Dick Tomey's San Jose Spartans kept their bowl dreams alive by handing Boise State a big win. Yes, now that the Broncos have jumped to #12 in the BCS rankings they are eligible for the automatic BCS bid handed to the mid-major conferences. With Boise State leaving the pool of WAC teams to compete for the three WAC affiliated bowl games, SJSU now has a better chance of landing one of those bowl bids.
But let's talk about the actual game and what a remarkable team Dick Tomey has created in only his second season at San Jose State. Boise State kicked a field goal in the final seconds to win the game 23-20. That was the first time they were ahead in a game almost entirely controlled by the Spartans.
We really think that any honest observer would have to say that the Spartans were the better team on the field Saturday night. So how did they lose?
SJSU quarterback Adam Trafalis personally handed the game to the Broncos when on a 3rd and short, and under 3 minutes left in the game, he threw away the ball when two steps and a walloping hit would have earned him the first down and a game-winning possession. Trafalis had an open angle on the sideline and could even have avoided a hit by just finishing his gallop by two strides into the Bronco bench. Two strides and you knock off a top twenty team!
Instead, the Spartans punted, the Broncos returned it for 43 yards, SJSU punter Waylon Prather was the last man to make the tackle--nasty hit for a punter too. Boise State inches closer to within field goal range and calls their last time out with 4 seconds on the clock. Now, the Spartans had actually deflected the Broncos' first field goal attempt, and although the ball would awkwardly bounce into the uprights for the ugliest score ever, so the game was still in doubt.
But Trafalis going pussy at the wrong moment wasn't the only Spartan miscue, just the most obvious and ill-timed.
In the 2nd quarter James Jones dropped a perfectly thrown pass with no defenders between him and the endzone, blowing an almost certain touchdown as the Spartans had to punt away.
And did you know that Yonus Davis ran a gorgeous 70 yard streak for a touchdown in the 3rd quarter? Really, it was a thing of beauty--and we've been watching Marshawn Lynch and DeSean Jackson all year. Oh yeah, that touchdown was called back by the refs because of an illegal block. These "block in the back" calls are getting to be the ultimate game killers.
That doesn't in any way diminish Boise State. They are still a great team, with a great offensive line, and will deserve their BCS bowl. Let's hope Ian Johnson recovers from some of those nasty licks the Spartans laid on him. As of now Johnson still resides in a local hospital. Best of luck to him.
The way the WAC is shaping up, Hawaii will stay home for the Hawaii Bowl and will probably play whichever Arizona team can beat the other. And the MPC Computer Bowl in Boise will most likely go to Nevada. That leaves San Jose State a near lock on the New Mexico Bowl. Yeah, yeah, what the fuck is a New Mexico Bowl? It's where Utah is likely to land.
We knew that SJSU was an improved team and that they would give Boise a hard time. What we weren't ready for was a San Jose State fan base. Jesus, where did all these people come from? Spartan stadium was about 3/4 full, and only about a quarter of that wore smurf blue. And what's all that hubbub in the parking lot? Fucking tailgaters! Ah man, it was like San Jose State was a real college and not just choice D on the California State University application--the school for those who can't cut it in Chico.
From our perspective, most of these newly christened Spartan faithful were not the usual crowd of college students, would-be college students, and cranky alumni. No, this was much more of a working class crowd: erstwhile Raiders fans looking for any team in the Bay Area they could afford to cheer. It's been forever since we saw anyone smoking at a college game, so we were just kinda awed by the fumes. With this new crowd there's bound to be more fights in the stands--another SJSU tradition borrowed from the Raiders; but hell, they now have something to get riled about. Thank god working class frustration can be appropriately channeled into sports; we wouldn't want the rabble getting political, or dealing with problems that could actually affect their lives. Go team, and fuck that other team.