Colorado State coach Sonny Lubick doesn't want the season finale to be about him.
Yet it's all about him. The Lubick Era at Colorado State could possibly be coming to an end after the Rams' season-ending game against Wyoming on Friday.
However, the 70-year-old Lubick wasn't ready to deal with that possibility quite yet. He'll assess his coaching future after the contest.
``This is about this football team. This is not about Sonny Lubick,'' he said. ``It has nothing to do with me other than I'll be coaching, hoping, hollering, swearing and cussing. I'll be there on the sideline coaching like I (always have) with all the intention to continue coaching.''
Lubick's teams have stumbled onto hard times. The Rams lost 13 in a row dating back to last season, before snapping the string with a 48-23 win over UNLV on Oct. 20.
The Rams (2-9, 1-6 Mountain West Conference) had to withstand a furious fourth-quarter rally from Georgia Southern last week to earn a 42-34 win.
Despite the Rams' woes this season, Lubick said this group occupies a special place with him.
``I personally thanked them for everything they've done this year,'' Lubick said. ``I've been in programs where, when things don't go your way, you quit. But these kids are just something. I see a team that has played with more heart and character.''
The Rams have been highly successful under Lubick's 15-year regime. The team has won or shared six conference titles since 1994, more than any other conference member over that period. The Rams have also been to nine bowl games in that stretch.
Lubick also has helped renovate and expand a stadium and field that now bears his name.
Although the team has struggled, Lubick's passion for the game remains the same. He has been staying at the office until midnight preparing for Wyoming, and returning again at 6 a.m.
Winning the Border War means that much to him.
``When I see those Cowboy uniforms, that gets me fired up,'' Lubick said. ``That's all I think about.''
Wyoming (5-6, 2-5) appeared to be a lock for a possible bowl bid before dropping five of its last six contests. The Cowboys have been outscored 112-34 in their last three losses, including a 50-0 drubbing at Utah.
``Our hopes and dreams were different early in the year,'' Cowboys coach Joe Glenn said.
There's still plenty on the line for CSU and Wyoming - like the Bronze Boot, the trophy given to the winner of the annual Border War game. The tradition began with the 1968 season, and Wyoming leads the series 20-19.
``Everybody wants the Boot,'' said Glenn, whose team possesses the trophy thanks to a 24-0 win last season. ``All the alums want the Boot. You can walk a little taller in the offseason. It lets you go into the offseason with a little more momentum.
``Regardless of what their record and our is, you know this will be a fight. That's the way we want it. That's the way they want it.''
Lubick can't put his finger on what has gone wrong over the past few seasons. But he points to recruiting as a potential culprit.
``It's an uphill battle and it's always hard,'' he said. ``You're not going to get the best kids out of Denver. They'll go to CU or somewhere. Just got to upgrade the playing, do a little better coaching. I don't think we're that far. Every school has their ups and downs and problems.''
Lubick has been asked all week if this may be the end of the road for him. And while he appreciates the concern, the longtime coach is sick of the inquiry.
``I'm not thinking anything other than coaching as I always have been,'' Lubick said. ``I'm up in my office the same time as usual. I'm coaching as hard as I always have. I haven't given that (coaching next season) much thought. I'm figuring out this football game. ... This is about a big game with Wyoming. It has not anything to do with me.''
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