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Week two of Cannon Fodder, what’s on tap? First off, some shout outs:
Shout out to the entire University of Colorado Buffaloes football team for breaking a nine-game losing streak that goes back to last season.
Shout out again to the Buffs for being on the right side of a blowout for the first time in a LONG time after a 48-14 win against UMass.
Shout out to the run game for racking up 390 (!!) total yards in that game.
And finally, shout out to wide receiver Nelson Spruce, who is now the Buffs’ all-time leader for career receptions with 219.
By the way, Spruce isn’t done breaking records this year. He is 122 yards short of Michael Westbrook’s mark of 2,548. He could possibly break the record this Saturday against Colorado State in the Rocky Mountain Showdown.
Now to the topic at hand. The CSU game does not help Colorado; it can only hurt Colorado. The current contract has the two schools playing through 2020, and the Buffs have already announced they will not play Colorado State in the 2021 regular season.
If the Buffs win, it’s business as usual. If they lose, it adds a loss to their record against a non-Power 5 team. It’s a new age in college football with the College Football Playoff (CFB), and scheduling is ever-important.
Last week, No. 12 Oregon lost to No. 4 Michigan State, 31-28. The loss dropped Oregon only five spots from seven to 12. Now consider No. 18 Auburn. The Tigers needed overtime to squeak by FCS Jacksonville State, 27-20. The win dropped Auburn 12 spots from six to 18. A “good loss” helps teams in the committee’s eyes these days, and a loss against CSU is not considered a “good loss.” Wins against bad teams can only hurt a team in the committee’s eyes.
On top of that, a win for a Power 5 team against a non-Power 5 team is not a significant win (looking at you, Auburn). Colorado won’t be playing for a potential berth in the CFP anytime soon, but significant wins still matter in getting a better bowl berth.
So, with CU football on the rise, the “Rocky Mountain Showdown” needs to leave in order for the Buffs to really make that leap and leave these terrible seasons in the past.
The Buffs are 62-22-2 all time in 86 meetings against CSU. Colorado won 12 games in a row from 1934-47 and, more recently, eight in a row from 1987-98. The point is, these games used to be a cake walk — and they should be.
To be the best, you have to beat the best. And to beat the best you have to play the best. CSU is not a football team that is in the conversation with the best, so why bother?
Go out and play a high-caliber team and see how you match up. If you can go toe to toe, great. If not, at the very least you see what you need to work on in order to get to that level.
Under contract through 2020, Colorado is stuck playing the Rams until then. They have scheduled games against Texas A&M in 2020 and 2021, Minnesota in 2021 and 2022 and TCU in 2022 and 2023, which will be good for the team’s strength of schedule.
Another aspect that fans don’t necessarily think about is revenue. Colorado could make more money playing CSU at Folsom or another team at Folsom — the game currently takes place at Sports Authority Field in Denver.
More revenue equals better facilities, uniforms, coaches, etc. And what do all these bring in? Recruits. Those recruits turn CU into a better team and that’s what fans ultimately want.
So go ahead and tell me that ending the rivalry would be ruining the tradition of CU football. What tradition? The tradition of losing a combined 47 games over the last five years? The tradition of CU football as of late is not necessarily something to be proud of.
It’s time for a new tradition that doesn’t involve Colorado State.
For now, I’ll still cheer on the Buffs with blind loyalty and hate any and every mention of a Ram or that ugly green.
Seriously, a 300-pound puff ball vs. a thousand-plus pound beast with horns that can run 40 miles per hour? No contest.
See you next week and – finally – it sucks to be a CSU Ram.
Colorado (1-1) plays Colorado State (1-1) at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Saturday, Sept. 19 at 5 p.m. (MST).
Contact CU Independent Copy Editor Cannon Casey at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cannon_casey.