Thomas Campbell-US PRESSWIRE
For the first time in recent memory, the Aggies and Longhorns aren't meeting on the gridiron this week. We talk about where things stand with the Aggie program and give our opinions on our former rival's new tradition.
I know living in the Austin area has you anxiously anticipating the huge Big 12 turkey day showdown between Texas and TCU. I saw they continued the hex rally and even had it televised. I would love to take a few shots at them but I have no doubt that we would have burned Bonfire for the Mizzou game this year if able. But I guess this is a big game for them with such a storied history between the two programs. In fact Mack Brown said "it really won't be much different from the A&M game." Here's the transcript in case you don't believe me.
Longhorn arrogance has reached a new high. Deloss Dodds apparently thinks they're the Dallas Cowboys and "humbly" requested the Longhorns get to play every Thanksgiving game at home while rotating opponents. Of course the Big 12 league office is working to accommodate them. I can only imagine how the Raiders and Bears feel.
I've held out hope for a BCS bowl berth but after last weekend's outcomes, but I'm afraid the dream has died. A B1G matchup in the Capital One Bowl would be cool but I'm afraid that will go to a two loss SEC East team. I really don't want to play in the Cotton Bowl but I'm afraid that's where we are headed. It'll be against Oklahoma or Kansas State unless they both get BCS bids. No way the Longhorns win out.
What is the deal with the national media finding a new darling to promote over Johnny Football? After Klein's pathetic effort against the mighty Baylor Bears, It's now Manti Teo? The guys got a great story and has overcome a lot but the Heisman? Give me a break. He's not even the best linebacker in college football. It seems they're looking for any reason to not give it to a freshman. Ridiculous. I still think a little bit of it is to build up hype so they have something to write about.
What a great year in Aggieland. This 100-year decision to go to the SEC is going to make us the premier program in this state. We've talked about it before but the country is starting to see it as well. Even our "big brother" in Austin. Love it!
Things in Austin have really reached a point where they don't even have to admit to being scared anymore; it's blatantly obvious. They tried spreading the message that they are an "SEC-like" team. They tried convincing everyone that this year's Thanksgiving Day matchup against TCU is just as relevant against the historic rivalry they had with the Aggies. Needless to say, the TCU game is going to come and go with very little fanfare. There are still tickets available under face value. Compare that to the ticket prices when the Longhorns and Aggies played on Thanksgiving. Those tickets are among the most expensive throughout all of college football at face value. As the Aggies announced their move to the SEC, it was easy for Longhorn and Big 12 fans to laugh because they based their assumptions on the past decade of Aggie football on the field (and nobody can blame them for that). Well, the Aggies are sitting on the verge of going 10-2 in their very first season in the SEC West, and the Longhorns/Big 12 are rightfully very afraid of what Kevin Sumlin and the Aggies are building down in College Station.
I saw the story you mentioned regarding DeLoss Dodds requesting to play at home every Thanksgiving and immediately reached out to some Baylor, Texas Tech, and Oklahoma writers I know to get their opinions. I think it goes without saying that they are less than thrilled with that gut punch feeling they have knowing it will most likely get approved. It sure is good to see Bowlsby come in and immediately toe the line.
Look, if the Aggies end up drawing the Longhorns in the Cotton Bowl, then so be it. I have no doubts in my mind that Sumlin would be going for the jugular in the first quarter to only further turn the tide from a recruiting perspective in the Lone Star State. I agree that I don't see that happening, but if it does, you know Sumlin would make it count. I have been a proponent from the beginning saying the move to the SEC needs to be all about experiencing new sights and sounds. Sign me up for a Capital One game against Michigan from the B1G. I think that game would get a ton of national exposure and taking down a rich program like Michigan only helps what Sumlin is building.
Johnny "Football" Manziel has simply had an incredible season. He's made history at the quarterback position in the SEC while facing three top 10 defenses. Does he deserve the Heisman? Absolutely. The Heisman is supposed to be awarded to the most outstanding player in college football, and nobody in the country fits that description better than Johnny Football. There will certainly be people that look for reasons to not vote for him (I'm talking about idiots like Eddie George saying he shouldn't be in the top 5), but there's always plenty of garbage out there when you have so many people that get to vote. If you need more evidence of that, just look at the way some writers vote in the AP Polls.
I'll be the first to admit that I would have never imagined this first year in the SEC playing out like this. The next 99 should be one hell of a wild ride.
What's great about their weak replacement Thanksgiving game, is that it is the best they can do. Do you think Tech will be a bigger draw next year? I don't. Meanwhile the Aggies have a chance to add LSU that weekend and make it a premier matchup that people nationwide would love to see.
I almost feel sorry for your Big 12 colleagues. Surely this is not a shock to them. What did they expect to happen. The simple truth is that they decided staying with Texas was to their benefit so let them suffer the consequences. Let's be serious though, who is Baylor to be upset? The should be thankful they're still in a BCS conference.
It feels great to be able to watch all of this unfold, including this latest round of conference expansion, from the comfort of the best conference in the country.
I think the Turkey Day matchup next year against Tech will be a better regional draw than TCU this year (this whole BCS conference thing is going just how I thought it would for TCU) but I'm positive both will draw horrible ratings compared to the games against the Aggies. One thing that's for sure is that a Thanksgiving Day game between A&M and LSU would absolutely dwarf anything the Big 12 could put on the schedule for that day. I really hope the SEC makes that schedule happen because that's where that game belongs. Hell, LSU and Arkansas fans don't even care about their "rivalry game" that weekend.
Not only do the little guys have to live with whatever decisions Texas makes for them, but they really don't have any other options. Like you said, Baylor is simply lucky to even be sitting at the big kid's table. It is sad to see the small segments of those fanbases that don't see a problem with their schools being used and abused. As a fanbase, they should expect more from their institutions.
Conference realignment is actually fun to sit back and watch now. While everyone else scrambles to put pieces together, Slive and the SEC are just sitting back and laughing as they roll around in their beds full of money. The SEC Network is going to be absolutely ridiculous in terms of money and branding for the 14 member institutions, and it feels real good to be a part of it. Of course, possibly going 10-2 in year one of the SEC doesn't hurt neither.