CSU Football Bowl History

Steven Jacobs

On Dec. 20 in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Colorado State Rams (10-2) will square off against Pac-12 opponent No. 22 Utah Utes (8-4) in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl. As the Rams prepare for their 13th bowl game in school history, we provide a brief history of CSU’s bowl appearances.

The Colorado State Rams went to their first bowl game in 1949, when they lost against Occidental College 21-20 in the California Raisin Bowl. The Rams wouldn’t return to a bowl game for another 41 years.


Under coaches Earle Bruce, Sonny Lubick, Steve Fairchild and Jim McElwain, the Rams have gone to 12 bowl games since 1990. It was under Sonny Lubick that the Rams played in their two biggest bowl games to date, the 35-24 victory over Missouri in the 1997 Holiday Bowl , and the 22-17 win over Louisville in the 2000 Liberty Bowl.

In Steve Fairchild’s first season with the Rams, he took the team to the 2008 New Mexico Bowl where they defeated Fresno State 40-25.

In Jim McElwain’s second season with the Rams, he brought the Rams back to the New Mexico bowl where they faced the Washington State Cougars. The Rams were able to score 18 points in the last four minutes and capitalize on several turnovers to defeat Wazzou 48-45.

If interim head coach David Baldwin can pull out a win against Utah in Las Vegas, he will become only the fifth coach in school history to win a bowl game at CSU.

Collegian Sports Reporter Steven Jacobs can be reached at sports@collegian.com and on Twitter @steven_jacobs_.