Poinsettia Bowl attendance forecast highlights city’s disconnect with Aztecs

Posted: 12/20/2012 in college football
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Something doesn’t seem right about the fact that the Poinsettia Bowl won’t set an attendance record when San Diego State plays hated rival Brigham Young in Thursday’s contest.

The Aztecs (9-3) have won seven consecutive games and are playing the team that used to bully them around in the Western Athletic and Mountain West conferences over the past three decades. A team that has a 27-7-1 series edge and has routinely rolled up large winning margins over San Diego State.

The team that “defeated” the Aztecs in the infamous 52-52 tie back in Marshall Faulk’s freshman season that kept San Diego State from playing in the Holiday Bowl. That 45-17 lead in the middle of the third quarter sure evaporated quickly as BYU’s Ty Detmer carved up a highly shaky defense.

BYU also is the team that had loyal alums working in the replay booth that botched a clear fumble call that helped the Cougars beat the Aztecs in the most-recent meeting in 2010.

The bowl’s attendance record is just 48,409 and that came for San Diego State’s 2010 appearance against Navy. So you mean to tell me the Aztecs can’t even attract 50,000 fans two years later when they are playing in a bowl game for the third consecutive season for the first time ever?

This tells you exactly how deep San Diego State’s disconnect is in the community. Because the attendance for this contest ought to be approaching 60,000, not falling short of what the Poinsettia Bowl drew for Navy. (see stellar preview here — http://sltrib.sportsdirectinc.com/football/ncaaf-preview.aspx?page=/data/NCAAF/matchups/g8_preview_5.html)

Should be an interesting game with Aztecs coach Rocky Long and BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall being close pals and Mendenhall having served as Long’s defensive coordinator for five years at New Mexico.

BYU also features a better receiver than anyone you will find on the roster of the San Diego Chargers in Cody Hoffman and San Diego State running back Adam Muema has quickly made people say “Ronnie Who?” while more than capably replacing Ronnie Hillman.

Cougars linebacker Kyle Van Noy is a player you will see playing in the NFL in the near future while the Aztecs look for their first 10-win season since 1977, when Deacon Turner was running wild on the stadium soil.

The only shame? Easy — that there won’t be more people there live to see it.


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