Football season will come a little earlier for Colorado State.
In an effort to give both teams a bye week during their non-conference schedules, Colorado State and Oregon State have agreed to move the football game scheduled between the two schools in Fort Collins from Sept. 23, 2017 to August 26. CSU began looking at schedule changes upon learning its 2017 Mountain West schedule would have the team playing 12 consecutive weeks before its bye in the final week of the regular season, and Oregon State was more than happy to oblige.
“We are very appreciative that Oregon State was willing to discuss the potential change and found that it also would benefit their program,” CSU athletic director Joe Parker said in a press release from the school. “We understand the importance to Coach Bobo and the football program to have a bye week between the four non-conference games and the eight-game conference schedule. The change moves up the opening of our new stadium by two weeks, but the project remains on-schedule and on-budget, and we expect to be fully operational in time for the first game.”
The Aug. 26 Oregon State matchup becomes CSU’s first game in its new, on-campus stadium, moving the opening day festivities from a Sept. 9 game against Abilene Christian up two weeks. Six days later, the Rams will face off against in-state rival Colorado on Friday, Sept. 1 at Sports Authority Field in Denver. CSU will host Abilene Christian on Saturday, Sept. 9, and then will travel to No. 2 Alabama on Sept. 16 in the second of a two guarantee games with the Crimson Tide.
“The first thing that stood out to us when we saw our conference schedule was that we open conference play with back-to-back road games and that we would not have a bye until the final week of the regular season,” CSU head coach Mike Bobo said in the press release. “Playing 12 consecutive weeks without a bye is a significant challenge, so we began to look at our non-conference schedule, and the Oregon State game was the logical date. Fortunately, they also saw benefit with their schedule, and we were able to make the switch fairly quickly. We all are excited about the opening of the new stadium and playing football on campus, and now we get to celebrate that historic day sooner than we all expected.”
The Aug. 26 game date will mark the second-earliest season-opening game in the modern era for CSU, and the earliest date the Rams have played a game in the state of Colorado. The Rams opened the 2002 season on Aug. 22 with a 35-29 win at No. 22 Virginia.