Tuesday, August 28, 2007

 

More than you ever cared to know about: The San Jose State Spartans

This will be a weekly feature on the upcoming opponent and it's a bit of an homage to the M Zone's recurring "Know Your Foe" pieces. Enjoy!



The Vitals
Name: San Jose State University
Location: San Jose, CA
Established: 1857, as Minns’ Evening Normal School
Enrollment: 28,932
Motto: Powering Silicon Valley
Colors: Gold and White
Mascot: Spartans
Stadium: Spartan Stadium, capacity 30,456
Conference: Western Athletic (WAC)

San Jose State University is celebrating their sesquicentennial this year and proud we are of all of them. They pride themselves on being an incubator for the fucking yuppie interns of the local corporate scene, hence their motto “Powering Silicon Valley.” SJSU also wants to make sure you know that they are the oldest institution of higher education on the West Coast, lending to their other motto “where tradition meets tomorrow” even though it ought to be THIS IS SPARTAAAAAAH!!!

SJSU has a historical correlation with Arizona State as both were founded in the 19th century as Normal schools to educate frontier teachers. Tower Hall is considered the most recognizable building on the SJSU campus since their “Old Main” was destroyed in 1906 by…you guessed it, an earthquake.

Notable Alumni


Lindsey Buckingham & Stevie Nicks
OJ prosecutor Christopher Darden
Sissyboy NFL quarterback Jeff Garcia
Amy Tan, author of the unreadable The Joy Luck Club
The Smothers Brothers
John Carlos and Tommie Smith- shame on you for not knowing who they are.
The late great Bill Walsh
Dick Vermeil
Krazy George Henderson, inventor of the wave
Current student Joey “Jaws” Chestnut, human hot dog vacuum
Fulmer Cup Champion Ellis T. Jones, III
Joe Trippi, Howard Dean’s 2004 campaign manager who let this happen:



Athletics
SJSU boasts a bitchin’ judo program that has claimed 40 out of 44 possible National Championships. From their site, check it out:
SJSU Judo head coach Yosh Uchida — who also was the coach of the first U.S. Olympic judo team in 1964 — has established his Spartans program as a mecca for judo hopefuls. Over the years his SJSU teams have won 40 out of 44 national collegiate titles.

Coach Keith Nakasone was captain of the 1980 Olympic judo team, and Coach Mike Swain received the bronze medal in judo at the 1988 Olympic Games. Former team member and Olympian Ben Nighthorse Campbell, became a United States Senator representing Colorado.
They’re also pretty thrilled with their recent gridiron success, having just returned from their first bowl game in 16 years as they defeated New Mexico 20-12 in the 2006 New Mexico Bowl. The team is supported by the Spartan Squad, an organized student section club with their own website, t-shirts, and such. Those dicklickers have SJSU listed as playing motherfucking Arizona on September 1, so I hope somebody gives every single one of their beloved Spartans the DeSean Jackson treatment. They have this wacky tradition of putting three fingers in the air, not unlike our pitchfork, but its significance isn’t written anywhere on their websites. Fucking posers.

Spartan Spirit!

Head to head
The Sun Devils and Spartans last squared off in 2001 at Sun Devil Stadium and ASU gave the visitors a 53-15 smack. Surprisingly enough the Sun Devils only hold a 18-11 all-time record against the Spartans but have taken the last 11 dating back to 1967 and all but one of SJSU’s wins in the series came before 1961. Current SJSU head coach Dick Tomey is 9-5-1 lifetime against ASU, earning a 1979 victory as head coach of the University of Hawaii and the rest while coaching at the University of Arizona.

Rivalries
University of the Pacific is the school’s most genuine and oldest rival, as the two schools first played against each other before 1900 (no exact date given). They play each year for “The Bell” a bell-shaped trophy (duh) painted SJSU colors on one side and UP colors on the other. It is one of the oldest in collegiate sports as some believe it to have been introduced in the early 1900’s but again, no one seems to know for sure. Campus lore tells of a game in the late 1940’s where a fire truck was on the field before the game. (Why? I don’t have a fucking clue, just roll with it) The clouds rolled in and torrential rain ensued, so much so that the truck became stuck at centerfield and was unable to be moved. The Spartans triumphed after playing the entire game with the fire truck sitting on the 50-yard line. Pacific discontinued football in 1995 for unrelated reasons.

Fresno State is considered one of the Spartans' chief rivals and their football series dates back to 1921. FSU holds the series edge 35-33-3 but a more lopsided feel has been created in recent years due to the Bulldogs’ streak of 14 straight wins from 1992-2006. The SJSU campus hosts “no red” days whenever they host the Bulldogs and ask that the students and faculty wear as little red as possible. The teams meet annually as they are both WAC members.

A forced rivalry was formed with nearby Santa Clara in 2002. They play each other in all sports on a points-based system and compete for an unnamed trophy, basically because they’re only 4 miles apart.

Phil Steele says…
The Spartans were bowl eligible last year and despite losing their top three wide receivers and three of their top four tacklers this should be a better team, even though their record may not show it. Their schedule is a lot tougher with only 5 home games this season and Steele has his doubts since they benefited from +9 turnovers last year. Even with these challenges, he expects them to go bowling again in 2007. SJSU is 2-16 in their last 18 road openers and based on his outlook I don’t think he expects them to be successful against the Sun Devils.

I say…
Tomey scares the shit out of me. He’ll come to town with a hard-hitting defense, a bevy of trick plays, and confidence in the knowledge that he has owned ASU for the better part of his career. The Spartans are going to be pumped for this one and will want to make a statement against a BCS conference team. ASU will take Frank Kush Field for the first time in the Erickson regime, dealing with new schemes on both sides of the ball along with a new long snapper and kicker. I don’t know enough about the Spartans, so I’ll defer to Phil Steele's positive outlook on this one because after all if he says it, it’s gotta be true.

Related Websites
The University’s official site
Spartan Athletics
The Spartan Squad student association
The wikipedia page
The College Football Data Warehouse page

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