New Mexico State Aug. 31 at Arizona State Sept. 9 at New Mexico Sept. 16 Troy Sept. 23 UTEP Sept. 30 at Arkansas Oct. 7 at Appalachian State Oct. 14 at Georgia Southern Oct. 28 Arkansas State Nov. 4 at Texas State Nov. 18 at Louisiana Nov. 25 Idaho Dec. 2 South Alabama
Whole thing looks tough from a couple of perspectives. Five of first seven on the road. We have back to back home games in Sep and again to end season and our bye weeks late so:
from 9/23 to 11/25 we only have ONE home game; 10/28 versus Ark State. We have to meet the FBS attendance standard this year and we only have one home game out of 8 Saturdays from end of September to end of November. No favors from Sun Belt.
Oh well. You have to play the cards you are dealt, so let's play the crap out of them!!
Aug. 31 at Arizona State - Tough opening game; Pays the bills Sept. 9 at New Mexico - Loobs still fuming after losing to Ags last year Sept. 16 Troy -Troy has owned the Aggies Sept. 23 UTEP - This is a game the Aggies need to win. Sept. 30 at Arkansas - Another payday Oct. 7 - at Appalachian State - A past upper echelon SBC team Oct. 14 at Georgia Southern - Winnable, but... Oct. 28 Arkansas State - This is a game NMSU needs to win Nov. 4 at Texas State - Winnable, but.... Nov. 18 at Louisiana - Winnable, but.... Nov. 25 Idaho - Home team usually wins this game, but....Also, this game is Thanksgiving weekend. Dec. 2 South Alabama - Winnable, but...
Looks like a tough first 6 games ...
Yes, tough start, and it's this type of schedule that that always puts the program in a hole that results in fan erosion. Win those early home games against Troy and UTEP, and that could help matters.
I don't like the pattern of home and away games (of course, the Sun Belt Conference could care less):
Two on the road.
Two at home.
Three on the road.
One at home.
Two on the road
Then, the final two games at home, late in the year, when the fair-weather Aggie fans stay home in droves.
L (0-1)Aug. 31 at Arizona State: Aggies face weaker PAC-12 opponent. Look good to start the season but ASU might be too strong. L (0-2)Sept. 9 at New Mexico: Rivalry game in AQB …. L (0-3)Sept. 16 Troy: Top 3 program in SBC and they’ve always had our number W(1-3)Sept. 23 UTEP: Please, Please, Please, break the streak! L(1-4)Sept. 30 at Arkansas: “Mortgage payment” L(1-5)Oct. 7 at Appalachian State: Top 3 program in SBC L(1-6)Oct. 14 at Georgia Southern: This game is a toss up but it’s on the road. L(1-7)Oct. 28 Arkansas State: I do like our chances in this game. Especially if we take care of the ball and the D shows up to play. They are a Top 3 program in the SBC though … L(1-8)Nov. 4 at Texas State: I believe we are 2-2 against them. I would say this is another toss up game but on the road. W(2-8)Nov. 18 at Louisiana: Beat them on the road last year. Should beat them at home with a stronger Aggie team. W(3-8)Nov. 25 Idaho: Home team always wins right? W(4-8)Dec. 2 South Alabama: Lost a close one 22-19 on the road last year. Another toss up (Come on big money!)
We are ranked #127 out of 130 this coming season by msn sports. Thanks for such progress, coach Martin
Let's do this. Bring in a season-opening, beatable opponent. Pour a bunch of cash into the program. Hire a high octane offensive coach. The next head coach should be an assistant from a successful P5 program. When the bottom falls out, reduce the program's budget---including salaries for recruiting and key personnel---add money-making-guaranteed-loss games, have the Chancellor talk about going FBS, and hope recruits jump at the chance to play in beautiful Aggie Memorial Stadium.
While they didn't have a winning season last year, many of the losses we were competitive. Even against the SEC's Kentucky we were within a touchdown in the 4th quarter. Kentucky, who knocked off #11 Louisville.
The win over the Lobos was a quality win over a good Lobos squad.
Georgia Southern and South Alabama were both winnable games.
Had those three winnable games gone the other way we would have been in a bowl game.
Given the program history, budget and uncertainty I think Martin having us at least competitive in enough games to be bowl eligible is a pretty good accomplishment.
Would I like to see more? Of course. Who wouldn't? But it seems Martin is holding things somewhat together given the hand he has.
I guess let’s start with the fact that the Sun Belt was absolutely merciless to the Aggies in their last season of conference play. Not only does NMSU have to play the entire top half of the Sun Belt from last year (App. St, Arkansas St., Troy, Idaho, UL-Lafayette and Georgia Southern), they also get the only contest they’re likely to be favored in on the road (at Texas State).
The guaranteed money games don’t make the schedule any easier for Coach Martin and his squad. Early season match-ups at Arizona State and at Arkansas will definitely hurt the team’s confidence and chemistry heading into important stretches of the season. The Arkansas game is particularly concerning because it begins a stretch of three straight away games against very good teams, two of which are league opponents in App. St. and GA Southern.
I hate the 2 money games at this stage in our program. Replace those with a lower FBS school or even better, FCS opponent, and I could see 6 wins. With the body bag games, it looks like a 4-8 record. If I am really optimistic, we split our rivals and get to 5 wins, with 4 wins in Sun Belt. I simply don't see 6 realistic W's. I would rather have this schedule any day though then talking about 12 FCS opponents. So from that perspective, let's do this. Rose will hopefully be Rose. We are 2 deep at qb. We finally have a def coordinator staying more than 1 year. And maybe most importantly, we should have more quality depth across the board with a second class of full scholarships and 4 years of Martin recruiting.
I will say we seemed close last year to getting to 5 or 6. The UNM game was a blast and they turned out to be a good MWC team. The Kentucky game was by far the most impressive, taking an SEC team into the 4th quarter within one possession. The 2 games that really stick out though were the UTEP and Idaho games. UTEP just wasn't a good team and we really weren't competitive. Idaho was a good team, and we just got demolished. The team came off a win and just looked as flat as possible. After the first quarter, it literally looked like one of our money games.
So in summary, just thankful to have another FBS season. I have no idea how long FBS is going to last, but it sounds like at least 3 more season minimum, last one in Sun Belt and 2 independent. After that, who knows. I would love to see a couple more wins, but also just as important, no more Idaho type meltdowns. Be competitive at the mid-major level. Yes we might get worn down in the second half against the better mid-majors, but we should be able to move the ball against any of them. So maybe a couple of those games get away from us in 4th quarter with big spreads, but it shouldn't be by halftime. Split with the rivals. Cash your checks for the Arkansas and Arizona St games.
Will be fun to see if Martin and company can take a step forward. Our 2 keys will be Rose and the qb position. That is our chance, to win in shootouts. Official prediction 4-8. Hopeful for 5-7. 6 wins would be amazing with this schedule.