Yes, I know the Texas Aggies have won three games in a row now. But now is not the time to get all soft when it comes to head coach Mike Sherman. He is still on double, secret probation and if he loses any of the next three as head football coach, then Bill Byrne should still have Sherman tender his resignation.
Remember, the Aggies have three streaks this season. The first one when they went 3-0. The second one when they went 0-3, and the third one in which they went 3-0, for a 6-3 record. There are three more games left of the season. If they continue this pattern, they will end up 6-6, with an invitation to the Preparation H Bowl, where they will probably lose to whoever they play. If this happens, then Sherman will have another losing season on his hands, at 6-7. That will mean four straight years of losing seasons.
Yes, Sherman managed to pull off a win against No. 8 OU. But again, this is no time to get soft on the man. He needs to win out and win a bowl. I can’t remember the last time A&M actually won a bowl game, and I certainly cannot remember the last time they won a bowl game of significance.
All this to say, he is still on probation. He needs to win the rest of the games of the season AND the bowl game, otherwise, he needs to be fired.
The Baylor Game
A&M is playing Baylor tomorrow. Normally, Baylor has been a doormat for the league, even though A&M hasn’t been able to capitalize on that fact for a number years. This year, however, the Bears have a real team. A&M should not get cocky, even though they knocked off No. 8 Oklahoma last Saturday, 33-19. Bleacher Report is picking Baylor for this game, and for them to win, would be an actual upset since A&M is ranked and Baylor is not. Here is what Tim Kinslow writes:
Just because Baylor lost to Oklahoma State last week and fell out of the Top 25, it doesn’t mean the Bears can’t get it done.
Baylor takes on Texas A&M this weekend and I think the Bears get back into the BCS with a win this weekend over the Aggies. Baylor is the type of team that will hang around and make just enough plays to win the game.
Notice that? A&M could get upset this Saturday. Now, I hope this inspires the team to play harder and more focused so that they win. My fear is that Sherman will fail to miss an opportunity to build on the three-game winning streak and the team will slip back into mediocrity where they feel really comfortable.
Sherman Not All Bad
Yes, I must admit, I’m being hard on Sherman. I tend to give my loyalty too quickly to people and once I’ve burned, it’s hard to get it back. This applies to sports figures only. Those people in my life are shown a great more deal of grace because I know that they show me a great deal more grace than I deserve.
That being said, Sherman has done some things to really improve the offense this year. I like this story by the Houston Chronicle’s Brent Zwerneman. He writes that the conditioning that the Aggies’ office has gone through has made it like basketball on grass. Sherman makes the wide receivers run back to the huddle as fast as they just sprinted down the field. This wears out the defense and really opens up the offense to make the quick strike, like A&M did against OU when Ryan Swope snagged a pass for a 64 yard touchdown.
It’s an expeditious arrangement engineered by coach Mike Sherman calling for a receiver to hustle back to the line of scrimmage about as fast as he split it.
“For a receiver running all the way down the field and then running back to the huddle — and doing it over and over again — it’s tiring,” Swope said.
And in the end, the effort is worth it.
“It’s fun, when you get that tempo going and start making big plays,” Swope said. “And when a defense gets tired, it just opens up the whole field.”
I have to give it to Sherman. He’s thinking outside the box and trying to innovate. This could lead to something great. But we have to be cautious. Remember the Run & Shoot offense that the Houston Cougars ran for years? After everyone figured out how to defend it, it was nicknamed the run & poop, or the run & hide offense. But this does remind me of that line in the movie The Miracle where the coach told the players after having them do those brutal skating drills, “You may not be the best team on the ice, but you will be the best conditioned team on the ice.” That is one of my favorite movies. Let’s hope Sherman is making one of my favorite stories as he looks to take his team from mediocrity into something great.