The most talented team in the Mountain West Conference looks to repeat as conference champs. Join expert capper as he reviews San Diego's Profile for college football picks.
11-3 Mountain West Champions – Hawaii Bowl Champions (42-7 over Cincinnati)
SDSU tied a school record for the most wins in a single year, finished with a 10-game winning streak (second-longest active FBS streak heading into 2016), won the MW title (20th conference title in program history).
San Diego State is loaded, returning the Mountain West offensive player of the year in Donnel Pumphrey, the Mountain West defensive player of the year in Damontae Kazee and the Mountain West special teams player of the year in Rashaad Penny.
Pumphrey rushed for 1,653 yards and 17 touchdowns on 309 attempts (5.3 avg.), while leading the team with 28 catches for 416 yards 1 of 4 players to lead their team in rushing and receiving. He needs 318 yards to pass Marshall Faulk as the all-time Aztec rushing leader and anchors the school's run-oriented offense.
Pumphrey is by far SDSU's most valuable player, just one of four players in all of FBS to lead his team in rushing yards and receptions. (Important that he stays healthy)
Penny backup RB, returned 24 kicks for 804 yards (33.5 avg.) and three touchdowns last season. He was one of five players last year in FBS play to have at least three kick return touchdowns
In Rocky Long's 6th year, he has done a great job with the program and especially with the defense. The Aztecs gave up just 16 points and were effective against the pass and the run but lose two of their top three linemen although DT Alex Barrett with his 13 TFL and 5.5 sacks are back as well as many of their two deep rotation. The San Diego State linebacking unit returns almost everyone. The 3-3-5 defense primarily built on speed has been dominant in the Mountain West Conference and projects to do the same this year.
Two of SDSU's toughest games come in the first 3 weeks with California coming to Qualcomm Stadium week 2, followed by a trip to DeKalb, Illinois to take on Northern Illinois. Early college football odds show SDSU as a short home favorite college football pick vs Cal and should be laying a couple points by the time they make the week 3 trip to NIU.
The Aztecs get a bye before a revenge spot in Mobile, Alabama against South Alabama who SDSU dropped a heart breaker to last year. Other than the away game vs Utah State, the Aztecs project to be chalk against the rest of the Mountain West Conference schedule.
Free College Football Pick: San Diego State Over 9.5 on their season win total