Plenty still left to gain

After 11 games last year, the Rams were above .500 for the first time all season, and their regular season was over. After 11 games this year, the CSU football team is well above .500 and the regular season is far from over. Sure only two games remain, but so much has yet to be gained.

At 9-2 overall and 5-0 in conference play, the Rams have the Mountain West all but wrapped up. A win on Saturday against New Mexico and CSU clinches another conference title. A loss, and the Lobos can take the crown with another win in their season finale.

"It's pretty nice to have an actual conference championship game," linebacker Drew Wood said. "For a little while it looked like we would run over everyone. Our team realizes this is the game, and if you can't get fired up for this one you need to go home."

The conference championship, however, is not enough.

Two times before under Lubick, the Rams have started league play 5-0, only to lose in their sixth game. Not only does CSU want to move to 6-0, it wants to finish with the first unblemished conference record in school history, which the team will do if it wins its final two games, both at home.

"To be able to do what no CSU team has done and go undefeated in conference, that's an honor," wide receiver Chris Pittman said. "Everybody's anxious and ready to go."

This team has already garnered the fourth consecutive bowl berth -- a school best. But this year's seniors not only want to be the only players to go to a bowl game each year they were here; they want to go out as the best team in school history.

And that accolade looks very possible. Should the Rams win their final two home games, they'll end the regular season with 11 wins, tied for the most with Sonny Lubick's 1997 Rams. But with an additional bowl game win, the team would be the lone holder of the school record.

In addition, with CSU sitting at No. 20 (AP poll) and No. 15 (ESPN/USA Today poll), the team could finish with the highest ever ranking. Three wins to close out the season would put the Rams at 12-2, and likely better than No. 14, the best ranking a CSU team has ever had.

So while the Rams have done so much so far, there's still so much left to accomplish. And with so much left to play for, it's no wonder Lubick's teams are 22-4 in the month of November. They are 9-2 in the same month at home.

Last year, the Rams clinched a third consecutive bowl trip by knocking off the Lobos in their final game. This year, they'd clinch the Mountain West title with a win over New Mexico, but also have plenty still riding on their final games.

"I definitely feel like we're the best team every time we step on the field and that we should've been blowing people out the whole year," tight end Matt Bartz said. "I think that we're a better team than New Mexico and if we come out and play like we can from the start, we'll have another blowout."


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