As redshirt freshman running back Rashaad Boddie fumbled the football and the 25-point collapse was officially completed, the first thing that came to mind was how disappointing the 2017 season has been for Colorado State football.
The harsh reality is that this is a team that has as much talent, if not more, than any other program in the Mountain West Conference. After failing to live up to the big moments, though, CSU is once again looking down the barrel of a 7-5 season that will be capped off with a less than desirable bowl appearance.
Looking at the situation logically, the fact that CSU is eligible for the postseason for a fifth straight year is something that should be celebrated. Especially when considering it is only the second time in program history that CSU has accomplished such a feat.
However, back-to-back blown victories over MW foes and a season filled with extreme highs and lows has the majority of CSU fans craving change.
Having watched CSU lose to Colorado for a third-straight season and ultimately lose the most crucial games of the season in Air Force, Boise State and Wyoming, I certainly understand the frustration.
I also understand that behind the scenes, there are plenty of things going right with this program.
CSU is recruiting at levels never seen before in Fort Collins, facilities and uniforms are on par with some of the nation’s elite Division I programs and national interest in the green and gold is increasing by the season.
Fans do not care about these things when their team is losing, though. Fans only really care about one thing and that is winning ballgames.
Shiny new stadiums, swagged out uniforms and national TV audiences do not mean much when the team consistently loses when the lights are shining brightest. When it comes to this, there is not much that can be said to console the heartbreak of defeat, so I am not even going to try to make you feel better about the situation.
Simply put, Saturday night sucked. It sucked for a football team that has laid it all on the line and come out with the short end of the stick multiple times this season.
It sucked for a fan base that so desperately wanted something to feel proud about after watching MW Championship hopes essentially go out the window in the weeks leading up to the game.
It sucked for a coaching staff that is doing the right things off the field, but has not quite figured out a consistent winning formula on the field.
It even sucked for the writers in the press box, who all had to re-write their pieces on deadline well after 2 a.m.
That is why you play the game, though. As hard as the last month has been for the CSU football community, the truth is the Rams have been part of some all-time classic games with their rivals this season.
The Rams did not accomplish what they set out to in 2017, but the future is filled with bright possibilities in Fort Collins. Lick your wounds and gear up for San Jose State and bowl season.
Collegian sports director Justin Michael can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or Twitter @JustinTMichael.