Leach owns Fran …
"It turns out pirates can beat soldiers," Leach said in a postgame television interview.
Leach's pass-happy pirates didn't exactly loot and pillage Kyle Field, but the end result left the 85,979 swaying from despair. Tech's Kobey Lewis, Shannon Woods and L.A. Reed locked arms and mimicked Aggies' fans famous rocking.
While the Red Raiders remain a work in progress, an unknown, they at least have a winning conference start. Fran, Fran, the turnaround man, is in Year Four of running in place.
There's an e-mail joke being circulated among Texas fans. It says: Franchione is Italian for Mackovic.
Franchione is now 20-20 at A&M. It doesn't take 20-20 vision to see that Coach Fran's legacy tipped over thanks to Saturday's result.
Without replay, Aggie wins that game …So you got that going for you…which is nice…
Where were those Pac-10 officials when Texas A&M needed them?
Texas Tech got a chance to pull out Saturday's 31-27 victory because of instant replay.
Most in the crowd of 85,979 celebrated when Aggie linebacker Mark Dodge came up with an apparent interception in the closing minutes of play.
However, the tipped pass hit the ground first, which the replay official confirmed. Tech kept possession, eventually winning on Robert Johnson's 37-yard touchdown catch with 26 seconds left.
Had that play happened a few years ago, A&M would have won because college football didn't have replay. And Oklahoma found out three weeks ago in its loss to Oregon that there's no guarantee the replay official is going to see what everyone else sees - which is the same as trying to analyze how A&M lost the Tech game.
The defense is taking the brunt of the blame. The decision for a maximum blitz on the decisive play failed when someone failed to make it maximum, giving quarterback Graham Harrell time to throw a perfect pass.
A&M freshman defensive back Jordan Peterson could have interfered with Johnson. A 15-yard penalty is better than giving up a touchdown.
Peterson had such good coverage though I thought he already was interfering with Johnson.
If that same play unfolds nine more times, I'm betting on eight incompletions, which makes the throw and catch that more remarkable.
Further evaluation from the big game on Saturday …
There can be no mistakes when defensing Mike Leach's Red Raiders, and the Aggies learned that the hard way, again. The inability to put pressure on Harrell cost A&M dearly down the stretch.
To the Red Raiders' credit, they did what they do best when they needed it the most. When Tech broke the huddle on their final play from scrimmage, Johnson was going to run a slant. The sophomore Harrell, in just his fifth start, saw Peterson close on Johnson and switched his route to a streak.
"I told the receivers if they press long enough, we're going to hit them," said Leach, who is now 5-2 against A&M.
Meanwhile, Franchione fell to 1-3 against Tech. Rivals or not, it's not the kind of record the Aggies want against the Red Raiders.
Explanations, Anyone? I saw this Saturday and was shocked and amazed. I love all visiting Aggieland, and support 95% of their traditions, but what the heck is this????
Mushnick raises good stuff …
the story broke Tuesday, and, while it's hardly news that the NFL's violent criminal population is on the grow, this one's too ugly to be shorted or ignored. But it has been. Tuesday in a Los Angeles courtroom, Bears CB Ricky Manning, already on probation for a 2003 assault, pleaded no contest to felony assault.
The assault occurred in a Denny's restaurant near UCLA on April 23 at 3 a.m.
According to the victim's claims in the police report obtained by NBCsports.com, Manning, Tyler Ebell and Maurice Jones-Drew - all former UCLA football players - were among a group of customers who began to bully 25-year-old Soroush Sabzi, who was seated alone nearby, working on his laptop.
When Sabzi, a student and Swedish citizen of Persian descent, asked to be left alone, the insults, including, "Are you a faggot?" and "You f - - - ing Jew," continued.
Sabzi, the police report continues, next called out for restaurant management. At that point, Manning approached Sabzi, who was still seated, stood above him and called him a "an ugly f - - - ing Jew" and a "faggot."
When, according to the report, the victim again asked to be left alone, Manning began to slap him. Manning's accomplices joined in. Sabzi was punched to the ground then kicked, leaving "visible injuries to his face, cheek, head and [sic] lost consciousness for approximately 10 seconds."
Stars aquire a guy nobody likes …
Ribeiro said he was shocked by the move.
''I'm disappointed and sad at the same time,'' the Montreal native said. ''I didn't expect this now.
''There were rumours last year that I'd be traded, but I didn't think about it this year. I just concentrated on getting ready for the season. I guess Montreal wanted defence and Dallas wanted a centre. It's a great city for me. No winter. No snow. So I'll be happy.''
Ribeiro, 26, is coming off a disappointing 2005-2006 season, during which he scored 51 points and posted a minus-6 rating, down from the 65 points and plus-15 rating he had produced in 2003-2004.
Here is one reason why:
Some guy named Bob Strum was interviewed on Wednesday afternoon by the AP …
"It's always something with Terrell. What was alleged this morning was absolutely off the charts. I don't know that there's anything in his track record that compares to this type of thing. I don't feel like everything has added up. I just have a hard time buying the suicide attempt as it was relayed to us at 8 o'clock this morning. Just so many things didn't make sense to me.
For me, with the story, the next step is finding out who's telling the truth, because obviously we have two totally different sides to the story. I feel like I'm operating with 40 percent of the story. I personally want to hear 911 calls and toxicology reports. As far as the Cowboys and Terrell Owens, I anticipate their hope and dream is that it all goes away.
If I know the sports world news cycle, this probably continues until noon on Sunday and if he plays like he plays it could very well go away."
Bob Strum, midday host, Sports Radio 1310AM The Ticket, Dallas
MLS struggles to SELL tickets, and FC Dallas appears at the bottom …
It shows that while the 11-year-old league has made strides in several areas – the construction of soccer-specific stadiums, additional sponsors and investors, new national television contracts with ABC/ESPN and Univision – the cornerstone of any pro sports league may be lagging: the number of people actually buying tickets to view the product. Only one team, the Los Angeles Galaxy, had an average paid attendance above 13,000 last season, and six of the 12 teams were below 10,000.
“No league, including ours, is satisfied with the number of people who see (games),” Abbott said in a telephone interview yesterday, “and we're going to work to increase that number. But it's only one small part of the measurement of the league.”
Other findings from the attendance report:
Nearly 600,000 free tickets were distributed last season, or an average of 3,090 per match. The Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake each gave out more than 9,000 freebies to a single match, and three other clubs handed out 7,000-plus. In one early-season FC Dallas match against Colorado, 1,259 tickets were sold and 7,347 were comps.
On average, announced attendance was 9 percent higher than the total number of tickets distributed and at some games close to 50 percent higher despite MLS' stated policy of using tickets distributed to determine its announced attendance figures.
The L.A. Galaxy easily outdistanced its MLS brethren in ticket sales last year, with an average paid attendance of 19,940. The next best team was Real Salt Lake at 12,689. FC Dallas was last at 6,634.
High School RB gets 658 yards …
Paul McCoy rushed for an apparent national high school-record 658 yards and scored 10 touchdowns Friday.
McCoy, who had 29 carries in Matewan's 64-0 win over Burch, ran for 477 yards just on his touchdown runs, which covered 69, 1, 52, 56, 52, 20, 31, 84, 87 and 25 yards. He also had a 77-yard TD run called back by penalty.
The National Federation of State High School Associations lists the national record as 619 yards, set by Ronney Jenkins of Oxnard, Calif., in 1995. McCoy's yardage will have to be verified before it becomes official.
Anything I missed, my apologies. Jeff Gordon had a horrid run, Liverpool got thumped at Bolton, and other stuff happened.