The Mountain West crown should be awarded to the victor of a rematch between CSU and Boise State, in which the two should duke it out on a neutral field for all the marbles.
Unfortunately, that can’t happen with the Rams and Broncos both belonging to the Mountain division. But it would, however, be the most accurate way to determine who the best football team in the conference is with the way the season has played out.
There’s no denying that CSU and Boise State are the best teams in the Mountain West this year.
That’s not a jab at any team in the West, specifically division-leading Nevada. But the Wolf Pack have already lost to both CSU and Boise State, and no other team can bring a valid argument to the table as to why they would deserve it.
The Rams’ 2014 campaign will end nothing short of spectacular, but it also will likely finish absent of CSU’s first conference title in over a decade if they don’t receive any help from the Broncos’ four remaining opponents.
And right now, having to resort to that isn’t looking too good for CSU. The Broncos will have to put in a little more effort than the Rams will, but both teams should win out the rest of their regular season slates.
That would put the Rams at 11-1, and on their couches at home watching the MW championship game on television come Dec. 6 — which is simply absurd.
It all goes back to a game that shouldn’t have been played as early as Sept. 6.
For television exposure or not, no team outside of a power-five conference (and maybe some within) could have liked its chances playing the second game of the season on the road at Albertsons Stadium, where Boise State had gone 61-3 in the 10 years prior.
Those Rams in September didn’t stand a chance. These Rams, seven consecutive wins later, absolutely would.
It shows in the way CSU has progressed since then. Think back to the Boise State game when CSU fell down early and couldn’t recover from the deficit despite a late-game push. That’s a trait it has developed in the past two months.
These Rams have learned how to take a punch and bounce back, allowing both Boston College and Utah State to take leads that were ultimately erased and surpassed by CSU for key victories.
Those second-week miscues are over and CSU knows how to play.
Boise State has also shown that it’s not as dominant away from its blue turf, being defeated by an unsuspecting Air Force team in late September. The combination between those two factors would probably make the Broncos feel a bit uneasy it they did have to meet these Rams again.
It would also probably make the Rams incredibly hungry. Whether they want to talk about it or not, my guess is that there’s not much CSU wouldn’t be willing to give for another shot at Boise State.
Heck, play the game out in a field in the middle of nowhere like they did in the series finale of Blue Mountain State. I’ll even bring a shovel and help.
That would more accurately determine who the MW champion should be than the Sept. 6 game. And with the way these Rams have progressed, I’m not sure we get the same result we did two months ago.
Collegian Sports Columnist Quentin Sickafoose can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @QSickafoose.