College sports are extremely important to U.S. Colleges. “The public image and the prestige of universities are altered by the successes and failures of their athletic programs” (Won and Chelladuri,1). The local University, CSU, has had its fair share of winning and losing in sports, but throughout the history of the school’s continuous development and aspirations, there has been little-to-no increase of their athletic achievements. The Mountain West –CSU’s division– is the limiting factor of their growth. They should leave the Mountain West for the Big Ten Conference because they would have better competition, overall growth as a school, and recruits.
If CSU were to move into the Big Ten, they would play competitive schools more often. As claimed by Jimmie Kaylor of the Cheat Sheet website, the Big Ten Conference has won thirty-nine National Championships in their athletics! This ranks them at second place in all of the college divisions, second only to the Ivy-League. The Mountain West has had only a few nationally ranked sports in the past decades as opposed to the Big Ten that will have multiple ranked sports annually. CSU would be forced to develop better sports habits from playing the Big 10 teams. College sports teams have shown repeatedly that the more talent and skill that their opponents have, the harder the team will have to work to perform well. Hard work combined with persistence and time will produce positive results, for most situations.
Athletically speaking, if CSU were to move divisions, it would become a more popular university. Popular college teams produce large amounts of money for the school and other collegiate groups. According to Charles T. Clotfelter, a professor at Duke University, “the NCAA’s take from TV for its annual men’s basketball tournament last year, $571-million, was 15 times, in inflation-adjusted dollars, what it made in 1983.”This generated a great quantity of money for the competitive and popular athletic schools, and CSU as a school would benefit from investing in their sports programs. Even after buying a new stadium, Colorado State still has a cap on their sports attractiveness. The school’s popularity within the Mountain West Conference is limited because of other unpopular schools in their division. The more popular CSU gets, the larger their fan base will become. The more fans there are, the more merchandise and tickets will be sold. The extra money made from that merchandise could go toward buying better equipment and more advertising dollars for the university. The better equipment would give them the competitive advantage of being more efficient in their workouts which could bring in positive results, and the more advertising dollars would generate more popularity by opening the eyes of fans all around the United States that they are serious about their success.
The act of CSU moving divisions would also cause major college prospects to seriously consider coming to the school for sports. The best college players all want to compete against other ranked schools that have highly-skilled players as well. This way, they can showcase their talents for a number of professional teams. The more talented recruits they get, the more skilled their team gets. Schools with national championship programs like Alabama’s football team or the University of North Carolina’s basketball team, catch the eyes of talented young recruits – that could even commit as early as the eighth grade (Ostendorf)! The only way CSU can win a national championship is if they change divisions. Once they change divisions, they will get more serious college prospects. Serious college prospects create the untapped-potential of success for these teams in college sports. It is a snowball effect.
Some may oppose the claim that CSU should change divisions, arguing that they are not competitive enough for the Big Ten. Even though they are not ranked highly now, there are several factors, that make CSU uniquely special when compared to other Mountain West teams. Colorado State has one of the most beautiful campuses in the country. The school offers both a mountain view and also a culture where funky-urban rural life can coexist. Additionally, CSU’s mascot is Cam the Ram, which many people know and love. He represents the Rocky Mountains and how the school has changed over the years. Colorado State’s original mascot was the Aggies when it held dear a generally agricultural bend in education. Half a century ago, they changed that mascot to the Rams. Recently, these Rams built a new football stadium and was given the privilege of hosting the first game of the NCAA football season two years in a row. Since then, they have played many great teams outside of the Mountain West (including Alabama), which have become some of the most watched games in college football for those seasons. In addition, other teams have left the division and found success. BYU left the Mountain West and have been exposed to more competitive teams since that decision (USA Today). Some may argue that better coaching is the main cause of their current losing streaks in sports. However, that is mostly false because CSU has had great coaches throughout the years and is still looking for a national title. It may take some time for their team to get to the other opponents’ level, but regardless, Colorado State needs to play that talented competition in hope of winning a national title in any sport.
Colorado State University should move to the Big 10 Division if they want to prosper in an athletic and academic future as a school. This could change the overall perception of the school across the country resulting in better competition, marketing, and chances of bringing in better recruits to the franchise. Every team’s logical goal is to win as often as possible. If CSU wants to have any chance of winning a national title in any sport, they will need to move out of the Mountain West and into the Big 10 Division. The changes that they make are an investment of their main goal: becoming a more competitive university.
Carey, Jack. “BYU’s Mountain Time Coming to an End.” USA Today. EBSCOhost, 0-search.ebscohost.com.catalog.poudrelibraries.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=J0E207822580210&site=ehost-live.Clotfelter, Charles T. “Sports Are Good for Colleges.” Chronicle of Higher Education, vol. 57, no. 10, 29 Oct. 2010, p. A21. EBSCOhost, 0-search.ebscohost.com.catalog.poudrelibraries.org/login.aspx?direct=true&db=aph&AN=55085026&site=ehost-live.Kaylor, Jimmie. “Which College Football Conference Has Won the Most National Titles?” Cheat Sheet, https://www.cheatsheet.com/sports/youll-never-guess-which-conference-has-the-most-cfb-national-titles.html/Ostendorf, Greg. “Alabama Courts Eighth-Grader.” ESPN, http://www.espn.com/college-sports/recruiting/football/story/_/id/8989200/alabama-crimson-tide-offer-scholarship-eighth-grader-dylan-mosesWon, Doyeon, and Packianathan Chelladurai. “Competitive Advantage in Intercollegiate Athletics: Role of Intangible Resources.” PLoS ONE, vol. 11, no. 1, Jan. 2016, pp. 1–14. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0145782.