I’m the guy who has always been known to shoot things straight. So I won’t even pretend to sugarcoat the fact that the chances of 2014 being just as good for CSU athletics as 2013 are slim to none.
Just speaking realistically, not pessimistically.
The truth is that 2013 was one of the best years the Colorado State athletic program has experienced in decades, and coming close to matching it, let alone topping it, is just not very likely. I mean, think about it — for the last 365 days, Ram fans have been spoiled.
Let’s break it down in chronological order.
Back in February, I was on hand to watch the CSU hockey team cap off a perfect season over in-state rival CU-Boulder at the Budweiser Events Center. Knowing their season was over, the Buffs intended on going out swinging — literally. However, the Rams made the CSU family proud by taking all four CU players looking to fight down to the ice in front of thousands of fans.
Then, there’s also the greatest men’s basketball team in school history.
The 2012-13 men’s squad gave us a reason to care about basketball again. We got to watch our own guys take the floor against a Louisville team which went on the win all the marbles behind coaching legend Rick Pitino and prayers for Kevin Ware’s leg.
The men’s and women’s lacrosse teams took the cake for CSU club sports, both bringing home MCLA National Championship wins.
In the fall, our volleyball team climbed as high as ninth-best in the entire country, not losing a single game until the season was two matches from being over.
And then there’s the bowl game that put CSU into the ESPN Sports Center news lead. People who don’t like sports cared about that game. The Rams were on the radar. Even Quentin Tarantino and M. Night Shyamalan would have a run for their money writing a twist ending the way that plot played out.
2013 was juicy, plain and simple. When I’m gone and look back at my time at Colorado State, the last sports year will stick out by far.
Even so, there’s a few things on the horizon to stay hopeful for.
Here are some things I’d like to see in the sports world during 2014:
Another Colorado State bowl game title, earned in a fashion at least half as dramatic as how the events of the 2013 Gildan New Mexico Bowl went down. Another trip to the postseason will prove that head coach Jim McElwain really does have the football program heading in the right direction.
NBA players to start actually playing defense.
The CSU women’s basketball team to finish with a better regular season record than the men for the first time since the 2008-09 season.
CSU claiming the victory in every sport and event played against CU. Eventually, we won’t be seen as the little brother school anymore.
The CSU men’s basketball team to deal New Mexico a dish of revenge on Saturday. The Rams nearly upset the Lobos at the Pit, where the home crowd is loud and plentiful, on Jan. 4. CSU needs to show up and prove that the advantage of Moby Arena is a force to be reckoned with as well.
Peyton Manning doing his best John Elway impression, hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy to the sky following the conclusion of Super Bowl XLVIII. I’ve been waiting to relive that moment since I was 7 years-old.
The women’s basketball team to finish with a record above .500 (currently 13-4) for the first time since 2004-05. The Rams are off to their best start in nearly a decade, sitting atop the Mountain West Conference, two full games in front of second-placed Fresno State.
CSU Athletic Director Jack Graham to consider bringing on the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams as Division I sports. In the past two seasons, the men have posted a 38-2 record en route to MCLA National Championship titles each year.
Volleyball to lose more games next year. Sounds crazy, I know, but in my opinion the nearly flawless regular season the Rams posted this year let our imaginations run wild. The whole school was too wrapped up in being undefeated rather than focusing on making waves in the NCAA Tournament, where the Rams were dealt a dose of reality in the very first round.
Ryun Williams to lead the women’s basketball team to its first big show in the NCAA Tournament since 2002.
The men’s basketball team to begin a winning streak this weekend, one that helps them pull back into contention of being more than just the Scrappy-Doo, engine-that-could of the MW.
McElwain to call kicker Jared Roberts by his actual name, rather than “Kicker.” (Just kidding — that still makes me laugh every single time).
Sports Editor Quentin Sickafoose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @QSickafoose.