WHEN: Saturday, November 28 -- 6:00 PM PST
WHERE: Bulldog Stadium; Fresno, CA (41,031)
TV: CBSSN (Dish Network; Ch. 158; DirecTV; Ch. 221)
RADIO: Fresno's two ESPN affiliates, 940 AM and 1600 AM will broadcast the game in English and Spanish respectively.
SERIES RECORD: The Rams lead the series vs. the Bulldogs 7-6, but the Bulldogs won the last meeting between the two schools 28-7 which was played in Fort Collins, CO back in 2012.
Regardless of what your expectations were for the 2015 Fresno State Bulldogs this season has been an utter disappointment and will undoubtedly go down as one of the worst seasons in Bulldogs history. When the Bulldogs and Rams last met it was the first season for both head coaches Tim DeRuyter of Fresno State and Jim McElwain at Colorado State and how far they've come since that 28-7 win for the Bulldogs.
Three years later and McElwain is leading Florida into the SEC Championship game, while DeRuyter is wrapping up his worst season as a head coach. Meanwhile, one year removed from McElwain and the Rams are bowl bound and primed to add to their already six wins this season.
Will the Bulldogs be able to stop them? Even wishful thinking says "no", but it's the last game of the Bulldog careers for 18 seniors, most of which were a part of two Mountain West Conference titles and it's college football so anything can happen. Our only real hope is that the Red Wave comes out for one last time in 2015 to honor the seniors who have been a part of a couple much more memorable teams.
The Keys Have Been Lost
All season long we at the Mountain West Connection have been kindly leaving keys out for a Bulldog victory and rarely have they been retrieved. It's difficult to know what's truly wrong with the Fresno State football program, because we're not in the locker room, the meeting room, the sideline or the practice field. What we do know is that two years ago after winning their second straight Mountain West Conference title they followed that with two of the top recruiting classes in the conference. Everything seemed to line up nicely for the Bulldogs.
Unfortunately, it's been all downhill since then. The coaches have clearly lost this team, not only because of the loses and the fact that Fresno State football has had as many arrests as they've had wins this season, but also because of the alarming amount of players who have either left, quit or been kicked off the team in the past two years.
Nobody has ever said it was easy to be a football coach. Never mind the pressure to win. Never mind the necessity to have a superior knowledge of X's and O's. That almost comes secondary to having the capacity to manage and maintain the fragile psyche and ego of over 80 young men. Nobody expected greatness from the Bulldog team this year, except for the moron (me) who predicted they'd win nine games. Regardless, with the hopes of raising $80 million to renovate Bulldog Stadium looming in the background this season has been a disappointing display of underachievement of monumental proportions.
What's the key to beating Colorado State on Saturday? There is no key, but putting up a fight against Colorado State might at least give the Red Wave a faint sense of hope for next season.