San Diego State, the best college football team in L.A., wins again – Press Enterprise

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The world according to Jim:

• An update from our October column on the temporary boarders in Carson: San Diego State remains the best college football team in L.A.

The Aztecs are 11-1, and we’ll get into their position in the College Football Playoff standings in a bit. But consider the degree of difficulty in getting there, starting with Friday’s 27-16 victory over traditional Mountain West Conference behemoth Boise State. …

• First off, kickoff was shortly after 9 a.m., and while we recognize the early start was a necessity to get their game on the main CBS network and in front of far more eyeballs than CBS Sports Network reaches, it’s still not optimum for players or fans. Maybe the early wake-up call had an effect, because the Aztecs trailed 16-3 in the first half before a quarterback change roused them. …

• While waiting for their new Mission Valley stadium to be completed, the Aztecs have played 11 “home” games the last two seasons in the Galaxy’s home stadium, winning nine. SDSU will get one more appearance in its home away from home in the Mountain West championship game next Saturday against either Air Force or Utah State, with a more reasonable noon kickoff. (And if you order tickets before 11:59 p.m. Monday, they’re half-price.)

• There’s the degree of difficulty in playing essentially all road games, and a résumé including a triple-overtime victory over Utah, which is now 9-3 and could wind up in the Rose Bowl. But in Tuesday’s most recent CFP rankings Utah was 19th and San Diego State 21st. America seems to have only enough bandwidth to talk about one Group of Five team dealing with the disrespect of College Football Inc., and Cincinnati sucked all of the oxygen out of that conversation before Oregon’s loss elevated it to No. 4. San Diego State can’t even get attention for being overlooked. …

• The Aztecs haven’t drawn particularly well in Carson – 11,886 showed up for the Black Friday morning game, and that was the best crowd of the season. They averaged 10,279 in a building with a listed capacity of 27,000. (See: justification for half-price tickets.) Was it because of the two-hour (or more) drive from San Diego, or maybe because a significant portion of their true fan base remains upset that the stadium was also the transplanted Chargers’ temporary home for three seasons? …

• Regarding the column on St. Louis’ $790 million windfall at the expense of the Rams and NFL, a helpful reader noted that there was indeed a lawsuit against the Rams after they left L.A. in 1995, with a season ticket holder in Anaheim alleging breach of contract in an outgrowth of an original complaint by a group called “Fight For The Rams.” The reason I didn’t remember it? It never went anywhere, dismissed in Orange County Superior Court and denied on appeal. …

• But the case footnotes for the appeal, decided in September 1999, do include this gem: “The team has, in succession, run out on Cleveland, Los Angeles, and now Anaheim. How long life on the Mississippi will suit the owner is anyone’s guess.” …

• The  AHL’s Ontario Reign postponed games Friday and Saturday night because, according to the official announcement, there was “a malfunction” of their arena’s ice-making equipment. Old friend John Hoven reported it first Friday in his Mayor’s Manor blog and noted that “the ice machine was deactivated sometime on Thanksgiving afternoon – meaning the ice had potentially been melting for somewhere between 12-24 hours.”

There’s a turkey joke hidden here somewhere. (Bonus points if you can add a reference to tryptophan.) …

• If you missed it, former Chargers head coach Anthony Lynn has been hung out to dry in Detroit, where he was hired as offensive coordinator only to have been stripped of the play-calling duties by head coach Dan Campbell amid reports of Lynn’s dysfunction with Jared Goff (which the quarterback denied this week).

Maybe there’s a sensitivity to honesty around the Lions. One of Lynn’s most refreshing qualities as Chargers head coach was his willingness to be brutally honest when necessary. Meanwhile, if you watched any of the Lions’ Thanksgiving Day loss to the Chicago Bears it’s hard to deduce that Lynn’s play-calling was the problem. …

• Colleague Fred Robledo made the observation on Twitter on Friday: There was much national outrage over Inglewood High football scoring 106 points against Morningside earlier this season, but nothing close to similar outrage yet over the hazing incident, reported by Scott M. Reid, that left a Mater Dei player with a broken nose and brain injury or the subsequent non-response by those in charge.

And don’t try to claim that this sort of thing happens everywhere or is just part of high school football. It doesn’t happen everywhere, and it shouldn’t happen at all. It doesn’t build toughness, and it only happens when the adults don’t exercise enough control to prevent it.

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