After losing 10 straight games to close out coach Mike MacIntyre’s first season at San Jose State University, the Spartans begin the 2011 fall football campaign Saturday with a renewed sense of optimism.

Unfortunately, all those good vibes could vanish by the end of Week One, when SJSU makes its way to the Farm to take on Heisman Trophy frontrunner Andrew luck and the No. 7-ranked Stanford Cardinal. Only a junior, Luck would have been the No. 1 pick in the NFL Draft this past spring had he decided to follow former Cardinal coach Jim Harbaugh to the pros. Instead, Luck opted to stay in school to once again be BMOC (Big Man on Campus) while making a run at a national championship.

The quarterback contrast is stark, considering Luck is already being hailed by some experts as the best college quarterback ever, while Spartans signal caller Matt Faulkner, a senior, has never even started a game. SJSU will basically have to play perfectly to have a chance of winning (combined with Stanford shitting the bed).

In the past, several SJSU coaches have played up the David vs. Goliath angle, with some even going so far as to call it a case of class warfare, where the haves and have-nots do battle on the gridiron.

Football coaches are notorious for overstating the magnitude of the moment for motivation, but MacIntyre wouldn’t be wrong in telling his players that a victory would be one of the biggest upsets of this college football season.

Playoffs?! Playoffs?!

“Well, I believe in the hanging curve ball … [I believe] that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.”

And I believe that quote, from the minor-league-baseball movie Bull Durham, is one of the best speeches ever uttered in a sports flick. (Anyone who prefers Kevin Costner asking his ghost dad to play catch in Field of Dreams is a sap. But we love that one too, so whatever.)

There’s only one week left in the regular season for the Single-A San Jose Giants. After that it’s playoff time, and Los Gigantes will be chasing a third straight California League title. Until then, it might be worth taking in a leisurely ballgame at Municipal Stadium between Friday and Tuesday, when the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes are in town. If fans want to see the games that really matter, though, playoff tickets are currently on sale at, or by calling 408.297.1435, ext. 15.