Here we go again.
Minus a bit of a novelty game last weekend between Cal and Hawaii in Australia this weekend should be an amazing beginning to the college football season. Sure, there are some powder puff games but there are tons of heavy hitters that should make for some good television viewing.
Storylines I’m watching
- Conference expansion and realignment – Who will the Big 12 extend invitations to? And will the Big 12 go to 16 teams, which may force other P5 conferences to go to 16 teams?
- Is the Pac-12 back? Last year they kind of beat one another up at the end of the season. Will a Pac-12 team emerge for a playoff spot?
- Is the best ACC team going to be better than the best SEC team? I think the SEC is the best top-to-bottom conference, but FSU and Clemson have been impressive the past few years.
- Does the slipper fit? See below for the Aztec storyline.
San Diego State storylines
- It’s all about Donnel Pumphrey. Pumphrey is on target to break nearly every record set by Marshall Faulk. Can this small back, listed as 5-9 and 180 lbs, withstand a season of punishment? If he can– look out. If he can’t– I’m really excited about the guys we’ve got behind him. I think Pumphrey and Rashaad Penny will be among the most explosive backfield in the country.
- Beat Cal. We’ve got two non-conference road games that will be tests for the team, Northern Illinois and a payback game for the humiliating loss to South Alabama last season. If we can beat Cal and make a run in the Mountain West Conference we might just break our way into a Group of 5 bowl spot come December. Lose to Cal and we’re stuck right where we’re at… a very good small conference team.
- The Chargers and their stadium. While not technically having anything to do with the Aztecs, there are proposals on the ballot that could just impact the Chargers future in San Diego. I think both ballot measures will ultimately fail. But the mere mention of football will link Aztec football to the November elections.
- Defense, defense, defense. Just like our basketball team the football team is hanging it’s brand on tough defense. The chatter among the defensive players is that the #1 offense is struggling to move the ball against the #1 defense. That’s good and I’d expect to hear that. I just want to know who will emerge on the field to replace J.J. Whitaker and Jake Feely? We shall see.
Week One Predictions
Appalachian State at Tennessee – Vols
K-State at Stanford – Trees
Colorado State vs Colorado – Buffs
Hawaii at Michigan – Wolverines
Oklahoma at Houston – Sooners
Iowa at Miami (OH) – Hawkeyes
LSU vs Wisconsin – LSU
Fresno State at Nebraska – Huskers
UNC at Georgia – UNC
SMU at Kentucky – Kentucky
Mizzou at West Virginia – Mizzou
USC vs Alabama – Bama
San Jose State at Tulsa – Spartans
Clemson at Auburn – Clemson
New Hampshire at SDSU – Aztecs
NIU at Wyoming – Huskies
BYU at Arizona – Zona
Northern Arizona at Arizona State – ASU
Notre Dame vs Texas – Irish
Ole Miss vs Florida State – FSU