It’s clear and without question that the most followed college team in San Diego is the SDSU Aztecs.
Most San Diego sports fans seem to minimize the accomplishments produced by the athletic teams wearing blue and white on the campus of USD. SDSU has almost thirty-four thousand undergraduates and multiple athletic teams that receive national media compared to less than six thousand undergrads at USD with little to no national recognition.
There’s a huge difference between the two athletic programs, and the one that gets the most credit. The Aztecs have been the main subject in the local media outlets for a very long time as the Toreros are sometimes forgotten. Often overshadowed by the prevalence regarding the Aztecs, San Diegans don’t seem to view the USD Toreros as a major college team in San Diego.
Historically, San Diego has focused on the Aztecs because of their rich history in athletics. The red and black representing the Aztecs can be seen pretty much anywhere around the city of San Diego on banners, billboards, and the city’s trolley system. The red and black color stands out to people as the preferred collegiate team to represent in America’s Finest City.
First and foremost, San Diego sports fans underestimate the strength of USD athletics and the talent they recruit to play here. Go be thankful for the campus and the USD athletics program rivaling the SDSU Aztecs.
The Athletics program at USD continues to trend upwards and still has kept historically top programs in volleyball and baseball. The Toreros have a very impressive football team that just clinched the Pioneer League. They finished the season going 9-2 while absolutely overpowering opposing teams in the Pioneer Conference. They will be looking to win their 10th game in a row and make a run to the FCS playoffs. The women’s volleyball team is currently ranked number 9 in the country and on a 14-game winning streak heading into the NCAA tournament next Saturday. They are considered a serious title contender and will be looking to bounce back from an early exit in the tourney last year. The men’s basketball team has started 4-0 for the first time since 2013 and coach Lamont Smith’s squad has looked nothing short of being able to compete in the WCC this season. On top of that, the USD men’s baseball team finished 35-19 last season and 18-9 in the WCC, tied for 4th place while narrowly missing an at large bid to the NCAA tournament. The Torero baseball program has produced plenty of Major League talent and Kris Bryant is a name everyone should acknowledge for his standout days at USD, along with Brian Matusz and current major league pitcher, Addison Reed. The football team has produced lots of NFL players including current QB Josh Johnson and cornerback Jamal Agnew, among many others.
The controversial decision by Dean Spanos to move the San Diego Chargers to Los Angeles left many of the city’s football fans seeking a new team they can support. With professional football no longer in America’s Finest City, the spotlight is now shining on the SDSU Aztecs as the city’s main football team. Although they play in a weaker conference, the Torero football team should not be overlooked by anyone. A potential move out of the FCS would be huge for the Toreros and help them gain more national and local media attention while providing a tougher schedule and better competition.
For those betrayed Chargers fans that still want to support a local team, USD football is a smart choice. San Diegans should be thankful for the USD Toreros and the Division 1 athletics program that makes for a great compliment to San Diego sports. USD’s picturesque campus is composed of the Jenny Craig Pavilion, Fowler Park, and the Torero Stadium as the homes for its athletic teams. The athletic facilities are top-notch and should continue to attract local residents who grow to be more thankful for the blue and white from the University of San Diego.
USD is another established Division 1 school that’s nationally acclaimed for its academics and has often underrated athletic programs that are trending to success and reaching new heights in the last two decades. San Diegans should take a look at the beautiful sights on Alcala Park and be thankful for the school, the campus, and its undervalued athletics program.