Just when some fans and local media types started wondering “Where’s the buzz surrounding the Rocky Mountain Showdown?” CU’s Ray Polk stepped up with some smack talk.
On Tuesday, Polk told Denver Post reporter Tom Kensler, “They’ve got a great coaching staff. They have good players. We have to understand that this is their ‘bowl game’ for the most part. This is a huge game for them.”
In reality, this is a huge game for both teams.
Neither wants to start their season off on the wrong foot, losing to their intrastate rivals.
And for the Buffs of the Pac-12, a loss to a lowly Mountain West Conference team would be a travesty.
Look, Polks comments sting a bit for CSU fans, but it’s nothing new.
The folks in Boulder have had a “big brother” complex over Fort Collins and Colorado State for years, athletically, it’s warranted.
Academically, the schools have an almost exact number of undergraduates enrolled, and are very competitive with one another, In fact, CSU’s Veterinary school is No. 2 in the nation, and the state school still offers journalism, while CU cut their journo school recently.
Athletically, CU has played in a more prestigious conference than CSU for many years, and the Buffaloes have dominated in the Showdown, winning seven of the last 10 games. And overall, Colorado holds a 60-21-2 advantage in the yearly rivalry game, adding to that superiority complex.
But it’s not like the Buffs were a great team last year, going 3-10 in their first year in the Pac-12. The Rams went an also terrible 3-9 in 2011, and the teams are more evenly matched than some want to admit.
This Saturday’s contest is anyone’s game, Polk knows it, and he remembers the burn of the Buffs losing at home for the first time in 26 years against CSU in 2009.
The game kicks off at 2 p.m. in Denver at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, what happens out on that field is what truly matters.
Still, some smack talk during the week of a rivalry game can add some intrigue and buzz, it got fans up in arms on twitter, and only creates a better spectacle surrounding the game in the end.
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Rich Kurtzman is a freelance journalist. You can follow Rich on facebook, twitter or by clicking “follow” on this page.