Early reviews on the New Mexico State football team haven't been standout in national magazines such as Athlon Sports and Lindy's Sports, where the Aggies are ranked at or near the bottom of the publications' national rankings.
In a way, it's tough to accept. In another, we're aware the 2014 season will be a transitional one with plenty of new faces both on the team's roster and amongst the program's coaching staff.
Then again, one look at the schedule also sees a substantially easier docket than last year's independent slate of games.
The first four games, in my estimation, are of critical importance. And the first two are paramount - I believe they could make or break the Aggies season.
That would be the season home opener against Cal Poly - a program from the Football Championship Subdivision - and then a road game at a Georgia State team that went winless a season ago. A 2-0 mark would provide NMSU with a necessary boost going into the team's two rivalry games at UTEP (Sept. 13) and vs. New Mexico (Sept. 20). A loss or two, however? It could do just the opposite.
It might not seem substantial, but if the Aggies can go 2-2 in those first four games, there are some contests further down their schedule they could possibly steal. A road game at Idaho stands out (NMSU beat the Vandals last season 24-16) and the team has four home games down the stretch against Georgia Southern, Texas State, Louisiana-Lafayette and Louisiana-Monroe.
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