Rams picked to finish third in Mountain Division, Stonehouse as All-MW

Josh Watson in the 2017 New Mexico Bowl. Credit: Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports.
Josh Watson in the 2017 New Mexico Bowl. Credit: Joe Camporeale, USA TODAY Sports.

Ah, preseason poll time. Which means, the football season is right around the corner, Rams fans!

Today in Las Vegas, the Mountain West media members in attendance voted Mike Bobo’s Colorado State Rams to finish third in the Mountain Division behind Boise State and rival Wyoming. Here’s a look at the preseason poll:

Also of note, punter Ryan Stonehouse — a sophomore — has been named to the preseason All-MW team. Stonehouse averaged 45.9 yards per punt last season as a freshman, the fifth-best average in the country, and he looks to do even better this year.

The Rams as a unit are coming off three straight 7-6 seasons under Mike Bobo, which also include three different bowl losses. And, while CSU has enjoyed three straight winning seasons with their latest head coach, they’re also a mere 2-7 in rivalry games.

Unfortunately for the Rams, they lost a ton of talent on both sides of the ball, namely at quarterback and on the offensive line, where Nick Stevens and key starters up front have departed.

Stepping into the role of QB was supposed to be Collin Hill, but he re-tore his ACL in February and his status for the season is uncertain. Hill is battling back, but it’s an uphill climb to get back to fully healthy in time for the season. Which is why Bobo and the Rams went out and got graduate transfer K.J. Carta-Samuels to fill his cleats.

Carta-Samuels will have arguably the most talented trio of receivers to throw the ball to in Rams history, as well as an extremely deep backfield to hand the ball off to when need be.

Defensively, John Jancek has taken over as coordinator and he’s actually one of five new coaches on the roster. Rams fans have to hope the defense takes a massive step forward after two straight seasons of costing the team multiple victories.

On that side of the ball, Josh Watson, Tre Thomas and a very deep safety position leads the Rams in what could be one of their more talented defensive groups in a while.

Speaking of Watson; he, receiver Olabisi Johnson and running back Izzy Matthews all could have made All-MW, but were slept on. Keep a close eye on those three men going forward to see if they use the snubs as motivation.

Colorado State’s fall camp kicks off Friday, July 27 and goes through Monday, Aug. 20. The Rams season kicks off that week, on Aug. 25 as they host the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors in “Week 0” for the second straight year.

They have another difficult out of conference slate, with Colorado in Denver, Arkansas at home, traveling to Florida and then home for Illinois State before getting back to in-conference games. In October, the Rams travel to Boise — against the Broncos, who they’ve never beaten — and then host Wyoming the next week.

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