Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #26, 2016 Northern Colorado

  • Final Score: Colorado State 47, Northern Colorado 21
  • Line: Colorado State -21
  • Venue: Hughes Stadium

Who says we don’t win rivalry games? Can someone please invent a trophy for this game so we can retroactively fill up the trophy case at Canvas Stadium? Is Johnson’s Corner halfway between Fort Collins and Greeley? How about the Cinnamon Roll Cup?

Okay, okay, this is isn’t a real rivalry, but I do admit that I get more excited for the occasional UNC match-up than most other OOC games. It’s not that I’m excited to win, it’s that I’m terrified to lose. The Rams lead the series with 20 wins, no losses, and one tie, but could you imagine if we lost? We would never hear the end of it.

The Rams rolled out true freshman Collin Hill for his first ever start. He responded by throwing for 315 yards on 21 for 27 passing. But his best play of the day was this 51 yard touchdown run:

Where the hell did that come from? It was the longest touchdown run by a Colorado State quarterback since Bradlee Van Pelt had a 71-yarder in 2002.

I was combing through the box score and noticed O’Shea Jackson got his first career sack in this game. Of all the defensive tackles that flamed out or we’ve missed on, Jackson was by far the best. In nine games he recorded 17 tackles, 3 TFLs, and 2 sacks, pretty good production for a freshman defensive tackle. He also allowed guys like Darnell Thompson to play on the end instead of having to help out at tackle. I think the Rams win a couple more games over the years if Jackson plays four seasons at CSU.

The game was over when… Collin Hill hit Michael Gallup for a 16 yard touchdown to go up 28-0 in the 2nd quarter.

Even though UNC had future NFL quarterback Kyle Sloter at the helm, they weren’t coming back from a four score deficit.

Rams would go into the half up 38-0 and eventually win the game 47-21.

This UNC time was actually a decent Big Sky team. They finished the year 6-5, one of their few winning seasons on the past decade or so.

Behind Enemy Lines…

I couldn’t find any salty post game messages, but this one from before the game was pretty funny. What did we do to this guy to be his most hated team in state? (I’m honestly curious.) And does he realize that his username has a double meaning that is very appropriate after his team just got their asses kicked 47-21?

This game was streamed on CSURams.com, so it basically doesn’t exist any more. Here is a short highlight video:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #27, Abilene Christian

  • Final Score: Colorado State 38, Abilene Christian 10
  • Line: Colorado State -43
  • Venue: Canvas Stadium

Another day, another win against a crappy FCS team. I don’t know much about Abilene Christian. I know that they’re from Abilene, and that they are Christian. And a University. I can’t find any evidence of wildcats living in the Abilene area though. Abilene State Park lists the following animals in their park: deer, armadillos, foxes, squirrels, raccoons, and rabbits.

Do you think their fans look at TCU, Baylor, or SMU and say “Damn it, that should have been us!” the same way CSU fans look at Utah?

I hate playing random teams named the Wildcats because I can never get this Simpsons clip out of my head whenever we do:

Here’s a fun little fact about ACU, they have a kicker who set the record for the longest field goal in college football history:

Anyway, the Rams were coming off the Offensive Pass Interference loss against CU and this was the classic “CU hangover” game. Luckily, ACU was awful and the Rams won easily.

Not too many highlights from this one as all the Rams’ touchdowns were garden variety. Nick Stevens had a 41 yard run that was pretty cool/hilarious. The play took so long that I couldn’t make a GIF out of it, but you can see it in the highlight video at the end of this post.

The most exciting sequence was a goal line stand in the 2nd quarter. ACU had a 1st-and-goal from the 5 and didn’t score after running on four straight plays.

The CSU defense didn’t give up a touchdown this game, the only Wildcat TD came off a blocked punt returned for a touchdown. Classic kicking game boner.

The game was over when… well, according to ESPN’s Win Probability meter, the game was pretty much over at the opening kickoff:

But it was truly over when the Rams stopped ACU on that 4th-and-goal play, then put together a 99-yard touchdown drive to go up 17-0.

Behind Enemy Lines:

Now this is the type of saltiness you hope for when looking at another team’s board! You have the first guy crying that a random group of strangers on the internet aren’t giving his school enough credit for a 38-10 defeat. The second guy responds that CSU fans are a “different class of people” for not showering his beloved Wildcats with praise over a four touchdown loss in a game where ACU never threatened. The internet is the best and not unhealthy at all.

The Wildcats would end the year 2-10. LOL.

The game was streamed over the Mountain West website, so it basically doesn’t exist any more. Here is a quick highlight video:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #28, 2019 Western Illinois

  • Final Score: Colorado State 38, Western Illinois 13
  • Line: Colorado State -13
  • Venue: Canvas Stadium

Welcome to the winning portion of this countdown! It’s all confetti and champagne from here on out!

When I was ranking the wins, I broke them into tiers and this is the lowest tier: Wins Against Crappy FCS Teams.

We start with the 2019 victory over Western Illinois, the worst of all the Directional Illinoises. I honestly had never heard of them before we scheduled them. Rodney Harrison and Bryan Cox played there, so that’s pretty good.

The game wasn’t very competitive, Rams got up 28-6 in the 2nd quarter and coasted to the win.

There were a number of spectacular plays in this game: a 75 yard bomb to Dante Wright on the first play of the game, a 77 yard catch and run by Marvin Kinsey, EJ Scott and friends carrying the entire Western Illinois defense into the endzone, but the most spectacular play of the game came in the 2nd quarter with the Rams up 28-6:

LOL, eat shit Western Illinois! When you’re up 28-6 against a crap FCS team, you gotta go surprise onside.

The game was over when… the officials correctly overturned a fumble call and awarded EJ Scott a touchdown on this play:

The score was 14-6 and the Rams had already fumbled and missed a field goal. Another fumble and another Leatherneck score could have given them confidence and sent the game into a different direction. Instead, the refs correctly reversed the fumble call and awarded a touchdown, giving the Rams an insurmountable 21-6 lead.

Behind Enemy Lines:

(This is a new section of these game reviews now that we’re into the wins. There’s nothing I like more than lurking on opponent’s message boards after a Ram win and basking in the saltiness and schadenfreude. I will post a screenshot of my favorite post from the opponent’s message board.)

There wasn’t too much saltiness from the Leatherneck faithful because they only have about five fans and none of them really seem to care too much. The Leatherneck fan above pretty much nailed the remainder of the 2019 season. CSU only won three more games against the dregs of the Mountain West and fired their coach while Western Illinois went 1-11.

A condensed version of the game is here:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #29, 2017 Alabama

  • Final Score: Colorado State 23, Alabama 41
  • Line: Colorado State +31
  • Venue: Bryant-Denny Stadium

We did it. We got through all the losses and we’re ending with the king of moral victories, the 2017 Alabama game. Rams came into this game at 2-1 and would put in a decent showing against the eventual national champion. They’d take the confidence from this game into a bye week, fly to Hawaii, and win four games in a row. The four game win streak tied for Coach Bobo’s longest, a feat he also accomplished to end the 2015 season.

The game didn’t start out that great: Alabama touchdown, Rams three-and-out, Alabama touchdown, Rams three-and-out, Alabama field goal, Rams four-and-out.

So just like that the Rams are down 17-0 in the first quarter, Alabama has the ball at the 50, and our best highlight so far is a monster punt by Ryan Stonehouse:

The tide (tide!) turns with a JK Scott missed field goal and CSU answers with a field goal. Bama goes three-and-out on their next drive and CSU responds with an 11 play, 85 yard touchdown drive that almost didn’t happen if not for this circus grab by Dalton Fackrell on a third and long:

This would eventually lead to the legendary Warren Jackson over Anthony Averett “You Got Mossed!” touchdown:

(Averett would go on to get picked in the 4th round by Baltimore.)

17-10, we’re back in it!!! (Alabama would score the next 24 points and go up 41-10.)

Rams eventually score again in the 4th quarter with an eleven play drive capped off by a Nick Stevens touchdown. Alabama goes three and out and the Rams drive right back down the field and enter the red zone.

On first and goal, Michael Gallup gets his own You Got Mossed! touchdown, but he was robbed by the officials:

That’s a touchdown. Are we trying to protect Anthony Averett’s feelings or something?

Next play we just go back to Warren Jackson who scores over Dallas Cowboy second round pick Trevon Diggs:

Rams go with an onside kick that doesn’t get recovered and Nick Saban is forced to re-insert his first team offense to finish out the game. He was pissed, or at least pretending to be pissed to prove a point. (The message was received as Alabama beat Vanderbilt 59-0 the next week.)

Only three teams scored more than 20 points on that Alabama team: CSU, Mississippi State, and Georgia.

If memory serves me correctly, this was the third time the Rams would play the eventual national champion along with ’84 BYU and ’04 USC. (I’m probably missing one, but I’m too lazy to look it up.)

A condensed version of the game is here:

Tomorrow, the winning starts!!!

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #30, 2019 Boise State

  • Final Score: Colorado State: 24, Boise State 31
  • Line: Colorado State +13.5
  • Venue: Canvas Stadium Snow Globe

The final loss of the Mike Bobo Era. (Not the final loss of this countdown, but close). The stadium was entombed in snow, three-quarters empty, and sad. It was kind of appropriate.

How bad are things going when your stadium gets blasted by a winter storm, the 20th team in the nation visits your stadium, and you’re like “screw it, just leave the snow.”

The Rams wore their green on green, and I’ve never heard it confirmed by anyone in the athletic department, but I guarantee they do this to troll Boise in response to their blue on blue on the blue. Rams wearing green on green versus Boise is one of my favorite things in college football.

CSU scored a touchdown on their first drive to go up 7-0. One of the wacky things about the 2019 team is that they consistently scored on the first drive of the game. They scored a touchdown on their first possession in 9 of their 12 contests. Most in spectacular fashion: bombs to Dante Wright against CU and Western Illinois, bombs to Trey McBride against Fresno and New Mexico, Marvin Kinsey’s 75-yard run at Arkansas, Anthony Hawkin’s kick return vs UNLV.

When we got up 7-0, I actually got the idea in my head that we were going to win. The season was over, we were coming off back-to-back loses against Air Force and Wyoming, no one really cared any more… it just felt like the perfect timing for Coach Bobo to finally beat someone important. How appropriate would it be to get your signature win in the final game of your career?

Instead, it would turn out to be another classic Mike Bobo loss. A bunch of turnovers turned into a bunch of points for Boise. Fast forward to the 4th quarter, Rams down 10 at the Boise 20. Drive stalls, field goal, 7 point game.

Defense needs to get a stop so we get the ball back and almost blow it on a 3rd and 11:

Ugh… that’s a “throw your TV remote at the wall” type of play. Luckily, the refs called the Boise runner down a yard short of the first down. Boise lined up to go for it on 4th and 1 but got called for a false start. A very un-Boise penalty, and almost got me believing again that we’d win this one.

Ensuing Ram drive, and we’re rolling. Into Boise territory when:

Ah yes, the vaunted left side of our offensive line. Good job, traitors! Enjoy your conference-only P5 season. You’re dead to me!

That play basically ended the game. The Rams would punt with 2 minutes left because Coach Bobo wanted to fit in one last kicking game boner for old time’s sake:

Stonehouse’s leg is too strong for his own good! Not ideal.

Boise takes over from the 20 and the Rams never see the ball again. The Mike Bobo Era ends with a whimper. The End.

There is a replay of the game here:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #31, 2016 Minnesota

  • Final score: Colorado State 24, Minnesota 31
  • Line: Minnesota +17
  • Venue: TCF Bank Stadium

It would have been really cool to knock off a Big 10 opponent in their stadium, but it’s hard to get upset at a loss when you have a true freshman making his first start in a road game. That’s why this game doesn’t rank higher (lower?).

Collin Hill was okay in this game, but Minnesota had a true freshman of their own who almost took Collin Hill’s head off:

Just imagine being Collin Hill. It’s your second start, broadcast all over the country on ESPNU. Then this happens and you know that a video of you getting nearly decapitated will be the lead on SportsCenter for the entire weekend. How do you deal with this when you’re a friggin’ teenager? I’m telling you, the older I get the more respect I have for these college kids. They go out there and put it all on the line so millions of dorks like me can sit on our couches and critique them.

Over the years I’ve gotten a lot softer on my criticism of college kids and way more tough on the coaches. Like this play, whose idea was it to leave a tight end one-on-one with Minnesota’s best pass rusher? 100% the coach’s fault.

The true freshman pass rusher for Minnesota was Tai’yon Devers. The guy had three sacks and three forced fumbles in the first three games of his college career. I’m sure Minnesota fans were stoked. Devers looked like a “can’t miss” prospect, but he did absolutely nothing the rest of his career:

Moving on… Nolan Peralta is one of my favorite Rams ever and this game featured one of my favorite Nolan Peralta plays ever:

LOL. Poor #5, just an innocent bystander, adjusting his chinstrap and then BOOM, sit your ass down! Never fails to crack me up.

Minnesota led the entire game, but the Rams were able to hang around. It wasn’t until the 4th quarter that the Gophers were finally in a position to put the game away. 31-17 with 9 minutes left, Rams are forced to punt. Game over…


A couple plays later:

Gallup touchdown! (Rams picking on poor #5 again.)

Defense forces a Minnesota 3-and-out and CSU gets the ball back with four minutes left, down seven, all three timeouts.

And the Rams took their sweet-ass time on this drive. They started the drive off with some Faton Bauta wildcat plays. Is it really the time and place for that? “What the hell are we doing?” I shouted at my television set. It took CSU two minutes just to get to the 50 yard line!

Rams miss on a 4th and 5 from the 50 with two minutes left, game over. (For real this time. Hayden Hunt can’t save us now.)

You can watch a replay of the game here:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #32, 2016 Boise State

  • Final Score: Colorado State 23, Boise State 28
  • Line: Colorado State +28
  • Venue: Albertsons Stadium

The onside kick game. Probably one of the most improbable endings you’ll see, and it looks like you’ll never see it again because hardly any video of this game exists online. CSU didn’t even put together a highlight package for their YouTube channel.

The game started off as a defensive struggle and the Rams led most of the first half 3-0. It wasn’t uncommon for the 2016 defense to pitch a shutout for an entire half. They did it against UTSA, Northern Colorado, Utah State, UNLV, Fresno State (x2), and almost against SDSU, who scored a garbage-time TD late in the 4th quarter. People liked to talk trash about Marty English (myself included), but this was by far the best defense of the Bobo era.

And the defense was one stop away on from another shutout. Boise State 3rd-and-10 from the 50, running back Jeremy McNichols motions out of the backfield and lines up at receiver. Evan Colorito follows him out there. Colorito was our best defender that year, but he’s not covering McNichols out in space. Colorito was a “linebacker” by name only, he was a defensive end.

So you have the quickest running back in the conference on an island against a defensive end. I vividly remember this play. We had one timeout left in the half. “CALL TIMEOUT YOU ASSHOLES”, I yelled at my television. They didn’t hear me.

McNichols runs a simple go route and is wide open for a 33 yard gain. WHO COULD HAVE SEEN THAT COMING?? We wanted to save that timeout for half time??? Shit like that drives me up the wall.

BSU score two plays later and we go into half down 7-3. Boise must have made some Halftime AdjustmentsTM because they scored touchdowns on their first three drives of the 2nd half.

Down 28-3, this game was over.





Rams score on their next drive to make it 28-10 and then the unthinkable happens. The Rams bring in two kickers who motion in opposite directions so Boise didn’t know which way the onside kick was going. It worked perfectly!

I love watching Hayden Hunt celebrate. Legend.

Next play:

LET’S GOOO!!!!!!!!!!!

Still down two scores, we need the ball back:

The mad lads did it! They run the same play but to the opposite side! Boise in shambles!

Rams score 20 points in the span of two minutes and it’s a one score game!

We wouldn’t convert the next onsider and Boise ran the clock down to 15 seconds before CSU got the ball again. The game would end in the most anti-climatic way as possible with a 10-second run off of the clock after the Rams threw an illegal forward pass.

As far as losses go, this one wasn’t that bad. At the time Boise was 15th in the country and a 28-point favorite. Moral victory!

And in a cruel twist of fate, Boise would steal the two-kicker onside kick concept and use it against us in our next meeting:

As if that loss wasn’t bad enough.

If you want to watch the 2016 game again… good luck finding it!

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #33, 2019 Utah State

I have a hard time ranking 2019 games because the season sucked and most of us had given up hope by that point. This game was a terrible loss, but it didn’t hit as hard as losses in previous years.

Before we get into the game, I want to highlight my favorite play of 2019:

I think this is when Barry Wesley became my favorite player on the team. Watch him for the entire play; he starts off with a cut block that springs Dante Wright for about 10 yards, then he gets up, sprints over to Wright and carries him for 5 more. This is the most impressive individual effort of any Ram in the 2019 season.

“That’s a play that doesn’t show up in the box score,” a generic color commentator would say. And he would be right:

Come on, give Wesley some credit!

The Rams started out the game pretty well. The game was delayed by lightning for about 30 minutes and it looked like Utah State came out flat. Manny Jones forced a fumble on the Aggie’s first drive:

Unfortunately, the CSU offense wouldn’t take advantage, getting stuffed on a 4th and 1.

Next Aggie drive was three-and-out, and then this happened:

Troy Golden! Blocked Punt! Our first blocked punt in five years! FIVE YEARS!

Last Ram to do it was Jakob Buys back in 2014 against Nevada. Almost a mirror image:

Golden’s block led to the Wesley play above which led to a Jaylen Thomas touchdown. Rams up 7-0! It felt like watching a Sonny Lubick team from the good ‘ol days, with the defense creating turnovers and the special teams making plays.

Unfortunately, a boner in the kicking game snapped us back to reality as Utah State ran the ensuing kickoff back for a touchdown.

Warren Jackson sat this one out with a shoulder injury, but Nate Craig-Myers was able to pick up the slack with his best game as a Ram. He’d finish with 3 catches for 97 yards, including this big gainer:

The play would lead to a Marvin Kinsey touchdown, but you know NCM got grief in the film room for stumbling and getting caught from behind.

Back and forth game with a bunch of turnovers but the game really turned towards the end of the 3rd quarter. Game tied 24-24, Patrick O’Brien completes a 35-yarder to EJ Scott, who fumbles. Aggies get three points from that, 24-27.

Two drives later, the Rams have great field position to take the lead or tie, but Marvin Kinsey gets in on the action with a fumble of his own. Rams defense holds, but then this happens:

Two plays on offense, two Kinsey fumbles. Aggies go up 34-24 and that’s your ball game!

A game that started out as a throwback Sonny Lubick game ended up being just another classic Bobo loss with too many turnovers, boners in the kicking game, and soul crushing Marvin Kinsey fumbles.

The full replay is here and it’s actually fun to watch because the defense made so many plays. Just stop watching midway through the fourth:

Ranking Every Game of the Bobo Era: #34, 2019 San Diego State

Did any of you watch Sesame Street growing up? Let’s play a game from it. First, let’s queue up the music:

All right, now which one of these is not like the other:

2019 Homecoming vs San Diego State (10-3)
2018 Homecoming vs New Mexico (3-9)
2017 Homecoming vs Nevada (3-9)
2016 Homecoming vs Utah State (3-9)
2015 Homecoming vs Air Force (8-6)

If you chose 2019 Homecoming vs San Diego State, YOU WIN!

Traditionally you want to schedule a patsy for your homecoming game, but CSU really didn’t have a choice in 2019. September 21st vs Toledo was a little too early for a homecoming game and San Diego State game was the only home game in October.

So a crowd of 30,000 homecoming revelers were treated to one of the worst football games in CSU history. I’m not talking about worst losses, I’m talking about the worst games overall. I suggest that researchers show this game to insomnia patients, it might lead to a cure.

The game featured 13 punts. Only four plays of over 20 yards. Both teams combined for 473 yards of offense (120 of which came on two meaningless garbage time drives to end the game.) They combined to go 7 for 27 on 3rd downs.

Warren Jackson didn’t play in this game, and if this is a preview of what the CSU offense is going to look like after he graduates, I’m a little concerned.

Even the touchdowns were boring. Two short TD’s to a receiver wearing number 92, another short TD pass to a running back, and a garbage time TD for CSU.


This was probably the best play of the game for the Rams:

It led to a field goal.

The game was truly decided by a couple of plays at the end of the 2nd and beginning of the 3rd. With a minute left, the Rams had the ball on the SDSU 1 yard line with an opportunity to tie the game at 10.

Rams would get the ball first in the second half and the first play would be a classic soul crushing Marvin Kinsey fumble:

Aztecs score three plays later to take a 17-3 lead, and that’s your ballgame!

I actually left this game early. Not out of protest to the product on the field, but because it was freaking cold and I was wildly unprepared. As Ron Swanson would say:

To All My East Coast Friends | Cold weather memes, Ron swanson ...

A condensed version of the game is here if you’re having problems going to sleep:

Ranking Every Game of the Mike Bobo Era: #35, 2018 Florida

  • Final Score: Colorado State 10, Florida 48
  • Line: Colorado State +21.5
  • Venue: The Swamp

The McElwain Bowl!

As part of the deal to bring Coach McElwain to Gainesville, Florida agreed to play CSU in 2019 for $2 million. That was the largest amount ever paid for a single “buy game” according to ESPN. (Not sure if still true.)

I remember when the deal was struck in 2014, some wiseguy on Ramnation commented that McElwain wouldn’t even be at Florida to coach the 2019 game. What a call by that guy! (I tried to find the actual post, but gave up after about 5 minutes. That’s the type of effort you can expect from a free blog with 100 views a day!) It seemed absurd at the time, but the McElwain Era at Florida fell apart quick.

As we’re all aware, McElwain’s time at Florida was just… odd. He won quite a few games, but his tendency to say a lot of words without actually saying anything kind of rubbed everyone in Gainesville the wrong way. He got a free pass for that in Fort Collins where the media scrutiny is Charmin soft, but they weren’t going for it in SEC territory. Later he’d make love to a shark and then he’d claim he was getting death threats and then he was gone.

In case anyone was wondering, McElwain’s million dollar house on 863 Riparian Way eventually sold, and it looks like it has changed hands a couple times since then:

I wonder if it still has that sweet custom CSU outdoor kitchen.

Anyway, instead of facing off against Coach Mac, we got to play against some guy named Dan Mullen. I don’t watch too much football outside of the Mountain West so I’m not going to pretend to know who Dan Mullen is.

When I think of this game, the first memory off the top of my head is that Ryan Stonehouse was absolutely bombing his punts. He was averaging 53 yards a punt. Unfortunately, if your first memory is of the punter, things probably didn’t go well.

Outside of a couple Stonehouse bombs, the kicking game was an absolute disaster. You know I hate nothing more than boners in the kicking game, and this game had an entire season’s worth of boners in the kicking game.

Ladies and gentlemen, Boner Jam ’18:

(Who kicks a 41-yard field goal on 4th and 1, on the road, against an SEC team?)

(Florida scored, but I couldn’t get close to fitting the entire play into a 10-second GIF.)

So that’s basically your game right there. 17 points directly from kicking game boners and 6 points worth of missed field goals. I can’t remember, was this the year we actually had a Special Teams coach or no? What a friggin joke.

This was the rare game where you give up 48 points and the defense actually wasn’t that bad.

I have nothing else to say about this one. We’re at the point of the countdown where it’s just us getting our butts kicked by 10-win team. Not all that interesting. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though, the wins are coming.

Here’s a condensed version of the game: