You can bet we'll keep our eyes open for this Editor's follow-up article in the event our boys beat SDSU this weekend.">
You can bet we'll keep our eyes open for this Editor's follow-up article in the event our boys beat SDSU this weekend.">

Billboard Material Galore

If you've never really read print that falls into the category of "billboard material" (derogatory newsclippings used to fuel the fire in pre-game hype, for lack of a better definition), this is an interesting article to read.<br> <br> You can bet we'll keep our eyes open for this Editor's follow-up article in the event our boys beat SDSU this weekend.

From The Daily Aztec
San Diego State University
September 19, 2002

Road Game In Idaho Not A Big Time Move

By Michael Klitzing, Sports Editor

I'm going to Idaho to cover football this weekend.

My flight itinerary to Moscow, home of the University of Idaho (as I'm sure you knew), includes -- if I'm remembering this correctly -- a layover in Seattle and a crop duster ride to The Dalles, Ore. Once arriving in the Columbia river town, I am scheduled to paddle upstream on some floating debris to Richland, Wash. where I will promptly board a flatbed truck for Moscow.

I've been informed not to disturb the caged sow seated next to me.

OK, I'm not going to waste space here complaining about my impending road trip to stickville. I just think this question has to be raised: Why is this Odyssian journey even necessary? Or, perhaps more to the point: Why in the world is San Diego State traveling 1,331 miles to play the Idaho Vandals?

A Vandals squad just six years removed from Division I-AA status. A Vandals squad that finished 1-10 in 2001 -- its inaugural year in the patchwork Sun Belt Conference. A team that plays its home games in a place called the Kibbie Dome.

A quick look at Idaho's 2002 schedule reveals just one other non-conference home game -- Division I-AA Montana. The Vandals have also scheduled non-conference foes Washington State, Oregon, Washington and Boise State, but these games are all on the road.

The fact is, big-time programs -- or programs that want themselves to be considered in such a category -- should not be playing road games in the Kibbie Dome.

This quirk is just part of a greater picture of questionable scheduling at SDSU. This year, the Aztecs' season was essentially doomed from the start. With the lone exception of the Vandals, SDSU stacked this year's non-conference schedule with major conference heavyweights.

Road games were scheduled at Fresno State, Colorado and Hawaii -- all powers last year. Home tilts were slated with UCLA and Arizona State. Not the easiest of tasks for a rebuilding program.

The fact that the Aztecs have nearly won a couple of games in their 0-3 non-conference start is the real surprise here. Their 2002 slate has been less of a schedule than a sentence.

All this is the result of the insistence -- coming either from Athletics Director Rick Bay or former head coach Ted Tollner, depending on who you listen to -- that in order to gain fan support and earn respect, one must play top-caliber foes. But it turns out getting smashed by a Pac-10 or Big 10 team does none of the above.

At any rate, Bay and new head coach Tom Craft, understand this now and are attempting to make adjustments to rectify the situation. SDSU has backed-out of its 2003 game with the Sun Devils and a 2004 game with the Buffaloes.

These are steps in the right direction, for sure. But, in filling these dates, some discretion needs to be used. If SDSU wants to schedule a patsy, (my sources tell me Utah State is desperately looking for some dates to fill) that's fine. Feel free. But Bay should not forget that big time schools play patsies at home. Patsies like Idaho.

Hopefully, such will be the case. At the very least, it would save some lucky future Daily Aztec sportswriter that flatbed truck ride next to Porky.

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