Let’s take a moment to appreciate something.
There has not been a year as exciting as this for CSU sports in over 10 years. A decade. When was the last time you were apart of something that hadn’t happened in an entire decade? I was still trying to master the monkey bars 10 years ago. What were you doing?
I’ll tell you what the four major sports teams at CSU weren’t doing over the last ten years.
The football team was not 9-1, on an eight-game win streak contesting for a Mountain West title. They certainly weren’t ranked No. 23 in the nation , because the last time they were deemed one of the best 25 in the nation was eleven years ago, in a 2003 preseason poll. And there wasn’t a nation-leading wide receiver stealing the spotlight from his peers in power-five conferences like Rashard Higgins is.
The ninth-ranked volleyball team is another story, being perhaps the most consistent team over the last decade. Yet, they weren’t standing with quite the same earned stature as they do today. In 2011, NCAA volleyball started dishing out host sites for the tournament based on RPI rankings rather than location and other teams in the tournament. This means that 10 years ago, CSU volleyball was not ranked at No. 12 in the RPI because it didn’t exist. Now, the Rams have a two-game lead in the Mountain West with five to play, hoping to host first and second round matches in the NCAA tournament for the first time under the RPI system.
Men’s basketball has not gotten past the second round of the Mountain West tournament in the last ten years, and only made a couple of mediocre tournament appearances; the most exciting being a first round win followed by a thumping at the hands of Louisville. This year, the Rams have a preseason Mountain West Player of the Year candidate in Daniel Bejarano, as well as returning scorer J.J Avila and junior college transfer Gian Clavell who showed promise as the leading scorer in Monday’s exhibition game against Fort Lewis College.
The women’s basketball team showed promise last year under Ryun Williams going 25-8 and making a run in the Mountain West tournament, and this year they return four of their five starters from last year’s tough team. They hope to make their second MW championship appearance in 13 years this year.
So, it’s pretty obvious that this is an exciting time to be a Ram fan. Volleyball is not the only highlight of Rams athletics this year, and all four major teams hope to finish in more better positions than ever before.
Granted, there is plenty of time for things to go wrong for Ram football or volleyball, and even more time for the basketball teams to tank. But let’s not focus on that. This is a moment to appreciate the fact that a CSU phenomenon is occurring right now under your very own noses.
Thanks for keeping’ track with Zac.
Collegian Assistant Sports Editor Zac Koch can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @zactkoch.