San Jose State endured a few turbulent weeks after former coach Mike MacIntyre left for Colorado. It was nothing compared to how far the 24th-ranked Spartans had come in just a few years.
David Fales stared into the teeth of the nation's seventh-ranked defense and felt nothing but a Zen-like calm.
Two seasons ago, the notion of San Jose State playing in a bowl game was ludicrous. Four games into the year, a bowl destination for Bowling Green seemed a winter fantasy.
Turning a downtrodden college football program around has many rewards, including bowl appearances, but it also places a target on those who helped shape the upswing.
Michigan-Notre Dame seems so last century now.