The long awaited match-up has finally arrived between Colorado State and Colorado. Both schools have been premier teams in the MCLA in the last decade and they now faceoff Saturday for the last game of the season in Boulder.
The 2016 MCLA season has been a rollercoaster for the top 25 teams. The Rams and Buffs have been in that mix of outstanding wins and head scratching losses. Of the 12 games played by both Universities, 10 of them have been against the same opponents.
#4 Grand Canyon
#14 Arizona State
The Buffs are 8-4 on the season. Three of their four losses came against teams the Rams defeated (Arizona State, California-Santa Barbara and Grand Canyon University).
On the other side, the Rams are 10-2 on the season. However, the Buffs defeated both of the teams who beat the Rams (Arizona and Oregon).
On paper it appears the Rams have had a more successful regular season, but the knock on them is their point differential. Five of the Rams 12 games have ended in a one-point victory. Three of those victories came against teams that defeated the Buffs.
The Buffs have had several one-goal games of their own this season, most notably a 12-13 loss to Chapman (#1). Although it was a loss, it demonstrated CU can go toe-to-toe with the best teams in the nation. Outside of those few games, the Buffs have won the majority of their games by five goals or more. They can score goals in bunches, and that ability will challenge the delicate balance the Rams have struck this season.
As stated earlier, this 2016 MCLA season has been a roller coaster. This kind of compare and contrast could continue across all top-25 teams and beyond. The point is anyone can beat anyone on a given day: That’s why they play the game. But this matchup between CU and CSU is special for many reasons.
- It’s a historic rivalry between two universities
- The teams are #5 and #6 in the Under Armour MCLA coach’s poll (as of 4/13/16)
- Each team has defeated opponents the other has lost to
- It’s the regular season finale
- The winner will have the #1 seed in the RMLC Tournament
The Rams have won their last 8 games making them arguably the hottest team in the MCLA. Their point differential has impacted their ranking but their one point games have prepared them for tomorrow’s highly anticipated rivalry game as well as the playoffs come May.