Objectively speaking, we’re the best team in the country. I’ll fight you on that.
Two teams are undefeated. And two fan bases are bonding over their shared undefeated streak.
The San Diego State men’s basketball team now stands at 15-0. They had a tough non-conference schedule, won ’em all. After a nearly fatal collapse against lowly San Jose State, they’ve beaten 4 conference opponents in a row.
Malachi Flynn stole that game from the lowly Spartans. And it was sweet.
I’ve been to a lot of Aztec games over the years. But this is the first time that I can remember a game winning buzzer beater.
These Aztecs have us dreaming about March even though its December.
Here’s why I’m against Props 1, 3, and 4:
Driving back from Las Vegas a couple weeks ago– the Aztecs were 6-0, ranked 18th in the nation, and favored to win all their remaining games.
Last weekend was wild. From start to finish we had bowl quality games. It was a great weekend for college football.
Last weekends highlight? Jackson (5) and I got to go on the field at halftime of the Aztecs game. Very cool, thanks again Aztec Club!
And this weekend? Not so much. Pretty much all of the Power 5 teams have headed for a date with Cupcake City. Most of these match-ups are about point differentiation and no one getting hurt… not seeing who has the best team.
San Diego State
Last week, the Aztecs did about what we’d expect them to against an inferior opponent: They kicked their booty.
I was surprised how long it took into the first quarter before said butt kicking was unleashed. But it was unleashed and Aztec fans left happy.
This weekend is a test of another kind with Cal coming to town. Each time we play a Power 5 conference team I go into hoping that we’ll be able to compete and win, and that’s what I’m hoping for here. We’ve got a better all-around team than they do. We should beat them. But will we? That’s why you play the game. The team that wants it more will win.
Week One Results
Week Two Picks
Maryland @ Florida International – Terps
Louisville @ Syracuse – Cardinals
Nevada @ Notre Dame – Irish
Cal @ San Diego State – Aztecs
Penn State @ Pitt – Nittany Lions
Cincinnati @ Purdue – Boilers
Wyoming @ Nebraska – Huskers
Utah State @ USC – USC
UConn @ Navy – Navy
Tulsa @ Ohio State – Buckeyes
Wake Forest @ Duke – Dukies
Kentucky @ Florida – Gators
SMU @ Baylor – SMU
NIU @ South Florida – South Florida
South Carolina @ Mississippi State – Miss State
Arkansas @ TCU – Frogs
Iowa State @ Iowa – Iowa State
BYU @ Utah – BYU
North Carolina @ Illinois – Illini
Va Tech vs Tennessee – Virginia Tech
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
Featured photo by Ernie Anderson – link
What a bunch of f*******g amateurs!
March 1, 2016 – The Pit, Albuquerque
A fan yelled this at players last week in disgust. His team, the University of New Mexico, were in the closing minutes of a blowout loss to San Diego State. [In fairness, an Aztec fan yelled something similar at Viejas earlier this year.]
The irony of that moment has stuck with me. It’s ironic because his team, the New Mexico Lobos, are a bunch of amateurs. That’s the point of college athletics. It’s played by amateurs.
College hoops dominate my free time January through March. As the conference season unfolds I find myself watching more and more and more college hoops. ESPNU is regularly on in the background like muzak while I work. Last night I watched conference tournament games from four different leagues. And by this point in March my attire has dwindled down to all-Aztecs-all-the-time… all red and black all the time.
For some people March Madness is the NCAA tournament. But for nuts like me? Sometimes I feel like March Madness is an actual illness. A happy addiction.
Let’s Not Forget How This Ends
In our collective March Madness let’s not forget how this ends.
There are 351 division 1 teams in Men’s Basketball. Only 68 teams will make the NCAA tournament. And only one team will hoist a trophy next month in Houston.
Chances are very, very good that your favorite teams season is going to end in a loss. Even my beloved Aztecs are not likely to win it all.
You team’s season might end in a blow out or a buzzer beater. But in that moment… are you going to be mad at the team or are you going to appreciate all that they’ve done?
Here’s the advice of a long-time basketball nut:
- Don’t let your March Madness turn into madness against the young men for whom March Madness celebrates.
- Don’t blow up online, it just makes you look like a hater.
- Don’t get a DUI or do something dumb under the influence, blaming a loss on your crimes.
- Don’t disavow your allegiance to your team.
- Don’t burn your house down. (Though couch burning in East Lansing is a quaint tradition, so that’s fine.)
And certainly don’t scream at players.
Disappointed? Sure. Sad? That’s normal. Bummed for the players? Totally understandable.
But don’t take it out on them, they are a bunch of amateurs.