Another season and another bowl game for the San Diego State Aztecs that will most likely only catch the eyes of their fans, the opposing team’s fans and the casual college football fan that happens to be watching ESPN the night of Dec. 23.
Yet, there’s nothing for SDSU or its fans to be ashamed of.
Sure the Poinsettia Bowl is pretty much an unknown unless you’re in the Mountain West or Navy, but the Aztecs should be thrilled at the fact they will get a chance to win their second bowl game in three years. They're also one of just 27 teams in the country playing a fifth consecutive bowl game.
The problem with the SDSU football program has less to do with its talent level, but more to do with the structure of the NCAA.
Yes, the college football playoff does give a better shot for teams to contend for a national title, but unless you’re in a Power Five conference, you may as well be invisible to the committee.
SDSU underachieved this season by a long shot; blown leads, poor offensive play-call and inconsistent quarterback play kept the Aztecs from hitting their ceiling this season.
What if they did hit their ceiling, though?
Would they be playing in the Fiesta Bowl like Boise State? Maybe, but let's be real here: probably not.
Until SDSU moves up into a Power Five conference or the structure of college football changes drastically, the Poinsettia Bowl is the ceiling for the Aztecs.
Don’t get me wrong, SDSU will still have a lot of talent across the board next season, but where will it really take them?
It’s easy to get caught up in the hype of the BCS, and now the playoff, but five seasons have come and gone and the Aztecs remain in the same spot they were five years ago: playing in a mid-level bowl game.
However, the last five years have been arguably the five most consecutive successful seasons in program history.
The program has hit its peak for the time being, and that’s just a reality that the Aztec faithful will need to come to grips with.