This is the time of year where I typically crank out an easy post attempting to define success for the upcoming football season.
But it’s not as easy as it used to be.
As the bar gets keeps getting raised higher for the San Diego State football program, this exercise gets tougher. Back in 2011 when I started blogging, it was essentially, “Please stay decent and don’t go back to losing 70-7 to New Mexico.” Last August, in the wake of SDSU’s first outright conference title since 1986, it was a little more complicated.
I had pegged the baseline for a good 2016 season at winning the Mountain West and/or beating Cal. A great season required making a New Year’s Six bowl. Looking back, I think that was overly lofty. The Aztecs beat Cal and won the MWC, then whipped a hyped bowl opponent on network television while the team’s star broke* a vaunted NCAA record.
That was a great season, dangit!
This failure of imagination led me to devise a new system, one that takes into account the possibility of a large quantity of awesomeness, rather than just a top quality end result. As such, I’ve created a points system similar to the ones OCD parents use to make their kids clean the lint trap on the dryer.
Here’s how I’m awarding/deducting points. The following achievements are worth:
- No bowl game
Is that even possible anymore?
- Lose to UC Davis
I’m angry just typing those words.
- Lose to Fresno State
Our forefathers didn’t risk their lives raiding a temple for a sacred oil can so we could lose it to a crap team in the middle of the night on CBS Sports Network.
- Win a bowl game against a Group of Five opponent
Sneaking past Georgia State in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl would be better than nothing. One point better than nothing, to be exact.
- Win the MWC West
Our division belongs in a trashcan.
- Beat Arizona State
All Pac-12 wins are precious, especially in a road game that will be played inside a pizza oven, but the Sun Devils probably aren’t going to be very good.
- Win the Mountain West title
Three straight conference championships, guaranteeing a return to Vegas at the bare minimum, would be pretty damn cool.
- Beat Stanford
An upset of the Cardinal would be SDSU’s biggest win since at least 1977 and maybe ever.
- Win a bowl game against a Power Five opponent
We’re almost certainly talking about the Las Vegas Bowl in this scenario. Beating any arrogant Pac-12 team (note: this is all of them) on national TV would be righteous.
- Beat Boise State
This wouldn’t be as significant as a Stanford win, obviously. On the other hand …
- Reach a New Year’s Six Game
Obviously, for this to happen, SDSU would have racked up way more than six points. Hella points, even.
And here’s the scoring system:
Shitty season – 1 point or fewer
Average season – 2-3 points
Good season – 4-5 points
Great season – 6 points or more
Some possible outcomes:
- Beating Stanford (+3) but missing a bowl (-2) is still a shitty season. Because it is.
- Beating Boise (+3), winning the West (+1), but losing to Fresno State (-2) is an average season.
- You can cobble together a good season with any of the (+3) games plus winning the West (+1) or any bowl game (+1).
- Winning any two of the Stanford game (+3), Boise game (+3), the MWC title game (+3) or the Las Vegas Bowl (+3) is a great season.
- Running the table and winning the National Championship would rack up 24 points, and all our hearts would explode with joy.
Prediction: Five points. A good season that flirts with great.
The season is nearly upon us. More previews and predictions coming.