2012 Colorado State Rams Football Preview
2011 Record: 3-9 (1-6 Mountain West)
Head Coach: Jim McElwain, first season
Projected Returning Starters: 18
Spring Game: April 21st (Gold 10 Green 3)
Notes: This is Coach McElwain’s first head coaching job, but he’s very familiar with recruiting the West. McElwain was previously an assistant at Eastern Washington, having played quarterback there. He’s also been an assistant at Montana State and Fresno State. Most recently, Coach McElwain was offensive coordinator at Alabama under Coach Saban. Success in Fort Collins has been tough. Legendary coach Sonny Lubick held the position from 1993 until 2007, when he was fired. During Lubick’s tenure, the Rams won conference titles in 6 of the 15 years and went to 9 bowl games. Still, the last two years, Lubick managed three conference wins. Steve Fairchild took over the team in 2008, having his beat year, at 7-6. The next three years he went 3-9, and was fired.
BVTSB Take: We like the hire of Jim McElwain. One of the draws about Fairchild was his connections to Lubick. While Lubick is a much-loved figure in Fort Collins, it might help to try to step out of his shadow. Coach McElwain won two national titles coordinating the offense at Alabama – he produced a Heisman Trophy winner in Mark Ingram and a Heisman Trophy candidate in Trent Richardson. If Coach McElwain does anything like he did at Alabama, expect a run dominated offense, especially with the struggles at the quarterback position this spring. Colorado State avoids powerhouse Nevada this year, which has to be a relief, but has to make trips to San Diego State, Wyoming, and Boise State. The Rams play a non-conference slate of Colorado, North Dakota State, San Jose State, and Utah State. Don’t be surprised if the Rams go 0-4 in the non-conference slate as FCS North Dakota State is tough. If Colorado State is 2-2 after their first four, consider that a success. The winnable conference games come after the bye week, with the Rams hosting Hawaii, UNLV, and New Mexico. Colorado State could improve in year one under Coach McElwain, but we’d be surprised if the improvement meant post-season play.
2012 Early Projection: 5-7
To see the 2012 Mountain West composite schedule, click here.
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