The 2016 Football season ended with Clemson edging Alabama 35-31 in a thrilling NCAA Football championship game. Clemson quarterback DeShaun Watson found wide receiver Hunter Renfrow in the endzone as the Tigers scored a last second touchdown to stun the top-ranked Crimson Tide and win their first title since 1981. If you still have a hangover from that game, well get ready for the new season.
The NCAA Football 2017 season kicks off on August 26 with the Oregon State Beavers visiting Colorado State Rams at 2:30 PM ET. Two other Mountain West Schools make their debut on August 26th. Hawaii visits UMass while San Jose State hosts South Florida during the season's first official weekend. Two other FSB matches are scheduled for August 26th: Stanford vs Rice in Sydney, Australia and and Portland at BYU.
The last time these teams met, they played in a tight game which Colorado State eventually pulled off, 18-7. That game was way back in 1975 so this one’s some 42 years in the making. That victory made up for the Rams’ 25-14 loss to the Beavers in 1962, in a season where Colorado State went 0-10. With the all-time record tied at one apiece, this one should be a closely fought contest; just ask the oddsmakers, who made Colorado State just -110.00 for -3.5 in the points spread on the 16th August (odds taken from betting site Betway).
OSU will open the season on the road for the second consecutive season. This marks the earliest opener in school history. The game was originally scheduled for September 23 but moved so that Colorado State can play a Power 5 opponent on a very historic day for the Rams.
Not only will CSU be playing in the first game of the 2017 season, August 26 also represents the earliest date the Rams have played a game in the state of Colorado and the second earliest season opener in the modern era for Colorado State. More importantly, CSU will be playing for the very first time on their brand new on-campus stadium.
After spending a large part of the century playing on the far side of town, the Rams will make their highly awaited and anticipated return to the CSU Campus on August 26. They probably built the ‘best stadium in America.’ (according to CSU Athletic Director Joe Parker) Maybe he is correct.
The $220M project features amazing amenities for both players and the fans. The new stadium has an open-air concourse, HD video board, weight room, athletic training area, a new locker room, players’ lounge and a meeting room. And it has sold out for its big debut on August 26th.
Earlier this month, Parker said all 35,600 seats for the season opener have either been sold or claimed. Although the stadium is built to accommodate 41,000 people, Parker adds that there will be no standing room only tickets because ‘this is a first game and it will be the first time to operate the stadium
The largest crowd ever for a CSU home game was 39,107 against Utah in 1994. For that game, temporary bleachers were brought in to add to the 35,200 seats at Hughes Stadium. General admission tickets were also sold for fans who sat in the grass above both end zones. Last season, CSU played two games in front of sell-out crowds at Hughes Stadium, packing 33,500 against Wyoming and drawing 32,387 against Utah.
Colorado State plans to make the day more than just a game day. A Military Appreciation Day will be highlight special event in the first football game on campus in nearly 50 years. A giant American flag will cover the entire football field during the playing of the National Anthem. And fans will be encouraged to wear either green and white, alternating by section, to create a vertical green and white stripes throughout the stadium.
As for the game itself, Colorado State has an offense that is one of the best in the Mountain West and a defense that should be able to limit Oregon State's running game. The Beavers' pass rush won't be enough and their secondary will have a handful in QB Nick Stevens and the rest of the Rams. Oregon State's running will be good. Colorado State's going to throw better.