For the Stanford Cardinal, their season opener is against a cupcake, a non-factor in college football. For the San Jose State Spartans, it's David going up against Goliath.
SJSU will travel to Palo Alto on September 3, taking on the Andrew Luck and the highly regarded Cardinal in a Bay Area battle of rich versus poor.
The Spartans are coming off a dreadful 1-11 season in 2010. How bad was it? UC Davis, an FCS team, came into Spartan Stadium and defeated SJSU 14-13 on October 2.
Stanford, of course, went 12-1 last season, defeating Virginia Tech 40-12 in the Orange Bowl.
San Jose State will be breaking in a new quarterback after senior Jordan La Secla graduated and was signed by the Oakland Raiders. According to the Mercury News, those competing for the spot are senior Matt Faulkner, sophomore Dasmen Stewart, redshirt freshman Blake Jurich and true freshman Joe Gray.
Without a running game to speak of (the Spartans were 119th out of 120 FBS teams in that category) and a new quarterback under center, SJSU will have to hope for a miracle in the season opener.
2011 will be the first and only season for the WAC as an eight-team conference, as Hawaii, Fresno State and Nevada will all join the Mountain West Conference in 2012. Replacing these schools will be Texas State and UT-San Antonio.
In a glimpse of light for the program, former Michigan quarterback Tate Forcier transferred to play for the Spartans on July 26. Forcier will have to sit out the 2011 season, but will likely become SJSU's starting quarterback in 2012, when the WAC will field only seven football teams.
Until Forcier can actually suit up in a game, expect more growing pains from the Spartans as they struggle to find footing in the ever-changing college football landscape.