Friday, September 21, 2007

Back to the Drawing Board

That didn’t go very well. There is no way that was as close as the final score would indicate. The offense was dreadful. The defense could not get off the field. The Coach did not use his weapon on offense, and despite Miami not really being Miami, it was very obvious to anyone that watched that the only way to describe the battle at the line of scrimmage is “Men against boys”.

I really want to see this program do well, as it is clear to me that college football down Texas Way needs the Aggies to be good, but this could go south quickly. With all of the road battles, and with all of the upperclassmen that are “Fran’s Guys”, this has all the makings of a disaster where A&M is performing a coaching search around the holidays.

JJT Seems to nail the feelings of most this morning

Every college football fan watching Texas A&M's nationally televised game against Miami on Thursday night discovered what many unbiased observers have known for years: The Aggies are wannabes.

They wanna be an elite program.

They wanna be like Texas and Oklahoma, teams that have recently won championships.

They wanna be relevant.

Based on A&M's raggedy performance against the Hurricanes, that's not happening anytime soon.

Miami 34, Texas A&M 17.

Trust me, the game wasn't nearly that close. It's hard to believe this is the same Miami team that OU thumped 51-13 just a couple of weeks ago.

It kind of makes you wonder whether the Aggies, ranked No. 20 by the Associated Press poll until the next poll is released, are due for another 77-0 shellacking when they play the Sooners in a few weeks.

Don't laugh.

To his credit, a somber coach Dennis Franchione offered no excuses after the debacle in the Orange Bowl.

"We didn't play our best tonight, taking nothing away from Miami," Franchione said.
Once again, Coach Fran failed to have his team perform to a high standard in a high-profile game that could've generated some excitement for A&M, which has become a second-tier Big 12 program during the past decade.

We really shouldn't be surprised.

Aside from what now appears to be a fluke win over UT last November, what have Coach Fran's teams accomplished in his five seasons? Not much. He is 1-9 against Texas, Oklahoma and Nebraska, the best teams in the Big 12.

The Aggie faithful are tired of reading Coach Fran's record against the Big 12's big boys.

Too bad.

It is what it is.

More on the debacle at the OB

Franchione was right about one thing. The Hurricanes will be back in the Top 25 before too long. Problem for Franchione is it's at his expense.

If the Aggies had come down to South Florida and handed the Hurricanes a second loss in four games, it would have taken Miami four or five straight victories just to make the list for teams receiving votes.

Instead, A&M might drop out of the Top 25 with Miami taking over its respective spots in the AP and coaches' polls.

Remember, this is nearly the same team Oklahoma beat 51-13, which admittedly wasn't as bad as the score indicated.

Unfortunately for A&M, Thursday's game wasn't as good as the score indicated. A&M lost by 17 points but was down 31-0 until early in the fourth quarter.

What hurts more for Franchione's legacy may be the missed opportunity on a national stage.

A&M is now 0-3 on ESPN's Thursday night games under Franchione, including losses to Virginia Tech (2003), Utah (2004) and now Miami. The combined score: 110-58.

Oh, and by the way, the Holiday Bowl was also on a Thursday night.

So outside of the Big 12, the Aggies of late are 0-for when they have the undivided attention of college football fans across the nation, which is something that will take more than a few Big 12 victories to remedy.

Cessna’s report card …I know it is a bit much info, but I thought it was worth looking at today…

Robert Cessna Grades the Aggies


What went right: A&M was able to score twice off Miami fumbles, and added a consolation touchdown. A&M got the ball to running back Mike Goodson 21 times, but he has to have a lot more help.

What went wrong: The starting offensive line, which has a combined 125 career starts, was manhandled from the get-go by Miami's defensive front four. That led to a fruitless first half -Ê38 yards on 21 plays.

Bottom line: A&M lost three yards on its first play, which was a telling sign of what was ahead - or what wasn't ahead. D-


What went right: A&M recovered three fumbles.

What went wrong: A&M couldn't get pressure on Miami quarterback Kyle Wright. The Hurricanes passed for 275 yards on 21 of 26 passing with three drops. They came in averaging 130.7 yards per game, which was 113th in the nation.

Bottom line: Miami was 4 of 5 on third downs on its opening drive, picking up a first down on fourth down the only time it didn't convert. F

Special Teams

What went right: Jordan Peterson fumbled a punt return in the third quarter, which A&M recovered for an 11-yard gain. Sadly, that was only 27 yards short of matching A&M's first-half offensive output.

What went wrong: A&M was short on a 50-yard field goal try with Miami up 7-0. ... A&M's blockers fumbled a pair of kickoff returns. ... A&M punted out of field-goal formation, netting only 15 yards. ... A&M didn't recover an onside kick, but it would have been wiped out by an illegal formation even if it had.

Bottom line: Miami's speed and ability to get lots of hangtime on kicks grounded one of the country's best kickoff return games. F

What went right: This was ugly, but it could have been worse. A&M scored 17 fourth-quarter points, so the players never gave up.

What went wrong: The Aggies didn't play like a team made up of upperclassmen that had been 3-4 years in the making. A&M's offense didn't convert a third down in the first half as Miami took a 24-0 lead. The defense couldn't get itself off the field -ÊMiami didn't punt until the third quarter.

Bottom line: The armchair quarterbacks had a field day on a nationally televised game. Tailback Jorvorskie Lane got 2 yards on two carries. If he'd carried the ball 10 times, maybe he'd have had only 3 yards since Miami's defense was swarming. But A&M's offense looked overmatched in the first half. F


What went right: The weather was great. This is a must-see destination. First-timers saw why the Orange Bowl has been one of the nation's premier destinations during the regular season and postseason.

What went wrong: A&M didn't look anything close to being the nation's 20th-ranked team. Forget the final score, this game had a much worse feeling than a 17-point loss if you were wearing maroon.

Bottom line: A&M was blown out by California in the Holiday Bowl last season. Now it was blown out on the East Coast. This wasn't the balance the Aggies were looking for. Now, they have to go back and regroup for four more tough road venues. F

OK. Enough about that rubbish. Let’s move on to the main event on most of our weekends (save for Lambeau at 12 noon as they attempt to stave off LT and the Chargers), that is the Cowboys trip to go see the NFC Champion Chicago Bears at their place on National Television.

This game should be a loss. But, what a fine measuring stick to compare yourself to. The defense is the best in the business, and Tony Romo can see where he stands against a D that will pull out all the stops.

I see it, Chicago 20, Dallas 17. But, this may be a coin flip game.

I also see it, Chargers 27, Packers 20. Such a pessimist.

Brandt looks at the Bears D vs the Cowboys O

In their last three regular-season games played in Chicago, Dallas has scored a total of just 25 points. In the two games this season, however, Dallas leads the NFL with 82 points and ranks fourth in total offense. The Bears, meanwhile, have allowed 24 total points and rank fifth in total defense.

Dallas will have hard time running the ball here, so they have to beat the Bears through the air. To do so, they'll need to protect QB Tony Romo against the Bears' front four and blitzers -- Chicago blitzes more than you think. Romo will look to exploit the two safeties, Adam Archuleta and Danieal Manning - the latter is a second-year player and the former is in his first season with the Bears. Up front, the Cowboys need to block DE Tommie Harris on the inside. Harris is a native Texan who will probably have a little extra motivation here. DT Mark Anderson has 13 sacks in 18 games for the Bears.

Chicago ranks 30th in total offense and has scored just 23 points in two games -- the only offensive TD has come on a 2-yard pass to a backup offensive tackle.
To stop Devin Hester in the return game, Dallas can do any of these three things: punt out of bounds, kickoff to the sidelines (and hope ball doesn't go out of bounds), or sky the ball to force a fair catch and prevent a big return.

The Cowboys will most likely change the makeup of their roster for this game by going short on one position, maybe offensive or defensive line, in order to get the best special teams players active. Keep I mind that it's not just Hester they are facing here: Bears special teams coach Dave Toub is very good, and kicker Robbie Gould led the NFL in scoring last year with 143 points.

This weekend is also a matchup with Cedric Benson. Benson has not been overly impressive, and when he has been good, it has been running around the corners. I think this is a great matchup for the Cowboys, since the 3-4 doesn’t give up much wide. The way to attack a 3-4 on the ground is up the gut, and Benson has never shown the gut to do that. Advantage Cowboys.

Feature on Benson

Benson, the fourth overall pick of the 2005 NFL draft, comes into Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys fresh off the second 100-yard game of his career. Despite improved production against the Chiefs, Benson still is hearing it from critics. And he will until he performs at a high level on a consistent basis.

Benson insists he ignores negative publicity. John Parchman, his high school coach and mentor, begs to differ.

"It bothers Cedric when people are critical of him. It crushes him," Parchman said. "He thinks a lot. He probably thinks more than he should about things like that.

"The man gets disappointed easily. He's misunderstood sometimes. He's very sincere, very conscious of the job he does. And because he's quiet, that comes across sometimes as being kind of aloof."

The Bears must have faith in him, though, because they parted ways with Thomas Jones in favor of the younger Benson. He might not be the vocal leader or the blocker Jones was, but Benson has potential the Bears clearly found irresistible.

Benson would be the first to say he has yet to fulfill his promise. He says he hasn't played his style since his final home game in college, when he led Texas to a 26-13 victory over rival Texas A & M with 165 yards on 33 carries. Back then, the offense revolved around him.

"We do a lot of rotating here, a lot of situational stuff," Benson said. "You don't really feel like you are just that guy, that player in the offense. Do I want that feeling back? Yeah. But you have to show that with your production on the field. I'm confident things will take care of itself."

During training camp, Benson often would sit alone in the dining room with sunglasses covering his eyes. An outsider might view him as an arrogant player distancing himself from his teammates. Benson says that wasn't the case.

"I understand that people don't know me, don't know me personally," he said. "Some things that you think about a person, that you perceive about a person, you made up or come up with yourself."

Benson put himself on shaky ground during an acrimonious holdout before his rookie season. His rift with the well-respected Jones over the previous two seasons wasn't an ideal scenario either.

Benson doesn't want to be judged on the past.

"Who is Cedric Benson? I'm nobody in particular," he said. "I'm just a Southern boy who's old school. I like to be at home with my two Rottweilers. I like things to be real simple."

Keith Davis is not careful about what he asks for

Special teams ace Keith "Fiddy" Davis doesn't want to hear any talk about kicking away from Bears return man extraordinaire "Heaven" Devin Hester.

"We better kick it to him," said Davis, who's been dreaming about putting a big hit on Hester. "I don’t want to go around and start pooch kicking and start trying to kick away from him. I don’t like that. I figure, if he’s supposed to be the best, let’s see how good we are."

The Bears laugh at opponents who want to challenge Hester.

"It's an ego thing in the NFL: 'We can cover him. We can tackle this guy,'" Brian Urlacher said on yesterday's conference call. "Everyone says that, but I don't see too many guys doing it so far in his career. I just hope people continue to kick to him and keep thinking they can tackle him."

Gold. Gold. Gold.

Jake Byrd Crashes OJ Press Conference - Watch more free videos

This weekend’s College FB Tv Schedule

Below, please fine the Soccer Schedule from The Premiership, including Chelsea without Jose, visiting Old Trafford…

Sat Sep 22 08:45AM Central
Setanta Sports USA
English Premier League
Liverpool vs Birmingham City

Sat Sep 22 08:55AM Central
FOX Soccer Channel (FSC) - US
English Premier League
Arsenal vs Derby County

Sat Sep 22 11:00AM Central
FOX Soccer Channel (FSC) - US
English Premier League
Fulham vs Manchester City

Sun Sep 23 07:25AM Central
Setanta Sports USA
English Premier League
Newcastle United vs West Ham United
Setanta Broadband

Sun Sep 23 10:00AM Central
FOX Soccer Channel (FSC) - US
English Premier League
Manchester United vs Chelsea

Welcome to NDSPN

Psycho Ag’s Weakly Retort

Psycho Ag’s video comedy

Chris Crocker and Maury


Andy D. said...

Man Oh Man...

I am an OU guy that has lived in Tx. my whole life. I have seen the greatness of the SWC, the Big 8, and everything in between including the now Big 12.
It was a better day when RC rolled in and brought with him the wrecking crew of the late 80's early 90's. I consider myself a sports fan and I do love the tradition of Texas sports, both college and HS. When Aggie is good, that makes CF better, and makes it fun to watch games at Kyle Field.
Quentin Coryatt, Dat Nguyen, Bucky Richardson, RC Slocum, and on and on are rolling in their living graves at the sight of this program and this sorry ass team.
Coach Fran has this aura about him, ever since his TCU days, that is unpenetratable. He is not going anywhere anytime soon because what are the other options to take his place? Aggie is just not very good from the ground up. Recruiting sucks, being scared of playing in Kyle Field is gone, NFL talent is barron down in Aggyland.

Get better Aggies. You're killing me. and I'm an OU fan.

Lance said...

I guess Aggy nation called in sick this morning and are still in bed trying to sleep it off. Oh well, at least all of the talk about A&M being back as a big time football program can be laid to rest now for yet another year.

cracker1743 said...

Holy cow, what a stinking pile of sh*t of both a game and a team. Man, we suck. Hard. Fran has GOT to go. I'm hoping we get the table run on us the rest of the season, just so someone will effing wake up and fire his sorry ass.

God, you know you're depressed when you're not sure you can even beat Baylor. My college football season has died almost before it started.

Eff me.

BACM said...

I believe the suicide rate in BCS just tripled overnight. What a waste of hype.

Tell Fran to build a bonfire.

Beezner said...

I've found your Davey O'Brien winner. Look no further than Kentucky's Andre Woodson.

Jake said...

Wowwy. That is all I can say after that debacle. TV went off mid-way through the 3rd quarter.

Let the search begin Bill Byrne. I can't take any more Franball. I might just take RC back, struggaling.

To make my brethren feel a little better, you may witness the same thing happen to Whorn next week. Exposed.

MK said...

As an Aggie, what scares me is I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. What coach is out there that can turn this thing around? And would they come here?