The Aztecs season can be summed up in the phrase, "baby steps". The Aztecs doubled their win total from the previous season, from 2 to 4, but the win total is hardly significant. The Aztecs have been so bad and unorganized for so long that it didn't really matter if they won 0 or 5 games, the program was never improving and it never had any future.
For the first time in a very long time, I can say the SDSU football program took a step forward, albeit a "baby step". In addition to win total, the Aztecs made improvements in coaching, academics, recruiting, and teamwork. For most teams, these improvements may not mean much. Yes, SDSU only won two conference games, which were against the bottom two teams in the conference. Yes, they also blew huge leads and lost games that they absolutely should have won. But have you ever wondered why the Aztecs seemed to have a lot of talented players and have a ton of contributors in the NFL but never have seemed to put it together as a team? I think that is the thing that is going to change, and that is the "baby step" the Aztecs took this season.
Aztecs Football Schedule
|@ UCLA||Sat 09/05||L 14 - 33|
|Southern Utah||Sat 09/12||W 35 - 19|
|@ Idaho||Sat 09/19||L 20 - 34|
|@ Air Force||Sat 09/26||L 14 - 26|
|New Mexico St.||Sat 10/03||W 34 - 17|
|BYU||Sat 10/17||L 28 - 38|
|@ Colorado St.||Sat 10/24||W 42 - 28|
|New Mexico||Sat 10/31||W 23 - 20|
|TCU||Sat 11/07||L 12 - 55|
|Wyoming||Sat 11/14||L 27 - 30|
|@ Utah||Sat 11/21||L 7 - 38|
|@ UNLV||Sat 11/28||L 24 - 28|
It all starts with coaching. First year coach Brady Hoke put together a phenomenal staff with Al Borges running the offense and Rocky Long running the defense. Among the assistants is former Aztec QB and NFL MVP Brian Sipe. He runs the team as a family, and this was the first season I've seen the Aztecs give 100% effort in every game of the season, no matter what. Typically, SDSU would lose a game or two early in the season and they would just give up, get down on themselves, and not try the rest of the season. Coach Hoke makes sure that every player buys into the team and the family.
Recruiting also starts with Brady Hoke. Brady is an absolutely fantastic recruiter. Every type I read or hear a quote from a recruit they always gush about how much they want to play for him. Hoke is already starting to keep local recruits in San Diego, whereas locals formally had no interest in SDSU. He has 5 recruits from local high school Oceanside, who were the Division 1 State Champions in California. He's gotten a commit from 4 star Defense End who was heavily recruited by Pac-10 and other upper echelon MWC schools.There there is 4 star local RB Ricky Seale, the San Diego Section all-time rushing leader. People would laugh in my face when I hoped he'd come to SDSU. He's recently announced that after meeting with Hoke he's narrowed his choice down to SDSU and Stanford.
Continuity will help the Aztecs next season. WR Vincent Brown will stay for his senior season and his counter-part WR Demarco Sampson has been granted an extra year of eligibility by the NCAA. Ryan Lindley is still one of the best young QBs in the country. Hoke's first round of recruits, focused on building the offensive and defensive lines around the skill players, will be in place next season, along with a prized RB recruit from Texas. Here's to hoping the Aztecs take a giant leap forward next season.