Colorado State Rams

Getty Images

Colorado announces passing of Ralphie IV

1 Comment

Colorado has announced that Ralphie IV, the Buffs’ retired, rumbling mascot, passed away Sunday. She was 19.

A month shy of the buffalo’s 20th birthday, Ralphie was euthanized after her longtime veterinarian determined wide-scale liver failure put her health in rapid and irreversible decline.”She was ready to go today,” caretaker John Graves said to Colorado’s official site. “It was very peaceful … almost 20 is fairly old for a buffalo.” Ralphie was buried in her retirement home of Henderson, Colo.

Donated to Colorado by Ted Turner, Ralphie IV was one of the longest-serving and most successful mascots in Buffaloes history. She served as the Buffaloes’ mascot from 1998-08, leading the charge for a record-tying 75 games, including six bowl games and CU’s 2001 Big 12 Championship victory.

“Ralphie IV will be greatly missed by all,” Graves said.  “It really is a sad day for the Ralphie Program, the University and for CU fans across the nation.  Fans knew Ralphie IV for her right horn that grew crooked, the Handlers that had the privilege to work with her knew her for her unique personality.

“She had a great career at the University and enjoyed all the times she led the football team onto the field, both at Folsom and at away stadiums. After retirement she lived a great life grazing away in her pastures. We lost a great buffalo, a great mascot, and a great icon.”

Oregon State wraps up spring football without any clarity on starting QB

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Add Oregon State to the list of schools who have wrapped up spring football before, well, spring.

The Beavers held their annual spring game on Saturday and one of the big things everybody was wondering is if there would be any set pecking order at the quarterback position with three players neck-and-neck for the job. Based on everything being said in Corvallis however, it doesn’t appear the team is any closer to naming a starter right now and may have the race continue through fall camp.

“I truly believe we have three quarterbacks who can manage the football game in the Pac-12,” head coach Gary Andersen told reporters. “It comes down to who can make special plays. We’ll continue to evaluate them.”

Junior college transfer Jake Luton is probably the most intriguing option at the position but didn’t appear to create the necessary separation with incumbent starters Marcus McMaryion and Darell Garretson. OSU has suffered a ton of injuries behind center so it’s probably good that the team has options but it doesn’t appear the coaching staff is any closer to picking “the guy” until August.

The Beavers open the 2017 season at Colorado State and have plenty of momentum after a late season surge last year. Whether they can reach that elusive six-win mark for a bowl game remains to be seen but chances are high that any success in the upcoming year will come down to if the team can get some consistent play at quarterback.

Either way, at least they’ll be able to lean on star tailback Ryan Nall, who threw for 60-yard touchdown in the game in addition to rushing for 72 yards and a score on the ground. Who knows, maybe there’s four options at quarterback in Corvallis if you consider the team’s Wildcat package.

Colorado State to open new stadium against Oregon State

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Colorado State was all set to open its new stadium against Abilene Christian. No offense to Abilene Christian, but…. it’s Abilene Christian. (Okay, I realize there’s no way for Abilene Christian to take anything but offense to that statement, but, still.)

With the Rams’ long-awaited new home set to open, Colorado State announced Monday it had moved its Sept. 23 home date with Oregon State to Aug. 26, thereby making the Beavers the first visitors to the new, yet-to-be-named stadium.

The move also solves a more pressing issue for Mike Bobo and his club: their unfortunate lack of a bye week. As it was originally written, Colorado State’s schedule called for the Rams to play a dozen straight weeks, starting Sept. 1 against Colorado in Denver and cruising right through their Nov. 18 regular-season finale opposite San Jose State.

“It was myself and Coach (Will) Friend and (director of operations Tom) Ehlers and Joe on the schedule when it came out. We were looking at it and comparing everybody’s schedule,” Bobo told the Fort Collins Reporter-Herald. “At first, it was, well, it is what it is and accept the challenge. Then it was, let’s make a call and see if they’re interested.”

The bye comes at a crucial point for Colorado State, giving them a week break in between a Sept. 16 visit to Alabama and a Sept. 30 visit to Hawaii.

“The ultimate goal is you want to win every game you play, but you want to put yourself in position to play for the conference championship and win, and we looked for avenues and got with Joe and were able to move the Oregon State game to Week Zero,” Bobo said. “We thought it made sense for us, and luckily it made sense for them. It’s still going to be challenging, playing two Pac 12 teams back-to-back, but I think the break before we start a challenging conference schedule will be good for our football team.”

The Aug. 26 visit will be Oregon State’s first ever trip to Fort Collins. The Rams and Beavers have split their two previous meetings, both in Corvallis, a 25-14 Oregon State win in 1962 and a 17-8 Colorado State win in 1975.

Arkansas adds Colorado State to 2018 schedule; SEC waiver issued

AP Photo/April L. Brown
Leave a comment

The SEC has a scheduling policy in place to have all 14 members play at least one power conference opponent each season. Exceptions have and will be made when appropriate, and that is the case for Arkansas and its 2018 schedule. Arkansas has announced a 2018 home game against Colorado State of the Mountain West Conference. The game fills out the Arkansas schedule for 2018 without a power conference opponent on the non-conference schedule, but the SEC is giving the Razorbacks a pass.

The September 8, 2018 road game at Colorado State has been excused by the SEC after the Razorbacks were left in a bit of a bind with the schedule for 2018. Arkansas originally had a home-and-home series lined up with Michigan, but the Wolverines opted to buy out the contract in order to arrange for a home-and-home series with longtime rival Notre Dame. Arkansas attempted to fulfill its scheduling requirement for the SEC by tracking down a power conference opponent for the vacant spot on the schedule, but found no takers available. As a result, Arkansas worked out a deal with Colorado State to tack on an extra game to go with a 2019 home game already on the books. Rather than have Colorado State make two trips to Arkansas, the Rams may have held some bargaining power and were able to get the SEC program to head to Fort Collins for the first part in a home-and-home arrangement.

“Being able to bring an SEC opponent to Fort Collins speaks to the growth of our program and also speaks to the impact our new on-campus stadium is already making,” Colorado State head coach Mike Bobo said in a released statement. “We want to challenge ourselves in our non-conference schedule and also bring those quality opponents to our home field and our fans.”

For Colorado State, the level of difficulty for the schedule is just about as good as it can get for a midmajor program. In 2018, the Rams will face in-state rival Colorado, Arkansas, and Florida. Colorado State has lined up a good handful of power conference opponents for future schedules, including Vanderbilt (2020-2021, 2025-2026), Texas Tech (2025-2026) and Arizona (2027-2028). This upcoming season, the Rams play Colorado in Denver, at Alabama and at home against Oregon State.

The SEC allows games against Army, BYU and Notre Dame to count toward the conference’s power conference scheduling requirement and makes exemptions given the right set of circumstances when appropriate. Arkansas does already have the non-conference scheduling commitment satisfied for 2017 (TCU) and 2021 (Texas) but still has a spot to fill on its schedule for a power conference opponent every other season starting in 2019 (Portland State, Colorado State, San Jose State). If Arkansas cannot find another power conference opponent play in 2019, it may need to beg the SEC for forgiveness once more and hope Colorado State can be good enough for consideration.

All of those does bring an interesting question to the table. What happens if a school does not satisfy the conference’s power conference requirement on the schedule? Is there any actual punishment?

Alabama WR Raheem Falkins indicates he’s testing transfer waters

Getty Images
2 Comments

It appears Alabama’s wide receiving corps will be thinning out prior to the start of spring practice.

On his Facebook page Wednesday, rising senior Raheem Falkins (pictured, No. 88) posted a photo of a letter he received from UA’s assistant director of compliance that grants other school permission to speak to the receiver regarding a potential transfer. The letter also indicates the restrictions that would be placed on any transfer.

In addition to any team in the SEC, Falkins would be barred from transferring to seven of UA’s eight nonconference opponents the next two seasons: Florida State, Fresno State, Colorado State, Louisville, Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette and The Citadel. The only nonconference opponent to which the player would be permitted to transfer is FCS Mercer, which will travel to Tuscaloosa this season.

A three-star member of the Crimson Tide’s 2013 recruiting class, Falkins was rated as the No. 50 receiver in the country and the No. 15 player at any position in the state of Louisiana. He never caught a pass during is time with the team, and was expected to be buried on the depth chart once again this season.

A desire for a better opportunity at playing time is believed to be the trigger for the transfer decision.