Hacksaw’s Monday BONUS Podcast
You Tube Channel
“AZTECS FOOTBALL–DARK PERIOD”
The school colors are Red & Black…at this moment is Bloody Nose Red-Black Hole Black.
It’s a time of trouble at SDSU right now in their (3-7) football season. And now they are leaderless, with Brady Hoke exiting, either fired or pushed into retirement.
It’s been a bad two years, a composite record of (10-13) the last two seasons.
It’s been a bad cycle at the most important position in a college program, at quarterback.
It’s been a disaster, this move to Snapdragon Stadium, where prices are very high and the results on the field very low.
It’s Brady Hoke’s program, so he is responsible, to a degree. But the problems surrounding SDSU football are deeper than that, and have to be linked with what college football has become. Big money spending sprees, less attention to academics, TV contracts, conferences collapsing and player free agency.
Add in the two year COVID stretch of time that Hoke and SDSU had to navigate, when they became a road team, so much so, that State has collapsed under the weight of adversity.
I felt sad with the Monday morning news that Hoke was out as coach. Depending on who you believe, he was told he was out-Sunday night, or decided to retire, his term, on Monday
In the big picture, what he has done in his 2-different runs at State, coupled with the Rocky Long era, made San Diego State feel good. A program that had gone 11-years without a winning season, flipped, and compiled a (120-68) mark between Hoke and Long. Add in bowl games, and some big upset wins over Boise State and Pac 12-schools, Aztecs football picked itself up off the floor.
But not now, now they have serious problems.
They lost 5-quarterbacks who bailed out in a 2-year span. The failure in the transfer portal with Braxton Burmeister’s transfer from Virginia Tech damaged them. I was never sold that Burmeister wanted to be here. It was as if he stayed out on the open market till the final minutes, and when he had no offers, he showed up. He got hurt, the team was bad around him, and they have never recovered.
Add in the decision of once prized recruit Will Haskell to bail out, flunk out, just killed them. The Jaylen Maden experiment has been up-down, good-bad, but this position looks at an all time low.
The transfer portal killed San Diego State, losing starting offensive lineman, which has led to the mess at quarterback.
The arrival of the NIL money packages have badly impacted football, while basketball has flourished. Unable to compete in the dollar market, SDSU has been virtually shutout of immediate impact transfer players in football. They cannot match dollar for dollar by someone else.
Yes you can hang your hat on the 12-win season two years ago, but that was a once in a lifetime accomplishment, because that team was loaded with 5th and 6th year players, who got an extra year of eligibility because of Covid.
The entire Mountain West is in trouble, because they cannot compete dollar for dollar on recruits, and they cannot stop the tampering going on when big schools start taking the MWC’s best players.
There is such a black cloud hanging over this program right now. The day Hoke and Wicker walked out on the opening press conference in August 2022, refusing to answer questions about the Matt Araiza rape investigation, things never felt right about Aztecs football. Their image was stained, and that was followed by struggling football last year and bad football this year.
Hoke is a good man, a defensive lineman personality, in a head coach’s body. You don’t have success at tiny Ball State, then at Michigan, and at SDSU unless you know Xs-Os and the ABC’s of relationships.
I wish he had been given another year to rally this thing back.
It’s on JD Wicker now as AD to fix this. It’s a basketball school. They got a football stadium built. But on his watch, the mishandling of the rape allegations, the woeful launch and guaging of the fans at Snapdragon, and now the firing of Hoke, it’s all on Wicker’s resume now.
Only 14,000 plus showed up for it’s Homecoming Game. Two years of fans rage about the prices of games. The failure of the entire Pac 12-project. The disdain of a community towards the Mountain West. The loss of 5,600-season ticket holders in one year. The fact they are playing to just 55%-capacity in the shiny new stadium. Find me one good thing now to feel good about, this era of SDSU football.
I am a big believer, reading between the lines, and viewing body language. I saw Hoke change the last two years. Either fed up or pissed off. It was more than losing, it was like everything was beyond his control, from the NIL to the Transfer Portal to the APR academic system
You might bitch about what they put on the field had no flash to it, but it had substance, defense and running the ball. But as the landscape changed, Hoke could not change what was going on around him.
Where do they go from here? There are interesting names I would call, if I were king:
David Shaw-legendary Stanford coach
Bronco Mendenhall-ex BYU-Virginia coach
Tom Herman-ex Houston-Texas coach
Nick Rolovich-ex Hawaii-Washington State
Brent Brennan-current San Jose State coach
Mike Thiessen-off cood-Air Force
Bobby Houck-Montana head coach
They are at a crossroads now. They need to throw the ball. Fix the offense. Get the fans back into the seats in our non-NFL community.
What’s wrong at SDSU is not all Brady Hoke’s fault. The people he works for have failed him too.
New day coming to SDSU, more like a save-the-program day has to come.
Feel bad and sad for Brady Hoke, liked him, fought with him, challenged him, wanted to see him do well.