San Jose State Football: First Look at the Revised 2020 Schedule
The Spartans are back in action this month, but their new-look Mountain West football schedule isn’t easy.
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To take the next step, they’ll have to earn it.
After two years of building momentum, the San Jose State Spartans came into 2020 with the expectation that, behind a potentially powerful offense and an opportunity defense, they could play their way back to bowl eligibility. It may have taken a little longer than everyone expected, but they’ll get their chance after all.
Let's do this thing.#SpartanUp pic.twitter.com/6Cou3pYz0l
— San José State Football (@SanJoseStateFB) October 1, 2020
Here’s what the week-by-week schedule looks like with the most recent SP+ rankings from September 27, where San Jose State is 102nd overall, in parentheses:
October 24 – vs. Air Force (101)
October 31 – at New Mexico (121)
November 7 – at San Diego State (68)
November 14 – vs. UNLV (122)
November 21 – at Fresno State (99)
November 28 – at Boise State (35)
December 5 – vs. Hawaii (91)
December 12 – vs. Nevada (107)
What are the biggest initial takeaways?
1. The potential for a fast start is there.
If you’re going to draw Air Force under these circumstances, at least you’ll get them early and thinner, roster-wise, than usual. You can bet that Brent Brennan will be watching their game against Navy this weekend very closely.
Assuming that the Spartans can get off their schneid against the Falcons — they’ve lost three straight — a road trip to face a beatable New Mexico foe could put them in a position where, even with later bumps in the road, they could remain viable bowl candidates.
2. To be the best, you’ve got to beat the best.
One thing that jumps out right away is that the Spartans are one of just two teams in the Mountain West, Colorado State being the other, who will have to hit the road to face both of the preseason favorites. Mercifully, the schedule-makers did a kindness by not scheduling San Diego State and Boise State back-to-back, so while it’s not a hopeless task — SJSU had a chance to steal the win from the Aztecs and hung with the Broncos for three quarters last fall — they’ll need to have their A-game to bolster those “dark horse” bonafides.
3. Can the Spartans be road warriors?
Another wrinkle that makes San Jose State’s slate particularly rigorous is that the Spartans are one of just two teams in the conference who will have two back-to-back road swings. Unlike Fresno State, though, they won’t get the benefit of a pair of back-to-back home games, and having to host Hawaii and Nevada at the end of the season is no cake walk.
Hardest stretch: at Boise State, vs. Hawaii, vs. Nevada
Easiest stretch: vs. UNLV, at Fresno State
Guaranteed wins: vs. UNLV
Guaranteed losses: none
Worse than 50/50 games: at Boise State, at San Diego State
50/50 games: vs. Air Force, at Fresno State, vs. Hawaii, vs. Nevada
Better than 50/50 games: at New Mexico
Preliminary projected record: 4-4