Bail Out SDSU Football

Things are grim in San Diego State football world. Staff is still hungover from Saturday’s 63-14 drubbing at the hands of Utah. That drubbing was worse than the 41-12 drubbing at the hands of Brigham Young the week prior but not as bad as the 70-7 bitch-slapping at the hands of New Mexico earlier in the season.

In times like these, one is grateful that the Aztecs are guided by a forward-thinking athletic director, Jeff Schemmel. The AD has already announced that head coach Chuck Long will be back in 2009. A giant sigh of relief came forth for all those fans who bet the under on SDSU season victories. The athletic director said he wanted to see what Long was capable of “when afforded a full deck.”

Well, sure, we could see what Long is capable of when afforded a full deck, or what he’s capable of in the unemployment line, or coaching women’s basketball at Point Loma Nazarene University, or behind the counter at Pep Boys in Santee. Any or all of those possibilities might be interesting to look at. But, most of us out here in Civilian Sports World put Long and football in the same category and we already know what he’s capable of there — losing 11 of the 12 games played in 2008 while being outscored 425 to 189.

The Aztecs are winless in league play. There are 119 Division I teams (can’t get myself to write “Football Bowl Subdivision,” but I’m working on it), and Long’s team is fighting for last place in every defensive category Civilian Sports World cares about. (In fairness, I should point out that the Aztecs football program is closer to dead last when you only look at NCAA’s Academic Performance Ratings — they are 115th out of 119.)

“[Long] has done everything as well as any football coach I’ve seen during my 20 years [in College Sports World], with the exception of putting wins on the scoreboard,” Schemmel said. Tricky, that “wins on the scoreboard” stuff. Unhappily, this is what Civilian Sports World uses as a measure of success.

Long has never been a head coach before his employment at SDSU. His record here is 8-28. That’s everything in one box. Schemmel said he believed Long would get wins. Belief is a wonderful thing, but it is not noted for paying the rent.

Anybody remember Tom Craft? He was Chuck Long’s predecessor, coached SDSU for four years, finished the 2005 season with a 5-7 record. Jeff Schemmel fired him in December of that year.

The following is taken from the new Broadway musical, Oh, for the Days of a 5-7 Record.

And here, entering stage left, is Jeff Schemmel dancing his way into your heart, shouting out to the world, “We have decided to make a change with the football head coaching position at San Diego State. This decision was made with great difficulty. Tom Craft has clearly made the program better than when he got here, and the contributions he has made are there. But I just thought it lacks some positive energy, and certainly a positive energy that the community can get excited about.”

Chuck Long has a five-year contract. He’s three down and two to go at $716,000 per year. And I hope he demands every last penny of it. This eternal mess isn’t his doing. He did a great job at Oklahoma as quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. You can’t blame almost 40 years of crap teams on this coach — it’s Schemmel’s fault, it’s Schemmel boss’s fault, it’s the university administration, the culture of bureaucratic slugs who run San Diego State and are satisfied with crap teams.

San Diego State has the only Division I football program in San Diego County, a county with a population of 3,150,000. SDSU has an undergraduate student population of 25,000 and change. The following table may be of interest.

November 16, 2008, BCS Standings

They can’t do it. SDSU cannot field a reputable football team. I don’t know why, and I don’t care why anymore. A black hole doesn’t need a reason. The university should drop football.

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