Teams & Conferences

Preview 2017: Can San Diego State Win Three Straight MW Titles?

Preview 2017: Can San Diego State Make It Three In A Row?

The Mountain West’s power program, San Diego State has to work to make it three straight conference titles.

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2017 San Diego State Preview: What You Need To Know
– 2017 San Diego State Schedule Analysis
San Diego State Previews: 2016 | 2015

It’s been an amazing run for San Diego State under head coach Rocky Long, but is it possible to do a wee bit more with a team that’s rebuilding?

Brady Hoke might have set the wheels in motion before leaving for Michigan, but it was Long who came in and took the program to a whole other level, with six winning campaigns in his six seasons with three Mountain West titles.

Over the last two years, the Aztecs have gone 22-6 with two Mountain West championships and two bowl wins. So when can it take yet another step up and be in the mix for a New Year’s Six bowl game, and maybe more?

It’s not fair to call the Aztecs disappointing after their two straight 11-win seasons, but the team that was good enough to beat Cal, lost to South Alabama two years in a row. The two-time champion that dominated a great Cincinnati squad in the 2015 Hawaii Bowl and blew out Houston in last year’s Las Vegas Bowl struggled too much at times to put teams away early on.

The team with one of the nastiest defenses in the country didn’t show up in losses to Wyoming and Colorado State late last year, and while it didn’t need those games with the West secured, when there was a chance to stand out, it didn’t.

Boise State might still have a higher profile, and Wyoming is starting to get plenty of love thanks to the turnaround, along with the hype over QB Josh Allen, but San Diego State is the Mountain West’s power program. It’s the standard-bearer now that needs to rise up and represent in non-conference play, and then keep the momentum going in conference play again.

The amazing defense gets back six starters, but it has to replace the key pass rushers in the front six and has to make the pieces fit in a rebuilt secondary. There’s talent and Long has been able to restock the shelves, but there’s still a ton of production needing to be replaced.

RB Donnel Pumphrey is done after a great career, but there are more than enough excellent backs waiting to fill in. Christian Chapman is a veteran quarterback who has a few nice targets to work with, but the O line needs to rebuild after losing four starters from a group that dominated at times for the ground game, but was leaky.

Along with being one of the best running backs in the Mountain West, Rashaad Penny is one of the best kick returners in the county, and PK John Baron will be on the Lou Groza short list – but the Aztecs still have to lock down the punting job.

And that’s going to be San Diego State. There are plenty of positives, and lots of expectations, but will there be the consistency to win all the mediocre matchups along with the big battles?

Yeah, it would be nice if the Aztecs could get on a national stage bowl game, but no one would complain with three straight Mountain West championships.

2017 San Diego State Preview: What You Need To Know
– 2017 San Diego State Schedule Analysis
San Diego State Previews: 2016 | 2015