Monday Morning Quarterback: Weber State

The nation's greatest college football programs all schedule a cupcake or two during their pre-season slates, for two reasons. First, everyone needs to rack up a couple sure 'W's, and two, everyone needs - for both team morale and to get valuable experience for reserve players - some 'garbage time' when coaches can clear the bench and make sure they get everyone including the waterboy into a game.

Time was when Colorado State was on the wrong end of this kind of scheduling. For example, during my years in Fort Collins, our football team played would-be pasty for teams like Arkansas, Tennessee and Missouri, among others.

Times have changed.

No one schedules CSU as a gimme win anymore, for obvious reasons. Now that the cleat is on the other foot as it were, CSU has really got to learn how to play ruder host to the Weber States of the world.

It was a mundane 31-7 win that could have easily been 52-7, the only difference being the way the lackluster Rams failed to finish a few drives. It's hard to blame them, they were finally at home, playing their first true home game, and used the weekend to exhale after a pair of tense contests.

Still, truly great teams put games like this away before halftime, so that all the reserves can play enough to earn a varsity letter on a single Saturday. CSU didn't quite do this, but at least they did get back-up Justin Holland into the game for a substantial period of time under center, as well as several others.

Honestly - this is something CSU needs to work on, starting with this week's game against Miami of Ohio. I know, this opponent does have a weapon or two, and teams from the Mid American Conference have been pulling lots of upsets in recent years. Still, for CSU to end up among the nation's best teams at the end of this season, and be mentioned in the same final rankings as the other Miami, our Rams have to put the serious hammer down on this Miami.

That would be a very good thing, even though some fans are unhappy that (the other) Miami and Weber State are on the Rams home schedule. They would prefer Washington State and (the real) Miami come to the Fort on back to back weekends.

That's wrong thinking. Take a look to the southwest, and what's happening to CU on the field and in the trainers room (the way CU is doing it is NOT the best way to build depth...). Want your school to field a perrenially ranked football team? Forget all the goofy blather coming out of Boulder about how "Ours is a National Championship schedule" and look at the facts. A National Championship schedule doesn't have UCLA AND Washington State AND Florida State in the same month. A National Championship schedule has Troy State, McNeese State and UMass on consecutive weeks. While Colorado should feel fortunate to get to October at .500, a few hundred miles to the east, Kansas State will be 5-0, ranked in the Top Ten, healthy and ready to roll...for this year AND next year, when they will return a zillion letterman.

Seeing this, true CSU fans should not complain about having the occasional cupcake visit Fort Fun in September every years. Settle for a marquee game or two (if and when CU stops being afraid to continue the Mile High Showdown) and let the team enjoy a couple of easy ones before the conference race begins. It builds morale, depth and a better record for the Head Coach. This is a college football tradition that great programs embrace.

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