The Colorado St. Rams are a 39-point underdog to the No. 1 team in the country in Alabama Crimson Tide, but besides the $1.5 million pay day there seem to be not many other positives in playing this game. Maybe to toughen up before league play begins.
The Rams are likely to get beat bad, but one question in mind is how does playing this caliber of team effect recruiting for Colorado State. The way to grow a program is through recruiting and so time to look at how playing Alabama will make an impact, good or bad.
Right now, Colorado State has the No. 5 rated 2014 recruiting class according to 247Sports. That is nothing special but they do have a trio of three-star verbal commits, including quarterback Coleman Key. The question at hand comes back to is playing a very good team and knowing a loss is coming help or hurt recruiting.
My belief that playing Alabama in a certain loss could hinder recruiting because why would any potential player want to get their head bashed in from time to time, but then again the type of player going to Colorado State would have been overlooked so they would want to go out and prove themselves. Initially thoughts led me to think this game could hurt recruiting, but Colorado State rarely goes out and plays these type of games, so the one game against Alabama should give the Rams a boost in visibility and maybe some more recruits eyeballs.
Both of these feel it will help Colorado State on the recruiting trail, and first up is SB Nation's Bud Elliott:
I think it is a positive. Recruits want to face good competition, because they know NFL scouts will be watching those games against the elite opponents. And there is almost no downside. The school is expected to get crushed by four or five touchdowns, and if it somehow hangs with the big school, it can be used as a positive on the trail as well.
Ryan Krous also see's it as a positive, well as long as the Rams do not get beat so bad it just becomes embarrassing:
At this point, I'd definitely say it has a positive impact on players and recruits. Current players have been talking about this game for a while and aside from the first game against CU, this has been the big game marked on their calendars. It serves as an opportunity to play the best and be on national TV. With the current state of the program, it helps give the team and school national exposure, which is something CSU has desperately lacked since the success under Sonny Lubick. Plus, the program earns $1.5 million both times they play in Tuscaloosa. The only downside is if CSU lays an even bigger egg than most expect, which could hurt the national identity of the program.
I remember talking to recruits last cycle that had mentioned the 'coolness factor', if you will, of playing Alabama. Kids want that kind of experience and TV exposure for family and friends to see.
To sum it up nicely, Colorado State needs to avoid just getting beat so bad that the game is comical, and with NFL scouts, being on ESPN2 and playing competitve to the top team in the country is going to give the Rams some momentum on the recruiting trail.