San Diego State-BYU Rematch Boasts Plenty of National Implications

February 22, 2011 – 8:30 am by Eric Schmoldt

The first San Diego State-BYU matchup was the biggest game in Mountain West Conference history. The teams haven’t backed down and the rematch will now be even bigger.

San Diego State is ranked as high as fourth in the coaches poll with a pair of first-place votes. BYU is seventh in the AP poll but received three first-place votes. Somehow, the two teams didn’t move up in the rankings despite winning while just about everyone else above them lost last week.

Either the Aztecs or Cougars could move up after Saturday, when the two teams duke it out on national television. On the line is, most likely, the regular season conference title, but more than that, a bolstered argument to receive a No. 1 seed in the quickly approaching NCAA Tournament.

Steve Fisher joined XX Sports Radio with Scott and BR to discuss San Diego State’s spot in the national polls, where this 27-1 team ranks amongst his best, how hard it is to get this far into a season with just one loss, how to prepare for BYU without having a game in the middle of this week and the magnitude of Saturday’s game.

If San Diego State should’ve moved up in the rankings:

“You listen to all the people talk about why these teams that lost should either or hold the position they’re in, from Duke — who did not lose — to Kansas, who was there, who last at K-State, to Texas, who lost at Nebraska, to Ohio State, who’s lost two now, but at places where both teams are undefeated at home … to Pittsburgh, who lost to St. John’s.”

Where this 27-1 San Diego State team ranks amongst his best teams ever:

“I’ve never, ever, anywhere had a team that was 27-1. … Most programs of major significance, and that’s usually those that have been around at the top of the water for some time, are measured on what they do at the end of the season. That’s what we’re hoping to do. We’re hoping we can continue this marvelous season.”

On how hard it is to go through a season with just one loss:

“This is a really, really tough league and to do what we’ve done and what others have done, you can throw Duke in there, to go through a season with one or two losses, you’re going to have slip-ups. And we haven’t. We had the one where it wasn’t a slip-up. We went in and BYU was probably a slight favorite in their building with 22,000-plus and beat us.”

The week leading up to the BYU game with no mid-week game:

“We are going to practice the rest of the week, but we’ll tailor it in terms of the length and the strength and the pounding that we do as we move through it.”

On the magnitude of the week as two top-10 teams from the Mountain West square off on CBS:

“We are very much looking forward to it. We all know that the way that building has been for every game and it will be that and more for Saturday’s game. I saw they hyped it on their national CBS broadcast this week. They said that Steve Kerr was going to be a part of the announcing crew. I think it will be a great environment and hopefully we play well.”

Listen to Steve Fisher on XX Sports Radio in San Diego here

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