Friday, October 27, 2006

My Aggie Manifesto

This game on Saturday is huge. In other news, the sun will be setting in the West this evening. Saturday is much more than beating a division rival (oops!, I mean opponet that we play every year, compete to get recruits with, and located less than 100 miles away), it is a needed step to our overall goal of getting to a bowl game. Technically, I know, we don't necessarily need to win this one to get to 6. I'm just saying that Baylor hasn't put together a complete game yet this year and would you rather need one chance in three or two with only one more game at home (agasinst a ranked opponet)? I thought so.

Many Baylor fans have some kind of deep seeded hatred of all things Aggie. I guess I get more satisfaction out of beating them than I do the other teams we've beaten in the recent past but when I see people posting about wanting to shoot an aggie if he were in a fox hole with them, that's just stupid. Are they arrogant? Yes. Are they delusional? Yes. But if you think we're way ahead on football IQ, fan class, and even football tradition (more on this in a second), you are mistaken. I have many aggie friends. One will be in my wedding in 8 days (Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God). In 2004, I saw a "classy" Baylor fan berate a 9 year old wearing an Aggie jersey. You stay classy man. This was also the same guy who sits in front of me and calls for holding every time Baylor doesn't get a sack or gives up more than an 5 yard run. Aggies have their own idiots, I'm just saying be aware that we have plenty too.

Let's talk about those Fighting Texas Aggie faithful. The first thing out of most of thier mouths is something to the effect of 18-0-1. Yep, we were dominated for almost 20 years. Congratulations. Now, if you would, explain how something that happened in 1989 is going to have any bearing on Saturday. Is Bucky Richardson going to come out of the tunnel (Aggie fans don't answer that)? Teams completely turn over their roster every 4-5 years and starters (usually uperclassmen) every 2-3 years. So unless you show me a player on A&M's roster that has been there for more than 2 years and hasn't lost to the lowly Baylor Bears, the series doesn't matter. It's like that board next to the roulette table that shows what the last 15 spins have resulted in. Casinos put that there because they know idiots will bet according to this. The reality is that on every spin, every slot on the wheel has an equal chance of being a winner. You don't get points for past records, facilities, fan-base, or recruiting rankings. You still have to get the ball across the goal line and kick it between the pipes. Aggie football tradition is better than Baylor's. No doubt. But please don't pretend that it is a "storied" program. Baylor hasn't been to a bowl game in almost 12 years but in that same time frame aggie has won a whopping 2 bowl games in 7 tries. I know, I know they also have a national championship. Congratulations on winning one in the leather helmet era. Know who else won during that era? TCU, another national powerhouse and recognized as "storied." So please, you have been slightly better than average except for 2 seasons in the past decade. Being a national powerhouse is about conference championships and winning bowl games, and national championships in an era post-the advent of color tv.

This leads me into the actual game. I've seen A&M twice on TV (Mizzou and OSU). Raise your hand if you think the key to the game is stopping the aggie running attack. Looks like all of you. I like to think that I can be original so let me give it a shot. As much as I think we'll be able to pass it on that defense, I wasn't that impressed with the way they tried to stop OSU's running attack. The only difference between us and OSU is that they utilize the QB as a runner and we don't. I think if we get 80 yards (including 20 yards worth of sacks that Shawn is always good for) on the ground, the defense will have no shot.

On defense, yes we have to stop the run. I think this is a tall order and a more realistic goal would be to take away an aspect of the run. On options, take out the pitch man and make McGee turn it up and then hammer him. If they get in a short yardage situation, Lane is going to get his yards so don't even worry about it. Aggie ran the draw and the iso very well against the Cowboys with Lewis and Goodson. These guys are the ones that make the offense dangerous, not Lane. Stuff these two, and Lane isn't even in the game.

Shawn is going to have to have a big game again obviously. I'll never be confused with being a Bell apologist but it comforts me a little that he has beaten aggie before. We'll see I guess. I'm not confident either way. They have better players, we have a better staff. I really like the way Bradley has schemed for aggie the past two years. We've really taken away the option lately and if we do that on Saturday, that will take out a big part of their offense. We will have to play a complete game this time. They aren't Kansas. It will take the best game we've played so far.

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