“Aztecs Football-Something Important”
I love exchanging verbal gunfire with San Diego State football coach Rocky Long.
The man has done an exceptional job making Aztecs football relevant in the Mountain West Conference.
He is on the brink of doing something SDSU has never-ever done, and they’ve done alot of things in recent years.
SDSU hosts Stanford on Saturday night. A win then, coming on the heels of the road win State put up last weekend at Arizona State, would take the program to a different level in terms of notoriety.
In the modern day history of SDSU football, it has never-ever beaten two PAC-10 or PAC 12 teams in the same season.
Rocky Long sat there at his Tuesday press conference, and flat out denied this is anything more than the third game of the season for his team, and reminded us-lectured us in the media, that the most important game of the season is next week, the Mountain West Conference opener at Air Force.
Sorry to disagree with the man, who has taken his team to six straight bowl games, and has helped SDSU become an equal, in conference play of Boise State.
And yes, they have beaten Boise State a couple of times during the Long era, including wins ont he Blue Turf in Idaho, and yes winning a tough conference roadie a week from now, is important. .
But for SDSU to get ranked, to get more national notice, which continues to evade a really good MWC program, outslugging Stanford, and getting a second W would be a huge statement game.
Yes the Aztecs have beaten some PAC-12 foes. They outgunned a California Golden Bears team last season, but SDSU is just (13-58-3) against those PAC-10-12 foes in the history of the program.
They beat Washington State too, as the Cougars were just starting to build under Mike Leach, a couple of years back. .
And maybe a highlite game was the 31-31 tie with USC during the Marshall Faulk run and gun days, but Monty Montezuma’s team has never done much against the Pac, till this opportunity now..
I don’t disagree with the old ball coach much, aside from a bad 4th down play call at Wyoming last year, but I will argue with him on this one.
You beat 19th ranked Stanford and go 3-0, you put yourself in prime position to become a highly ranked team for the rest of the year.
You can take care of Air Force’s option attack a week from now, and yes there is Boise State still to come, but that game is here, as part of this fascinating 7-game home schedule SDSU plays.
Saturday night’s street fight is vital.
The old New Mexico Lobo quarterback and then coach, is (56-26) with 3-bowl wins. All that against rugged Power 5-non conference games, and an ever improving Mountain West Conference.
Whereas the Aztecs had to take all those payday games, losing at Michigan, Ohio State, Notre Dame, things have changed on the Mesa. Long, paired with the two most recent ADs, now gets home and home games, don’t have to sacrifice their players, and have become winners.
Maybe even displaced Chargers fans will come to understand how good the program has become, and how a man Long is as its leader.
Long likes to lecture me his team has arrived as a conference power, rightfully so, because they have punched Boise State in the mouth.
But I must remind the Rockster, Boise became a national brand, by beating Oklahoma State in the Fiesta Bowl, and the rest of Broncos history followed.
Don’t argue with a talk show host, coach. Just smack Stanford, and we’ll figure out Air Force starting on Monday.
Getting to (3-0) with back to back Pac 12-victims would put Aztecs football in the national spotlight. Donnell Pumphrey got them recognition last year. Rashaad Penny might this year.
But winning this game, definitely would.
Run the ball. Tough as cement defense. And the fiery spirit of the old ball coach has made this program special. Slapping Stanford would be another notch on the holster for the coach and his arrow pointed up program.