San Diego State football entered 2018 on the heels of one of the best stretches in program history, ripping off 32 wins in three seasons. The 2018 season just ended with probably the lowest ebb of the Rocky Long era — a rain-soaked 27-0 loss to Ohio University in the Frisco Bowl in which the suspension-depleted Aztecs didn’t look particularly interested to be there.
What: Postseason football game Who: San Diego State Aztecs vs. Ohio Bobcats When: 5:00 p.m. Wednesday Where: Toyota Stadium in Frisco, Texas TV: ESPN Line: Ohio -2.5
The Stakes Pride and self-respect. Making their ninth straight bowl appearance, the Aztecs need a win to avoid ending the season on a four-game losing streak. And in a late surprise, SDSU will have to overcome the suspension of three players — including starters Noble Hall and Daishawn Dixon — sent home by Rocky Long two days before the game.
The Frisco Bowl is the former Miami Beach Bowl, which was played at Marlins Park from 2014 to 2016. Frisco is a half-hour drive north of Dallas.
Before being announced as SDSU’s bowl opponent, I was only vaguely aware of Ohio University’s existence. Founded in 1804 and the oldest university in the state, Ohio U. is situated on a sprawling 1,800-acre campus in the little college town of Athens. It sounds kind of idyllic to be quite honest. The school’s student population is 60 percent women, a demographic anomaly future college applicants may wish to consider.
Ohio started playing football in 1894. Pretty legit considering the game has only existed (as 25-on-25 murderball) since 1869. The football Bobcats have competed in Division I since 1962.
A nightmarish November was not enough to keep the San Diego State football Aztecs from going bowling for a ninth straight season. SDSU has accepted an invitation to the Frisco Bowl, where it will square off with the Ohio University Bobcats at 5 p.m. Pacific on December 19.
This bowl bid really wasn’t on a lot of people’s radars, so you probably have some questions, such as “What is a Frisco Bowl?” and “Is this a good or bad thing?” and “There’s an Ohio University now?” Well let me, the Frisco Bowl understander, provide answers to your many ignorant queries.
Maybe there was nothing of real consequence on the line Saturday night as the Aztecs played out the string against Hawai’i. We walked into the Tombstone with some concern that a seven-win SDSU team in the improved Mountain West could get left without a bowl bid. That’s possible, though consensus seems to be that the only bowl-eligible team in Southern California will merit a forgettable postseason invite.
But in a larger sense, the 31-30 overtime loss felt like the night our legends and myths dissipated into mist before our eyes.
What: Football game Who: Hawai’i Rainbow Warriors at San Diego State Aztecs When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday Where: SDCCU Stadium TV: ESPNU Line: SDSU -17.5
The Stakes At first glance, this appears to be a meaningless play-out-the-string game before a meaningless lower-tier bowl game. Turns out, the full picture is even more depressing! With a likely overflow of bowl-eligible teams and the Mountain West possibly having seven eligible teams for its five (mostly lousy) bowl tie-ins, SDSU likely needs to win its eighth game to be sure of bring invited to a meaningless lower-tier bowl game. You’ve got to work for that trip to the Gildan New Mexico Bowl, kids!
If they lose? The Aztecs might need a few things to break their way for the season to not end in ignominious fashion. In short: DEATH TO ALL 5-WIN TEAMS.
So it has come to this: your Get the Tecs to a Crappy Bowl Game weekend rooting guide. Most important games are bolded. pic.twitter.com/vb6S0lNKpT
What: Football game Who: San Diego State Aztecs at Fresno State Bulldogs When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday Where: Bulldog Stadium TV: CBS Sports Network Line: Fresno State -13
All the remaining marbles. SDSU stays mathematically alive for a conference championship with a win; a loss sends the Aztecs home with no Oil Can and only a bottom-tier bowl bid to look forward to.
For all the glorious games of the Rocky Long era, there have also been some absolute steaming turds. Eastern Illinois in 2013. South Alabama in 2015. South Alabama in 2016.
WELP, you can add UNLV, 2018 to the list of scatological infamy.
The Aztecs lost 27-24 at home on Saturday night to a team that had beaten an FCS opponent, possibly the worst team in FBS and exactly zero other teams. The Rebels lost to San Jose State and New Mexico, giving up 50 on both occasions. They’re really, really bad.