Nothing points out how outclassed your football team is than losing a home game by 43 points.

Doesn’t matter if the opponent is the sixth-ranked team in the country or the 66th. Getting whipped on the home turf like that screams out: “We’re not competitive.”

Of course, San Diego State hasn’t been competitive this entire decade so it’s no surprise that Texas Christian would venture into town and leave with a victory. But a 55-12 beatdown shows how far the Aztecs truly are from respectability.

The Aztecs have used a soft schedule — particularly when compared to some of the slates former coach Tom Craft dealt with earlier this decade — to win four games and create a minor dose of optimism. But beating Southern Utah, New Mexico State, Colorado State and winless New Mexico doesn’t rate as an impressive quartet of victories.

That’s what made the matchup with TCU intriguing. The Horned Frogs (9-0, 5-0 Mountain West Conference) are one of the top programs in the country and had trashed the Aztecs badly in recent seasons. So the game figured to be an opportunity to show how much progress is being made under first-year coach Brady Hoke.

But there’s nothing about a 43-point home loss to be proud of unless you are doing your best fake Tony Robbins impersonation. The final margin wasn’t as bad as the 52-0 whipping TCU put on the Aztecs in 2006 in Fort Worth but the margin was more than last season’s 34-point road loss to the Horned Frogs. TCU’s team this season might be better than the 2008 version but aren’t the Aztecs supposed to be better now that Chuck Long is serving as campus errand boy instead of head football coach?

The Aztecs allowed 551 yards (including 312 on the ground) and turned the ball over four times. The halftime deficit was 31-6 with the only suspense being when exactly would TCU coach Gary Patterson call off the dogs?

The announced attendance was 21,708, an embarrassing count for a home game against the No. 6 team in the country. San Diegans long ago turned their backs on the Aztecs and not even a powerful opponent can tempt them into a trip to Qualcomm Stadium.

The Aztecs (4-5, 2-3 MWC) still have a shot at their first bowl game since 1998 but it’s hard to get excited about that prospect. San Diego State meets Wyoming next Saturday and the winner of that game will have the upper hand in terms of squeezing into a date in one of the many lower-tier bowl games that 95 percent of the nation doesn’t care about.

Factor in that Wyoming (4-5, 2-3) got blitzed 52-0 by Brigham Young on Saturday and it’s hard to see either team being worthy of bowl consideration. What it really does is show how absurd the rule is that allows 6-6 teams to go to bowl games.

Meanwhile, TCU leaves San Diego with a real shot at crashing the BCS party. The Horned Frogs can strengthen their case next Saturday when they meet Utah (8-1, 5-0) in a huge Mountain West showdown.


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