Posted on: September 30, 2010 9:46 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Oklahoma State had been touting all week their new focus on turnovers, but it was Texas A&M who created the turnovers that carried them to a 21-7 halftime lead over the Cowboys. The Aggies defense completely shut down Oklahoma State, holding the Cowboys offense to just 107 yards of total offense. Brandon Weeden, who has been picked off twice, connected with Joseph Randle for 38 of those yards.
Texas A&M quarterback Jerrod Johnson, on the other hand, has the Aggies offense moving at full speed. Johnson has already picked up 131 yards and thrown all three touchdowns to lead the Aggies, with running back Christine Michael adding an early 76 yards on the ground. With the exception of Weeden's touchdown pass, the Cowboys' drives have ended in punts or turnovers.
Unless the Cowboys are able to strike early or capitalize off turnovers, they could find themselves out this game quickly the way that Johnson has been moving the ball. After Johnson moved the Aggies 53 yards in 10 plays just before halftime, all the momentum is moving Texas A&M's way right now.
Posted on: September 30, 2010 1:28 pm
Edited on: September 30, 2010 5:11 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
The, um, "newly svelte" Big 12 announced yesterday that its members had approved a new nine-game, round-robin schedule for play, and the conference released its future schedules for play today. You can check out the full conference schedule by team here, courtesy of the Big 12's website.
Now, it's not saying much to say that a round-robin schedule is fair; round robins are inherently so, considering everyone plays everyone else, and any home/away disparities get evened out the next season. That's how football schedules are done, and this is no exception. There are a few points of elegance to the Big 12's new schedule, though, and they warrant mention:
1. Balance. This is obviously Texas and Oklahoma's league now; with Nebraska soon to be out of the picture, they're the two dominant programs, and nobody else really looks structurally capable of challenging them on a year-to-year basis. Thus, the other eight programs would generally regard UT and OU as their "toughest games of the year." And sure enough, nobody has to face Texas and Oklahoma back to back.
What's more, only Texas Tech and Baylor face both the Longhorns and the Sooners away in 2011; everybody else splits those games up home and away every year. And before Tech and Bears fans gripe about that, their teams are also the only ones who get both teams at home the next season and every other season thereafter.
2. No really, the balance. If there is a program which is set up to be the third power in the conference, it's probably Texas A&M. Sure, the Aggies haven't really had their act together on the field for the last decade or so, but that won't last forever. Commissioner Dan Beebe and the Big 12 know that, of course, so not only does nobody have to play Texas and Oklahoma in a row, only two of the seven other schools have to play any two of the Texas/Texas A&M/Oklahoma trio in a row: Baylor (again!) and Kansas, who each see A&M the week before playing Texas. That's it.
3. Rivalries. Probably our favorite aspect of this schedule is the final week, when every program has a traditional rivalry game. Sure, that's when Texas-Texas A&M has always been played, and other rivalries have often (but not always) taken place that weekend. Now, it's set in stone: Iowa State-Kansas State, Kansas-Missouri, Oklahoma-Oklahoma State, Texas Tech-Baylor and Texas-Texas A&M every final week. That's a good thing.
It's actually surprising the Big Ten didn't push harder for this type of setup; that conference divides up into traditional rivals just as easily, but only Michigan-Ohio State and Nebraska-Iowa are locked in for the final week in both of the first two seasons put forth by the Big Ten. Kudos to the Big 12 for realizing the value of Thanksgiving weekend rivalry games.
4. And finally, a way out. It's funny, the schedules are, according to the Big 12, set up in perpetuity; the 2013 schedule will be the same in 2015, 2017, 2019, etc. And yet, nobody actually wants that, right? College football's not boring by any stretch, but some variety in conference scheduling always helps. Similarly, nobody actually wants the Big 12 to stay at 10 teams forever, right? The Big 12 Championship game was way too much of a cash cow for the conference to just drop it forever, and there's significantly less charm in the whole "conference name doesn't match the number of members" situation when the actual number of members is lower. They'll be back to, uh, 12 members at some point. Count on it.
So, in about 2015 or so, when the conference members start getting a little tired of the schedule ("Wow, it's ISU-Texas to kick off the conference season AGAIN"), that'll be one more accelerant to the process of expanding the conference back to its previous 12. It's all quite perfect, really.
Posted on: September 24, 2010 11:57 am
Edited on: September 24, 2010 11:59 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Chip Brown of Orangebloods.com earned some notoriety this summer when he seemed to be ahead of everybody else regarding the breakup of the Big 12 that ended up with Nebraska leaving for the Big Ten and Colorado joining the Pac-10, but he currently finds himself in a bit of hot water with TCU head coach Gary Patterson. On Thursday afternoon Brown went to his Twitter account to ask his followers from Texas A&M a question.
Patterson was informed of the tweet following practice on Thursday and didn't take kindly to it, telling the Dallas Morning News that the tweet was inaccurate and that Brown was a liar.
I asked Patterson about this "fact" and his response was, "That's a lie. Nobody at Texas A&M ever contacted me. ... He's a liar. It's just like the Kansas State job." Patterson was referring to a report from a few years ago that had him heading to Kansas State to take that job but, obviously, he's still at TCU. After hearing Patterson's reaction to his tweet, Brown went back to his Twitter account to defend himself.
Of course, Brown also went on Twitter to say that he never said Texas A&M contacted Patterson about the job, corraborating with Patterson's account, but that had the Aggies contacted Patterson, he'd have taken the gig. Which seems a bit odd to me.
If you admit that Texas A&M never contacted Patterson then how do you know he'd have taken the job? Just because you think Patterson would have gone to College Station doesn't make it true, and it definitely doesn't make it a fact.
Posted on: September 18, 2010 9:24 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2010 10:34 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Okay, so we've had an entire day full of upset alerts that haven't quite panned out. Maybe it's our fault, because it seems that everytime we post about one, normalcy returns to whichever game we're spotlighting. If that is indeed the case, then you're going to owe us one, Texas A&M.
As things stand now in the third quarter of the Aggies game against FIU in College Station, the Golden Panthers hold a 20-6 lead.
The Aggies have turned the ball over four times, three of which have come on Jerrod Johnson interceptions, including one that was just returned 54 yards by Anthony Gaitor to make it 20-6. The Aggies are actually outgaining the Golden Panthers in total yards, and FIU has only converted on one of their 10 third down attempts, but thanks to the turnovers -- the Aggies have actually fumbled three times but only lost one -- they're in prime position to pull off a huge upset.
UPDATE: Texas A&M scored on a 37-yard touchdown run by Christine Michael early in the fourth quarter, but still trail 20-13.
UPDATE: The Aggies have tied it up at 20-20 on a 33-yard touchdown pass by Johnson to Terrence McCoy. There's still 7:07 left to play, but as for the moment it looks like the Upset Alerts tag has struck again. Mike Sherman owes us dinner.
UPDATE: And now, as we knew would happen, the Aggies have taken the lead thanks to a 40-yard scamper from Cyrus Gray. It's 27-20 Aggies with 4:29 left.
UPDATE : It's over, the Upset Alerts Curse lives. FIU had a chance, though, with a 1st and goal in closing minutes but couldn't get into the end zone. Final score: Texas A&M 27 FIU 20.
Posted on: September 1, 2010 12:14 pm
Edited on: September 1, 2010 2:50 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Okay, so maybe that headline is a little bit unfair. But it's not far from what Texas A&M athletic director Bill Byrne said when he was a guest on "Aggie Hour," a weekly radio show on the Aggie Radio Network, earlier this week.
Byrne was candid about several topics, one of which being why the Aggies decided to maintain a holding pattern when given a potential opportunity to move to the SEC earlier in the summer.
"I was concerned with changing conferences that we may not be ready for the level of competition if we decided to leave," Byrne told host Dave South on the weekly show that's part of the Aggie Radio Network. "I was very concerned about trying to take things slowly, and not rush."
Despite being one of the most storied programs in college football history, the Big 12 has not treated the Aggies very well - particularly in football. The Aggies have not had a conference title since 1998 and haven't finished the season in the Top 25 since 1999.
Obviously the Aggies hope that this season can be the end of at least one of those streaks, and if it's going to happen it will be on the legs and arms of Jerrod Johnson. The senior quarterback threw for 3579 yards and 30 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions, and will be counted on to do the same and more in 2010. The Aggies are currently sitting on the outside of the Top 25, but with a schedule that kicks off with Stephen F. Austin, Louisiana Tech, and Florida International; they should have some time to work out any kinks before kicking off conference play.