Colorado State football is one of the better Group of Five programs in the country. Jim McElwain parlayed a 10-win 2014 season into the head coaching job at Florida. Current head coach Mike Bobo hasn't had that same level of success, but has been consistent.
CSU has gone exactly 7-6 with a 5-3 Mountain West record in each of Bobo's first three years. All three of those seasons finished with a bowl game. The Rams are 0-3 in those games, with losses to other Group of Five teams.
The Mountain West is a very competitive G5 conference, and Colorado State fares pretty well. However, they're a few rungs short of being a borderline Power Five school, like, say, a Houston, UCF, or Boise State.
Don't tell Bobo that. He sees his program and university in a different light.
In a recent interview with CBS4 Sports anchor Michael Spencer, he said he considers Colorado State football a "Power Five" program.
Video of the interview is available over at CBS Denver. The question comes in around the 2:15 mark, but I've transcribed the key bit here:
Spencer: "You guys don't see yourself as a non-Power Five school, do you?"
Bobo: "No, not at all. I believe we're a Power Five university academically, I think we're a Power Five university athletically, and not just facility-wise, I know we have a Power Five coaching staff. And that's the way I recruit. I walk into homes, and I present ourselves as being the best place in the country. And part of that is salesmanship, and part of that is what I believe. I would not have taken this job at Colorado State in Fort Collins if I did not believe this could be one of the premier institutions in the United States, and I feel that way.
I've had numerous people, not just me but families and dads, say this is every bit. You just don't have the label. And I believe that. That's how we go about our business, and I believe we're one of the best places in the United States. I think we're a very well-kept secret, but every day we're proud to go to work and represent Colorado State."
Obviously, like UCF claiming the 2017 national championship, this is all about recruiting. And it is hard to knock the hustle.
Colorado State football has recruited around the top of the Mountain West under Bobo, it does have very competitive facilities, and there are worse college towns than Fort Collins. An attractive program, yes. Power Five? Not quite, but it is hard to get worked up about a coach selling his program.