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New Mexico State preview: expect less

Previewing the WAC seems like a good job for an intern. Unfortunately, we do not have an intern. Ugh. Previously: Nevada, Utah State, Fresno State, Hawaii, LaTech, SJSU. Today: New Mexico State.

New Mexico State

Team motto: "Air raid or bust"

Contrary to popular belief, the New Mexico State Aggies are not good.

In reality, the New Mexico State Aggies are the following: undisciplined, bad, awkward to watch, full of false hope, misleading, capable of losing big on any given day, irrelevant, and depressing.

Yet that hasn't stopped fans and media from jumping on the bandwagon early and often. Some people have picked NMSU to be a darkhorse contender in the WAC, and anything short of a bowl game would be seen as a major letdown. Be prepared to be let down. Anyone who believes in these Aggies is headed for disappoint the likes of which hasn't been seen since Charlie scaled Candy Mountain.

Five questions

Which New Mexico State game are you most excited to see?
When Utah State hosts NMSU in the final week of the season, a lot will be at stake - namely the right to not be the worst team in the country. We do not see either Aggies winning any WAC games up until this point, and were it not for the balanced conference schedule, that trend would continue. May the best Aggies win ("best" being a relative term).

What was Joe Lee Dunn thinking?
Dunn has seen his fair share of football over the years, but he has seen it mostly in the SEC and at places where football involves both sides of the ball. He'll be in for a rude awakening at NMSU. The Aggies' passive-aggressive approach to defense ("you can score a touchdown, but I am going to nudge you ever so slightly while you're celebrating with teammates") will give way to Dunn's 3-3-5, blitzing circus. Will it be effective? Nope. Will it be fun to watch fall apart? Yep.

How come people like Chase Holbrook?
Most people like Holbrook because he is a senior, and people equate being a senior with being a good football player. This explains a lot about Tom Brandstater. Though Holbrook has age and experience in bunches, he does not have leadership skills or game management in nearly the same abundance. His stats from last season (26 TDs, 18 INTs) look an awful lot like the stats of a quarterback who struggles with consistency. This is not a coincidence.

Why run the ball when you have so many ways to pass it?
Running the ball is where good WAC teams separate themselves from bad WAC teams. Needless to say, the Aggies do not run the ball. Last year's top returning rusher Tonny Glynn (581 yards) leads a group of backs who apparently had nowhere else to play other than NMSU.

What does Hal Mumme do all day?
Mumme's typical schedule includes the following activities: Fruity Pebbles, game tape from the 1970's, toweling off, yelling at Chase Holbrook, yelling at Chris Williams, a nap, dinner at JB's, thinking up comebacks to Marty Tadman's "bandages" line, and to wrap it all up, setting up the "Air Raid" offense on his electric football set before falling asleep in his New Mexico State beanbag chair.


+/-75 pass attempts per game for Chase Holbrook
+/-16 days the Chase 4 Heisman campaign lasts
+/-3 times Joe Lee Dunn tries blitzing before realizing that he may have made the wrong career move

Several people believe that the New Mexico State Aggies could see a big improvement this season. These several people do not know what they're talking about.

The Aggies took a 3-2 record into conference play last season and promptly finished 4-9 for the year. Their conference results included a 58-0 loss to the Broncos, a 51-17 loss to San Jose State, and an 18-point loss to Utah State. Why optimism would be high after that kind of finish is anybody's guess.

The Aggies are quite simply not building their team the right way. Basing their success on the Air Raid offense (an offense that hasn't worked since...ever?) is no way to crack the elite of college football. Instead of winning with fluke plays and a gimmick offense, NMSU would be better off finding a running game, focusing on defense, and winning the way football was meant to be won.

Until then, the Aggies will never fulfill their empty promises.

Perfect situation

Aggies go 3-1 in non-conference play, upset two or three WAC teams, Holbrook throws more than 30 touchdowns, running backs work hard enough to require a shower after the game, Joe Lee Dunn doesn't go on anti-depressants, Aggies make a bowl game for the first time in 50 years


NMSU loses close games, Holbrook tries too hard, Mumme doesn't try hard enough, the defense doesn't try at all, Aggies go winless in the WAC, contemplate move to Division I-AA where their feelings won't get hurt

Final record: 1-11 overall, 0-8 conference