Friday, September 29, 2006
Thursday, September 28, 2006
COLLEGE STATION — Dennis Franchione's memories of his 3 1/2 football seasons at Texas A&M aren't all of the warm-and-fuzzy variety. But one that falls in that category occurred the last time Texas Tech visited Kyle Field. It wasn't simply because the Aggies pulled out a 32-25 overtime decision in 2004.
"I'll never forget the noise, the fans, the 12th Man, the crowd," A&M's coach said. "It was just unbelievable, maybe the best since I've been here. That one has stuck in my mind."
Well, after all, it was A&M vs. Tech — perhaps the best rivalry in college football that nobody's ever heard of outside the fans of those two schools.
You can have your Texas-OU or Ohio State-Michigan or Florida-Georgia. For pure entertainment value, none can match the thrills and chills provided by the Red Raiders and Aggies since the late 1980s.
The 65th renewal of the intrastate battle unfolds Saturday at Kyle Field with A&M holding a 34-29-1 edge. But Tech has won eight of the last 11 games in a series that is growing as rancorous as its outcomes are suspenseful.
"We both have some animosity towards each other," A&M defensive end Chris Harrington said. "It's a good, healthy rivalry."
Since the 1989 season, 11 of the 17 games have been decided by a touchdown or less. Seven of those 11 have been determined by four points or less. The last two games in College Station have gone to overtime, with each team winning once.
Some Aggies are loath to refer to Tech as a rival, preferring to save that special designation for those burnt-orange bullies in Austin — "I think they (the Red Raiders) look at us as maybe their rival, whereas we look at Texas as our rival," Harrington said.
Nevertheless, Harrington also noted that with the anticipation of Tech's visit, "Aggieland is crazy. It's getting back to where we need to get it. I haven't felt this much excitement since . . . well, I don't know if I ever felt it last season."
There's even been blood spilled — bad blood. After Tech's 12-0 victory in Lubbock in 2001, Raider fans tore down the goalposts and tried to carry one upright through the A&M section at Jones Stadium. A confrontation led to the bloodied face of Mike McKinney, the father of A&M player Seth McKinney and then the chief of staff for Gov. Rick Perry, a former Aggie yell leader.
Even after it was revealed McKinney was hit by an A&M student, Aggie fans raised such a ruckus about Tech inhospitality that Raiders coach Mike Leach finally fired back about the Aggies' "whining."
"It's interesting to me that all these Aggies . . . sit around with these halos over their head with some divine expertise on fanmanship," Leach said. "I just don't believe that's the case."
Leach also did little to endear himself to Aggiedom last year when the Raiders rolled up 627 yards of offense in a 56-17 victory, the most lopsided margin in the series. But what really gigged the Aggies was a Leach comment in a lengthy profile of him that ran later in The New York Times Magazine.
The story detailed Leach staring at the A&M Corps of Cadets in the stands before the game and asking, "How come they get to pretend they are soldiers? The thing is, they aren't really in the military."
A&M inadvertently added some spice to the rivalry in 2002 when its football media guide ran a blurb from "The 12th Man Magazine" that described some Tech students as "classless clowns" and referred to Lubbock as "the barren stretch of dirt some West Texans call a city."
An apology and a reprint of the media guide quickly followed.
Leading into Saturday's game, the rhetoric has been toned down, and both sides are making nice. But A&M tight end Martellus Bennett doesn't want things to be too nice for the Raiders on Saturday at Kyle Field, considering what he says the Aggies have to endure when they visit Jones Stadium.
"At Tech they throw batteries at you," Bennett said. "They treat other schools so bad when you go to their place. Imagine (a battery) coming down from the top of the stadium with gravity times velocity times speed. By the time it hits you, that hurts pretty bad."
Bennett isn't advocating similar treatment by Aggie fans, but he does wish they'd give the Raiders some verbal abuse.
"Sometimes I think our fans are too nice," he said. "I love our fans, but I want them to yell at the other team like what we hear when we go to other schools."
Kyle Field seems plenty loud to Tech senior nose tackle Chris Hudler, who described it as "a hostile environment."
"You have 80,000 fans screaming and booing at you," Hudler said. "I like playing in places like that because it gives me more incentive."
Both coaches are downplaying the vitriolic nature of the rivalry and saying the most important aspect of Saturday's game is it is the Big 12 opener for both teams.
Asked if he believes his Raiders look at the Aggies as a hated rival, Leach's politically correct reply was: "I don't really know. I always just hope we go out and play well. . . . I'd like to think we're excited to go out and play well this week."
More often than not, that's what both sides do when the Raiders and Aggies collide. And that's what has made for some thrilling finishes and, consequently, one of the nation's best rivalries in recent years.
Wednesday, September 27, 2006
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
06:13 PM CDT on Tuesday, September 26, 2006From Staff Reports
The rivalry between Texas Tech and Texas A&M has heated up in recent years with some close finishes and some bad blood. The Red Raiders and Aggies have split their last 16 games, and many of those matchups have been memorable. Here are our accounts of 10 of the best games in recent years between the two Big 12 foes.
Texas Tech 48, Texas A&M 47 (OT) (Oct. 5, 2002): Despite seven touchdown passes from A&M's Dustin Long, the Red Raiders rally from 18 down in the fourth quarter and make the extra point in overtime that the Aggies couldn't.
Texas A&M 32, Texas Tech 25 (OT) (Nov. 13, 2004): After Courtney Lewis' 25-yard touchdown run gives the Aggies the lead on the first play of overtime, A&M's Byron Jones knocks down a fourth-down pass in the end zone for the win.
Texas Tech 14, Texas A&M 7 (Oct. 7, 1995): Red Raiders linebacker Zach Thomas returns an interception 21 yards for a touchdown with 30 seconds left to upset No. 8 Texas A&M.
Texas A&M 19, Texas Tech 17 (Oct. 3, 1992): Kicker Terry Venetoulias avenges a missed extra point and a failed 43-yarder by nailing a 21-yard field goal as time expired to snatch the win for No. 5 Texas A&M.
Texas Tech 16, Texas A&M 13 (Oct. 25, 1997): Despite a 24-mph wind, Red Raiders kicker Tony Rogers sends a 47-yard field goal off the left upright and through with 19 seconds left for the upset of No. 20 Texas A&M.
Texas A&M 23, Texas Tech 17 (Oct. 1, 1994): The 10th-ranked Aggies watch Texas Tech receiver Field Scovell drop a desperation pass in the end zone in the game's final play.
Texas Tech 21, Texas A&M 19 (Oct. 2, 1999): Texas Tech's Sammy Morris, a fullback used to replace Ricky Williams, smashes through the nation's top-ranked run defense for 170 yards in the upset of the No. 5 Aggies.
Texas A&M 28, Texas Tech 24 (Oct. 6, 1990): A&M mistakes keep the Red Raiders in contention for a surprise win, but Aggies running back Darren Lewis rushes for 232 yards to secure the victory.
Texas Tech 13, Texas A&M 10 (Oct. 26, 1996): Red Raiders quarterback Zebbie Lethridge launches an 81-yard touchdown pass to Sammy Morris in the fourth quarter to take the lead for good.
Texas A&M 17, Texas Tech 10 (Oct. 24, 1998): The eighth-ranked Aggies hold No. 25 Texas Tech most of the game, but a pass to the end zone to Red Raiders' Donnie Hart that is ruled out of bounds provides a late scare.
"Scheduling's been beneficial," Leach said. "I think smart scheduling."
Tech coach Mike Leach, when asked whether the team's loss to TCU could be beneficial based on what the team learned from it, wasn't too keen on the suggestion.
"I hope so," Leach said. "Everybody talks about how beneficial losses are. If they were so beneficial, everybody would lose 12 times and be real smart. I mean, whatever gets you through the night. It's nice of you to say. Maybe that's the case, so we'll go with that, because that's about all we have. We don't get to go play them again."
Monday, September 25, 2006
We'll be here with our Guns Up and our new baby son!
Do you like the name Cole Alexander Steed for a future Tech quarterback?
I hope the Rooster does you all proud, take lots of pics!
Last 10 A&M-Tech Games at Kyle
Year W-L, Score Notable
2004 W, 32-25 ot M.Bullitt bats down OT pass
2002 L, 48-47 ot 7 passing TDs for D. Long, J. Pierson missed PAT sends to OT
2000 W, 33-15 K.Kingsbury sacked 4 times
1998 W, 17-10 TT limited to 205 yards
1996 L, 13-10 S. Morris wheel route
1994 W, 23-17 A&M rallies from 10 down
1992 W, 19-17 T.Venetoulias hits FG winner
1990 W, 28-24 232 rushing for D. Lewis, R. Blackshear-kickoff returned for TD vs 12th Man
1988 W, 50-15 420 yards/69 rushes by A&M
1986 W, 45-8 A&M races to 45-0 lead
Sunday, September 24, 2006
A&M got a slow start yesterday, after the two-hour lightning delay at Kyle. Maybe someone told Les Koenning it was a 3-hour delay? Regardless, they did what they were supposed to do, in crushing La Tech. A&M needs to clean up their act on penalties though. The defense played well, but committed 2 more drive sustaining penalties, with a running into the punter, and another pass interference call. Fortunately, neither drive resulted in points.
Tech did what we knew they would do this week. The only surprise was the compassion of Mike Leach. He declined a penalty at the end of the first half that would have given them another shot at the end zone, and then put Chris Todd in at QB for the entire second half. He also decided not to start Filani and Johnson at QB, after referring to them as "a bunch of prima donna pretty boys prancing around like they thought they were too good to be there."
Also notable: to kick off Rooster week, Fletch will give birth to a baby boy on Tuesday morning. Congratulations Jeff and Erin!
Friday, September 22, 2006
Is Leach really that desperate now, that he feels the need to pressure the NCAA to reinstate a player who is not meeting academic requirements, then praise the decision for letting Jarrett "continue his track towards graduation"?
If this happened at A&M, Blake would be outraged, and the server at raiderpower.com would explode.
Have other teams caught on to Tech?
"It's a stupid question," Leach said. "I try to be polite and answer it, but it's very difficult to kind of not roll your eyes at the thing. There's nothing wrong with the scheme. How it's applied, how you play, how hard you try, yeah, that's infested with problems right now.
"If it's so easy to lead the nation in stuff, everybody would do that. But the thing is, I think we have an entitlement syndrome around here and think that everything's easy and don't understand that to get anything, you fight for it."
"The thing about it is, you don't get those games over," said Leach, whose team fell to 2-1 and out of both major polls. "We knew how important it was to win and chose, in my opinion, to ignore it. TCU was excited about the game, embraced the challenge, was thrilled to be there and thrilled to play well - and did.
"The cowardly thing is (to say), 'If we got to do it again ... . ' No, no. It was there at that time. That's when it'd been scheduled for quite some time. Everybody knew when to be there. TCU prevailed, so TCU deserves everything that goes along with that."
Knight called for Oklahoma to forfeit its basketball game with Tech on Jan. 20, 2003, when the Sooners won 69-64 in overtime at Norman after two clock controversies in the final seconds of regulation. Video replay later showed the game clock started late after OU in-bounded the ball on the game-tying drive.
"Maybe now those people at Oklahoma understand what I was talking about," Knight told The Oklahoman.
Officals review a call in the second half during last Saturday's Oklahoma vs. Oregon college football game. Oregon rallied in the fourth quarter to defeat Oklahoma, 34-33.
"Had Oklahoma forfeited that game against us like I suggested, they would have gotten far more positive publicity out of that than if they had gone to the Final Four that year."
Now I guess the 'duck' is swimming in the other pond."
Oregon scored two touchdowns late to beat Oklahoma 34-33, including the game-winner that came after the Ducks recovered an onside kick. Video replay showed Oregon touched the ball before it went the required 10 yards, but the replay official did not overturn the call.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Monday, September 18, 2006
I was at the Army/A&M game in San Antonio, and I have to say, it really doesn't cause me that much concern. I know I had the same feeling after the Texas State game last year, and my feeling turned out to be off base, since the Ags went 5-6. This is really just an observation from a guy who is admittedly high on maroon kool-aid.
A&M seemed committed to run the ball Saturday. The game plan was so conservative, it made me think something was just off. The San Antonio paper suggested that A&M went with an option-heavy attack to confuse gameplanning by Tech. I personally don't think our coaching staff even thought it that far out. This is something that could probably not be observed on TV, but I think A&M gameplanned conservatively so as not to embarrass our opponent.
Army was the home team Saturday, so there was a great deal of pomp and circumstance around West Point, the military, and their tradition, etc. During the 1st quarter, they were even stopping play to induct recruits into the Army, and promote soldiers in rank. A&M changed one of their yells, so as to make sure they got no bad PR by saying "Beat the Hell Outta Army". I think it was just another PR move to make sure not to beat Army by 4 touchdowns, when some these guys are going overseas to fight in a matter of months. This PR move obviously backfired, as Army came to play, and capitalized on every mistake A&M made, and almost won the damn thing.
The good news is, the Aggies escaped with a W, and hopefully learned something from it.
What the hell happened to Tech? I don't know, and don't feel qualified to comment, since I didn't watch the game. According to Gary Patterson, it's "speed baby".
Saturday, September 16, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
I think we all predicted a win here.
Sat., Sep 9
W 38-35 (OT)
Although I assumed a win, I must admit that I didn't think it would be this close. Price has a very good offensive unit with three players that could play just about anywhere they choose. Tech's special teams very unspecial - no surprise there. Oh well; good teams find a way to win these types of games on the road in sold-out stadiums.
Sat., Sep 16
Wow. Before the UTEP game, I thought Tech should run away with this one, but you never kn ow. TC-Who couldn't even put 25K in the stands last week, which is pretty piss-poor for a top 25 team. This week, half the stadium will be wearing red, which will help. Although I wish for a blow out, I think just getting out of Foat Wuff with a W will do just fine. Looks like another high-scoring game: Tech 42 Frogs 27
Sat., Sep 23
Just what the Dr. ordered before the big game in the Land of Collie - a scrimmage against the JV. Hopefully this game will allow Tech to work out whatever hasn't worked the last 2 weeks, and will also be a good walk-through for the biggest road game yet. Tech 65 SELa 14
Sat., Sep 30
2 undefeated teams? Traditionally a tough place for Tech to get a win, my hope is that this year's early road tests prepare Tech to run away with this one in the second half. In Tech's third sell-out road game of the year, Tech wins big over the Ags after a tough first half: 42-24
Sat., Oct 7
Avoiding the letdown after a big road win is crucial this week. Then again, this game isn't in Stoolwater, and it is Tech's homecoming. Still undefeated. Tech 35 Mizzou 17
Sat., Oct 14
Tech has never won in Boulder. CU sucks, but Tech will have to play well to win this one. A solid win here will give me confidence that this years team is really good. Tech 24 Buffs 7
Sat., Oct 21
Another tough road game. At this point in the season, however, it doesn't matter. Although not a cake walk, if Tech plays well it should win. Even a cold, windy atmosphere shouldn't be a factor. This one could be another shoot-out: Tech 35 ISU 24
Sat., Oct 28
Well, Tech seems to beat UT about every 4 years it seems, so it's definitely time. With that said, who knows which Tech team will show up. The one one that was so full of itself 2 years ago, and was actaully favored to win, or the one that has grown up since then. I think Tech finally wins at home: 28-24
Sat., Nov 4
Hopefully no let-down against the Brazos Bears. It has certain key elements of a huge upset, but I think Tech is mature enough to squash them in the HUB: 56-17
Sat., Nov 11
I would love for Tech to win this one, but beating both UT and OU in the same year is unlikely. Since I pick Tech to beat the Cows, I guess this means Tech drops this one on the road in Mobilehoma. Maybe there will be a meth epidemic that hits the Sooners the week of the game....OU 24 Tech 21
Sat., Nov 18
It's a contest until the Cowboys yellow school bus rolls into town. Tech 70 OSU 10
They will continue to dominate their weak conference schedule, and heading into the RoosterBowl, will boast an average margin of victory of over 30 points.
Sept 16--vs. Army
Blowout. McGee will be pulled early in the 3rd quarter again.
Sept 23--vs. LA Tech
This one will be closer than the others, and will be a nice test for the improving Aggie secondary, which they will pass. Ags win 36-13.
Sept 30--RoosterBowl IX vs Tech
Ags win 38-24. This will still not earn the Aggies any respect, as people will be beginning to question if Tech has returned to their old ways.
Oct 7--@ Kansas
Aggies first game outside of Texas this year doesn't slow them down. Jorvorskie Lane dominates in Lawrence, with a 200+ yard performance.
Oct 14-- vs. Missouri
Home field will play a big part in this Aggie victory. By this point in the season, The Wrecking Crew moniker will be back in full effect, and Chase Daniel will have his worst outing of the season for Mizzou. Aggies 24, Missouri 6.
Oct 21--@ Okie State
Which Woods brothers are still on this team? I don't know, but it won't matter. Ags clean house in Stillwater, 31-10.
Oct 28--@ Baylor
No upset on the Brazos this year, but those pesky Bears are getting better every week, and give A&M their best shot. Ags 39, Baylor 31.
Nov 4--vs. Nebraska
Nebraska has some success on offense today, but the "Blackshirts" turn pink in this embarrassing loss at Kyle Field. Ags 47, Huskers 38.
Nov 11--vs. Oklahoma
The Aggies always give OU a great game at Kyle Field. This one will be no different. A&M uses a punishing running game and stacks the box against Peterson, daring Stoops to put the ball in the air. The Ags capitalize on turnovers to squeak out a victory 31-30.
Nov 24-- @ Texas
The undefeated Aggies roll into Austin having already clinched the Big 12 South, as Texas has losses to OU and Tech. 2006 is the year that the Aggies begin a long winning streak against the horns, and turn the balance of power in the Big 12 for years to come. Aggies 42, Longhorns 12.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Friday, September 08, 2006
Sept 2--no surprise that Tech abused SMU. the only disappointment here was, according to Mike Leach, that the new clock rules did not allow him to score more on the overmatched Mustangs.
Sept 9--@ UTEP
This one may end up being a shocker. I am sure Tech fans think the 7 point line will be an easy cover, and are loading up with every bookie they know. The reality is, the bookies are liking this. UTEP is a good team, and Mike Price is a great coach. Tech will have a scare here, and I am predicting an early loss for the Red Raiders in El Paso del Norte.
Sept 16--@ TCU
This will be another tough one for Tech, but the overwhelming home field advantage for the Red Raiders will play a role in FW. That's right, I said home field advantage.....@ TCU. TCU fans are pitiful, and the stadium will be overwhelmed with drunken Red Raiders. Tech squeaks by for a W in Cowtown.
Sept 23--SE Louisiana
Tech mops up at home. Graham Harrell sets a single game passing record for the Big 12, contributing to the overconfidence factor heading to College Station.
Sept 30--@ Texas A&M
This will be one of the most exciting games of the year, but for the first time since 2000, these teams will not go to overtime at Kyle. The Aggie defense will come of age today, with double digit sacks and forcing at least 4 turnovers. Texas Aggies 38, Texas Tech 24.
Am I too bold to predict a loss in Lubbock this early in the season? Nope. Missouri is too much for Tech to handle, as Chase Daniel will really be hitting stride at this point in the season. Missouri comes in as a favorite, and goes home with a 10-point victory.
Oct 14--@ Colorado
Tech bounces back in Boulder against the weakest CU team we have seen in many years. Tech offense explodes for 70 points.
Oct 21--@ Iowa State
Another Big 12 loss for the Red Raiders. Tech fans are suicidal, and blame officials for double digit loss in Ames.
Oct 28--Texas Longhorns
Tech always gives the horns a game in Lubbock, and 2006 is no exception. Leach uses pirate metaphors all week to avoid a mutiny, and motivate his team to steal a victory from the longhorns.
Nov 4--Baylor Bears
Baylor is getting better every week, but they can't beat Tech in Lubbock. They keep it close, but Tech scores 3 late touchdowns to make it a blowout.
Nov 11--@ OU
"Revenge in Norman"----Taurean wasn't in last year, but this year, Adrian gets in early and often, with a 350 yard, 6 TD performance, launching himself back into the Heisman race. To add insult to injury, Tech can't get in the end zone all day: OU 56, Tech 6
Nov 18--Okie State
Another week for revenge, but this time it's Tech getting even for last year's upset, and taking out the frustrations of their season on the hapless orange aggies. Tech finishes off the season with a 77-3 win in Lubbock.
Overall, this puts Tech's record at a bowl eligible 7-5, and the Red Raiders are squarely back in their comfort zone, with a date to the Independence Bowl in Shreveport.
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
....Or should I say, "Where's your Rooster"?
After intense search, I finally secured our spot for this year's festivities. Roosterbowl IX Central Command will be in space 12 of the Olsen Field RV lot. This is significant, because it puts us close to Kyle Field, there is grass for Raider to run and play, and there is access to water and power to fill and run the hot tub!!!!! This location also represents a return to CENTCOM for Roosterbowl III.
Monday, September 04, 2006
Sunday, September 03, 2006
With the game so uneventful, I made an effort to "soak in" some of the changes at Kyle Field, namely, the new video board in the South end zone, and the "ribbon board", which stretches all the way around the 2nd deck.
The video board is incredible. Blake has already pointed out to me that it is smaller than the new video board at DKR Memorial, but it was great, nevertheless. From what I have read, Kyle's video board is about the same height as at UT, but UT's is much longer. I have to assume they are compensating for something.
The jury is out, however, on the "ribbon board". Maybe it will just take some getting used to, but I found it to be too busy. Every time I looked up to read game stats or other game scores, it would flash to a Coca Cola ad or to a very busy graphic of fans waving 12th Man towels (when Ags were on D). The damn thing is so long, I had a hard time finding the information I wanted, even when it stayed up long enough for me to read it. The Kyle Field announcer also apologized for a "blue hue" to the ribbon board, which I hadn't noticed, but he said was going to be fixed.
Overall, we had a great time. It was hot as hell (fortunately, our seats were under the overhang), and Madi and Shannon got worn out early, but Madi said she loved it, and wouldn't leave her seats, even when I offered to take her to get a Lemon Chill. She especially loved the band, and sang along to every Aggie song (evidence of indoctrination since birth). On the way to the car, she was talking about where she would live at A&M and asking if it was okay with her mom for her to go to A&M instead of UT. Looks like we may have shifted her a little, at least until she visits Austin again.
Friday, September 01, 2006
(I am just hoping I don't receive the same call I got last year from Shannon asking me to participate in an intervention to discuss Joe's addiction to Aggie Football.)
For those of you that care (and I know there aren't many), here are my game by game predictions for the ags.
The aggies steamroll though the first 3 pathetic opponents by an average margin of 40 something points, and aggie faithful lose sight of the pathetic opponents they have beaten. Joe actually starts looking into hotel rates in Arizona "just in case"
Optimism is overcome by terror as the Aggies get outplayed by La Tech and almost lose. It takes a blocked punt for the ags to pull out a lucky victory.
A&M 17 - La Tech 16.
Privately, the aggies are scared to death of another demoralizing loss to Tech, but in a strangely non-competitive game, the ags blow em out. Franchione runs up the score on a play action pass in the closing minutes to pay leach back for trying the same thing in 2003.
A&M 41 - Tech 17
Overzealous aggie fans are again on top of the world until they hit the road against Kansas and the ags show up flat.
Kansas 23- Aggies 16
The sting of their first loss is short lived as the aggies take care of business the next 2 weeks against Missouri and Oki state in convincing wins. Freshman phenom Mike Goodson is now firmly implanted as the starting tailback and the best player on the team.
Aggies 27 Mizzou 13
Aggies 31 Oki state 19
Coach Fran warns his players about overlooking Baylor towards Oklahoma and his guys respond in with their most convincing conference win of the year. With 5 TDs on the day for Goodson, the aggies start a short lived "Goodson for Heisman" campaign.
Aggies 35 - Baylor 6
As a motivational tool, Coach Fran reinstates the "Wrecking Crew" nickname for his defense 3 days before the game. Coach Stoops uses this as bulletin board material and the ags get schooled.
Sooners 44 - Aggies 21
Coach Fran is criticized in the media for the "wrecking crew" gaffe which sparks his players to respond with a great game against Nebraska.
Aggies 28 - Huskers 13
For the first time in what seems like an eternity, the division title is on the line against UT. Winner goes to the conference championship. The Aggies play like a young team making multiple costly turnovers in the first half. Although they outplay the Longhorns with more yardage and a huge Time of Possession advantage, the fumbles are just too much to overcome.
Longhorns 27 - Aggies 24
In a bizarre episode after too many Jim Beam shooters with Blake, Joe gets thrown out of a Hooter's and makes his way to a tatoo parlor. The slogan "WRECKING CREW" ends up permanently stamped on Joe's Ass.