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Posts Tagged ‘Dominique Sandifer’

No. 74: San Diego State

Rocky Long knew what he was doing when he traded in one head coaching job, at New Mexico, for an assistant job in the same league. In Long’s estimation, he’d topped out with the Lobos; if he wasn’t getting out when the getting was good, he was getting out when the getting wasn’t as bad as it would become – and it would get bad awfully quick in Albuquerque. When he left U.N.M. late in 2008, Long was gambling that someday, this one step backward would result in two steps forward. He picked the right stop: Long hitched his wagon to a fast-riser in Brady Hoke, knowing that his new connection would either result in a coordinator title and coordinator payday at a major B.C.S. conference stop or, perhaps, a second shot at running his own show on the non-B.C.S. conference level. Better yet – and this is how it played out – Long could reap the benefits of Hoke’s steady work, taking over a program in San Diego State that could have coached itself into bowl play a season ago.

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    No. 44: San Diego State

    Year one: lay the groundwork, increase depth, show progression on both sides of the ball. Year two: make a substantial improvement in the win column, leading your team into bowl play and, for a time, right on the verge of a national ranking. Year three: cash in. This was Brady Hoke’s blueprint, one he ran to the letter over his short stint with San Diego State, which ended in January when he assumed the mantle at his dream stop, Michigan. How in the world will poor, little, overlooked San Diego State ever survive without the architect of last year’s nine-win finish? It’s all over, right? Let’s just write off the Aztecs, return them to the bottom of the Mountain West and move on… right? Nope, not exactly. While the program lost its face, the Aztecs aren’t going anywhere in 2011. What about 2012? I have faith, but ask again in 12 months, just to be safe.

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      The Countdown

      A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.