By the conclusion of the 2013-14 season Colorado State had an RPI of about 115 and a non conference strength of schedule well in the 200s. I wrote a piece last season right around the time the Rams were beginning conference play that addressed how bad the non-conference schedule was. The schedule was bad not only for their preparation for the Mountain West but it brought no energy to the fan base. The only match up that did bring energy was the rivalry match up against Colorado. I understand that coach Eustachy wanted to give a young team some confidence but the schedule was too easy and home based.
This year's team will be experienced and is expected to compete for a Mountain West Championship despite the losses of players. That also means that they could be in the conversation for an at large bid in the NCAA tournament. In order for them to gain an at large they need to challenge themselves in the non conference. Fans got lucky when all three in state non conference match ups (Denver, UNC - Greeley, and Colorado) were at home. However this season all will be road games. The Rams will also travel to Alaska to participate in the Great Alaskan Shootout November 25-29th. The only non tournament match up that has been announced is the annual game against UTEP which will take place on December 3rd in Fort Collins.
No other games have been announced but hopefully as more of the big name programs begin releasing their non conference schedules you will see Colorado State be listed on at least a couple of them. Highly ranked or well known mid majors will be a big plus too. No more of the Division II schools looking to catch a beating for a paycheck or looking to protect the RPI by scheduling them. Beef up the schedule and success will come from it, look at a young SDSU team last year Played both Arizona and Kansas and was a few points away from an Elite 8 appearance.
So for the sake of the fans and the program, no more cupcake schedules CSU.