San Jose State: A Year In Review
A magical season that gave the Spartans their first taste of Conference supremacy
Well, the 2020 season for the San Jose State Spartans has come to an end, and what a magical and unprecedented season it was. Two seasons ago, the Spartans were a 1-11 football team and the doormat of not just the Mountain West football conference, but the entire FBS. Head football coach Brent Brennan had a difficult task of turning this football program around considering the state of the Spartans when he inherited them. Last season they showed promise in their 5-7 record, so going into 2020 there was some optimism for the Spartans. The hope was that they could finally make a bowl appearance for the first time since 2012. Then came a global pandemic which put the season in jeopardy.
The season was originally ruled a no-go, but a change of course put the season back on. The Spartans' defense was a major part of the turnaround, led by 2020 Mountain West defensive player of the year Cade hall. Mountain West Coach of the year Brent Brennan and Quarterback Nick Starkel, a graduate transfer from Texas A&M and Arkansas, also played a huge part in the turn around as well. The team flourished and was one of the feel good stories of this college football season. The team had a 6-0 regular season, and for the first time in the CFP era, was ranked in the top 25 as well as the AP poll. The team took on Boise State for the Mountain West Championship where they were underdogs leaving many to wonder if they could hang with a Broncos program that has ruled the conference since they joined back in 2011. The Spartans defeated the Broncos in resounding fashion, 34-20, and were crowned Mountain West Champions, their first conference championship since 1991.
The Spartans were selected to the Arizona bowl where they would take on Ball State, the MAC champions. However, the Spartans came up short 34-13. San Jose state finished the season at 7-1. Even though the Spartans came up short in the bowl game, they have nothing to be ashamed of and should be proud of their season that wasn’t even supposed to happen in the first place. Despite the global pandemic, and California restrictions which almost ended the entire San Jose State season and didn't even allow them to play in their own city and stadium, the team battled all year and persevered to capture the Mountain West Crown. Brent Brennan has now been extended through to the 2023 season, a fantastic sign for the state of this program. As the season is now over the Spartans will face some interesting questions in the off-season and into the 2021 season. Has Brent Brennan become the San Jose State savior? Are the Spartans a one-year wonder? Or are the Spartans building something special? Only time will tell. It is definitely going to be a fun storyline to watch for the 2021 season and beyond as Bryan Harsin's departure from Boise now leaves SJSU as top dogs in the MW for the foreseeable future. #SpartanUp