K30 staff predictions for the 2017 Aztecs football season

The Three-Eyed Raven, noted seer of mid-major college football

Last year, in our first ever Kabeer Thirty staff season predictions, we got a little … overly exuberant. We had New Years Six and even PLAYOFF predictions for the 2016 football Aztecs (I had us in the Poinsettia Bowl, for the record, because I am a dick).

Well, we’re a year wiser and a little bit more measured in our enthusiasm. But that is not to say we are unenthusiastic!

Here are our lukewarm expert staff picks for the 2017 San Diego State football season.

Attempted Chem @AttemptedChem

Regular season record: 9-3, first in Western Division
Mountain West Championship: Lose at Colorado State
Bowl result: Beat some crap AAC team in the Hawai’i Bowl

Christian Chapman. My head says Rashaad Penny. My heart says Lord John of House Baron, 2nd Of His Name, Warden of the Goalposts. But my blogger contrarianism says Chapman.

Hear me out. For the past five or six years, when chump ass idiot teams start game planning for how to beat SDSU, they’ve aimed to load up the box and make the Aztecs beat them with the pass. But the offensive line and running game were so good, SDSU’s players said “lol nah” and hit you in the face until you gave up and took your Pumphreying.

But this year, with some new talent at receiver and a few years of experience under Chapman’s belt, I see some more plays out of shotgun, play action roll outs and taking advantage of his athleticism. BOLD PREDICTION: He scores 5 rushing TDs this year and throws for 22. Penny will still be SDSU’s best player, but Chapman will take a huge step forward and end up being the most important.

Season overview
Stanford is a lot better than SDSU. The Aztecs are probably going to lose to the Cardinal in a well-fought match and that’s OK. Unfortunately I also think the Arizona State game comes too early in the year and they’ll lose that one too. And that is not as OK. But from then on I say we breeze through conference play including a huge win at home over Boise State followed by an infuriating loss to some dumbass team we should’ve beaten.

That puts SDSU at 9-3 (7-1 MWC) but behind BSU and CSU in the composite rankings, which means they have to travel to Boise or Fort Collins for the MW Championship game. I think SDSU’s title game swag runs out this year and they get shipped off to Honolulu where their “kick the shit out of an AAC team in the bowl game” swag remains strong.

So 10-4 with a win in our biggest regular season MWC home game in years. Good. No, that’s not enough to win over all the Chargers fans looking for something new to care about, but it’s enough to keep us feeling great about the program and keep the recruiting train running strong. Three straight years of 10 or more wins would be a massive, massive achievement and something we shouldn’t take for granted.

AztecsKillingHim @AKH_blog

Regular season record: 9-3, first in Western Division
Mountain West Championship: Lose at Colorado State
Bowl result: Lose to literally any Sun Belt team in the NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl

Ronley Lakalaka. The junior is the only returning starter penciled in atop the Aztecs’ depth chart at linebacker and he’ll be needed to fill the leadership void left by star/very large man Calvin Munson. I think he will. Last year, his first as a starter, Lakalaka showed he can play, finishing second on the team in tackles.

He also snagged a hella rad pick six that helped turn the Cal game, costing the Bears a bowl berth and leading them to make a coaching change. Ronley Lakalaka personally fired Sonny Dykes, is what I’m saying. Better watch your ass, Arizona State’s Todd Graham.

Also, Ronley Lakalaka has an MVP-caliber spoonerism. Lonley Rakalaka! Amazing!

Season overview
I think our young offensive line is going to be OK this season (and awesome next season), but it’s going to take time. That honestly makes me worried about early season tests at Arizona State and Air Force (Stanford is a loss, guys). Put either of those games in late October, and I’d feel confident. But right now? I’m a little worried about a 1-3 start causing the community to disengage and the media vultures to circle. So I might as well predict that.

But! Once this team finds its footing, it’s going to be really good. I’ve got SDSU winning its last eight in the regular season, including that big home game against Boise State.

Unfortunately, a loss to Colorado State in the title game will put SDSU in a garbage bowl. Note: Every single MWC Bowl not played in Vegas is a garbage bowl. So I’ll put us in Tucson where we’ll fall before the accursed Sun Belt scourge once again because that is our lot in life, apparently. Probably on some bullshit like a one-point safety.

lemonverbena @lemonverbena_

Regular season record: 10-2, first in Western Division
Mountain West Championship: Lose at Colorado State
Bowl result: Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, lose to Western Michigan

Rashaad Penny. RB1 is the most prominent player in the Aztecs offense, and Penny had a huge year in his own right last season behind Pumphrey.

Season overview
San Diego State football is experiencing a run of success not seen since the Don Coryell/Claude Gilbert heydays of the ‘60s and ‘70s. The Aztecs are on a streak of seven straight winning seasons and seven bowl appearances. Before 2010, SDSU had just four bowl appearances in their entire 41-year history as a Division I program.

As for predicting things, well, last year I effervescently projected the Aztecs would run the table and lose in a playoff semifinal, which was obviously insane. We were a new blog and I was optimistic! I was also certain the Chargers would never play at StubHub and Trump would never be president. Your mileage may vary.

The 2017 Aztecs have the talent to be really good even though the program graduated a big core of talent. I could see the Young Thundering Aztecs losing to Stanford, Arizona State and/or Boise, and in the conference title game and/or their bowl game. Sure hope I’m wrong, but for now I’m guessing SDSU comes back to earth a bit this year.

VocalMinoritySDSU @VocalMinoritySD

Regular season record: 9-3, first in Western Division
Mountain West Championship: Beat Boise State (69-0, because come on … I can’t give a REAL score right now)
Bowl result: Win in the Las Vegas Bowl vs. … oh, let’s go with Washington State.

Rashaad Penny. He is the obvious, safe, easy, lazy, unavoidable … and absolutely correct preseason call for this honor. The man rushed for over 1,000 yards as a backup. Perhaps teams will be able to game plan for him exclusively and we see his production plummet, but as Rocky might say; Maybe the sun goes supernova tomorrow, so what’s the fucking point?

Season overview
It’s hard to look at the body of work and the 2017 schedule without coming away feeling confident. The Aztecs are building off of yet another successful season with a schedule that looks pretty favorable. Outside of Air Force and ASU, the toughest games on the schedule are being played at the Concrete Tombstone presented by Inertia.

Figure on losses at Air Force, home to Stanford and some random MWC opponent in an absurdly frustrating (yet familiar) fashion. And if these don’t happen, great!

Author: Aztecs Killing Him

Former proprietor of AztecsKillingHim dot com, a long-dead SDSU sports blog that was possibly dumber even than this one. On Twitter at @akh_blog.

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