The return of ‘The Map’ at SDSU

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Jenna Meyer

“The Map” was created by Joey Loose, and shows all of the undefeated teams in a specific NCAA sport at the beginning of each week. SDSU basketball was the last team standing on The Map in the 2019-20 season.

by Jenna Meyer, Senior Staff Writer

Aztec fans old and new are no strangers to “the map”. Its presence started on Twitter and quickly grew and expanded throughout the entire campus and community of San Diego State.

It all started as a “cool project,” all just for fun for Joey Loose — the creator of the Imperialism and Undefeated maps for College basketball and football.

Loose began creating the undefeated maps three years ago and was inspired by his first project — the imperialism map — that he had been creating the year prior. He said he thought it would be interesting to have a map that showed the most successful teams, in other words, the teams who had yet to lose a game.

In the 2020 basketball season,  the men’s basketball team went 30-2 overall and 17-1 in the  Mountain West Conference. They quickly showed dominance, began to take over “the map”, and Loose’s project quickly gained traction with the crazed Aztec fans, students, and supporters of the program. 

“I never dreamed that anyone would become this obsessed with what I had made, nor that it would get quite the following, especially from a school like San Diego State,” Loose said. “You hope people like what you make, but this has been beyond my expectations.”

The final two teams on the map during the 2019-2020 basketball season were SDSU and Auburn University, almost splitting the map directly down the middle of the country. By Jan 15, 2020, the Auburn Tigers fell to Alabama 64-83, giving the Aztecs full possession of the undefeated map. 

From there, the map craze only grew. It was found in the bookstore, printed and sold on T-shirts, displayed on the big screen at the Kawhi Leonard jersey retirement game, and on signs scattered throughout The Show — SDSU’s student section.

Now, a new undefeated map has joined the picture, revolving all around college football.

Once again, another SDSU team has the chance to take over a second map. 

“I was actually considering doing the map for college football last year, and perhaps another sport or two eventually, but it just felt right to start doing it last month for this season,” Loose said. “Maybe there’s some sort of weird magic in the air that SDSU is once again gaining traction and undefeated in football this year.”

After each win, a stream of Aztec fans from across the nation take to Twitter asking for the updated map, waiting to see the SDSU logo and Scarlet and Black taking up additional space from teams that lost the previous weekend.

Coming off a 20-14 victory over Air Force, the Aztecs hold a 7-0 undefeated record. The last time the Aztecs started the season and progressed to 7-0 was the 1975 season.

With some tough matchups quickly approaching the Aztecs, they could make history by dominating the map once again, but they must beat Fresno State this weekend first to continue their streak and placement on the map.

“Either way, it’s pretty incredible seeing SDSU taking more and more land seemingly with each map I make and it’s a testament to the Aztecs football program that they are one of the ten last unbeaten football teams,” Loose said.

The Aztecs are in good company, sharing the week 8 map with No.13 Wake Forest, No.4 Oklahoma, No.1 Georgia, No.2 Cincinnati, SMU, No.6 Michigan, No.8 Michigan  State, and No.23 UTSA.

While the Aztec football team does not fully own their map yet, their 7-0 record and bowl eligible status gives them a better chance every day. 

“No matter what happens in the next year, two years, or ten years, SDSU will always hold a special place in my heart,” Loose said.