicited quarterback Justin Holland, put his arm around him, and asked if he could get a picture with him. Holland obliged, posed for the picture, said thanks, and turned to go back to talk to his parents. As he walked away, the drunk student said, “Take care buddy, we’ll see you in the CFL (Canadian Football League)” and laughed at himself. Holland, realizing that the guy was taking a shot at him, replied “See you in Alcoholics Anonymous.” I don’t understand the mentality of fans sometimes. If you don’t like the way a player plays, that’s fine, but to call him out and embarrass him in front of other players, fans, and parents is classless and rude.
Ole Miss, where former CSU receivers coach/recruiting coordinator Matt Lubick currently holds similar duties, has been verbally blasted and accused by Tulane coach Chris Scelfo of “player tampering” after an Ole Miss staff member asked a Tulane assistant coach about the possibility of players transferring to Ole Miss if the Green Wave football team was dissolved in Hurricane Katrina's aftermath. Scelfo insinuated that Ole Miss’ efforts went further than that, and alleged individual players were asked about the possibility of transferring. "In the worst natural disaster in the history of the United States, you've got to stoop pretty low to do that. You're lower than dirt," Scelfo said last month in a CBS SportsLine.com story. "I'm not going to tolerate that. There's people in our business that don't belong in our business." Ole miss head coach Ed Orgeron has insisted his staff did nothing wrong, and has since been cleared by the Southeastern Conference of wrongdoing.
CSU’s 5-0 start in hoops has started to turn some heads. At DraftExpress.com, CSU is listed in an early NCAA Tournament bracket as a No. 11 seed to face No. 6 seed George Washington in Dayton, Ohio.
CSU has helped the MWC get off to a solid start in non-conference play. The league is currently 28-9, and aside from CSU’s wins, key victories include Air Force over Miami, Wyoming over UNC-Charlotte, New Mexico beating Ole Miss by 53, UNLV over Hawaii, BYU over Washington State, and New Mexico over UTEP. TCU has been the one downer of the conference, sitting at 1-3 with losses to Tarleton State and Drake.
Following the Rams’ 64-58 win over Denver University in the Colorado Classic at the Pepsi Center in Denver, the Alumni Association held a reception for fans at the Continental Divide room inside the arena. Head coach Dale Layer was supposed to be a special guest and more than 60 fans packed inside the 50-person room, waiting to congratulate him on the win and listen to him talk about the game. However, due to the length of time it took for Layer to fulfill his comment with Fox Sports Net, CSU Radio Network, and the rest of the media following the game, it wasn’t until around 45 minutes following the game that he became available. Due to the time, and the fact that Layer and his staff endured several non-basketball-related issues this week, officials figured it would be best not to send Layer to the function. While fans were disappointed that the coach was unable to show up, the event was a success anyways, as fans munched on appetizers, socialized, and rejoiced in the Rams’ victory and 4-0 start to the season.
Congratulations to Tom Hilbert and the women’s volleyball team, who earned their 11th straight NCAA Tournament bid and will host the first and second rounds this weekend. The Rams will face Colorado (15-12) in the first round Friday at 7 p.m. and would face the winner of No. 3-seeded Washington (26-1)/Siena (20-11) match Saturday at 7:30 p.m. It was a roller-coaster season for the Rams, but showing the reputation and respect that Hilbert has built for this program, the Rams were invited to host with a 20-8 record.
As the holidays approach, please keep in mind the importance of supporting our sponsors, who make RamNation.com possible. Many thanks go out to to Chevalier Jewelers, Rams Bookstore, Weishare.com, New Horizons Travel, and Colorado’s Best Beef Company. Please give them first shot at your business!