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September 21, 2019: Brent Brennan’s signature win over the Arkansas Razorbacks

Brennan’s signs of progress

NCAA Football: San Jose State at Arkansas Nelson Chenault-USA TODAY Sports

As the accolades and recognition continue to roll in for the Spartans 31-24 win over the Razorbacks, head coach Brent Brennan’s name is forever associated with what many are calling the biggest win in San Jose State’s 126-year-old football history.

Yes, the program overall has seven different bowl game wins and its last major Power-5 win was 13 years ago over Stanford, but this one is different...for those who can remember.

To what Brennan’s wanted all along through a tough two seasons, the college football world has finally seen come to fruition in one glorious night - some honest-to-goodness validation...for his players.

Brotherhood, family, hard work, dedication, support, and youthful fun through all the thick and thin. These words itself mean hardly anything nowadays. They are qualities that can only permeate from constant example. Brennan lives it and shows it. It will be his personal legacy win or lose, but it will be what people will gravitate to when or if his program continues to rise.

All of these innate characteristics have developed up and down the organization. It actually looked to take hold last year in a similar almost-harbinger moment of us-against-the-world.

Going to Oregon last year against the 20th-ranked Ducks, Brennan had the team ready and the feeling was similar. Though the Ducks prevailed 35-22 in a very competitive game, the Spartan’s energy was palpable and the Ducks and their fans were clearly on their heels.

The eruption of emotions after the win over Arkansas this past weekend was finally.. the manifestation of what can be...for Brennan’s players.

The big win is the first major stake in the road that things are really progressing. Taking a team on the road to truly hostile territory, allowing your seniors and coaches to lead the way, and giving all the credit to the process and the players. All the while, balancing in the young players who will drive the program next year.

Progress also means the confidence of the coaching staff taking hold in the symbiotic exchange of expectations and execution with the players. Basically, when the players know they can play against anyone, coaches can coach.

Another big sign from the big win is the discovery of a huge cauldron of Spartan fans and alumni ready to jump on that bandwagon. People really do want to follow the Spartans, if anything, as counter-culture to the high-brow sports entertainment around the SF Bay Area.

The next needed sign to see from Brennan?

Behind the happy-go-lucky, approachable persona is an intense competitiveness and an aggressive spirit that might show up when the Spartans are supposed to finally win games they lose, though those traits are already there behind the scenes.

This point arrives when the program is rolling and the fans and media realize they have a bonafide football coach.