So the football regular season didn’t go the way we expected. For better and for worse.
The San Diego State football team started the year 6-0, including wins against pretty good ASU and NIU and an upset of a Stanford team that went on to win the Pac-12 North.
Then what happened?
Well there’s a weird two week gap in the schedule that historians can’t seem to figure out so we should just skip it. But it says here the Aztecs finished 10-2 and second in the MWC West Division, missing out on the conference title game. Must be a misprint or something.
With no conference championship to play for, SDSU fans turned to their star running back’s individual accolades to make the season right. You know, the guy who leads the country in rushing yards and all-purpose yards and tied the all-time return touchdowns record?
I’ll let you guess how that went.
Surely a big-time bowl game against a solid Power 5 team is on the horizon, right?
Still, there is something very real at stake. The Aztecs currently sit second in the “Receiving Votes” category of the Associated Press poll, essentially ranked 27th in the country. With a win against Army in the Armed Forces Bowl, they have a great shot at finishing the year ranked in the Top 25 for the second year in a row.
And with the political posturing for campus expansion and a new stadium, it’s important as ever to convince casual fans and San Diego residents that SDSU football is important and good. A Top 25 ranking is a hugely valuable talking point.
But a win against Army might not be enough. The Aztecs are going to need at least a handful of bowl games to go their way. So here is your official rooting interest guide when the games start this Saturday.
R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
Troy vs. North Texas
Sat. Dec. 16, 10 a.m
Ah, the Stemming Bowl. Troy is last in the AP “Receiving Votes” list, so there is a very slight chance they could jump SDSU with a win.
Go Mean Green.
AutoNation Cure Bowl
Georgia State vs. Western Kentucky University
Dec. 16, 11:30 a.m.
I am unsure what they are trying to cure here. Are they just generally in support of cures? That seems nice. There’s no chance this game matters to the Aztecs, so let’s root for Georgia State since they, like us, play in a converted baseball stadium.
Go… Panthers? Tigers? I know it’s a blue cat of some kind.
Las Vegas Bowl
Boise State (25) vs Oregon
Dec. 16, 12:30 p.m.
Fuck Boise. Fuck that they get to play in the same bowl we did last year. Fuck that they get a bigger name opponent to play. And fuck conference brotherhood. We should be rooting for all MW teams in bowl games, but BSU sits at No. 25 and we need them to lose. Theoretically, they could win, and SDSU could still make it into the top 25. Two ranked MW teams would be fantastic. But again, fuck them.
Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Colorado State vs Marshall
Dec. 16, 1:30 p.m.
These are both green teams from Group of Five conferences who were reasonably competitive in their respective conferences and man I’m bored just writing this.
Raycom Media Camellia Bowl
Middle Tennessee vs Arkansas State
Dec. 16, 5 p.m.
Please do not spend your Saturday night watching this game.
Go Blue Raiders for literally no reason whatsoever.
Boca Raton Bowl
Florida Atlantic vs Akron
Dec. 19, 4 p.m.
Now this, this is a game to watch. Akron in a bowl game is a rare treat. OK not really a treat, but it’s weird and rare. We’re pulling for the Zips here. FAU is only 4 spots behind us in the Receiving Votes list and with the Lane Kiffin bump, they could jump us. Many points are going to be scored in this game. Mostly by the Owls, probably.
But go Zips all the same.
Louisiana Tech vs SMU
Dec. 20, 5 p.m.
Hey, we were almost in the bowl. Neat! (?) This game is in Frisco, Texas. It’s not named for the way your dad refers to the Bay Area city. It’s also played in an MLS stadium, which is [REDACTED FOR POLITICAL REASONS]. This one won’t affect SDSU but root for LA Tech because their loss to South Carolina this year was brutal and they deserve a hug.
Bad Boy Mowers Gasparilla Bowl
FIU vs Temple
Dec. 21, 5 p.m.
At the very least, this is the best-named bowl of the year. I’m more than a little disappointed that it’s not FAU vs Temple so we could have the ALL OWL BOWL aka (B)OWL. Let’s root for FIU because the AAC’s #POWER6 act annoys me.
Popeyes Bahamas Bowl
UAB vs Ohio
Dec. 22, 9:30 a.m.
It’s the second all-green, all-G5 bowl matchup! This is interesting and compelling to me and exactly zero other people. It’s UAB’s first year back after not having a team for two years. Let’s root for them.
Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Central Michigan vs Wyoming
Dec. 22, 1 p.m.
Who will win the Quinn Kaehler memorial trophy for outstanding achievement in quarterback mobility? It will be interesting to find out.
Go Pokes. (Now let’s ambivalently watch some Adam Muema highlights.)
Texas Tech vs South Florida
Dec. 23, 9 a.m.
Ah, remember three months ago when it looked like it was gonna be SDSU vs South Florida for the G5 New Year’s Six bowl spot? What a quaint and fun memory. The Bulls are ranked No. 23, so a loss by them would be huge. Guns up.
Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl
San Diego State vs Army
Dec. 23, 12:30 p.m.
I have done the calculations and it appears it would be to the Aztecs’ benefit to win this game.
Dollar General Bowl
Appalachian State vs Toledo
Dec. 23, 4 p.m.
Toledo is right behind SDSU at 28 on the Receiving Votes list. We need a win from Appy State here.
Go … Mountaineers, right?
Houston vs Fresno State
Dec. 24, 5:30 p.m.
Here is another instance where we’re gonna need to root against our conference buddies. Fresno is at number 32, and with a win against us, voters could give them an edge if it came down to us versus them for a final spot in the top 25. Get ’em, Houston. No hard feelings about sacking your quarterback 1,000 times last year, right?
Zaxby’s Heart of Dallas Bowl
West Virginia vs Utah
Dec. 26, 10:30 a.m.
Ooh our first Power Five vs Power Five bowl of the year! It’s after Christmas! Neither of these teams are ranked or receiving votes.
We already rooted for another Mountaineer team so I guess … go Utes?
Quick Lane Bowl
Duke vs Northern Illinois
Dec. 26, 2:15 p.m.
It’s our old friends, notably reasonably good NIU! Let’s get SDSU’s strength of schedule a .0004 boost.
Kansas State vs UCLA
Dec. 26, 6 p.m.
Kansas State is getting 1 vote in the AP poll and UCLA is getting zero.
Southern Miss vs Florida State
Dec. 27, 10:30 a.m.
Florida State was very bad this year! They only made a bowl game because they re-scheduled Louisiana Monroe for a week-14 game. We’re rooting for Southern Miss out of G5 solidarity.
Go, I believe, Golden Eagles.
New Era Pinstripe Bowl
Iowa vs Boston College
Dec. 27, 2:15 p.m.
Hooray, football in a baseball stadium. The way it was meant to be played unlike [REDACTED] [REDACTED] [REDACTED] soccer is good. Both teams are unranked.
Go Iowa, I guess.
Purdue vs Arizona
Dec. 27, 5:30 p.m.
YOU’VE GOT A LOT OF NERVE, FOSTER FARMS BOWL. FLIRT WITH US FOR WEEKS ONLY TO LEAVE US GHOSTED AND THEN YOU SHOW UP WITH GODDAMN PURDUE?
GO WILDCATS, PURELY OUT OF SPITE.
Acadamy Sports & Outdoors Bowl
Texas vs Missouri
Dec. 27, 6 p.m.
Missouri is receiving a few votes and could jump SDSU with a win. Also, Tigers AD Jim Sterk is a treasonous turncoat.
Virginia vs. Navy
Dec. 28, 10:30 a.m.
Boise played Virginia so we want Virginia to be bad to hurt their SOS and also Army played Navy so we want them to be good to boost our SOS. This is good and sound and relevant analysis.
Camping World Bowl
Oklahoma State (17) vs. Virginia Tech (22)
Dec. 28 2:15 p.m.
SDSU is unlikely to jump OSU if they lose, but the Hokies probably fall behind the Aztecs with a loss.
SDCCU Holiday Bowl
Michigan State (18) vs. Washington State (21)
Dec. 28 6 p.m.
The Aztecs have a shot to jump whichever team loses, but our odds are better if the Cougars go down. RIP Poinsettia bowl.
Valero Alamo Bowl
Stanford (15) vs. TCU (13)
Dec. 28, 6 p.m.
SDSU is not going to jump either team, so we’re rooting hard for Stanford to finish as high as possible. Rankings-wise, that’s going down as the best team we’ve beaten in decades, right?
Texas A&M vs. Wake Forest
Dec. 29, 10 a.m.
There are too many bowls.
Go Aggies because you have a good dog.
Hyundai Sun Bowl
Arizona State vs NC State
Dec. 29, 12 p.m.
This is actually a huge game. We want another win for ASU to help our SOS and also NC State is right in front of the Aztecs at 26. This may be the most important game other than ours. NO PRESSURE, ASU.
Fork ’em, Devils
Music City Bowl
Kentucky vs Northwestern (20)
Dec. 29 4:30 p.m.
If Kentucky wins big, Northwestern could drop out of the Top 25 altogether. As a Medill grad, I will have to keep my journalistic integrity intact and root for UK.
Go Cats. The hillbilly cats, not the rich nerd cats.
Nova Home Loans Arizona Bowl
Utah State vs New Mexico State
Fri, Dec. 29 2:30 p.m.
Holy shit remember the 8 minutes when it looked like we were going to this bowl? Sorry we ever mocked you, Armed Forces Bowl. Things could have been much worse. It’s nice that NMSU is in a bowl game for the first time in 57 years, but gotta roll with the Mountain West.
Goodyear Cotton Bowl
USC (8) vs Ohio State (5)
Dec. 29, 5:30 p.m.
Well here we are at the first bowl game that doesn’t matter because both teams are too far *above* SDSU. I guess that’s comforting? Let’s go Pac-12 since two of the Aztecs’ opponents lost to USC this year.
Mississippi State (24) vs Louisville
Dec. 30, 9 a.m.
This one is tricky, MSU is 3 spots ahead of us but Louisville is just 2 spots behind. We’re sort of screwed either way but our odds are better with the Cards.
Autozone Liberty Bowl
Iowa State vs. Memphis (19)
Dec. 30, 9:30 a.m.
We’re gonna need Iowa State to win big playing against the Tigers in their home stadium. They did win in Norman this year, so hope is alive.
Playstation Fiesta Bowl
Penn State (9) vs Washington (12)
Dec. 30, 1 p.m.
Hahaha, remember when I bought a plane ticket to Phoenix in October for this game? Hahaha, fuck me. This one won’t matter in the rankings for us so go Huskies because when it comes to Penn State vs. anyone, this blog is decidedly #TeamAnyone.
Capital One Orange Bowl
Miami (FL) (11) vs Wisconsin (6)
Dec. 30 5 p.m.
Reality check: The Rock did NOT chase Monty Montezuma into the stands, in fact he was intimidated by the milk jugs full of Hamm’s wielded by our mustachioed, jorts-wearing fans and ran the other way.
Michigan vs South Carolina
Jan. 1, 9 a.m.
Michigan is few spots behind SDSU and would like jump us with a win.
So go Cocks, and not just because it’s fun to say.
Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
Auburn (7) vs Central Florida (10)
Jan. 1, 9:30 a.m.
UCF being ranked in double-digits is bullshit. We’re rooting for them in the name of upper-tier G5 teams everywhere.
Buffalo Wild Wings Citrus Bowl
LSU (16) vs Notre Dame (14)
Jan. 1, 10 a.m.
If one of these teams gets blown out, I guess maybe… nah. Doesn’t matter.
I suppose go Irish.
Rose Bowl – Semifinal Playoff
Oklahoma (2) vs Georgia (3)
Jan. 1, 2 p.m.
I can’t come up with any possible way this game could matter to us, but there are too many teams with SDSU’s color scheme and I love the outright villainy of Baker Mayfield.
Allstate Sugar Bowl – Semifinal Playoff
Clemson (1) vs. Alabama (4)
January 1, 5:45 p.m.
The Tide played two whole Mountain West teams this year and beat them both, netting twice as many MWC wins as San Jose State! Also, as of this week, the state of Alabama is actually good.
There are too many bowls.