This just in: it’s been announced that Texas A&M quarterback and Heisman trophy winner Johnny Manziel will be suspended for half a game in the season opener on Saturday against Rice University. The case will also be closed from this point on, according to reports. This means the season is no longer in doubt. He will be able to play the rest of the season. Las Vegas will be taking bets on A&M’s season once again. (Not that I’m a betting man!).
It’s been a while since I did an Texas Aggies Update. You have to know that Texas Aggies everywhere are really excited about the inaugural season of football with the SEC and this has us really excited. But there is more to this excitement than just joining the SEC.
First, Kevin Sumlin, the new head football coach, has really begun to assemble a great recruiting class for 2013. He has done this by promoting the reality that Texas A&M is playing in the best league in the nation, and confronting the lies put forth by those on the recruiting trails from the likes of t.u. Those in the great state of Texas have known for years that t.u. will trash talk all the other schools to recruits. It’s typical coming from that institution. Former A&M coach Mike Sherman ignored the problem, choosing to take the higher road. Sumlin has chosen to confront the attacks with the truth.
Here is what Miketag from Just Wait Til Next Season wrote:
The coaches that Sumlin brought in have a different approach. If a college negatively recruits against A&M, they will get down and dirty in the trenches with them. When Mack Brown tells a wide receiver recruit that A&M has moved out of state and all the Aggie games will be too far away for his parents to watch, the Aggie coaches simply point out Texas’ pedestrian passing game to that recruit.
There is nothing wrong with either approach. Mike Sherman is a stand-up guy and you cannot ask him to be something he is not. These new assistants are young and aggressive and they are not going to take lies from other coaches sitting down.
The response to Sumlin and his coaches so far has been nothing short of amazing. With two cornerbacks giving their verbal pledges yesterday, the Ags now have 19 commitments in the 2013 class and it is only June.
Sumlin has gained commitments from four defensive linemen and two linebackers. He has immediately addressed the glaring issues in the front seven. Aggie fans can expect to see the Ags add two more defensive linemen and two more linebackers to the class before signing day. Bringing in 12 players in the front seven is a great way to fix depth issues.
Sumlin and his staff have achieved their success not only by countering the negative recruiting from other programs, but by changing the perception of the A&M program entirely. Texas A&M has an image as a conservative university, but this football staff is young and hip. Recruits want to play for coaches who are laid back enough to play rap music during the practices like the Aggies do.
Sumlin held a “Friday Night Lights” event where he invited all of the elite recruits in the 2013 and 2014 class to come and watch a scrimmage under the lights at Kyle Field. He and his assistants went on the road and put on satellite football camps at different high schools across the state.
The other issue that should give some Aggies a cause to rejoice is that Bleacher Report did a ranking of the most loyal fans in the nation and Aggies came in at number 7. They rank higher than Arkansas, LSU, t.u., Texas Tech, Notre Dame, Florida, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The only teams that rank higher in fan loyalty are: Penn State, Auburn, Alabama, Nebraska, Ohio State and Michigan, in that order. I think that is deserving of a big Aggie whooooop!
While I am grateful the Denver Broncos are pressing forward into the playoffs, they do need to cease and desist on using the 12th Man logo. Apparently they had a man parachute into the stadium before their game against the Steelers with a Parachute that read “12th Man.” That phrase is owned by Texas A&M University and is a rich part of the tradition a A&M. While I like the Broncos and hope they do well with their Tim Tebow led offense, they need to back off the 12th Man.
The Seattle Seahawks tried to use it a few years ago and had to back off as well after… ahem, contributing to the University with a wonderful financial gift. Here is part of the story from David Ubben at ESPN.com:
Texas A&M is considering sending a cease and desist letter to the Denver Broncos for infringing on the school’s “12th Man” trademark.
The school owns the trademark. Before Denver’s wild-card playoff win over Pittsburgh on Sunday, a man parachuted into the stadium with a “12th Man” flag, which reportedly flew during the game.
School spokesman Jason Cook told ESPN.com that the school will meet with general counsel on Monday morning to discuss the timetable of pursuing action.
“A cease and desist is typically our first course of action when dealing with infringements of the 12th Man mark,” Cook said.
Texas A&M filed a suit against the Seattle Seahawks in 2006 after sending requests to stop using the phrase in 2004 and 2005, and later resolved the issue without noting what, if any, licensing fees the Seahawks franchise would pay Texas A&M.
Any Seahawks broadcasts that reference the 12th Man must include a statement that the 12th Man is a trademark of Texas A&M University.
“The 12th Man is one of Texas A&M’s most cherished traditions, dating back to 1922,” Cook said. “Today, the 12th Man is personified by 85,000 Aggies yelling at Kyle Field on the Texas A&M campus, symbolizing our loyalty and unique Aggie Spirit. It is imperative that we protect this valuable trademark from unauthorized use and maintain ownership of the 12th Man.”
The Aggies trace their use to 1922, when an injury-plagued roster led the team to pull E. King Gill from the stands and suited him up to play. Gill never took to the field, but the legend strengthened campus-wide commitment to support the team. The words “Home of 12th Man” adorn the stadium and the entire school is considered the 12th Man.
While Texas A&M fired Mike Sherman at the end of the season, he truly shows that he is a man of character in this open letter he wrote to high school football coaches. We can all learn something from his words.
I found this over at I Am the 12th Man:
I want to take this opportunity to thank all of you for allowing my staff and me to come into your high schools, recruit your players and share ideas with you. I am forever grateful for the access and opportunity you’ve offered me over the last four years.
Other than going to practice every day and being on the field with my players, the one thing I am going to miss the most is visiting with high school coaches, listening to you talk about your kids and your programs, and watching practices and off-season workouts. Since this will be my last letter to high school coaches, besides thanking you for the opportunities to visit with you, I wanted to share with you some of the things I learned over the years that might be of help to you down the road. Sometimes I think as football coaches we are so competitive we are reluctant to share ideas. This profession has been good to me. I believe giving back when you can is important. These are my ideas – not suggesting they are for you. They are some of the things I came away with.
He followed up with this:
I. Core Values
If a player learns anything from me, he’ll learn that you have specific core values to live his life. These ‘core values’ are his guiding light in the decisions he makes not just as a football player, but as a man.
Our ‘core values’ for our team were simple.
Truth and Love. I believe these are essential elements to run a football team, a business, organization, government or family.
Be who you say you are.
Do what you say you are going to do.
Be truthful to yourself and others.
Seek the truth.
Demand the truth.
Tell the truth.
Live the truth.
If there is no truth, there is no trust.
If there is no trust, there is no relationship.
If there is no relationship, there is no value or substance to what you are doing.
As coaches we must¡¬
Never, never lie or mislead a player.
It’s simple. He has to trust you. You have to trust him. There is no trust when truth isn’t at the forefront.
You cannot fix something unless there is absolute truth.
Never, never let a player get away with lying to you. Go the Nth degree if necessary to confirm what he is telling you is true. He’s got to know you will not accept dishonesty and there are consequences for not being honest. Without absolute truth, there is no relationship. Without relationships there is no chemistry. Without chemistry, you lack a major component towards winning championships.
Love your God.
Love your family and friends.
Love your country.
Love your freedom and those who protect those freedoms.
Love your teammates, coaches and school.
Love the game of football.
Love competition and winning.
Love all things that equate to winning.
Love is a passion that can bring great success to your life and to your team.. It is one emotion that always plays out positively. It is the glue for your team and promotes great chemistry. Watching this year¡¯s Texas H.S. State Championship games, I saw a lot of this on the field and on the sidelines.
I must admit, this is something I’ve learned over time. I have not been a “touchy feely
guy” and have been a fairly private person with my words and actions, but once I began to tell players that I loved them I could see it started to make a difference in their lives. I’ve said it to my wife and five kids often but it was not natural for me to say it outside that circle. A lot of my players like yours never hear that word. It took a conscious effort on my part. After disciplining a player I always would say, “you know I love you, right?” Reluctantly they would agree and eventually say it back. When I was dismissed as the HFC, I can’t tell you how many players texted me to tell me “love ya coach.” This brought great closure to me because I feel we impacted them in a positive way – even beyond the game of football. This was a great lesson I learned that will stay with me forever.
II. Be Honest But Positive
One thing I’ve learned is that young men respond better to honesty than “blowing smoke” at them. Too many people – parent and friends – tell them they are all this and all that. People tell them they are ¡°great. Everyone is worried about self-esteem so much , no one tells them what is real. Kids today have a false sense of confidence and bravado that when the first time things go bad in their lives or on the field, they can’t handle it. They have to know where they truthfully stand and what they need to do to get better. I do believe this is the best approach. Honesty however, must be buoyed by positive encouragement not negative criticism.
III. Embrace Your Players
Another thing I’ve learned the past four years is that you need to physically embrace your players with a tap on the back, arm around the shoulder, hand shake, hug. They not only need to hear your care about them but feel you care about them. They need to know you love them and care for them beyond just their ability as a football player. They have to feel you are going to be their coach for life, not just until they graduate and they are done playing for you. They have to trust that you will be there for them in the long term.
IV. Be Harder On Your Star Players
To become a great team I believe you must push your star players harder than the rest of the team. You cannot concede your principles because you know these players are the ones who will help you win games. Become more demanding of them, not less. The lesser players will respond to this in a positive way because you do not play favorites. The star players will also benefit from this because they will not be thinking they are something they are not. (See Tom Brady – perfect example.)
V. Be Respectful and Positive Toward the Lesser Talented Kids in Your Program
It’s not necessarily their fault they can’t play as well as you would like. As long as they are part of the program, as long as they are working hard, they deserve your respect as well as respect from your entire staff. Empower them whenever you can. If they earn it, say things like “great job by our scout team today -best in the country.” Compliment them on their little accomplishments. They won’t forget you for that. They are the ones in ten years that will come back to visit their Coach.
I promise you, they may not all play in the game on Friday or Saturday, but they share a locker room with every member of the team all year long. If you empower them, you will have a tighter, stronger team. You will have a better locker room, and ultimately, if you don’t have a good locker room, you can’t win.
VI. Have Components of Championship Play
Have specific components for Championship play for offense / defense / special teams. These are your components that you believe are most valuable in your quest to win a Championship. You must reference them three times a week. Do not stray from them. Be committed to them. Constantly reinforce these components.. It’s what you believe and it’s what the staff and players must believe. (See the end of this letter for my components.)
VII. Delegate to Your Assistant Coaches
I believe I tried to do too much at times. Step back so you can be more objective about problems that arise. You can fix them better from this perspective as a Head Football Coach.
This is difficult for me since I love to coach every play. I tried to fix every problem and player. I think I would have been more helpful in other phases if I wasn’t so consumed. I tried on occasion to step away, but certain issues arose that brought me back to it.
VIII. Break Down Barriers
When I got to campus at Texas A&M, I felt there were barriers between our student body and our athletes. I felt our players had an overly high opinion of themselves but the students had a low opinion of our athletes. I have adamantly explained to our kids that they are “special” on Saturday when we play the game as well as when they practice and prepare to play. But during the week, walking across campus, they are students just like everyone else and should act and engage themselves that way. We were able to include the student body and faculty in a lot of football functions. This helped us eliminate the barriers.
I wanted our faculty and student body to embrace our players and wanted our players to embrace them as well. I believe we accomplished this. I believe when players play for something bigger then themselves, they player better.
IX. Never Throw a Player Under the Bus
I see this all too often at the college level. The Head Football Coach has to assume all responsibility publicly for the player’s performance. Privately it is different. Hold them accountable one on one and in team meetings in front of their peers.
X. Players Have to Play for You
The only way this happens is if they ultimately believe in you and trust in you. Other than pure talent, there is no greater component towards winning than this. Schemes, practice plans, game plans, off season, concepts, philosophy and ideas mean nothing if you can’t get the players to play for you. This is key. Relationships with players have to be at the forefront of who you are as a coach.
XI. Peer Pressure is a Valuable Tool
Although I will not throw a player under the bus publicly, I will call him out in a team meeting when he displays behavior contrary to what we want to accomplish as a team, whether it be on or off the field. As long as you are consistent with this to all players, it will be very effective.
One of the best things I did was break our locker room down into 6 battalions. The seniors drafted players to their battalions (locker room section). Battalions are about accountability. As a player, you are accountable to yourself, but you are also accountable to your battalion. When a player steps out of line, the player is punished, usually a difficult conditioning run, but if it happens a second time, the entire battalion runs. Stepping out of line usually revolved about class and study hall attendance, but it wasn’t limited to that. The seniors who understood the purpose of battalions drafted not based upon talent, but based upon accountability. One of our very best players talent wise was the last player drafted this past year. He had no idea his teammates viewed him this way. He was embarrassed and disappointed that he was viewed this way. It changed him instantly and dramatically. He didn’t want to be that guy.
The lesson I learned about battalions is that players will sometimes let themselves down, but very few are willing to let their team mates down.
XIII. Fundamentals Fundamentals Fundamentals
There were times this past season I felt our fundamentals were not at the level I wanted them. I talked about this weekly to coaches but I felt it was an area we could and should have been better at. Sometimes players forget what got them to be the players they are.
Sometimes coaches get too tied up in the scheme and they sacrifice fundamentals in the process. There has to be a consistent commitment to this from beginning to end of season. It’s still a game of blocking and tackling, throwing and catching. That will never change. If you do those things well, you will win regardless of what scheme you run.
XIV. Never Pass Up an Opportunity to Practice Tackling
Whether in pads or in shorts, your team can always practice the techniques of proper form tackling. Breaking down, coming to balance, bending knees and keeping eyes with a form fit can be practiced every day and in every drill. With pads or without – always coach the proper angle and fit on a tackle.
XV. Hiring Staff
When hiring a staff, always take your time and get the right fit and what you want. Not everyone should be the same personality or talent. You need different personalities, different strengths, but all on the same page from what you as Head Football Coach want to accomplish. You are only as good as those around you. Take your time here. Very critical to get the right fit, staff talent and chemistry is key. It carries over to the players.
XVI. Dismissing a Staff Member
If someone is not doing their job the way you want it done, it is imperative you tell them immediately. I think it is unfair to fire someone without letting them know they are not meeting your expectations first. I believe you give a staff member three opportunities to fix what needs to be fixed. You hired him, you fix him. You owe him that . If you can’t, you owe it to the rest of the staff and team to make a change.
I tell the staff every pre-season what my expectations are. I tell them I will be up front and honest with them about their performance. I tell them if during the season I don’t like something, you’d better fix it.
It’s important to separate the professional criticism from the personal. You may like the person but you may not like how he is doing his job. When relieving someone of their duties, never let it get personal. This was always the toughest part of being a head coach. Your obligation is to the overall team and you cannot allow poor performance keep you from getting there. If you have been up front and honest with the coach, he can have no qualms about the direction you eventually decide to go.
XVII. Take Care of the Person and the Football Player Will Come Out
I tell our coaches this all the time. The players have to know you care before they will care about what you want them to do. Be involved in their lives. Ask questions about their families and girlfriends. Know their likes and dislikes. They have to know your care and are concerned about them as men first, players second. They have to know you care about their lives outside of and after football.
XVIII. Never Let the Negative Criticism Get to You
As Head Football Coach, you must assume total responsibility for your players and coaches performance. In order to handle this responsibility you must keep your head above the fray. Do not let things on the outside influence you. Be the leader you were hired to be.
Never let other people define you. You and you alone define the coach and the man that you are. No matter what happens, they can’t take that away from you. Hold true to your principles regardless of the circumstances or consequences.. Your players are watching how you react to these situations. In times of adversity are you who you say you are? Anybody can make it work when you are winning and everyone is happy. More importantly , your own family watches you and will learn a lot about their husband and dad in these adverse situations..
XIX. The Burst
You have to coach “the burst.” This is the fine line between making a tackle and not making a tackle, scoring a T.D. or not. Wins and losses are dictated and determined by a player’s ability and desire to show a burst. In season and out of season, you must coach this. They have to know the difference between running to the ball and bursting to the ball- running toward the end zone or ¡°bursting¡± toward the end zone. We always reward/acknowledge “the Burst of the Week” whether it be in season or out of season.
XX. More Game Are Lost Than Won
At times this past season, I thought we might be trying to do too much. You win games when players are comfortable and know what to do. Thinking too much can cause hesitancy. You want them to be aggressive, play with good fundamentals, do not make the game too hard for them. From watching tapes of different teams and even my own, I’ve come to the conclusion that the best coaches are the one who don’t feel they have to out smart the opponent, but would rather out coach and out play them. You do this with fundamentals.
If players on defense know what to do and recognizes offensive schemes faster, they will make plays and create turnovers.
If players on offense know what to do and recognize defensive schemes, they will make plays and not turn the ball over. Ultimately in football, the team that makes plays and creates turnovers and doesn’t give the ball away, wins games.
XXI. Common Language
I believe it is imperative to have certain principles of the game of football defined the exact same way by all staff members. Effective communication is the key to success. Players cannot hear the same concept defined multiple ways. Definitions must be consistent.
A. Physical Play – finish each play in a dominant position
B. Mental Toughness – complete the task at hand regardless of the circumstances
C. Fanatical Effort – the maximum level of strain or speed toward the successful completion of the play
These are just a couple of examples but a common vocabulary on certain fundamentals is critical for the ultimate success of teaching and evaluating those fundamentals. You ask ten coaches to define “physical play” you will have ten different interpretations. As the Head Football coach, you determine how you want it defined and demand everyone use that definition.
Different situations call for different styles of leadership. Players and coaches must know that if things do not go right in preparation and practice, the Head Football Coach may snap or vent or lose it to those not working toward the desired goal that week.
Preparation time requires a different form of leadership than game time.
On game day, however, the Head Football Coach – in my opinion – must keep his composure and not show panic but rather calmness and direction in adverse situations. Losing it in this situation does not necessarily create the desired result conducive to winning.
This concept of leadership was re-enforced on my trip to Iraq two years ago in visiting with General Odierno and others in position of leadership. Cool heads must prevail when adversity strikes. Players (soldiers) do not and will not follow panic driven reactionary leaders, but rather those with confidence, composure, and direction of purpose.
Leadership does require that you be yourself and not try to be someone you are not, but it requires the best version of yourself.
XXIII. Maintaining Balance
Keep everything in perspective is keeping everything in ¡°balance¡°. There have been times in my career I have lost this balance. As a football coach, it is so easy to become consumed by it all. We are evaluated publicly every Friday night or Saturday afternoon. The pressures we impose on ourselves to be the best and to win are vastly greater than those pressures we face on the outside. Our competitiveness is a great thing- although if not kept in check- can be our downfall as well. You have to have balance in your life to make it all work effectively. Make sure you keep vision on your principles. Faith and family cannot take a back seat to football and winning.
I have made this mistake in my career at times.
Trust me when I say this, and I say it from my own experience, the more balanced you are, the better coach you will be. Do not neglect the essential elements of your life. If you win a state championship but miss seeing your son dress up as Brett Favre at Halloween or see your daughter play her viola in a Christmas recital ¨C what have you gained in the long term compared to what have you lost? I do believe you can have both but it takes a conscious effort and discipline to maintain balance in your life and make it work. You will be a better coach, husband, father and man if you do this.
It’s been a hectic couple of weeks for me to say the least. I’m disappointed I won’t have the opportunity to finish what we started at Texas A&M. We have come a long way in my four years here. I believe in the foundation we have laid both on and off the field. Talent levels and expectations have increased dramatically. We had record crowds at Kyle Field this year. Graduation rates and GPAs are higher than they’ve ever been. We have great kids in the program that know how to work. They understand the principles of the university. We have kids who have core values which will not only help them be better football players but men, husbands, and fathers as well. I feel good about that.
Last season we exceeded expectations with a young football team. This past season we had opportunities to do some great things , but they literally slipped through our fingers. Our season basically came down to 5 or 6 plays. If we made those plays, we could have ended up with a 10 or 11 win season. Winning and losing is a fine line- we ended up on the wrong side one too many times. As the Head Coach, I am ultimately responsible for that- me and me alone.
This season has been difficult because we have not been able to meet the expectations we ourselves have created with what we accomplished in the previous season. Our season this year was a lot like the Houston Texans last year. I do believe this, however, if you stay true to your principles, and given the opportunity, you eventually will win out in the long run. My Dad always told me many years ago¡¬ ¡°the cream always rises to the top¡± and I still believe that
I do feel the future is bright for Texas A&M Football, however.
Kevin Sumlin will do a great job as the new Head Football Coach at A&M. He is a good coach and a good man.
In closing I want you to know that if there is ever anything I can do for any of you, do not hesitate to contact me. You’ve always been very gracious towards my staff and me and I thank you for that. It’s meant world to me.
Again, I appreciate the opportunity to have met and talked with many of you. Of those I haven’t met, I want you to know I respect the work you all do with your high schools, teams and players. I believe high school football coaches are the most influential leaders of their high schools and communities. Their impact on not just the football players but students and administration, as well as the cities and towns they live is huge.
Coaching high school football is not an easy job. If you all got paid by the hour, you’d be very wealthy men. With that said, coaching is an extremely rewarding and honorable profession. The game of football is so special on so many fronts. Winning is the ultimate goal and there are few things more fun than being in that locker room after a hard fought victory. I never remember scores of games, but I do remember locker rooms after we won- faces of players and coaches all huddled together yelling, screaming, smiling and laughing, ¬acting totally emotional and truthful- devoid of any apprehensiveness or inhibitions, ¬just enjoying the moment. There is no doubt that it’s the competition week in and week out that keeps us going- wanting to relive that experience again.
We must never lose sight, however, that with the opportunity to coach these young men and experience victory together, there also comes the huge responsibility to make a difference in their lives. We must never lose sight of the fact- “once their coach always their coach.” Where others may have failed them , we as coaches cannot. Where others have created mistrust, we must bring trust . Where others have created disrespect, we must bring respect. Where others have let them down, we must support them. We owe that to them regardless of their talent or ability. We owe that to them regardless of wins and losses.
We owe that to this great game of football which constantly challenges us- week in and week out. What job could anyone of us have that does that? This game we coach not only challenges us to keep our egos in check when we win, but forces us to face our fears when we lose. This “game” also has the ability to bring out the very best in us at times as well the very worst in us at times. Here is hoping that it brings out the very best in each and every one of us all the time.
Best wishes for great success both on and off the field.
God bless , Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year.
These words really show that Sherman was more than just a coach, he was a man of character.
News reports indicate that Texas A&M head football coach Mike Sherman has been fired today by the Board of Regents. Sherman was 6-6 for the season and 25-25 for his tenure as the Aggies head coach. He has been a constant disappointment and only had one winning season, which was last year when the Aggies went 9-4 for the year.
We should have known it would end this way. Sherman started his dreadful career as head coach with an opening loss to… Arkansas State University. The dreadful 4 years is finally over and Texas A&M can start looking for another head coach.
Too bad Urban Meyer has been hired by Ohio State. He once stated that he would like to coach at A&M, but that is before he went to Florida. Whoever A&M gets, they will need someone that can win in the SEC since A&M debuts in that conference next year. One thing for sure, Sherman wasn’t that man. In all the games in which he faced SEC opponents, he didn’t win a single game.
Good Morning from Roswell, NM. We have finally landed here in our new home, and while the world looks for aliens every where, the only type of aliens we believe in is alien righteousness, which is saying that we need a righteousness outside of ourselves. Namely, the righteousness of Christ.
Other than that, not much is going on here in Roswell that I know of. We have been so busy unpacking boxes that I’m quite oblivious to the worries of the world right now. I did hear that Urban Meyer took the coaching job at Ohio State, and once again, the Texas Aggies failed to grab up a really good coach. They should have heeded my admonition … Fire Mike Sherman.
BTW, my blog got hit a ton last week after the t.u.-A&M game, all posts from last year where I was calling for Mike Sherman to be fired. Apparently after the tough loss to t.u., I wasn’t the only one with the desire for a coaching change in College Station.
To my regular readers, I think I will start posting more regularly when life returns to normal. After the move across country with my family this week, not sure what normal looks like. If anyone knows, please share with the rest of us. I guess I could say that normal is … routine. What is routine becomes what is normal. Hhm? I’m thinking there is something wrong with that premise, but it will have to do for now.
I’m trying not to be excited about this game, but it is a big one. Two number 10s haven’t played one another at Kyle Field since 1975. That was long before I was an Aggie, so you can tell it’s a big deal.
OSU has had the Aggies number the last three years. I hope they have lost their phone book and the Aggies rise to the occasion, but I will not make any bold predictions, other than the following:
- I will finish my sermon and the bulletin in the next hour!
- I will go to the grocery store to get my chili fixins!
- I will cook a big pot of chili for the game!
- I will watch the game with a lot of comfort food during the game.
- I will promise to start that diet once again on Monday…
Gig ‘Em Aggies! Beat OSU!
BTW, it looks like the Big 12-2/3 survived the week. Turns out the Pac 10 didn’t want Texas after all. So the Big 12-2/3 will press on… also, without worthless leader Dan Beebe. The forced him out this week and the conference may have a chance at this point, but not with A&M. The Aggies are still set on going to the SEC, which I hope will take place. Much tougher conference. But to be a big boy, you have to play with the big boys!!!
UPDATE: Needless to say I’m quite put out by the Aggies second half performance. They went into half time with a 20-3 lead and lost the game 30-29. They looked horrible during the second half. The truth of the matter is that the Aggies just can’t handle the national limelight. The heat is too much for them. Whenever they start getting ranked in the top 10, it’s just too much for them and they do every thing they can to make sure they fall to the lower 25 and beyond. How they won the national championship in 1939 is beyond me.
I guess with the Aggies move into the SEC, I should get use to losing. Look at the Arkansas Razorbacks. How long have they been in the SEC and they still haven’t adjusted to live there.
BTW, on a more important note, the chili was excellent once again. Elisa even said so, and Andy liked it. Joey hasn’t had any yet, he’s too busy playing.
Karen Swallow Prior has a funny piece on Christian cliches including the one above. Apparently she has a pastor or knows someone who likes to say such things, which in her mind, is just a bit too much information. She writes:
smokin’ hot, as in, “I just wanna love on these precious kids and come alongside them as we do life together and then go home to my smokin’ hot bride.” To me, calling one’s wife bride on any day after the honeymoon betrays a rather silly insistence that she is into perpetuity that sweet, young, virginal thing once greeted at the altar — or worse, a tacit acknowledgement that she’s not (wink, wink), so let’s just make like she is. Smokin’ hot, on the other hand, just sounds like someone trying a bit too hard to convince himself.
I think if I actually heard a pastor say this from the pulpit, I would have to get up and leave shortly after I barfed in the pew. For me, it’s a question of being faithful to the call to preach and teach. Do we really need to know that you think your wife is smokin’ hot… for you to preach God’s word? Just preach God’s word.
She also deals with cliches such as “doing ministry” “love on” as in, “we just need to love on these kids,” “missional” “being authentic” and other such trivial statements in the church. I also appreciated her point concerning the phrase “a real heart for God.” She points out that for some reason, it’s bad to have “a real mind for God” in our day in age.
“Just” in prayers…. which is one of my pet peeves, was given the thumbs down as well:
- just. This is a mild but pervasive example that peppers many prayers and is intended, I suppose, to express humility. There’s nothing wrong with this unless constant use causes believers to forego coming to God boldly.
Gina, in the comments section, added her two cents worth in giving us the Lord’s prayer with “just” appropriately added:
Our Father, who just art in heaven, hallowed just be thy name. Thy Kingdom just come, thy will just be done, on earth just as it is in heaven. Just give us this day our daily bread. And just forgive us our trespasses,
as we just forgive those who just trespass against us.
And just lead us not into temptation, but just deliver us from evil. For thine is just the kingdom, just the power and just the glory, for ever and just ever.
I wonder if this tendency to use this word comes from that hymn, Just as I am?
As usual about this time of year, my thoughts begin to turn to college football and the Texas Aggies. I would say that I also look forward to the NFL season as well, but I don’t. I’m too busy on Sunday to watch the games, and find most of them quite boring.
This being the case, it has been interesting reading about the possible realignment of the Texas Aggies with the SEC. This started last year when the Big 12-2 almost fell apart. It continues this year because of the texas longhorn network, a joint venture between t.u. and ESPN. t.u. has their own television network and they want to show high school football games of teams where they have potential recruits. This doesn’t sit well with A&M or OU, both of which have started to eye a move to the SEC, which would leave t.u. in a really bad conference. The mere threat of this has caused the people at t.u. to back off their hopes of showing high-school games on their network.
I hope that no matter what happens with the longhorn network, that A&M does end up in the SEC. It would be much better for A&M in the long run than to remain in a conference that is really held together by A&M, t.u., and the Sooners. Since my hopeful move back to Texas has fallen through, it has a greater appeal since I may be remaining in the SEC area. It would be fun to drive to places like Oxford and Tuscaloosa to watch the Aggies play football. Yes, I know that the Aggies would struggle in the SEC the first couple of years. Their record against SEC teams here of late has been dismal. But in the long run, they would improve as more players from Texas would want to play against teams like LSU, the Crimson Tide and the Florida Gators. That is much more appealing than playing the likes of the Kansas Wildcats.
So hear is to A&M football moving to the SEC and knowing that the season is only 6 weeks away. Check out beergut’s thoughts on realignment at I Am the 12th Man. Remember, beergut is the official non-official expert on Texas A&M football.
From the 12th Man:
- Aggie soccer won another Big 12 Championship, and lost in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
- Football went 9-4, won the Big 12 South, and went to the Cotton Bowl.
- Men’s swimming and diving finishes 13th at the NCAA Championships. Women’s swimming and diving finished in the top 10 at the NCAA Championships for the fifth consecutive year.
- Men’s basketball finished the season 24-9, 10-6 in Big 12 play, good for a tie for third in conference play. For the sixth consecutive season, we played in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
- Women’s basketball finished the season 33-5, 13-3 in Big 12 play, putting them at second in the conference. The women then went on the win A&M’s first ever women’s basketball national championship.
- Men’s golf finished second in the Big 12, then ninth at the NCAA Championship.
- Women’s golf finished second at the Big 12 Championships, and 7th at the NCAA Championship.
- Men’s tennis lost to Stanford in the Round of 16 at the NCAA Tournament. Austn Krajicek and Jeff Dadamo won the 2011 NCAA Doubles National Championship, our first ever men’s tennis national championship.
- Women’s tennis finished 4th in the Big 12, and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the 12th consecutive year.
- Softball capped an undefeated record at home in the regular season with a sweep in the 2011 College Station Regional, then advanced to the Tempe Super Regional. Softball ended the year ranked #13 in the nation.
- Men’s and women’s outdoor track again won the national championships, making history by being the first program to win national championships on the men’s and women’s side three years in a row.
- Baseball won the Big 12 Championship, tying with texas for the regular season title, won the Big 12 Tournament Championship, won the 2011 College Station Regional, won the Tallahassee Super Regional, and advanced to the College World Series.
Homer Norton’s coaching career took off after leaving Centenary to take over at Texas A&M. Norton had a great deal of success as coach of Texas A&M, going 82-53-9, leading them to three conference titles and a National Championship in 1939.
After retiring in 2002, R.C. Slocum left the Texas A&M program with the most wins in their history. During his time with the football program, Slocum won four conference championships and put together a 123-47-2 record in his 14 years as coach.