Friday, August 31, 2007

Montana State is aware of the noise factor at Kyle Field. The coaching staff has spent a considerable amount of time working on hand signals and "other means of silent communication." Other means of silent communication that does not include the use of hands? Like the honey bee's waggle dance? Too bad this is not televised. However they communicate, their first-year head coach Rob Ash is confident of their ability to "call the entire game on offense and defense with silent communication." His confidence is rooted in his previous experiences including a game at "Northern Iowa in the dome" which was "an extremely noisy venue" and "it was extremely difficult for communication there". His team relied on hand signals and the honey bee's waggle dance and "did a terrific job". Coach Ash expects "it will be the same for our team down at Kyle Field."Northern Iowa. Are you kidding me? Mr. Ash needs a lesson in scale. The UNI-Dome (where Norther Iowa plays, pictured above) has a capacity of 16,000 and is a venue for "community events such as recreational and craft shows." Kyle Field holds up to 87,555. That is is almost 5.5 (5.4721875) times the size of the UNI-Dome.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

As much as I hate it, I have to give Brent Z some credit. My buddy made an interesting connection between John David Crow and Acie Law.
Only three true freshman have a chance to see action this weekend (defensive back Billy Chavis, defensive lineman Von Miller and wide receiver Roger Holland) "but that can all change with one injury." It is nice to see that we can recruit guys that are strong enough to play in their first year. Last year seven true freshman saw action, I am not sure how many saw action in the first game.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Now "Thunder and Lightening" has reentered as a nickname for HIT AND RUN, who were named both as candidates for the 2007 Doak Walker Award (presented annually to the nation's top college running back, last year Darren McFadden got it). This is simply irresponsible journalism. Thunder and Lightening were dismissed from the get go as "overdone". What we need is a higher authority to set the record straight. Whatever Lee Corso, Chris Fowler, or Kirk Herbstreit call Goodson and J-Train will be what I consider to be official.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I am back from Vegas and recovered enough to read. We have a bit of catching up to do.

Senior defensive end Kapron Lewis-Moore committed to TAMU. You would have no idea this guy is a four-star recruit considering he is planning on being “just.. another player on the defensive line.” Just another player? Come on Kapron! Give us a line about bringing the Wrecking Crew back!

The four-letter network peers into their crystal ball and sees that Big-12 south will "pound" the Big-12 north. Someone got paid to come up with that analysis. At least it is not another installment of "Who is now".

Last year our passing offense was 11th in a 12 team conference. With HIT AND RUN commanding the back field, defenses are going to put 8 or 9 guys in the box, so our receivers need to step it up. Franks and Brown may have only combine for 369 yards and one TD last year (Schroeder had 612 yards and 4 TDs), but this year they have the confidence to "make big plays and... win every game."

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Damn it! "Beauty and the Beast" is gaining traction. Their name is Hit and Run!
Our prayers have been answered!

A new surface of "interlocking tiles... will cover the old concrete track around the playing surface and gives the Aggies a non-slip surface that Franchione has been asking for since his arrival." The unique demands of the track (i.e. horses crap on it) made $Bill's job a little harder, "A&M had to find an anti-microbial surface that meets all the health requirements for prevention of staph infection that can set in on cuts and abrasions." I would have voted for extending the seating another 20 yards, but I guess fans getting crapped might not "meet all the health requirements." Too bad we didn't have this in our high out of his mind skinny ankled quarterback days.

Here is a picture of the tiles. Courtesy of ParisTx04.

Not happy with gray? $Bill looked into getting maroon, but was warned it would "weather its way to pink."

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Ashlee Pistorius was named a Preseason All-American by Soccer Buzz magazine. This must be the like the AP All-American, but since the AP does not pay attention to women's collegiate soccer, they do not produce their own list. Last year Pistorius also received honors from NSCAA/adidas (All-America, All-Central Region) and the Big 12 (All-Conference, All-Tournament), but those were handed out at the end of the season so Soccer Buzz must be the only preseason honor. Irregardless, congrats Ashlee.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Fran is really selling the value of the McFerrin Athletic Center. After Monday's practice Fran commented that the indoor facility provided a break from the heat and helped the team "install fast and learn faster." I wounder if $Bill is looking to reassure donors that the investment was worth it after my buddy Brent Z from the SA Express related a team's mental toughness to their exposure to heat, or in our case, a lack of exposure due to the indoor facilities.

Fran is learning from other (former) TAMU coaches. McGee recently said that each week the team needs to concentrate on "playing hard, playing smart, playing consistent and playing for each other." It's not exactly the "play hard, play smart, play together" mantra of Billy G, but is it very close.
"Harris chose Texas A&M over Kentucky..."

Sweeter words have never been spoken. Welcome to College Station

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hit and Run are shaping up and aiming high. J-Train lost 14 lbs and is set on 1K yds with 24 TDs. Goodson gained 16 lbs and is set on 1.3K yds and 20 TDs. 2.,300 yards and 44 touch downs, that is a lot of offense. I can't wait.
I am tired of reading that Fran "has a pulse." Thanks to some amazing photographic work, the never-before-seen emotions of Fran were proved to us last year...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The four letter network did an analysis of the overrated-ness and underrated-ness of college football teams. Their analysis simple: using the AP poll sum the difference between a team's preseason rank and their final rank (a team that starts at 1 and ends up at 10 gets -9 and a team that starts at 20 and ends up at 13 gets a 7) then sum this number over the past 10 years, the lower the number the more overrated a team is.

According to this analysis...
Big 12 teams were the most overrated during the last 10 years. Only three teams included in the survey -- Iowa State, Kansas State and Texas Tech -- improved their overall ranking. Nebraska, Texas and Texas A&M were the league's most overrated teams.
This is obviously bad analysis.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Good news for those who are a not totally sold on Mark Turgeon (that includes me), four-star point guard Dashan Harris from Montverde Academy (FL) committed to TAMU. Harris decided to commit after his last visit. “It’s going to be great. We will win and I’m looking forward to it,” Harris said. “I’m committed 100% and the only visit I’m going to take is my official to A&M in September.”

Friday, August 17, 2007

The rumor mill is churning. USC sophomore running back Emmanuel Moody has decided to transfer. Last year he was the second-leading rusher at USC but a preseason injury and the 32478 five-star running backs USC snagged in their last recruiting class has caused Mood to start "looking for an opportunity where he can be a featured guy." A high school friend of Moody hinted that he may be headed for OSU, but you never know. If he is looked to be the "featured guy" I do not think TAMU is the place for him. Moody is the same age as Goodson and would have to sit out a season. Maybe we could convince him that Goodson will leave after his Junior year and he might have a shot at being #1 after that. Prolly not.
Something fishy is going on...

Wednesday Aug 15: Brian Davis of the D-Morn news writes a story about J-Train and Goodson and addresses nicknames.

Thursday Aug 16, 7:16AM: I post about the need for a better nickname for J-Train and Goodson and open the floor to suggestions.

Thursday Aug 16, 11:32AM: The D-Morn blogger Pete Aldrich posts about pretty much the exact same thing without a shot out.

Now I am not saying it is not possible that Aldrich came up with this idea all on his own, and I am not saying he read my blog first, recognized its genius, then copied it. All I am saying is that the timing is very fishy.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The biggest question this preseason is not the what the impact level our surgically-repaired defensive lineman Red Bryant and Chris Harrington will have after being "away from football for about eight months", or who will the old man (Marquis Carpenter) beat out the underclassman (Jordan Peterson) in the the heated battle for the left corner spot.
The biggest question is what to call the tandem of J-Train and Mike Goodson? These two guys will be the best combo in college football and need a nickname that sports announcers can repeat ad nauseam. Lane suggested "11-3", which is terrible. D-morn news writer Brain Davis seems to be pushing "beauty and the beast", which is better, but a Disney-rooted will get your zero street cred. They need something tougher... something with the vibe of "fly like a butterfly and sting like a bee", but much shorter. Maybe "hit and run"? A felony is automatic street cred. I can see it now, on the pregame jumbo-jumbo tron. HIT RUN (side note: this would also fulfill my request to stop showing highlights from 8 years ago, it is embarrassing).

What do you think the pair should be called?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And I am back...

Senior linebacker Mark Dodge has impressed the coaches by "going for balls that other people didn’t have a clue they were coming in that direction." Once I stopped laughing that Dodge was good at "going for balls" I became concerned. Dodge's interest in reading plays came in the Tech game when he (FINALLY) realized that "there’s only so many route combinations that teams (run)." He applied that cutting-edge theory in the Nebraska game when he intercepted a ball after noticing that if "they ran an out, they were going to run a drag."

Are you kidding me? I must be missing something.

How is it that a player, in the course of the game, is the one to figure this out? Do we not have assistant coaches looking for these patterns, adjusting the play calling, and informing players? Do we not have assistant coaching pouring over game old game tapes looking for previous patterns and prepping our players? What is going on in the plush film rooms of the Bright complex?

Thursday, August 9, 2007

I tried, really hard this time, but once again I failed.

I am optimistic about our upcoming football season. Yes, I am aware of the danger involved in having optimism for an Aggie football team. Damn it if this does not happen to me every year.

It started with the stories about our defense cutting loose and was sealed when I read that J-Train had dropped to a svelte 268 (down from 282 in the Holiday Bowl) and is looking to up his production to 1,000 yards and 24 TDs. Last year the Train put in 19 scores and had 725 yards on the ground. Our last G Pack rusher was Courtney Lewis in 2003. That was his (red shirt) Freshman year... f-ing injuries.

Another reason to be optimistic is the number of new guys who are challenging the old guys for starting spots. Sophomore Michael Shumard is locked up with senior Chris Yoder at guard and freshman Billy Chavis is vying for a spot at safety. This is perfect. You always want this kind of internal competition. The obvious reason is that it is good to have a bunch of talented/game-ready players. The added benefit is that the competition will also make these guys play better and practice harder.

Congrats to McGee for graduating with two years of eligibility left.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I took the red eye to the so-far-very-cool city of Portland, OR. While Portland is fun, sitting in an airport at 4:30AM is not fun. My pain was slightly eased by the obviously well informed Washington Post staff writer Steve Yanda, who filed the story titled "Texas A& M Looks for a Defensive Uprising." Yanda details what a bad ass Chris Harrington is (according to Steven McGee, Harrington's injuries were so bad last year that his shoulder was "just kind of hanging on") and how last year was about building confidence and this year is about busting heads. This is pretty much the same story that has been written in every other paper, just focusing on Harrington and printed in one of the most respected sports sections in the nation.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

When we picked up Gary Darnell I thought it had to be one of Fran's last decisions. Going from 107th to 46th was more than enough to prove me wrong. Last year had to be about stopping the bleeding. This year he has given them the green light by promising he will not "judge [them] on [their] mistakes, as long as [they are] flying to the ball." In true Darnell style, "the turtle is way ahead of the hare." I have no clue what that means, but I love it.

Friday, August 3, 2007

The preseason coach's poll is out. We round out the list at #25. USC got 2/3 of the 1st place votes, I guess people expect them to be good this year. Other ranked Big-12 teams are Texas (4), OU (8), and Nebraska (18). In my opinion these rankings are bogus. Seems like teams should not be ranked until a few weeks into it. Preseason rankings are, in my opinion, the reason that Aubrun et al get screwed out of a title shot.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The legal troubles continue for the bad guys... Texas defensive tackle Andre Jones is accused of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, a first-degree felony. He currently is not in custody and an arrest warrant has been issued. This comes a week or so after another Texas player, linebacker Sergio Kindle, was arrested for DWI. Is Texas giving Miami a run for their money?
D-Back Japhus Brown couldn't cut it in the classroom and will not return for his senior season. Brown had 17 tackles last year in 11 with five starts. He is best remember (by me) for his interception in the Texas game. Damn it Brown! We need you.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

In our first appearance since the 68-71 loss to UAB in the first round of the first Preseason NIT, we will be playing against a Sutton. ? No not THAT Sutton.? THAT Sutton doesn't coach any more. We will play the OTHER Sutton, Scott, from Oral Robers University. We will host two games in College Station, then move on to the semis and finals in Madison Square Garden.