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San Diego State Sports

College Football Thoughts – Week 2

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

11-9

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

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San Diego State Sports

College Football Thoughts – Week 1

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

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Sports

The Simple Life

Who throws 96 mile per hour fastballs and lives in a camper van for $10,000 per year? The Toronto Blue Jays Daniel Norris.

ht to Tim Mauer

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Notre Dame San Diego State Sports

College Football Thoughts – Week 6

Let’s start by offering a tip of the cap to Charlie Weis. Charlie is still getting paid by Notre Dame about $5 million per year through 2015 and after getting fired; on Sunday he got fired from Kansas with 2 years left on his $2 million per year deal. In other words, he’s getting paid about $7 million not to coach college football right now. By contrast, all Mountain West Conference head coaches will make a total of about $8 million in 2014.

Ain’t nobody mad at you, Charlie.

Hoke Watch hits week six. I’ve got to admit that I’m surprised he’s still employed in Ann Arbor. The second half of last week’s game against Minnesota was highlighted by two things: Chants loud enough to be heard on TV of “Fire Hoke. Fire Brandon.” And “Shane Morris Brain Gate” which was so bad that Michigan AD David Brandon issued a press release at 1:15 AM last night. Will Hoke get fired before seasons end? I am starting to think that he won’t… that they will Charlie Weis him instead of Lane Kiffin him. (See what I did there?)

Last week was another week of almost upsets among the top 25 with only South Carolina succumbing. But there were some scares which made the week interesting. But mostly, things played out as you’d expect.

San Diego State

I didn’t get to see any of the game because I was traveling. But I like that Donnel Pumphrey gathered 4 TDs before halftime. The key into this weekends game with Fresno State is going to be at QB. Fortunately for us, even though we’ll have a rookie signal caller, the plays will most likely involve handing it off to the left or handing it off to the right with the occasional screen pass. The Aztecs aren’t very good this year, but let’s face it… neither is the Mountain West.

Notre Dame

Haters gonna hate. Despite having the countries toughest schedule we’re already starting to hear that the Irish haven’t played anyone. They beat up on Syracuse last weekend and fell in the polls. With Stanford, Florida State, Arizona State, and USC left on their schedule… the bottom line is simple: An undefeated Notre Dame team would be #1 in the country come January and a 1-loss Notre Dame team would probably get a spot in the playoff. So then there’s that. Heading into this weekend I think we’re going to see  a tough game on the defensive side of things and the Irish just go over and around Stanford. (Who struggled mightily with Washington and couldn’t move the ball at all against a USC team who gave up 37 points to Boston College… and Boston College then got beat by the 4th best team in the MWC.)

Results

Week 5: 8-5

Overall: 26-26

Week Six Predictions

Stanford at Notre Dame – Irish

Aztecs at Fresno – Fresno

Utah State at BYwho – Holy Rollers

Texas A&M at Miss State – MSU

Florida at Tennessee – Florida

Bama at Ole Miss – Bama

Oklahoma at TCU – Okies

Baylor at Texas – Baptists

Navy at Air Force – Falcons

LSU at Auburn – Tigers (of LSU)

Michigan at Rutgers – Rutgers

ASU at USC – Arizona State

Nebraska at Michigan State – MSU doesn’t lose at night

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Notre Dame San Diego State Sports

College Football Thoughts – Week 5

Last weekend was the “big upset that wasn’t” weekend. Auburn, Alabama, Florida State, and Oregon all had near misses. In fairness, the Alabama game wasn’t that close at the end but Florida sure had them nervous in parts of that game. And let’s all admit that every non-Alabama fan wants to see them drop 4 games this season just because they are due.

Meanwhile, the Big 10 finally realized the college football season was underway, with everyone but Michigan beating a non-conference opponent. Raise your hand if you thought you’d ever hear: “Indiana with the conference leading upset of the day.” referring to Hoosier football? Yeah, no one outside of the delusional in Bloomington has ever uttered a phrase.

Finally, I don’t want to think about the college football playoff too soon. And while ESPN is desperate to get their $7.3 billion investment back by talking about the playoff at every stop in the season I want to take the time to enjoy the ups and downs of the season before making predictions about who is in and who isn’t. Flat out, while some teams are legitimately out of contention there are probably 20 teams with realistic scenarios to get in… it’s simply too early to think about it.

San Diego State

The Aztecs made of game of Oregon State in 2013. That wasn’t to be in 2014. We were simply overmatched by a Beaver team that was bigger on defense and run by a true NFL-ready QB in Sean Mannion. He was laser-like and we struggled to disrupt his passing lanes all day. He had plenty of time and just flat-out picked us apart. That said, at 1-2 the season is hardly over. We were in the same spot in 2013 and ended up winning 8 games in a row including a bowl game. I look forward to the Aztecs heading into conference play… I think we’ll walk all over UNLV on Saturday.

Notre Dame

The Irish had a bye last week. So they got a little healthier and the pressure came off of them a bit for a week. This week, they get back 2 key starters on defense, and play in their second Shamrock Series game of the year, this time in MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. (For those keeping track the Irish haven’t had a true road game yet. They are just relocating some home games to neutral sites for recruiting purposes… because they can fill any stadium, any where.) I think that Syracuse will play the Irish tough this week but ultimately Golson’s legs will remind the Orange that this is football and not basketball. (The Irish get 5-star recruits in football while the Orange get 3-4 star recruits.)

Results

Week 4: 7-6 (Another Michigan reference!)

2014 total: 18-21

Week Five Predictions

Syracuse at Notre Dame – Irish

UNLV at SDSU – Aztecs

Fresno State at New Mexico – Bulldogs

UCLA at ASU – UCLA

Tennessee at Georgia – UGa

Northwestern at Penn State – PSU

Arkansas vs. Texas A&M – A&M

Minnesota at Michigan – Gophers

Stanford at Washington – Cardinal

Cincinnati at Ohio State – Cincy

Missouri at South Carolina – Gamecocks

Boise State at Air Force – Broncos

Oregon State at USC – Beavers