Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Texas A&M: Rest-of-the-Season Outlook


Well . . .


Let's start here: I believed in my heart of hearts that A&M was going to beat Oklahoma State. That first half, where A&M looked good on both sides of the ball and Oke State's offense looked like it had been wildly oversold, was what I truly thought--despite trying to keep my expectations realistic--that game was going to look like.

Then the second half . . . I can't call it "a nightmare" because A&M managed to come back after all should have been lost. I can't say that it lived down to my worst expectations, because I never expected, not even after the FIU game, that Jerrod would be this team's problem.

That's where we need to go next: Jerrod Johnson. After watching the OSU game, I now have to retract all the things I said about him being the Big 12's elite quarterback. I think he's a very good QB, but he not a great QB. I don't know if it's his shoulder, or his shoulder affecting his confidence, or what, but a great quarterback doesn't throw eight interceptions in two games. Even more so, a great quarterback doesn't allow a ball to just fall out of his hand where the other team can pick it up. It's hard to emphasize how disgusted I was with that fumble. He wasn't even touched. He just fumbled it.

Jerrod did some great stuff in that game and he did some horrible stuff. Now, the offensive line could have played better, and the defense clearly dropped off quite a bit in the second half. But Jerrod pretty much lost the game. The one person who, coming into the season, looked like the most promising thing about the entire team, now looks to be its biggest liability.

Do you want some good news? That's super easy: coming into this season, I believed that this had to be the year if the Ags wanted to win the division. There were two reasons: that OU and t.u. were going to have down years, and that Jerrod is a senior. Now, since most of the team is looking good and is still, for the most part, very young, it looks like the team ought to be better next year. I'm not saying that Jerrod isn't going to be a loss, but if Ryan Tannehill can do 75% of the good that Jerrod does without the bad that Jerrod has done in the last two games, the Ags would be in good shape. The t.u./OU rebuilding thing is still a concern, but I feel pretty good going forward with a team with several promising players on both sides of the ball and, of course, a coach that might actually know what he's doing.

Oh, were you looking for good news that amounted to something other than "wait 'til next year"? (I don't blame you.) Here's what I've come up with: maybe Oklahoma State is really good. And maybe the Ags will eliminate some of the mistakes. That first half, and flashes of goodness in the second half, make me think that this team could beat anybody left on the schedule. They don't have the ability to run the rest of the table, certainly, but each game is a possible win.

I truly believe that, in my heart of hearts.

Although we know how that can go.

The remaining schedule
10/9, vs. Arkansas: Toughest game on the slate. I think I just lied a few paragraphs ago, because I find it hard to imagine the Ags winning this one, if only because Arky has had a week off (to brood over their loss to Alabama and get super-ready to take it out of somebody). But who knows? I just want the Ags to look OK on TV, basically. Loss.

10/16, Missouri: Mizzou looks pretty similar to A&M so far. They've beaten up a couple weak teams, but almost lost to another weak team. They beat Illinois, but not as badly as they should have. The Ags have home field advantage, but on the other hand, it's going to be shown on TV. It's probably either my hopeless optimism or my contempt for the Big 12 North, but I like the Ags in this one. Win.

10/23, at Kansas: A&M lost last year to Colorado, which was an inferior team. That's the only reason why I might worry about this game against the worst team in the conference. I can't let that worry guide this pick, though. Win.

10/30, Texas Tech: Well, I don't think Tech is very good, do you? Win.

11/6, Oklahoma: This is one of the games I was thinking of, where the Ags could win (with excellent execution, luck, and opponent complacency). And yet, loss.

11/13, at Baylor: If you think I've been too big a Pollyanna in this post, try this prediction on for size: Baylor's not bad this year. They've got a good, exciting quarterback. They might have enough fans show up to the game, for once, so that Floyd Casey Stadium is not Kyle Field North. To top it off, the Ags have been terrible in November for years. Loss.

11/20, Nebraska: I guess Nebraska is pretty good, although it's hard to say since they haven't played anybody. Probably a loss.

11/25, at t.u.: Ew, I don't like that five-day turnaround. (The 'horns technically have one, too, but they'll be playing Florida Atlantic while the Ags take on Nebraska.) But over the last six years except for 2008, the Ags have either beaten t.u. or made them work much harder than expected for a win. This year, they really aren't that good and, if I'm right (as I hope I'm not) about the previous three weeks, the Ags will really need a win here. So, what the hey, win.

That would make the Aggies 7-5 on the season, which will be a disappointment but (depending on how the losses look) not grounds for firing Sherman. I'm still hoping they scrape up eight, but I was kind of counting on them beating Oke State.


  1. That's too bad about Jerrod, I thought he was gonna be pretty great, too. I've never done this new coach rebuilding thing, so I am pretty confused as to why all aspects of Tech's team now sucks with a very similar team as last year. But yeah, basically we suck. At this point I'm hoping we can either beat Weber State or Colorado. I bought tickets to the Baylor game a while back, so I'm kinda dreading it. We could be really angry after back to back losses and pull off a win, but I anticipate losing to Baylor for the first time in forever. Oh well, it happens. At least I won't be working and will be able to drink, unlike this past Saturday when my coworkers witnessed my football anger rage. I also predict A&M will beat Tech, as will most other teams on Tech's schedule. But I also predict Tech will pull out one random win over a decent team. We'll see.

  2. Yeah, unfortunately, a new coach almost always means a down year (unless the old coach really sucked, which yours didn't). Tech should beat Weber State, and probably Colorado, although I don't have a good read on CU. (Or maybe Georgia is just super, super, super bad.) I have noticed, if it's any comfort, some college football pundits (or at least one) looking at the Tech-Iowa State game and going, "Oooh, maybe Iowa State is good." Maybe Iowa State is good?

  3. And the verdict is...Iowa State is most definitely not good. But Tech can still somehow pull out a win against Baylor, even when we shot ourselves in the foot (or missed kickoffs) multiple times. I still think A&M will beat Tech, though. Robert Griffin is good, really really good, but unfortunately for him, he still plays for Baylor. I was impressed with A&M's final score against Arkansas, did we finally look good? I was busy eating fried foods at the state fair.