Colorado State Rams football

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Colorado State Rams football
2015 Colorado State Rams football team
Colorado State Rams - alternate logo.png
First season 1893; 122 years ago (1893)
Athletic director Joe Parker
Head coach Mike Bobo
1st year, 0–0 (–)
Home stadium Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium
Field Sonny Lubick Field
Year built 1968
Stadium capacity 34,400
Stadium surface FieldTurf - (2006- )
Grass - (1968-2005)
Location Fort Collins, Colorado
League NCAA Division I FBS
Conference Mountain West
Division Mountain
All-time record 477–530–33 (.475)
Postseason bowl record 7–7 (.500)
Conference titles 15
Consensus All-Americans 2[1][2]
Current uniform

Green and Old Gold

‹See Tfm›     ‹See Tfm›     
Fight song Alma Mater
Mascot CAM the Ram
Rivals Colorado Buffaloes
Air Force Falcons
Wyoming Cowboys

The Colorado State Rams football program, established in 1893, represents Colorado State University and is a member of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I Football Bowl Subdivision and Mountain West Conference (MWC). Rams football teams have had relative success over the years, including winning or sharing the Mountain West title in 1999, 2000 and 2002.[3] Overall, the Rams are 473–521–33 (.477) (473 wins, 521 losses, and 33 ties),[4] and are 7–7 in bowl games.[5]

Home games have been played at Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium, located four miles west of the school's campus in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, since 1968. The Rams have long-standing rivalries with Colorado, Wyoming, and Air Force.


Colorado State football goes back 115 seasons, and experienced its most successful run in the 15 seasons under head coach Sonny Lubick (1993–2007).[6] During their history, the Rams have played in five different conferences:[7]

Success under Sonny Lubick[edit]

Since Sonny Lubick took control over the Rams as head coach in 1993, the Rams have made nine bowl appearances.[8] CSU had only two previous bowl appearances. Lubick won nearly 75% of home games in the stadium that would later bear his name, leading the team to six conference titles and a 108–74 record.[9] CSU was consistently a top 25 contender from 1994–2002, with a 79–32 record during that period and 3 top 25 finishes.[10] Lubick, conference coach of the year four times, coached former Denver Broncos Cecil Sapp and current Buffalo Bills offensive tackle Erik Pears, and all-pro NFL linebacker Joey Porter.[11]

Fairchild Era[edit]

On November 27, 2007, following significant drops in attendance and a 17–30 record over the past 4 seasons, including 3–9 in 2007,[10] CSU made the difficult and controversial decision to relieve Lubick of his head coaching duties. The school hired Buffalo Bills offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild to take the helm. Fairchild was a Rams quarterback from 1978–80, and served under Lubick as quarterback's coach and later as offensive coordinator from 1993–2000.[12] The Rams finished the regular season in fourth place in the Mountain West Conference and accepted a bid to the 2008 New Mexico Bowl on December 20, where they defeated the Fresno State Bulldogs. After the early success, the Rams had three 3–9 seasons under Fairchild. At the end of his fourth season with Colorado State, Fairchild was fired by Athletic Director Jack Graham.

McElwain Era[edit]

On December 12, 2011, Graham hired Alabama's offensive coordinator Jim McElwain to replace Fairchild. McElwain's tenure started on a high note due to CSU's 22–17 comeback win over in-state rival Colorado on September 1, 2012. McElwain became the first CSU coach since Jerry Wampfler in 1970 to win his first game and the first in school history to win his debut against CU. The Rams finished 4–8 in McElwain's first year. In 2013, the Rams went 8–6 and defeated the Washington State Cougars in the Gildan New Mexico Bowl. Season 3 saw the Rams improve to 10–2 in the regular season, losing a key final game at Air Force on a field goal as time expired. Before the final game of the 2014 season, McElwain accepted the position of head coach for the University of Florida, becoming the first Rams football coach to leave the team for another. He did not coach the Rams through their final match, a loss. [13]

Bowl Results[edit]

The CSU Rams' first bowl game was the California Raisin Bowl January 1, 1949 against Occidental College. The Rams lost 21–20 despite a tremendous performance from left half Eddie Hanna.

Under the coaching of Earle Bruce, Sonny Lubick and Steve Fairchild, the Rams have gone to a total of eleven bowl games since the 1990 football season.

Under Sonny Lubick, the Rams played in their two of their biggest bowl games to date. The first was the 1997 Holiday Bowl 35–24 victory over the Missouri Tigers while the second was the 2000 Liberty Bowl 22–17 victory over the Louisville Cardinals. During both of these winning seasons, the Rams were ranked in the top 25 football teams by both the coaches and AP polls.

In the first season under new head coach Steve Fairchild, the CSU Rams were able to beat Fresno State 40–25 in the 2008 New Mexico Bowl. During this game, running back Gartrell Johnson rushed for 285 yards and received five passes for 90 yards for a total of 375 yards, setting an FBS record for most combined rushing and receiving yards in a bowl game.

Under Jim McElwain's second year of coaching the Rams, CSU went to the New Mexico Bowl. On December 21, 2013, the CSU Rams faced the Washington State Cougars. In one of the most memorable comebacks of the decade, the Rams were able to score 18 points in the last 4 minutes of regulation game play to defeat the Cougars 48 to 45.[14]

Sonny Lubick Field at Hughes Stadium in 2006
Year Coach Overall Conference Standing Bowl/playoffs Coaches# AP°
Skyline Athletic Conference (1938–1962)
1949 Bob Davis 8–3 8–2 2nd L Raisin
Western Athletic Conference (1968–1998)
1990 Earle Bruce 9–4 6–1 2nd W Freedom
1994 Sonny Lubick 10–2 7–1 1st L Holiday 14 16
1995 Sonny Lubick 8–4 6–2 1st–T L Holiday
1997 Sonny Lubick 11–2 7–1 1st W Holiday 16 17
WAC: 2–2
Mountain West Conference (1999–Present)
1999 Sonny Lubick 8–4 5–2 1st–T L Liberty
2000 Sonny Lubick 10–2 6–1 1st W Liberty 15 14
2001 Sonny Lubick 10–4 5–2 2nd W New Orleans
2002 Sonny Lubick 10–4 6–1 1st L Liberty
2003 Sonny Lubick 7–6 4–3 3rd L San Francisco
2005 Sonny Lubick 6–6 5–3 2nd–T L Poinsettia
2008 Steve Fairchild 7–6 4–4 5th W New Mexico
2013 Jim McElwain 8–6 5–3 3rd (Mountain Division) W New Mexico
2014 Jim McElwain/Dave Baldwin 10–3 6–2 T–2nd (Mountain Division) L Las Vegas
MWC: 4–6
Total: 6–8
      National championship         Conference title         Conference division title
Indicates Bowl Coalition, Bowl Alliance, Bowl Championship Series (BCS) bowl, or College Football Playoff (CFP) game.
#Rankings from final Coaches Poll.



The game between Colorado State and in-state rival Colorado, now dubbed the Rocky Mountain Showdown, began in 1893. The rivalry series was continued annually until 1958, then was resurrected in 1983. Since 1998, the game has been held mostly in Denver.[15] Since moving to Sports Authority Field at Mile High, the teams have consistently played before the largest crowds in state history to witness a college sporting event. On August 31, 2009, Colorado State and Colorado signed a 10-year contract extension of the Rocky Mountain Showdown which brought the game back to Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High from 2010 to 2019. The game is scheduled to be played at Hughes Stadium in 2020 if the stadium is still the main stage for the Rams at that time. Colorado leads the series 62–22–2.


The rivalry between Colorado State and Wyoming, another member of the Mountain West Conference, is the longest rivalry in each school's history and also known as the "Border War" or "Battle for the Bronze Boot". The rivalry began in 1899. Since 1968, the schools have battled for possession of the Bronze Boot traveling trophy. The bronzed battle boot was worn in Vietnam by Colorado State alumnus Dan Romero. The boot is currently held by Colorado State after their victory over Wyoming in October 2013. Colorado State leads the series 57–44–5.

CSU battles Air Force in October 2003

Air Force[edit]

The Ram–Falcon Trophy originated in 1980 to highlight the rivalry between Colorado State and the Falcons of the U.S. Air Force Academy, another Mountain West Conference member in Colorado that is in Colorado Springs. The wood-carved trophy was produced by local artist Bill Wrage. The Air Force ROTC detachment on the CSU campus initiated the creation of the trophy. Air Force leads the series 32–20–1.

All-time record vs. Mountain West teams[edit]

Opponent Won Lost Tied Percentage Streak First Last
Air Force 20 32 1 .387 Lost 1 1957 2014
Boise State 0 4 0 .000 Lost 4 2011 2014
Fresno State 7 5 0 .583 Lost 1 1992 2012
Hawaii 14 9 0 .609 Won 6 1925 2014
Nevada 11 2 0 .833 Won 2 1974 2014
New Mexico 37 25 0 .597 Won 5 1935 2014
San Diego State 13 19 0 .406 Lost 4 1978 2012
San Jose State 4 4 0 .500 Won 2 1961 2014
UNLV 14 6 1 .690 Won 1 1978 2012
Utah State 37 32 2 .529 Won 1 1902 2014
Wyoming 57 44 5 .557 Won 2 1899 2014
Totals 214 182 9 .540

Logos and uniforms[edit]

Uniform colors for the period 2003 through 2010 are pictured below:[citation needed]

Colorado State's uniforms worn from 2003 to 2009
Colorado State wore a 1940s-era colored throwback uniform for games against Idaho and BYU in 2010

Pro Football Hall of Fame[edit]

Future Non-Conference Opponents[edit]

2015 2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
vs Minnesota vs Colorado (at Denver, CO) vs Colorado (at Denver, CO) vs Colorado (at Denver, CO) vs Colorado at Denver, CO) vs Colorado
vs Colorado (at Denver, CO) vs UTSA at Alabama vs UTEP
at UTSA at Minnesota
vs Savannah State vs Northern Colorado



  1. ^ "NCAA Football Award Winners" (PDF). National Collegiate Athletic Association. 2014. pp. 13–18. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "NCAA FBS Consensus All-America." ESPN. December 15, 2012. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
  3. ^ "Colorado State University 2007 Season Review." McGraw Athletic Center, Fort Collins, CO. Release No. 13, 12/31/07. Pg 16.
  4. ^ "Colorado State Coaching Records". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  5. ^ "Colorado State Bowl History". College Football Data Warehouse. Retrieved 2010-02-18. 
  6. ^ CFB Data Warehouse - Colorado State - yearly results - accessed 2009-10-05
  7. ^ CFB Data Warehouse - Colorado State - accessed 2009-10-05
  8. ^ Fairchild, Rams Seek Return to College Football's National Scene. Associated Press, Accessed March 5, 2008
  9. ^ "Colorado State University 2007 Season Review." McGraw Athletic Center, Fort Collins, CO. Release No. 13, 12/31/07. Pg 14.
  10. ^ a b Lyell, Kelly. "If He's Done Coaching, Lubick Will Be Missed." Fort Collins Coloradoan, 12/07.
  11. ^ Meisler, Natalie. "Lubick Leaving Legacy." The Denver Post. 11/27/07.
  12. ^ "Bills Offensive Coordinator to Be CSU Head Coach". Associated Press, 12/12/07., accessed March 5, 2008.
  13. ^ Frei, Terry (4 December 2014). "Jim McElwain leaves CSU, named Florida head football coach". Denver Post (Denver Post). Retrieved 12 December 2014. 
  14. ^ O'Keefe, Katie (2013-12-21). "CSU Football WagesComeback to Defeat Washington State in New Mexico Bowl". Collegian. Retrieved 2013-12-21. 
  15. ^ "Colorado versus Colorado State". Retrieved October 23, 2014. 
  16. ^ "Colorado State Rams Football Schedules and Future Schedules". Retrieved 2012-02-25. 


External links[edit]