What They're Saying: New Mexico Bowl Edition

WE'RE STILL MORE than 48 hours away from the Cougs' bowl game vs. Colorado State but there's been no shortage of scribes weighing in from near and far on the New Mexico Bowl. Here's the pre-game edition of what they're saying ...

The best running back you've never heard of, Colorado State's Kapri Bibbs, was second in the nation with 28 rushing touchdowns. On the other side, you've got Washington State running Mike Leach's Air Raid offense. Best of both worlds in this one.
Jesse Yomtov, USA Today

There are more direct roads from Pullman, Wash., to Pasadena, Calif., than via Albuquerque, but for Washington State, the path back to the Rose Bowl just might go through the Land of Enchantment.
Kyle Kensing, Bleacher Report

It might not look sexy on paper, but these are two much-improved teams from a year ago.
Mark Schlabach, ESPN

It actually does look pretty attractive on paper, when you look at what Bibbs and Halliday, not to mention Colorado State quarterback Garrett Grayson, have done this season.
Kelly Lyell, Coloradoan

It's been pointed out — and quite often — that Colorado State did not defeat a team that finished the season with a winning record. That fact cannot be disputed. But postseason honors...show this Colorado State team does have some talent.
Tom Kensler, Denver Post

The pick: Washington State 40, Colorado State 37
Chris Johnson, Sports Illustrated

Leach has Washington State moving in the right direction. They aren't quite there yet, especially on both lines. This feels like a sucker bet. Pick: Colorado State (plus-4).
Ty Duffy, USA Today

The Cougars played one of the toughest schedules in the nation — Leach contends it was the toughest — including games against Auburn, Stanford, Oregon, Southern California and Arizona State.
Associated Press

For its part, WSU's last bowl team began the year without fanfare, picked seventh by media covering the Pac-10. Mike Price was gone, Bill Doba was the coach, and all-star quarterback Jason Gesser had graduated from the 2002 Rose Bowl team.
Bud Withers, Seattle Times

Washington State and Colorado State are sitting on bowl droughts of 10 and five years, respectively. It seems appropriate that the matchup in the New Mexico Bowl should be the first bowl played this season.
Jacob Thorpe, Spokesman-Review

WSU second-year coach Mike Leach had the 37th worst cost per wins, getting paid $375,000 per win. He is paid $2.25 million per year. CSU football coach Jim McElwain earned $192,857 per regular-season win this season, which ranked 41st-best in cost per wins… Leach is one notch behind Nebraska's Bo Pelini, whose cost per win was $371,875.
Steve Berkowitz and Christopher Schnaars, USA Today

The good news is just about all the Cougs' top skill players are returning next year. The bad news is there are some questions on the offensive line and the secondary, most notably the loss of enforcer Deone Bucannon.
Ted Miller, ESPN

It's easy to knock a bowl system that rewards 6-6 teams with bids and ensures 70 of the nation's 123 FBS teams, 56.9 percent, will play in the postseason... For Colorado State University this year, though, making it to a bowl game this year is a big deal. A really big deal.
Kelly Lyell, Coloradoan

The CSU football team arrived in Albuquerque on Wednesday morning and immediately hit the practice field for the 2013 New Mexico Bowl.
Matt L. Stephens, Coloradoan

Among a quartet of lanky high school receivers signed by Colorado State last February, Rashard Higgins showed enough during August camp to be pegged as a player who could immediately contribute.
Tom Kensler, Denver Post

A social science major who already has graduated with a 3.3 grade-point average, (Elliott) Bosch says he might become a graduate assistant for the Cougars next year or start a career in construction management. This week, however, he's only got one goal in mind: bringing a bowl trophy back.
Albuquerque Journal, Mark Smith

CSU football coach Jim McElwain likes to talk about how road football games are simply business trips. That's why players dress in suits and its the mentality of the team.
Kelly Lyell, Coloradoan

The CSU football team improved 37 spots in USA Today's ranking of college football teams from the beginning of the season to now.
Coloradoan Staff

Both programs were three wins better this year than last under second-year coaches, both won three conference road games for the first time in a long time, and both are ending long bowl droughts after falling from glory during the past decade.
Kelly Lyell, Coloradoan

This season, the Cougars' ground game — led by Marcus Mason, Teondray Caldwell and Jeremiah Laufasa — accounted for 704 yards on 224 carries. Opponents amassed 2,210 yards on 500 carries. But those three players combined to catch 83 passes for 542 yards.
Associated Press

Washington State is 5-1 against the spread following a loss, 10-3 against the spread against a team with a winning record, and 3-1-1 against the spread against the Mountain West.
Sports Chat Place

By beating WSU, the Rams can pick up their second win over a school from an automatic qualifying conference in McElwain's tenure and prove that their bowl-worthy record isn't just the result of fortuitous scheduling.
Jacob Thorpe, Spokesman-Review

Coaches put in the game plan for Saturday's bowl game against Washington State on Sunday, and players have done a good job of keeping their focus on football... despite all of the distractions of preparing for final exams and a Wednesday morning departure.
Kelly Lyell, Coloradoan

Athletic Director Bill Moos keeps a 'no bowl ticket' file comprised of people who have sent nasty emails about WSU Athletics.. WSU leaders said some people even requested to be on it. In one email, the author called Moos an "idiot." Others wrote about their discontent over the football schedule.
Othello Richards & KREM.com

We grew up following Mike Leach at Tech. They always put up all those big (passing) numbers. Everybody in that part of Texas wanted to play his style. That's where you wanted to go.
Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State TE, as told to Tom Kensler, Denver Post


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