At the end of the last decade, the San Diego State football team was near the bottom of the college football ranks. It went 10 years without a winning season, and there were not many signs of life. That all changed in 2010, when the Aztecs were able to win 9 games and make a bowl game. Since then, they have been a very consistent program, winning at least 8 games each year.
As we gear up for the final half of the 2014 season, SDSU still has some work to do. At 4-3, the Aztecs still need to win two games to become eligible for a bowl game. With that being said, they are in the driver’s seat and control their own destiny when it comes to winning the Mountain West Conference West division.
Some critics would say that SDSU is not showing improvement in 2014. They had a close loss to North Carolina, but fell to Fresno State and Oregon State. The schedule is pretty favorable for the rest of the regular season, and tallying more wins seems likely.
Head coach Rocky Long seems to be focused on taking his team to another level and reaching the Top 25, but it looks like it may not happen in 2014. Not counting a victory over a subpar Washington State team in 2011, the Aztecs are still looking for their first marquee win over a Power-5 conference school since the turn of the century, and it’s unlikely they will be ranked until that happens. They will have a few more cracks next year, but the focus has shifted towards winning an outright title in the conference in 2014.
In their recent stretch of success, San Diego State has been able to go 2-2 in bowl games. Winning a bowl game in 2014 could propel this program to go into 2015 and become more of a national player. They have the fantasy football talent to make a splash, but they need it to all come together in the big match-ups.
As the two best former Aztecs in the MLB right now, it is no surprise to see that Stephen Strasburg and Justin Masterson are also the top fantasy baseball choices. However, a pair of other arms could also make an impact in fantasy land at some point during the 2014 season. Here is a look at what to expect from all four former San Diego State pitchers.
Injuries held him back a bit last year, but Strasburg is still considered one of the best fantasy baseball pitchers out there. Not only can he post a pretty low ERA, but he is one of the best strikeout pitchers in the game. He is pretty much unanimously though of as a top 10 pitcher, with some rating him as a top five option. If healthy, he could give Clayton Kershaw a push for the National League Cy Young Award.
Despite being the ace of the staff for the Cleveland Indians, Masterson has never been really liked by fantasy baseball players. He strikes out his fair share of hitters, but his ERA is usually on the high side and his WHIP can climb close to 1.40. For that reason, he usually goes in the later rounds around the 40-50 range among pitchers.
When the Chicago White Sox traded Reed to the Arizona Diamondbacks, many people assumed that he would get the closer’s role. It became official last week, when manager Kirk Gibson made the announcement. Obviously, that makes him pretty valuable, as he is currently rated as about the 12th to 15th best RP in the game. Right now, Reed is sometimes going ahead of Masterson in drafts because of his ability to pick up saves now.
Masterson and Harang never played together at San Diego State, but they will be teammates this season in Cleveland. That is, unless Harang decides to opt out of his contract and look for employment elsewhere. He can still be an effective pitcher, but the Indians do not currently have a spot for him on the MLB roster.
‘Aztec For Life’ Ronnie Hillman is one of those young backs, and he is expected to see an increased role in 2013. The second-year pro Hillman and rookie Montee Ball have seen the most action in team activities so far this offseason, and both are fiercely competing for the starting job.
Hillman appeared on NFL Total Access yesterday and talked about the competition for the starting job, the pressure of playing with future Hall of Famer Peyton Manning, and his goals of having a career similar to those of San Diego legends Marshall Faulk and LaDainian Tomlinson.