Sunday, November 19, 2006

In case you missed it, SJSU got served. Maybe there was a little more to that whole hangover thing.

From what I could tell, the Spartans defense did a decent job of hanging in there for a half, but just fell apart during the third quarter. The offense never really moved the ball, although they scored enough points to keep it interesting until midway through the third. Dick Tomey, at least, was very impressed. The pictures are not pretty.

At least the win helped catapult the Warriors into the top 25.

Ultimately, this game doesn't hurt too much. It's a blow to the ego and leaves us clearly no better than the fourth best team in the WAC, but we're still very much in bowl contention. As my new favorite college sports writer Jon Wilner points out, even if SJSU loses out, they're still going bowling as long as Boise State beats Nevada.

But just going bowling just isn't going to make me happy anymore. SJSU has come too far to back into a bowl game. For about a month now I've been saying that as long as we beat Idaho and Fresno, I'd consider this season satisfying, and I'm not backing off that now.

Idaho is not good, and the fact that they just got shut out by Fresno State is further proof. Plus, they're coached by that piece of crap Dennis Erickson, who apparently isn't such a great coach when he's not allowed to recruit criminals.

A win this Saturday at Idaho would essentially guarantee the Spartans a bowl berth, but beating Fresno State is arguably more important than any bowl game. I could be wrong on the exact date here, but I believe the last time SJSU beat Fresno State was in 1992, or put another way, before I cared. And this is our biggest rival? I will argue that more important than a bowl appearance is figuring out how to beat Fresno. Rivalries are maybe the best part about college athletics and when you can NEVER BEAT YOUR RIVAL, that ceases to be a relevant game.

But that's jumping ahead two weeks, something the Spartans can hardly afford to do at this point.

For this season to take on any serious relevance, the Spartans need to head into their bowl game feeling good. At this point, the Spartans could lose their final five games of the season and I don't care where the last game is played, but THAT is a disappointment. So getting the season back on track starts on Saturday and a nine-win season remains within reach.


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