The first month of September of the 2009 season was looking good for Colorado State football as they were 3-0 and riding their momentum into a game against BYU, but then the game happened that the Rams lost 43-23. This was the start of a nightmare season that lead to nine straight loses to end the season and included giving up the only win to New Mexico.
Even with the nine straight loses the Rams do have some optimism for the 2010 season. While the Rams will be starting a freshman quarterback in 2010, it will most likely be Pete Thomas, who is a four-star quarterback per Rivals, and is one of the best recruits in Rams history. The other slim possibility is red shirt freshman Nico Ranieri mainly because he has a year in the system. Thomas did enroll early in the spring and looks to be the leader, but head coach Steve Fairchild will not name a starter until the end of fall camp:
It's no surprise he won't name a QB starter until practice is well underway. It's been assumed since the spring game either redshirt freshman Nico Ranieri or true freshman Pete Thomas (who enrolled a semester early) would draw the assignment.
Fairchild tossed junior Klay Kubiak's name into the race. Kubiak has spent 19 months rehabbing from two shoulder surgeries and Fairchild is anxious to see how Kubiak performs. Bad luck has forced the Regis product into a spectator role but he knows the offense.
Even if Ranieri wins the job, expect to see Thomas at some point. "We're going to need both Pete Thomas and Nico Ranieri," Fairchild said.
Thomas looks to be the heir apparent at some point for the future, and with the way freshman quarterbacks performed last year with likes of USC's Matt Barkley, Stanford's Andrew Luck, Utah's Jordan Wynn, Wyoming's Austyn Carta-Samuels and Oklahoma's Landry Jones there is hope that starting Thomas will be a good move. All of those quarterbacks except for Stanford's Andrew Luck -- who was injured and did not play -- won their bowl game. So, there is precedent for freshman performing well, and with expectations not really that high the Rams might as well get Thomas in some early action.
Before Rams fan chime in and say, "hey the season has not even started yet, so why are you writing off 2010," there is some reason to look for improvement. The running game looks to be a strength for the Rams who are four deep at the position. They return their top three leading rushers lead by Leonard Mason and John Mosure who combined for 1,400 yards and nine scores. However, the biggest addition is UCLA transfer Raymond Carter, who is a real threat to win the job over the other starters.
There is some hope that the Rams will be better in 2010, but they are putting a lot of pressure on an inexperienced quarterback and a transfer running back to get the team going in the right direction.