For the record, this extended football-basketball overlap - on top of my wife giving birth to another set of twins - stinks on ice. I’ve got no chance of keeping up with everything that deserves to be covered.
But I’m going to keep trying. So here are a few thoughts from where I sit - even if that’s further away from the action than usual - on what’s going on with the SDSU basketball and football teams:
1.) The SDSU men ran their home win streak to 20 on Wednesday night. But they needed an off-balance 3 by Chad White at the buzzer to do so, escaping a middling UND squad that was without its best player. (Here’s a clip of the shot, by the way.)
The Jacks, as coach Scott Nagy said in his postgame radio interview, did not deserve to prevail. They were lifeless after a 10-0 run to start. They defended poorly. They watched Nate Wolters too much instead of being active around him. They played to the level of the competition.
And none of this was new. SDSU is developing bad habits, and the Summit League opener is just around the corner - Saturday night against newcomer Omaha.
2.) The SDSU women lost a home for the second time this season, dropping an overtime decision to Marquette. The Jacks are 0-4 against the Golden Eagles, their worst mark against anybody in their D-I era.
Still, this wasn’t a bad loss. But it also wasn’t a win, leaving the Jacks at 3-4 against an albeit difficult schedule with another really difficult contest on tap for Saturday against Middle Tennessee State squad that has spent time in the top 25.
While SDSU has a few more opportunities to earn quality non-conference wins in the next month, it looks to be on the same path from the last three seasons - trying to get better in advance of conference play rather than piling up impressive results.
Is that bad? No. But it stands to further the reputation of the 2008-09 squad that went 32-3.
3.) It’s not been a great couple weeks for the SDSU football team from the standpoint of receiving recognition.
The FCS playoff selection committee barely allowed the team into the postseason and gave it a difficult draw with Valley champ NDSU up on the second round. Running back Zach Zenner finished seventh in the Walter Payton Award voting despite being on the verge of becoming the 10th FCS player to top 2,000 yards in a season. John Stiegelmeier was not among 20 coaches nominated for the Eddie Robinson Award despite leading to the playoff a team that was picked to finish sixth in the Valley.
There seems to be a pattern developing, but it’s not one of bias or conspiracy. Rather, look at the facts: SDSU finished under .500 in each of the last two seasons, is still in its first decade in the FCS and made only one playoff appearance in its D-II history. The Jacks haven’t given enough reasons - at least not yet - to avoid being slighted.
And it doesn’t matter one bit (although you could argue that SDSU is proof of why preseason polls should not be conducted - they can create a bias that takes weeks to overcome). Because on Saturday, the Jacks will play on the road against the defending national champion and top seeded Bison. They have a chance on the field to prove how good they are or aren’t.
Terry Vandrovec also posts regular updates on his Twitter page.