Colorado State has already started the 2018 season and did so with a somewhat surprising loss in Week Zero to Hawaii despite being a two-touchdown favorite. There's no time to dwell on that as the Rams have to get ready for their in-state nemesis in Denver on a short week. Meanwhile, Colorado is looking to get back to a bowl game after dipping to 5-7 in 2017. Though Colorado State has been the more consistent good program in recent years, Colorado has had the upper hand in the series, winning seven of the last 10. 

Viewing information

Date: Friday, Aug. 31 | Time: 9:30 p.m. ET
Location: Sports Authority Field -- Denver
TV: CBS Sports Network [channel finder

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Colorado: The Buffaloes were one of college football's best stories in 2016 thanks to a breakout 10-win season. However, Colorado regressed to sub-.500 again last year. There's excitement with this team, though, thanks to the return of quarterback Steven Montez. He'll be leading a new-look passing attack with the top three wideouts from last season gone to graduation. With a win, Colorado would extend its winning streak over Colorado State to four games. 

Colorado State: It was already well-established that the Rams had a lot to replace off of last year's team. Despite a valiant effort to try to come from behind against Hawaii in Week Zero, it's evident this team has plenty of rebuilding to do. On top of that, it now has a short week to avoid going 0-2 for the first time since 2013. Things don't get any easier after this week, either, with back-to-back games against SEC opponents Arkansas and Florida. Without a win against the Buffs, things could spiral fast. 

Game prediction, pick

Rivalry games, especially those at the beginning of the year, can be tough to predict. The line has been moving ever-so-slightly in Colorado's favor, but the over/under is also up four points to 65.5. While the Hawaii loss was unexpected, the Rams' offense did show it was capable of getting back into the game quickly. This one has potential for weirdness, and while Colorado has enough to get the win, Colorado State uses this rivalry as a little mojo to recover from a tough loss. Pick: Colorado State +7.5

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