New Mexico State has officially released their football schedule for the 2017 season, and it’s a tough one.
New Mexico State 2017 Football Schedule
|8/31 (Thursday)||@ Arizona St.|
|9/9||@ New Mexico|
|10/7||@ App St.|
|10/14||@ GA Southern|
|10/28||vs. Ark St.|
|11/4||@ TX St.|
I honestly don’t even know where to begin.
I guess let’s start with the fact that the Sun Belt was absolutely merciless to the Aggies in their last season of conference play. Not only does NMSU have to play the entire top half of the Sun Belt from last year (App. St, Arkansas St., Troy, Idaho, UL-Lafayette and Georgia Southern), they also get the only contest they’re likely to be favored in on the road (at Texas State).
The guaranteed money games don’t make the schedule any easier for Coach Martin and his squad. Early season match-ups at Arizona State and at Arkansas will definitely hurt the team’s confidence and chemistry heading into important stretches of the season. The Arkansas game is particularly concerning because it begins a stretch of three straight away games against very good teams, two of which are league opponents in App. St. and GA Southern.
The rivalry games will take on even more significance in this season as they always seem to be close and are the Aggies best chances to win a few games early on in the season (if at all). Those games could very well be the difference between the Aggies starting 2-5 or 0-7.
I have a feeling Coach Martin had some knowledge about what was coming his way in 2017 when he was going through recruiting. It certainly explains why he brought in so many JUCO players. It’s maybe not because he wanted to, it’s because he had to. This could certainly be his last season in Las Cruces....
It’s early, but I see this season going very poorly for the Aggies. They could put forth their best showings week in and week out and I still don’t think it would be enough to win many games.
As I mentioned before, the rivalry games could end up being the difference between the Aggies starting out 2-5 or 0-7. I definitely think the Aggies can beat the Miners, but I think the Lobos will be ready to deliver some payback after last years I-25 game. I really don’t see the Aggies challenging App St., Arizona St., or Georgia Southern because those teams are very solid and are tough at home.
As for the second half of the schedule, I’m going to go ahead and label the Arkansas St., Idaho, and ULL games as losses also. I think those teams will all be solid again (ULL with a rebound season) and will be too much for the Aggies to handle.
The two games I’m the most optimistic about are the Texas State and USA games. I think Texas State is still a couple years away from being even slightly relevant in the #FunBelt and will be a nice pick-me-up game for the Aggies. As for the matchup with USA, I think it will be another close game, much like the 35-28 game last year. Only this year I think the Aggies will come out on top in their last Sun Belt game at home.
Do you agree? What is your reaction to the Aggies schedule? How do you think they will do? Let us know in the comments section!