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CSU's Jim McElwain Says Playing Alabama Is A Great Opportunity

DENVER (CBS4) - Colorado State University head football coach Jim McElwain spends most of his time coaching and recruiting, but now add fundraising to his list of duties since the plan for a new stadium has been approved.

"There's not a day that goes by that we don't spend time on all three phases," McElwain said on Xfinity Monday Live! "In the case of the stadium, it's a game-changer for our university. It's something that can be exciting for all up and down the Front Range."

It's still not clear if the new stadium will be built at the Hughes Stadium location or if it will be built on campus. McElwain hopes the campus site gets the nod.

"We're in great shape right now. We're in the quiet phase of generating the money we need, and I know we're all looking forward to the day when we can start digging dirt," he said.

McElwain's first season started off with a bang last year when the Rams beat the University of Colorado Buffaloes in the Rocky Mountain Showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.

"It was huge for our guys, and they put in a ton of work, and I'm just so proud of them," McElwain said. "And what they're going through now is getting them ready to win next season … anytime you can win a rivalry game, it's really what it's all about."

Then the Rams had a six-game losing streak to follow up the opener.

"That was a big hiccup," McElwain said, laughing.

But they finished strong, winning three out of their last five games.

McElwain came to CSU from Alabama, where he was the offensive coordinator and led the Crimson Tide to a national title. He says he's still a big Alabama fan.

"A lot of those guys were obviously guys that I recruited; a lot of guys that I spent a lot of time with," he said. "I'm just happy to see their success continue, and to just be a part of building something like that was pretty exciting."

CSU will actually play powerhouse Alabama next season and McElwain said it was his idea.

"It's an opportunity for us as Colorado State to go up and see where we're headed and the direction that this program and this university is taking off to. So I think it's important that we go there and we see it."

McElwain looks forward to another season-opening win when they play the CU Buffs again in the Rocky Mountain Showdown on Aug. 31 in Denver.

- By Matthew J. Buettner,

Watch more of the video with Jim McElwain in the Xfinity Monday Live! section.

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