The Michigan Wolverines (3-0) host the San Diego State Aztecs (3-0) at the Big House this weekend, in a battle of unbeaten teams. This matchup has special significance since U-M's Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator left SDSU to come to Michigan last January (causing former SDSU football player Kyle Turley's head to nearly explode). The schools have only met one other time, in 2004, with the Wolverines winning 24-21. So it's time to learn more amazing facts in this week's exciting edition of Know Your Foe.
Location: Located just off I-8 in San Diego, CA, the campus overlooks Mission Valley. The campus has a plethora of old historic buildings, including the Aztec Bowl, the school's former football stadium that only held 12,592 people (or as that's known at the Big House: the # of people waiting to go to the bathroom at any given time in Section 7) and the Hardy Memorial Tower, which holds a 5000 gallon water tank that provided pressure for the campus plumbing system.
According to College Prowler, the weather and the local atmosphere are among the highlights.
Nickname Fortunately, after going through several god-awful nicknames like "Normalites," "Professors," and "Wampus Cats," (okay, we like that one) SDSU came to their senses in 1924 and a committee selected Aztecs.
Mascot: Monty Montezuma, intended to represent the Aztec emperor, was the first mascot, though unofficial. According the University President, "The original Monty came out of a teepee and chased co-eds around, if you can imagine that." (Uh, we not only can, but still wish it was happening. MEMO TO DAVE BRANDON: You come up with a mascot that chases co-eds, the MZone might be able to support that). In 2003, the students and alumni elected a more generic and historically accurate Aztec warrior as the official mascot. This did not end the controversy, with many student groups calling it racist. As someone mentioned on MGOBLOG, I guess the NCAA is okay with Native Mexican Mascots, but not Native American Mascots.
Colors/Logo/Helmets: After having colors that were too close to a local high school, in 1928, SDSU students voted and, by a vote of 346-201, Scarlet and Black beat out Purple and Gold to become the official school colors. No word if Turley is still pissed about this, too.
According to the official SDSU athletic website, "One of San Diego State's most honored traditions is the all-black uniform the Aztecs wear when playing at home. The "look" has become as much a part of Aztec football as the forward pass. In fact, the concept was the brainchild of the man who brought the modern passing game not only to San Diego State, but to college football - Don Coryell."
Couldn't find much history on the logo. They have a couple for the athletic teams. The one on the left is pretty good. The one on the right is...the one on the right.
Fight Song: In 1936, the school President asked music department junior Frank J. Losey to become the school's band director and also come up with a new school fight song (what did you do your junior year?). Losey wrote the original lyrics at his parents' dinner table (thus explaining the mustard stains on the sheet music).
Losey's lyrics have evolved over time into the present lyrics sung by the football team in the locker room after each victory.
SDSU Fight Song
Fight on and on ye Aztec men
Sons of Montezuma
We will win again
Keep your spirits high
Never bow a knee
We will fight till victory
Fight on and on ye Aztec men
Proudly raise your banners high
For it's the Red and Black
Hail to our team
San Diego Aztecs fight!
ED. NOTE: For the record, the MZone thinks it's really a bad idea to have someone with the word "Lose" in their name write your school's fight song.
Traditions: Two unique traditions came up during my research. First, "S" Mountain. Started in 1931, rocks were painted to form a gigantic "S" on Cowles Mountain and lit at night by the freshman for the opening game of the season. Pretty cool. But not as cool as number two...
An undie run. It's just like it sounds: students strip down at midnight and run across campus. The pics and video fit right in at the Mzone (and you thought you were gonna get stuck with "S" Mountain pix).
A member of the Mountain West Conference, the Aztecs play their home games at Qualcomm Stadium, which has a tad more than 12,000 seats. They've played in 9 bowls since 1948, including last year at the Poinsetta Bowl, which was a victory over Navy.
Anwar al-Awlaki, and Ted Giannoulas -- the San Diego Chicken. Most importantly: no astronauts, no Presidents.
Sand Diego State 10