That's the score that Air Force dropped on BYU a few hours after CSU let Wyoming hang around for four quarters. BYU. As in perennial power, former National Champion and annual MWC title contender Brigham Young. Air Force did the Cougs like BYU normally does UTEP. Like CSU should have done this Wyoming team that has one win – against The Citadel – in it's last 14 games.
What's the difference between CSU and AFA? Talent? Well, yes. In fact, there is a talent differential between CSU and AFA. CSU has a good deal more talent than the over-achieving Zoomies. What's the reason then, that CSU is winning nail-bitters while AFA is putting the collective wood to teams?
The difference is purely in attitude.
Not that Sonny Lubick's troops have bad attitudes (although you wonder some times what ‘the Bradlee' is thinking…). CSU is very professional about everything they do. They carry themselves with pride and dignity, winning and losing like champs. No question, it's the type of program that you'd want your kid to play in.
But Fisher DeBerry's gang has a different kind of outlook. It's that underdog thing. Sometimes it seems like Fisher must lobby the media to pick his team last in the pre-season MWC polls, just so he'll have a rallying cry. "Y'all don't respect us!" or something like that.
However he manufactures it, DeBerry's teams have an attitude. An "us against the world" kind of outlook. Very gung-ho, very military…very productive.
And very much what this overly professional group of Rams need right now. You do see it at the start of the season, when no one gives them a shot at beating mighty CU. They get a collective (buffalo) chip on their shoulder. But after they beat the Buffs, they get comfy. They get stale. They come real close to being down right flat.
It's cost them a couple games they should have won. Okay, so UCLA has more talent, and under the circumstances, a loss in LA is understandable. But the flat-liner stuff cost them against a Fresno State team they should've beaten, and made a dogfight out of a trip to Reno, Nevada that should have been much easier. It also made for a close game last Saturday against an inferior opponent/rival they should have drilled. Saturday should have been the time for us to see some of the highly touted back-ups that have come from the last two stellar recruiting classes. Sonny should have been able to get them plenty of PT and some very valuable experience.
Instead, we were sweating out two-point conversion attempts, and falling on on-side kicks.
Our neighbors in Boulder, who have a similar problem at times, should stand as an example of how trying to "flip the switch" to unleash your "A" game doesn't work real well. On one hand, it's great that CSU is no longer the underdog every week. It's a sign that the program has truly arrived.
On the other, you wish that sometimes they'd still play like they were.