I've been pretty high on Colorado State all season here at Block U, often saying they'll finish with five or more wins and I still believe this. There is definite improvement from last year and it has shown in some key games: victories over Houston and UNLV, along side a close loss to TCU.
So how much of a threat are they to Utah this Saturday?
My initial take, and no disrespect to the Rams, not much. While they are improved over last year's squad, much of that has to do with last year's team being rather poor to begin with. Again, I don't want to take anything away from what Steve Fairchild has done, but this team isn't very good and Utah should win rather convincingly.
Not to say that is a bad thing for Colorado State, since I don't think any of their fans expected a winning season or a victory over Utah at the start of the season. When you're building a program like Coach Fairchild is, you have to lay a foundation and that is what the 2008 season will be for the Rams. They might not dominate, they might not finish with a winning record or receive a bowl bid, but they don't need to, that will come in due time. Right now, it's about creating some stability and sustained success and so far, Fairchild has done just that.
Right now, Colorado State sits at 3-3, which is about where I thought they would be. They own wins over Sacramento State, Houston and UNLV and have lost to Colorado, Cal and TCU. The games the Rams have won are pretty much the ones you would have expected and the same could be said about their losses.
So what should Utah expect from the Rams Saturday? A good effort, but even that won't be enough to make it a game. Colorado State did play TCU tough, but the Frogs have a history of winning ugly under Gary Patterson, so it isn't much of a surprise. Plus, that game was played in Fort Collins, Utah hosts the Rams this week.
Colorado State can put a scare into any team, but this Saturday's game shouldn't be much different than the UNLV & Weber State games. And if it is, then that may say more about Utah than it does Colorado State.
I'll have more on the Rams later with my preview, breaking down their offense and defensive, while also giving my official prediction for the game. Regardless, Saturday should be a fun game against an upstart, though I think Utah will win handily.