Colorado State Rams football
|Colorado State Rams football|
|Athletic director||Jack Graham|
|Head coach||Jim McElwain
2nd year, 12–14 (.462)
|Home stadium||Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium|
|Field||Sonny Lubick Field|
|Stadium surface||FieldTurf - (2006- )
Grass - (1968-2005)
|Location||Fort Collins, Colorado|
|League||NCAA Division I FBS|
|All-time record||477–530–33 (.475)|
|Postseason bowl record||7–7 (.500)|
Green and Gold
|Fight song||Alma Mater|
|Mascot||CAM the Ram|
The Colorado State Rams football program, established in 1893, represents Colorado State University and is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and Mountain West Conference (MWC) under head coach Jim McElwain, previously Alabama's Offensive Coordinator. Rams football teams have met with relative success over the years, including winning or sharing the Mountain West title in 1999, 2000 and 2002.3 Overall, the Rams are 473–521–33 (.477) (473 wins, 521 losses, and 33 ties),4 and are 7–7 in bowl games.5
Home games have been played at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, located four miles west of the school's campus in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, since 1968. The Rams have long-standing rivalries with Colorado, Wyoming, and Air Force.
Colorado State football goes back 115 seasons, and experienced its most successful run in the 15 seasons under head coach Sonny Lubick (1993–2007).6 During their history, the Rams have played in five different conferences.7
- 1893–1908: Colorado Football Association
- 1909–37: Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (previously named Colorado Football Association)
- 1938–61: Skyline
- 1962–67: Independent
- 1968–98: Western Athletic Conference
- 1999–present: Mountain West Conference.
- No teams during the 1895–98 or 1943–44 seasons.
Since Sonny Lubick took control over the Rams as head coach in 1993, the Rams have made nine bowl appearances.8 CSU had only two previous bowl appearances. Lubick won nearly 75% of home games in the stadium that would later bear his name, leading the team to six conference titles and a 108–74 record.9 CSU was consistently a top 25 contender from 1994–2002, with a 79–32 record during that period and 3 top 25 finishes.10 Lubick, conference coach of the year four times, coached former Denver Broncos Cecil Sapp and current Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Erik Pears, and all-pro NFL linebacker Joey Porter.11
On November 27, 2007, following significant drops in attendance and a 17–30 record over the past 4 seasons, including 3–9 in 2007,10 CSU made the difficult and controversial decision to relieve Lubick of his head coaching duties. The school hired Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild to take the helm. Fairchild was a Rams quarterback from 1978–80, and served under Lubick as quarterback's coach and later as offensive coordinator from 1993–2000.12 The Rams finished the regular season in fourth place in the Mountain West Conference and accepted a bid to the 2008 New Mexico Bowl on December 20, where they defeated the Fresno State Bulldogs. After the early success, the Rams had three 3-9 seasons under Fairchild. At the end of his fourth season with Colorado State, Fairchild was fired by Athletic Director Jack Graham.
On December 12, 2011, Graham hired Alabama's offensive coordinator Jim McElwain to replace Fairchild. McElwain's tenure started on a high note due to CSU's 22–17 comeback win over in-state rival Colorado on September 1, 2012. McElwain became the first CSU coach since Jerry Wampfler in 1970 to win his first game and the first in school history to win his debut against CU. The Rams finished 4–8 in McElwain's first year. In 2013, the Rams went 8-6 and defeated the Washington State Cougars in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl.
The CSU Rams' first bowl game was the California Raisin Bowl January 1, 1949 against Occidental College. The Rams lost 21–20 despite a tremendous performance from Left Half Eddie Hanna.
Under Sonny Lubick, the Rams played in their two of their biggest bowl games to date. The first was the 1997 Holiday Bowl 35–24 victory over the Missouri Tigers while the second was the 2000 Liberty Bowl 22–17 victory over the Louisville Cardinals. During both of these winning seasons, the Rams were ranked in the top 25 football teams by both the Coaches and AP Polls.
In the first season under new head coach Steve Fairchild, the CSU Rams were able to beat Fresno State 40–25 in the 2008 New Mexico Bowl. During this game, running back Gartrell Johnson rushed for 285 yards and received five passes for 90 yards for a total of 375 yards, setting an FBS record for most combined rushing and receiving yards in a bowl game.
Under Jim McElwain's second year of coaching the Rams, CSU went to the New Mexico Bowl. On December 21, 2013, the CSU Rams faced the Washington State Cougars. In one of the most memorable comebacks of the decade the Rams were able to score 18 points in the last 4 minutes of regulation game play to defeat the Cougars 48 to 45.13
|Skyline Athletic Conference (1938–1962)|
|1949||Bob Davis||8–3||8–2||2nd||L Raisin|
|Western Athletic Conference (1968–1998)|
|1990||Earle Bruce||9–4||6–1||2nd||W Freedom|
|1994||Sonny Lubick||10–2||7–1||1st||L Holiday||14||16|
|1995||Sonny Lubick||8–4||6–2||1st–T||L Holiday|
|1997||Sonny Lubick||11–2||7–1||1st||W Holiday||16||17|
|Mountain West Conference (1999–Present)|
|1999||Sonny Lubick||8–4||5–2||1st–T||L Liberty|
|2000||Sonny Lubick||10–2||6–1||1st||W Liberty||15||14|
|2001||Sonny Lubick||10–4||5–2||2nd||W New Orleans|
|2002||Sonny Lubick||10–4||6–1||1st||L Liberty|
|2003||Sonny Lubick||7–6||4–3||3rd||L San Francisco|
|2005||Sonny Lubick||6–6||5–3||2nd–T||L Poinsettia|
|2008||Steve Fairchild||7–6||4–4||5th||W New Mexico|
|2013||Jim McElwain||8–6||5–3||3rd (Mountain Division)||W New Mexico|
|National championship Conference title Conference division title|
|†Indicates BCS bowl, Bowl Alliance or Bowl Coalition game. #Rankings from final Coaches' Poll.|
Eight times since 1998, Colorado State and in-state rival Colorado have faced one another in the Rocky Mountain Showdown, an annual football battle held in Denver at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The rivalry started in 1893 and was played annually until 1958. After being resurrected in 1983, the game moved to Denver in 1998. Since moving to Sports Authority Field at Mile High, the teams have consistently played before the largest crowds in state history to witness a college sporting event. On August 31, 2009, Colorado State and Colorado signed a 10-year contract extension of the Rocky Mountain Showdown which will bring the game back to Sports Authority Field at Mile High from 2010 to 2019. The game is scheduled to be played at Hughes Stadium in 2020 if the stadium is still the main stage for the Rams at that time.
The rivalry between CSU and Wyoming – the longest rivalry in each school's history – dates back to 1899. Since 1968, the schools have battled for possession of the Bronze Boot traveling trophy. The bronzed battle boot was worn in Vietnam by CSU alumnus Dan Romero. The boot is currently held by CSU after their victory over Wyoming in October, 2013.
The Ram–Falcon Trophy originated in 1980 to highlight the rivalry between CSU and the U.S. Air Force Academy, located in Colorado Springs. The wood-carved trophy was produced by local artist Bill Wrage. The Air Force ROTC detachment on the CSU campus initiated the creation of the trophy.
Uniform colors for the period 2003 through 2010 are pictured below:citation needed
|vs Colorado||vs Minnesota||vs Colorado||vs Colorado||vs Colorado||vs Colorado||vs Colorado|
|vs Tulsa||vs Colorado||vs UTSA||vs UTSA||vs UTEP|
|vs UC Davis||at UTSA||at Minnesota||at UTSA|
|at Boston College|
- At Alabama in either 2015 or 2017
- Colorado-Colorado State games from 2014-2019 at Invesco Field in Denver, CO
- "NCAA Football Award Winners" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2012. pp. 13–18. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
- "NCAA FBS Consensus All-America." ESPN. December 15, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
- "Colorado State University 2007 Season Review." McGraw Athletic Center, Fort Collins, CO. Release No. 13, 12/31/07. Pg 16.
- "Colorado State Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- "Colorado State Bowl History". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2010-02-18.
- CFB Data Warehouse - Colorado State - yearly results - accessed 2009-10-05
- CFB Data Warehouse - Colorado State - accessed 2009-10-05
- Fairchild, Rams Seek Return to College Football's National Scene. Associated Press, ESPN.com. Accessed March 5, 2008
- "Colorado State University 2007 Season Review." McGraw Athletic Center, Fort Collins, CO. Release No. 13, 12/31/07. Pg 14.
- Lyell, Kelly. "If He's Done Coaching, Lubick Will Be Missed." Fort Collins Coloradoan, 12/07.
- Meisler, Natalie. "Lubick Leaving Legacy." The Denver Post. 11/27/07.
- "Bills Offensive Coordinator to Be CSU Head Coach". Associated Press, 12/12/07. ESPN.com, accessed March 5, 2008.
- O'Keefe, Katie (2013-12-21). "CSU Football WagesComeback to Defeat Washington State in New Mexico Bowl". Collegian. Retrieved 2013-12-21.
- "Colorado State Rams Football Schedules and Future Schedules". fbschedules.com. Retrieved 2012-02-25.
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