By Sandeep Chandok
They say Fresno State is San Jose State’s rival — I don’t buy it.
That isn’t the matchup that attracts a crowd, that has players fired up and ready to fight to the finish.
It’s San Diego State. The NorCal vs SoCal rival. The gold and blue vs the black and red. The Spartans vs the Aztecs.
SJSU has more students from San Diego than from Fresno, from my experience, and its San Diego natives come to more games than those of Fresno.
It’s just how it is.
Go to a game, you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Although, SJSU women’s basketball forward Jasmine Smith took an elbow to the mouth in a home feat with the Bulldogs in mid-January. This resulted in a bloody mouth and an eventual concussion that would cause her to miss the next game.
On the flip side, this year’s men’s basketball game against SDSU saw 3,107 people fill up the Event Center in San Jose as the Spartans knocked off the Aztecs to win their third straight game in what would be a four game winning streak.
When the same men’s team played Fresno, it only filled 1,721 seats, almost half as many.
Yes, there is the Valley Trophy in the annual football game between SJSU and Fresno.
I get it, it’s a big game and the Bulldogs have long been labeled as the Spartans’ rival.
In the 2015-16 season, the last time SJSU hosted Fresno, 17,264 fans were in attendance.
An impressive number for the Spartans who also hosted SDSU that same season and brought in 16,339. A slight difference between the two game’s crowds.
The main difference? SJSU’s Homecoming game against SDSU was televised on ESPNU. But trust me, that wasn’t because of the homecoming aspect.
The Bulldogs don’t get students on campus riled up.
San Diego screams “opposition” more than Fresno.
I understands that the Bulldogs have long been the Spartans’ in-conference competitor both in the Western Athletic Conference and the Mountain West, but things have changed.
There can only be one rival for SJSU that is San Diego State.
Some may feel different, and that’s fine. I’m just telling it how it is.