Aztecs men’s basketball has been a constant in our lives for the last decade and a half. Roughly. There have been ups and downs, but for the latter portion of that stretch, we’ve seen a large amount of success. We’re not used to the kind of utterly hopeless season we’re looking at right now.
Okay, I am. It’s why I’m writing this.
Would you guess that many San Diego State students and alumni did not, in fact, grow up in San Diego? This means they’ve likely seen their team win something. I haven’t. I grew up in San Diego. I love an (historically) incredibly inept baseball team and used to love an even more inept football team.
When we here at the Kabeer Thirty Labs had the idea of how to cover a “lost” season, @lemonverbena_ yelled “SEA” at nobody in particular, @AttemptedChem did that thumb pointing thing to the back of a Tim Salmon shirsey and @AKH_blog showed me three makeshift World Series championship rings and “4TNI NERZ” knuckle tattoos. We like @jodes0405 way too much to put her through the ringer, so I was tasked with torturing my soul once again.
So I’m here to offer you a few strategies for enduring this hoops season like a true San Diego sports fan.
Well folks, the Aztecs football team did not finish the season as the champions of the Mountain West West Division, and they will not be the champions of the Mountain West Conference. There is no easy, obvious roadmap laid out showing us where, exactly, the Aztecs are likely to end up this bowl season. That allows us the opportunity to create more content help YOU (and us) parse through the bullshit.
Or add more bullshit to the pile.
We’ll be rating the games on a scale of 1-5 disillusioned, staring-into-the-middle-distance Rocky Longs. Being that Rocky doesn’t care about the damn bowl games, 5 is bad and 1 is good.
What: Nevada Wolf Pack at San Diego State Aztecs When: Saturday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. TV: CBS Sports Network Line: Aztecs -16.5
Same story as last week and every week going forward: WIN
Nevada comes to town with a 2-8 record and nothing much to play for outside of pride (and that sweet, sweet “free” education). San Diego State is still playing for a shot at the MWC championship game, which requires winning out and Fresno State losing to Wyoming and Boise State…all of which is realistic.
What: San Diego State Aztecs at Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors When: Saturday, October 28 at 8:15 p.m. TV: ESPN2 Line: Aztecs -9.5
The Aloha Stadium Swap Meet I, too, have visited Aloha Stadium on a Saturday, with a singular goal and high stakes. In the parking lot, they have a swap meet that puts even the best day at Kobey’s to shame. Faced with consecutive defeats, I took to the Aloha Stadium turf (parking lot) in a last-ditch effort to get myself on track. I was determined to find that throwback Rainbows cap that had eluded me, that I was told by many locals “did not exist.” After a treacherous journey through junk jewelry, coconut stands and die-cut decals depicting Stormtroopers with traditional Polynesian tattoos, I found my cap. It was hot as shit. Rocky Long would have loved it. My point is that I intro all of these previews with loosely-related nonsense, and today is no different. The Aztecs are just like me, as you can see. They’re looking for their Rainbows throwback ca-shut up, David.
What: Fresno State Bulldogs at San Diego State Aztecs When: Saturday, October 21 at 7:30 p.m. TV: CBS Sports Network Line: Aztecs -7.5
THE OLD OIL CAN!
If there’s one thing we get up for around here at Kabeer Thirty, it’s the Old Oil Can. Fresno State and San Diego State have been playing this game since 1923, when the Aztecs loaded up the team Model T and headed up north with nothing but an oil can (new, at the time) and their dreams. Fresno State won that first meeting and were awarded San Diego State’s oil can (it was customary at the time to place oil can wagers. Think of them as early pogs.). None of the preceding is actually true (but hopefully a future 3rd-division soccer team in San Diego can name their club after something in this story). They bought it on eBay.
What: Boise State Broncos vs. No. 19 San Diego State Aztecs When: Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. TV: CBSSN Line: Aztecs -7
Focus, focus, FOCUS! It’s easy to look past this week’s opponent, with the Old Oil Can looming large next w-LOL, just kidding. Coming into the season, you likely had ASU, Stanford, Air Force, and Boise State pegged as San Diego State’s most foreboding opponents. So far, so good, so undefeated; just like you* expected!
While not the Boise State of old, the Boise State of present is still a good team. The Broncos are still widely considered to be the premier Group of Five program in the nation, a title San Diego State would love to take away. This one game won’t accomplish that, but winning head-to-head is a good way get the right kind of attention on the program. Boise State hasn’t won the Mountain West since 2014, which is incidentally the last time these two teams met (a 38-29 Broncos victory in Boise).