The first time SDSU made the Poinsettia Bowl, it played Navy. The Aztecs being in a bowl – any bowl – was such a novelty back in 2010 that nearly 50,000 people crammed into a stadium half-filled with San Diego River storm surge.
The shine of the lower-tier bowl game wore off fast. Aztecs fans were nearly outnumbered on their home turf by stone-sober BYU supporters in the 2012 Poinsettia. SDSU faithful who attended each of the Potato Bowl, Hawai’i Bowl and New Orleans Bowl appearances could fit into a Subaru Forester. Aztecs supporters aren’t satisfied with making just any bowl anymore.
And that’s good! We’re becoming more discerning. But with expectations heightened this year, how we define success for the 2016 season is an open question.
A few thoughts on what would make this year good, great, OK or a colossal failure:
Impossible Incredible season
- SDSU goes undefeated and plays in the College Football Playoff
You basically need to be drinking absinthe to even consider this a possibility.
- Make a New Year’s Six bowl game
Aztecs shoot the moon with an undefeated or one-loss season and accept a bid to a New Year’s bowl. The highest-ranked Group of Five school, if not in this year’s College Football Playoff, will play in either the Orange or the Cotton Bowl. Such an appearance alone would be the best season in San Diego State’s Division I/FBS history.
- Win the Mountain West Conference
Championship banners are good and it is my position that SDSU should have more of them. In an ideal world, football would win so many titles that the Aztecs’ social media interns would be compelled to add #Win69* on all their tweets. Also Boise State fans would be really upset about this. That’s an important point but we will discuss the merits of trolling later in this piece.
- Beat Cal
Also, not a hard case to make. The fact that we’ve managed one measly Power Five conference win since this song was at the top of the charts strikes me as problematic. Also, I have a nuanced opinion of UC students that goes something like this: they are bad people and they should feel bad. Let’s do this.
OK season or whatever
- Beat any Power Five team in a bowl game
I’m not choosy here. Beat Washington State again. Kansas. Iowa State. I don’t care, anyone with a big budget and massive superiority complex. We got a taste of it last year in pounding Cincinnati, which is kind of like a Kirkland-brand version of a P5 team. Now I’m hungry for the real thing. Let’s check the bowl tie-ins, shall we?
Huh. Nevermind, then.
- Reach the Las Vegas Bowl
In the Mountain West Conference era the following schools have reached the Las Vegas Bowl, the MWC’s flagship game:
-No, really, fucking UNLV
Despite this being the one bowl game SDSU fans might actually travel to, SDSU hasn’t been in this game since the WAC years. Making this game without winning the MWC probably would require Boise State making the New Year’s 6, so this would be a consolation prize. But you know what? We’ve collected all the other consolation prizes. Might as well finish the damn set.
- Beat BYU in a bowl game
They’re tied into the Poinsettia Bowl – this could happen! This doesn’t need much explanation beyond the usual sentiment of “fuck those guys” but let me add this: BYU would be so annoyed with this match-up. So annoyed. They probably think they’re too good for the Poinsettia Bowl and they definitely think they’re too good to play us in the Poinsettia Bowl. Obviously a loss here would be devastating, but I’m fairly confi…
Wait, hang on.
I’m fairly confident in a positive outcome.
- Beat Fresno State on a Hail Mary or fluky-ass lateral play
Just because a season is not a success per-se does not make it a failure. Sometimes “memorable” is all the sustenance you need. Honestly, a good 25 percent of my enjoyment of life is pure trolling of people who irritate me. It’s why I enjoy @fakesethdavis’ retweets of UNLV Twitter after Rebels hoops losses. Trolling is the American way. Just ponder this:
“Penny pitches it to Melifonwu … who tosses it back to Judge! The meth dealers are out on the field!!!”
The memory of ripping the guts out of Fresno in absurd fashion would warm our hearts for years to come.
Horrible garbage fire of a season that we shall never speak of again
- Anything less than any of these scenarios
No pressure, fellas!