FORT COLLINS - The home opener for Colorado State football in its new on-campus stadium will no longer be what most expected as a guaranteed win, after CSU announced early Monday they have agreed to move its game with Oregon State from Sept. 23 to Aug 26.
When the Mountain West schedule was released earlier this month, it left the Rams with their only bye in the final week of the regular season. The switch with Oregon State now gives both programs a bye on August 26 and keeps the Rams from playing 12 consecutive weeks.
"We are very appreciative that Oregon State was willing to discuss the potential change, and found that it would also benefit their program," said director of athletics, Joe Parker. "We understand the importance to Coach Bobo and the football program to have a bye week between the four non-conference games and the eight-game conference schedule. The change moves up the opening of our new stadium by two weeks, but the project remains on-schedule and on-budget, and we expect to be fully operational in time for the first game."
The Rams' game against Abilene Christian was originally scheduled as the home opener on September 9, but despite the change in schedules, will still remain the annual Ag Day and Orange Out game.
"The first thing that stood out to us when we saw our conference schedule was that we open conference play with back-to-back road games and that we would not have a bye until the final week of the regular season," said head coach Mike Bobo. " Playing 12 consecutive weeks without a bye is a significant challenge, so we began to look at our non-conference schedule, and the Oregon State game was the logical date. Fortunately, they also saw the benefit with their schedule, and we were able to make the switch fairly quickly. We are all excited about the opening of of the new stadium and playing football on campus, and now we get to celebrate that historic day sooner than we all expected."
The change in schedule could present some problems for fans who have been planning on attending the Oregon State game on it's original date.
"We recognize there are fans who have made plans to travel to Fort Collins the weekend of September 23 who are inconvenienced by this change, but we are hopeful that making this switch as quickly as possible will help them adjust their plans," Parker said. "Weighing all of the factors involved in this decision, we have been particularly mindful of the importance to the football program and its competitive factors in making the final decision."
CSU has launched a special game day website in preparation for the inaugural season at the on-campus stadium which provides in-depth information on everything from tickets to parking, tailgating and much more. The website can be found at www.CSURams.com/footballgameday.