Monday Morning Quarterback: Air Force

Sometimes even when you win, nobody seems to notice. <BR><BR> Such is life in the under-appreciated Mountain West Conference, and especially for the Colorado State Rams. Despite a 7-2 record, and wins over Colorado, Virginia and Louisville, CSU continues to barely get noticed in the national polls.

This year should be about more than just the MWC title. Barring a collapse in their last three games, the Rams have locked that up with a dominating 31-12 win over Air Force. This is about gaining some national respect. Respect that should already be there, and isn't for no apparent reason.

For years, we've heard about how teams in the MWC needed to play – and have some success - with a "national schedule" in order to gain national respect. So the Rams went out and scheduled Virginia, UCLA, Louisville and Fresno State – all programs that have spent time of their own in the rankings – AND defending Big 12 champion Colorado - in order to do just that.

They beat Virginia. They beat Colorado. They lost narrowly to UCLA and Fresno State…ALL ON THE ROAD. They beat Louisville at home – a team that beat Florida State the following week.

Then they win all their conference games – including a more dominating win over Air Force than top ten ranked Notre Dame offered up on the same field two weeks before.

And still, when the polls come out, the writer's rank 6-3 Colorado SIX spots ahead of 7-2 CSU – who beat them this season for the third time in four years.

Is there ANY rational reason for this? ANYTHING other than "poll prejudice?"

What's more, Colorado RB Chris Brown, who is having a very good season for the Buffaloes, starts being touted for the Heisman Trophy. Does anyone start similar talk about CSU's Cecil Sapp? Of course not. Nobody notices him, for no good reason.

Sapp's numbers are outstanding, his performances against top quality competition every bit as good as Brown's if not better. Brown made most of his hay against Kansas, Baylor and Texas Tech, for those who want to toss around the ‘quality of competition' nonsense. It's obvious to anyone who watches without prejudice that Sapp is every bit as deserving of Heisman talk as Brown.

Of course he doesn't get it. It's baffling. CSU is on TV – sometimes national TV – often. These bone headed voters HAVE to have seen Sapp and the Rams play. Are they not paying attention, or just blind?

It happened to BYU last year – although they showed some vulnerability even while staying unbeaten until the last week of the season. Because they played in the MWC, nobody gave them any credit for it.

On the plus side, at least BYU's Luke Staley DID win the Doak Walker Award as the nation's top running back, so maybe there's hope. This year, that award should go to Sapp.

But even though he fumbled twice and was mediocre in the Buffs loss to Oklahoma, Brown will probably be given the Walker trophy. Just because.

Hope he doesn't drop it.


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