Thursday, November 16, 2006

So here's Merc college writer Jon Wilner's response to my question:
How about those bowl-bound SJSU Spartans
freesanjose: I noticed you left out the possibility of the Spartans winning out. … Is a national ranking pure pipe dream? Just curious.
My thought: There were so many permutations, I tried to stay with the most realistic ones. I don’t think SJSU will beat Hawaii, but if it does, then I’ll include a nine-win season in the bowl scenarios next week. As for a top-25 ranking, if the Spartans win out, then maybe…but I doubt it. They just don’t have enough quality wins to get on the radar.

Anyway, winning this week will be the biggest obstacle, obviously, but I just don't buy Hawaii scoring 45 so easily, although Wilner disagrees.

Here are my keys to success for the Spartans:
1. Shrink the field: They key to Hawaii's defense is that they, maybe more than any other team in football, really use the entire field. They have receivers all over the place and there never seems to be more than one defender near the ball. This is a huge advantage and not easily defensed. One way you can do that is by jamming receivers and resisting the urge to play dime defense the entire game. The Spartans seem to have decent speed at LB and really need to make sure the middle of the field is as crowded as possible. Which leads us into key No. 2...
2. Don't let the Hawaii running game hurt you. Keeping your LBs in the game will also help slow down the running game. If Hawaii rushes for 150 yards, they win. If they throw for 350, you still have a chance. Which leads to...
3. Don't let the stats scare you. Hawaii is going to put up numbers. They'll probably gain 500 yards of offense and maybe even 600. Obviously, the key is how many of those yards come inside the 20.
4. Don't let early deficits make you one-dimensional. If Hawaii jumps out to a 10-0 lead or even 17-0, keeping running the ball. That's what the Spartans do best and they're just as likely to get a big running play as a big passing one.

Obviously, this is an oversimplification of the task facing the Spartans. But Hawaii is beatable, they always are.

Wilner points out that this game is really not that big for SJSU, and he's probably right for a postseason point of view. But it would just do wonders for this program to actually beat somebody this year.

One aside on Wilner's blog, as much as I would just be happy for SJSU to make ANY bowl, my preference would be the Poinsettia in San Diego, rather than the New Mexico Bowl in Albuquerque. This is problematic in the sense that there are no guarantees attached to San Diego, while winning just one more game almost assures us of New Mexico. Also making New Mexico also means Boise probably made the BCS and will be depositing about $750,000 in our coffers. But I digress.

Maybe even more important than the money is the lasting image our appearance makes on future bowl reps. If we make New Mexico and have a poor attendance (less than 10,000), reps may never want to invite us again. However, if we go to San Diego and bring a sizable crowd, future reps will look more kindly upon us. I'm just working under the assumption that more fans, like me, would rather go to San Diego than Albuquerque. Maybe I'm wrong.

In other news, the Merc does a better version of the 'Tomey returns to Hawaii' angle. It's amazing how much SJSU has gotten on the Merc's front page lately. I guess they don't hate us.

I had forgotten that Jerry Glanville is the defensive coordinator at Hawaii, apparently the one-time NFL maverick is being considered for the North Texas head coaching job. Ouch.

Stopping this Colt Brennan kid, may be tougher than I thought. Apparently, he's 11 TDs away from breaking David Klingler's single-season record.

I also stumbled across this piece of outstanding journalism. I really don't want to be too harsh on either the subject or the writer here, but as great of a story as Neil Parry is, he is a HORRIBLE analyst. He sounds like a high school kid up there. And Chisholm isn't much better, although he's far more polished, even if he's way too cheerleader-y for me. Still, anything to get John Ralston off the air.

As for the writer, can someone please inform her and the legions of others that "irony" is not the same thing as "coincidence."

And again, not to put too fine a point on this, but this preview of Saturday's game waits until the second page of the web to actually get to the Hawaii game. Who's editing this crap?


At 10:13 PM, Anonymous The Jon said...

and did the writer have to quote an old Spartan Daily article when the reporter could have just asked Parry? And as for quoting Fan ...


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