Month: October 2009

Thoughts From KSU

If you didn’t see the game, consider yourself lucky.  Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreal lucky.  Let’s get to my normal analysis.

Coaching:

  • Sucked

Offense:

  • Sucked

Defense:

  • Sucked

Special Teams:

  • Sucked, but our punter did have an amusing play where he went flying by Brandon Banks and took him down with his face mask.  I’m glad Banks is okay but it pretty much summed up our day where our punter makes the biggest play thanks to grabbing a face mask.

Game Analogy:

Since I can’t really critique the game because it was just so horrible and I like analogies I’m going to try and compare this to something.  I really thought about critiquing the game but I honestly don’t know where to start.  Honestly.  It was bad.

The word that comes to my mind when thinking about this game is “Desecration.”  Emasculated is also a good word but I don’t have a good analogy for emasculated other than when Jackie Sherrill cut the nuts off a calf before Miss. St. played tu one year.  We’ve all heard that story.

The worst desecration I’ve ever seen in my life was when I was maybe 5 or 6 years old.  It was New Year’s night and the family was watching the Orange Bowl.  Earlier that evening we had Popeye’s for dinner (we were poor, okay?) and for reasons I can’t explain today we decided to give our cat, Frosty, some of that glorious fried chicken.  We would pay for that move later so let the story play out.

Like all good Christians we still had our Christmas Tree up not because we were waiting on The Epiphany but because we were lazy.  As part of that tree was a tree skirt that my Mom had made herself that I thought was always pretty neat.  During half time of the Orange Bowl Frosty crawled up under the tree and started making these strange sounds.  She was groaning and making some other strange sounds but we didn’t think much of it as we were all tuned into the laser lights and amazing sounds of the Orange Bowl halftime show.  This is the early, early 80s so it was pretty much all we had at that time besides Ronald Reagan as our President.  Frosty making strange sounds under the Christmas Tree wasn’t going to distract us from our once a year enjoyment of the Orange Bowl halftime show.

Well, about five minutes later the most gawd awful smell we had ever smelt started filling the living room.  I mean this was a HORRIBLE smell.  HORRIBLE.  We all kind of looked at each other like who made that smell or where was it coming from?  Finally, someone snapped that it was coming from under the tree.  Someone boldly looked under the tree to see that Frosty had just DESECRATED Mom’s tree skirt with the help of Popeye’s Fried Chicken.  You know how horrible cat poop stinks anyway?  Popeye’s makes it smell at least 100 times worse.  I still shudder just thinking about it right now.  I took a peek to find that as bad as it smelled, it looked just as bad.  My memory is fuzzy on what happened next as I think my brother and I hauled ass out of there to let my parents deal with the ramifications of what that fried chicken did to Frosty’s intestines.  It was foul.  Real foul.

So why did I make you read that story?  Well, Saturday night reminded me of that incident.  We didn’t know it at the time but Bill Snyder was loading up on Popeye’s Fried Chicken before the game so he could come out and just DESECRATE Mike Sherman with the most foul smelling and looking results I’ve ever seen.  77-0 was one thing but that was Fran’s first year against a strong Oklahoma team.  We got DESECRATED by a half ass KSU team in Bill Snyder’s first year of his return to glory.  It was embarrassing.  Truly embarrassing.  That’s right, what happened to us is the same as a cat’s intestines loaded with the goodness of Popeye’s.  Frosty and Bill Snyder will always have indelible marks on my brain and I never want to experience either again.

Rest of the Season:

I honestly don’t know if we can get to a bowl game at this point.  I’ve been saying all along the minute that Dan Hawkins values his job over nepotism then the Colorado game becomes a very losable game.  Well, Colorado with their non-Hawkins QB just upset a ranked Kansas team in Boulder which we’re going to need to win to get our sixth win.  We have six games left needing three to get to a bowl and I don’t see us getting there.  I don’t see us getting a win over Tech, OU, or the sips.  I just don’t.  We’ll actually probably get blown out by 21 points or more.  That means we’ll need to beat BU and ISU at home which is VERY possible but I don’t see how we can march into Boulder and pull that one out after Saturday night.  I don’t even know if we can beat ISU at home the way they’ve played of late.  Thanks to Bob Griffin’s injury I think Baylor is beatable but don’t count out Art Briles and a Baylor team that thinks playing A&M is their Super Bowl.  Don’t be shocked by another 4-8 season or even 3-9.  I won’t be making ISU and don’t know about Baylor yet.  Saturday night took it all out of me.  If my seats weren’t so good then I would likely not renew next year but one day A&M will be good and I really like my seats so I’ll continue to renew but it’s not worth the almost 6 hours of driving back and forth for each game.

What to Do with Sherman:

If he doesn’t make a bowl game then I think it’s clear that he needs to be let go without a doubt.  I’ve done lots of research on college coaches and one of the most consistent things I’ve seen is they don’t get blown out.  They just don’t.  They sure as hell don’t get blown out.in a game they were favored to win where Bill Snyder doesn’t even have them stocked with JUCO talent yet.

This was a KState team coming off a 62-14 beat down in Lubbock.  They barely beat UMass by 4 points at home, lost to Louisiana Lafayette on the road, and barely beat Iowa St. by 1 at a neutral site.  Make no mistake that this is not a very good team.  It’s very likely they won’t win another game this season winding up at 4-8.  Unreal.

If Sherm does get to a bowl game then I don’t think you have any choice but to bring him back unfortunately.  It’s becoming clear Sherm is not a great coach.  Maybe he proves us wrong but Aggie fans are like someone that’s been abused as we’re ALWAYS going to flinch when Sherm leads us on the field.  He’s not a great recruiter (although he’s done well this year) and it’s likely only going to get worse if we don’t make a bowl game.

I know I was very pleased with the results from the OSU game but last night was an absolute pounding that I’m not sure we can overcome.  There’s time to cut bait and I think it’s now.  I know we’re tied into a 7 year deal with Sherman but I don’t think we can afford to keep him if we don’t go bowling.  Recruiting and ticket sales will take an absolute dive.

Don’t blame youth for this crap.  Sherm doesn’t know what he’s doing in the college game.  He was never a great NFL coach and he’s so confused on the college game right now.  He’s turned his offensive line until a revolving door when that’s supposed to be his specialty.  Its obvious Bill Snyder watched the film of us and was able to exploit every weakness against the team.  Sherm has no answer.  Remember, we were a team that actually got worse last season as opposing staffs identified and exploited our weaknesses.  Early results are that it’s happening again.  Maybe he can turn it around but he DESPERATELY needed a win over KSU to go bowling and I don’t think it’s there.  There’s no excuse for that.

Against Texas Tech:

I’m going to spend my Saturday cleaning out the garage.  Around 4:00 I’ll go take a shower.  After that, I’ll hang my flat screen on the back deck, fire up the pit, crack a beer, and get ready to put on the ribs followed by chicken wings for my barbeque wing and rib feast.  Around 6:00 I’ll turn on the confusing ramblings of Dave and Dave while I watch other good college football on the flat screen.  I figure around half time I’ll turn off the radio and focus on what’s on the screen.  If all goes well I’ll pass out on the deck to be awoken around 11:30 by the water sprinklers.

We don’t stand a chance in hell of beating Texas Tech.  This is the first time Sherm will travel to Lubbock as a head coach and his first trip in probably 15 years so he has NO idea of what Lubbock has become for us.  I kind of wish it were on TV so I could see Sherman’s reaction.  We opened at 24 point dogs and I don’t that’s enough.  I really don’t.

Nugget Stat of the Week:

Kevin Sumlin has 3 wins over BCS conference schools in 4 chances winning two of those on the road.  Mike Sherman has 2 wins over BCS conference schools in 12 chances.

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Thoughts from the Ok. St. Game

I drove home from the game on Saturday scratching my head.  Some of it was due to the head lice that I can’t seem to shake but most of it was from not really understanding what I saw.  I saw a team that made a great effort and seemed to come up with plays when they were needed but in the end just fell short.  I know the reality is that we’re supposedly in for a rebuilding process that will take a few seasons but deep down inside I was secretly hoping for a 2004 season where Fran in his second year took Kyle Field back with wins over Clemson, KSU, Colorado, and Tech.  I was secretly hoping Sherm could go 6-1 at Kyle Field with the only loss coming against the Longhorns.  I firmly believe in order to get A&M back you have to learn to defend Kyle before everything else happens.  This was a great year to do it and we missed.  Fran also had a statement win against OSU on the road in 2004.  Man, what a great season that was except for BU and the Cotton.

In the end what I think I saw was what I saw in 2006 when we lost to Tech at Kyle Field.  I really feel that was a game that Fran put the players in a position to win but we just fell short due to execution on the players’ behalf.  Same thing here as I think Sherm and Co. coached well enough to win but just missed some execution.  Now, I don’t think Sherm was immune in this game as Bill Young had his number often in the first half.  Still, I don’t want to fault Sherm as he had the nads to go for it on some 4th downs where he could have played it safe and did get enough offense to score 31 points on a decent defense.  We all got on Fran throughout his time here for kicking field goals and even on Sherm last year when he punted late in the game against Tech.  Kudos to Sherm for coaching to win against a ranked opponent where even without Dez Bryant we were outmatched from a personnel standpoint when it comes to the starters.  At least Sherm went for it and acted like he wanted to win the game instead of just getting a moral victory.

Defense:

I want to start with the defense as they did such a GREAT job in the first half but ultimately faded in the second half like they’ve done all season.  Say what you want but that defense played one helluva first half.  It’s what they’ve done all season.  They have consistently forced three and outs on the first few series but for whatever reason our offense can’t really just jump out in front to help the defense out as our defense just doesn’t have the experience to keep it up for 60 minutes of football.

Let’s get to some bullets:

  • That goal-line stand in the 1st quarter was one of the most beautiful things you’ll ever see.  I absolutely loved it.  Without the defense’s efforts in the 1st half then we get our asses blown out.  I don’t want to discount anything the defense did as they did plenty to get us our win but we just couldn’t put two complete halves together to win in the end.  I agree with Sherman’s decision to kick off instead of onside late in the game as the odds for getting an onside are so low and there was almost 4 minutes left and we had all of our timeouts.  You have to give your defense a chance to redeem themselves at that point in the game.  They just didn’t have it but Kyle Field was ready for it.
  • Youth reared its ugly head on Saturday.  I can’t count the number of guys I saw not wanting to hit someone in the second half.  They were just worn out and it makes sense as most of them were playing high school football last year.  It’s evident they did great against lesser opponents but now that they’re playing BCS conference talent they just can’t last for 60 minutes.  I don’t think it’s going to get any better as this season is going to drag on and they’re not going to get any stronger.  Get ready for more great football in the first half and declining play in the first half.  Our offense is going to have to come out and drop the hammer from the get go if we’re going to win 7 games.
  • We still have problems stopping the run.  On the crucial last series where we needed to stop OSU we had no answer for a simple cut back run to the left side.  This happened repeatedly throughout the game where OSU would just simply hand off to the left side waiting for the cut back lane to show and it always did with nothing filling it.   If there’s one problem I have with Joe Kines is that he can’t scheme to stop the run when it’s obvious it’s coming.  This could come back to bite us in the butt against teams like KSU and CU when we desperately need a win against those teams on the road.  Not saying we lose but if we do it’s going to be because they pounded the ball on us on the road.
  • Our MLB play is not very good.  I had high hopes for Kyle Mangan but now that we’re playing better competition he’s just not getting it done against the run.  He’s fine on pass protection (and in fact he’s pretty damn good there) but he just can’t fill to support the run.  With our DTs that’s needed in a bad way.  Not to take anything away from our DTs as I love what Eddie Brown and TJE bring to the table in effort but they’re not your prototypical run stoppers.  Because of that we desperately need a ball busting MLB and we don’t have it.  It showed late in the game when he was able to hit the OSU RB right at the line of scrimmage on 3rd and goal from the one but couldn’t drive him back like a big ball busting MLB does so they got the score which pretty much iced the game for them as they would go up by 11 instead of 7 as I think Gundy would have had to kick there if they didn’t get in on 3rd down.  I think that was Mangan on that play..
  • We missed Jordan Pugh in a big way on Saturday.
  • Poor Dustin Harris got picked on Saturday and it’s to be expected considering he’s a true fish and T-Fred is a decent sophomore corner.  Dustin actually had decent position much of the game but just ran into a QB that you have to have perfect position against because he’s pretty damn good.  I’m sure Dustin is going to be having nightmares about that pick that went through his hands and into the end zone for 6.  Still, you don’t make that play unless you have position and he had it.  I think he’s going to be pretty good in the long run but let’s remember he was in high school this time last year playing quarterback for his team.
  • I like what I see on the defensive side of the ball in the first half but we just don’t have the depth or experience to play great football for 4 quarters.  I don’t necessarily blame the players as its just reality.  I hope like hell they prove me wrong but we’re going to need some flying to the ball in the second half as it’s just not happening now.
  • Kudos to Matt Moss for stepping up and picking off that ball when we DESPERATELY needed it the most.  You’re talking about a point in the game where OSU was about to swing the momentum in their favor and potentially blow that thing open but he came up with an amazing play.

Special Teams:

  • Outside of Randy Bullock’s 50 yard field goal our special teams were awful.  Just awful.
  • Our punting sucks.
  • Our deep snapping is questionable.
  • Our kickoffs are short and not covered the best.
  • Our punt returner likes to go sideways instead of up-field.
  • Our kick returners appear to lack burst.
  • I have no idea why we didn’t load up when we had OSU pinned in their end zone a couple of times and tell Harris just to fair catch it.  I don’t get it at all.  Especially with they have those wide spreads.  Someone needs to send Kirk Doll the video of the 2005 t.u. game where Texas loaded those splits with big fast linebackers and overcame that “wall” and blocked one of our punts early in the 3rd quarter which ultimately changed the momentum of that game.  Oh wait, I said big, fast linebackers.  Maybe I answered my own question.
  • If Frank Beamer offers a special teams clinic this summer then we should  send some of our staff.  Keep your eyes peeled for some brochure and send them to Sherm and Doll.
  • We talk about the offense and defense but honestly, if our special teams had been better we probably win this game.

Offense:

  • I think besides the head lice the offense is what had me scratching my head the most on the way back.  There were some great plays but some plays when we just couldn’t do anything.  It was just a very confusing offensive performance.
  • Stephen Barrera and Patrick Lewis started but got pulled in the 2nd quarter for reasons I can’t figure out.  The only thing I can think is that Sherm wanted guys that can pull and block and those two just don’t have experience doing it.  Barrera didn’t look bad at all in the limited time he was in there.  Wasn’t dominating but he didn’t look bad.  For whatever reason Danny Baker came in at LT and Evan Eike came in at LG to move Matt Allen back to RG.
  • Danny Baker didn’t do so well as there were multiple times where he’d be looking to the outside where no one existed only to have a LB go flying by him on a delayed blitz.  Maybe that was by design for a RB to pick up but he could have at least put a hand on the guy to slow him down since no one was coming from the outside.  I’m no OL expert but it appears to me that Barrera is our best option at LT despite his youth.  Kid is the most talented of the lot and seems to be pretty heady but just needs experience.  Don’t know what Sherm is going to do but I’d keep playing the kid considering we have KSU, TTU, ISU, and CU next on the schedule before hitting OU, BU, and tu.  Play the kid.
  • All in all I thought the offensive line did a decent job on Saturday.  By decent I mean getting a 72 in remedial math when you’ve been scoring 50s and 60s all year.  Sherm finally schemed to help slow down the aggressiveness and move the pocket around to a certain degree.  We definitely did more in the second half than in the first half and a lot of that was scheme so kudos to Sherm.  As much kudos as you give him considering he’s supposed to be an Oline guru.
  • I’m not sure what kind of game Jerrod had.  I don’t know if the guy should be dumping the ball sooner or always looking downfield.  Dude has a knack for the big play and can shed defenders like no other but sometimes he’d be better served getting rid of it.  I guess it’s good as he made some passes that I still don’t know if it was skill or luck.  He put some balls in some mighty small windows but also missed some short stuff.  I know he is often running for his life but he can’t throw on the run at all.  He really needs to set his feet because at that point he becomes deadly accurate.  You just can’t do it on a dead sprint very well.  I know I said earlier in the year that I thought Tannehill might ultimately take his gig but there’s no way Tannehill could do better with this offensive line.  He doesn’t have JJ’s size or deep ball arm strength which is keeping drives alive.  JJ is putting up gaudy numbers with a HORRIBLE OLine so I don’t think there’s much more you can ask.
  • Sherm says CMike is 100% but I don’t think he is.  Maybe it’s just that like the fish on defense he’s not as dominant against better competition.  I’m now torn on if CMike or Gray should be playing more.  I know CMike is a bigger homerun threat but I don’t know if there’s a running homerun to be had with this offensive line.  Gray is the better cutter, receiver, and blocker.  We might just have to realize we’re not going to have a 100 yard rusher this year because the OLine is so bad.  Gray does a nice job of juking and jiving to 3-4 yards a carry and that might be honestly what we need right now.  Only thing with CMike is he’s definitely a better sweep runner than Gray.  I do wish we’d run a quick pitch to CMike to the wide side as all we’ve done so far is run power sweep to the short side.  It’s great for a short gain but it’s never going to get busted.  I’d love to see what CMike could do with a wide side and a head of steam.
  • As far as WRs go there’s little doubt that EZ is the best of the freshman bunch.  We hardly talk about it but it’s going to be interesting to see what happens when Fuller comes back.  It’s like we’ve almost forgotten about him and he is JJ’s go to guy.
  • We had an interesting mix of guys this past weekend with Morrow and the the elder McCoy getting one TD each.  Too bad Jamie didn’t get his second.  You really need guys like them to step up when the defense is beginning to focus on guys like EZ and ultimately Fuller along with Tannehill on 3rd downs.
  • All in all this was a pretty solid showing against a decent defense but then again, some guy named Sumlin took his team into Stillwater and beat this same team.

What Happens from Here:

I know it’s easy to get down on this team after a loss but I think it’s becoming more and more apparent what kind of team this is.  I used to think we were a 7-5 team with no questions but I think I have to move it to 6-6 based on the fact that Dan Hawkins finally pulled his head and realized nepotism is not worth getting fired over.  I think we beat KSU, ISU, and Baylor but that’s going to be about it.  I still question Baylor even without Griffin is Briles is kind of crazy and he’ll pull ALL the stops to try and beat us at home just to use it on the recruiting trail.

I was thinking there was an outside chance we could beat Tech with Potts as he’s just not built for that system but Mike Leach would be a fool to play Potts with the way Sheffield is playing for them.  Couple that with the fact that it’s a 6:00 p.m. game in Lubbock and I don’t think there’s a chance in hell we can win it considering it will be the first time for many of these coaches to visit the high plains.

If we’re lucky, Sherm is gonna get a new weedeater from Poulan at this year’s bowl game.

Prediction for the week – A&M 38, KSU 24

Thoughts from the Arkansas Game

Most of you saw the game so there’s really no need to break down like I normally do.  Plus, my seats didn’t really allow me to see what was going on.  I was on the lower level at about the 5 yard line of the Texas A&M end zone.  I couldn’t see the whole field and watch plays develop like I could with my normal seats at Kyle.  I didn’t realize it was Barrera getting destroyed in the 2nd quarter until someone texted me.  They were on the other side of the 50 and Barrera was on the Arkansas bench side so I really couldn’t see him at all.  Just want to throw that out there that my analysis might not be as thorough as normal.

Also, I did update my prediction to 38-34 in favor of Arkansas on Thursday morning.  I did it on my blog but didn’t feel the need to e-mail all of you.

JerryWorld and the Atmosphere:

  • I wasn’t sure what to expect coming into the game.  I’d been in JerryWorld multiple times prior to the game so I was familiar with it but had never seen a game.
  • Outside the stadium was tremendous.  I started off at the pre-game party at Olenjack’s and then headed over to the stadium around 4:00ish.  The tailgating scene was outstanding.  So much so that I decided that it’s clearly worth it to pay for a tailgating spot if you have the set up to do it.  No one tailgates like the SEC so even though we lost, hopefully we get a few tailgating tips from the Arkansas fans.  They do need more porta-potties though.
  • We got to our seats about 15 minutes to kick and I have to say that the whole entire atmosphere was like a bowl game.  Half the stadium in one color and half the stadium in another with everyone making noise.  Clearly no home field advantage and its neat to see that.  I really liked that.
  • The best way to describe JerryWorld is that it’s an NBA atmosphere in a football sized venue.  The video board is way over the top in my mind.  I found myself watching it more than the game and it’s a distraction for a real football fan.  They keep the shot tight so it’s hard to see the entire play no matter where you’re sitting if you decide to watch it.  It really is like a damn amusement park in there and I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing.  I think in a few years it’s going to wind up being like the SkyDome in Toronto.
  • I’ve never been to OU/Texas but no way would I move it to JerryWorld I don’t think as I have to imagine Cotton Bowl Stadium is better now that they’ve redone it and it’s all about tradition at that place.
  • On the same lines, if the Cotton Bowl (game itself) can’t get into the BCS Championship rotation in a few years then they need to get a new committee leading that group.  That stadium is built for a BCS game.
  • I sat in the lower level club seats and wasn’t impressed with the set up for it.  To get to the seats you have to go through the main club level which is on the second level.  That’s a very impressive area but then you have to go down this star/tunnel to get to your seats.  That’s all fine and dandy but to get concessions you have to go back up to the main club level.  I never actually left my seat because I didn’t want to miss too much of the game.  The seats were very comfy but it just seemed strange that there’s no concessions on that level for fans.  I will say I would NEVER get seats in the end zone to have to deal with Party Plaza people.
  • It’s an amazing venue but it’ll be interesting to see what it’s like in 10 years.  Heinz Field is the best new football venue I’ve been to because it’s built for football and nothing else.  The focus is on the fan and its fun for football fans to go to.  Of course, it probably doesn’t make the money like JerryWorld does.
  • I’m not knocking the venue at all as it was a great experience and glad I went and see no reason to change anything in the interim except for ticket prices.  I didn’t spend $300 for my clubs seats but I can assure you I never would after my experience.  I might pay $125 but only if I knew those seats would between the 40s.  Wouldn’t pay $85 to be in the end zone.

Coach Sherman/Offense:

I’m grouping these two together since I really think they’re synonymous.  Like I said earlier I’m not going to break down position by position or player by player as you all saw the game.  I just want to hit on some points about what I saw in coaching the offense.

  • On the way to the game we heard Bob Davie talking about the game on ESPN Radio.  Davie’s comments were basically about not knowing how good A&M was but did know that Arkansas would be 3-0 had they played our schedule.  He also went on to say that Von Miller did look impressive but he thought the Arkansas DEs looked good and basically implied they would have a bigger night.  Dude nailed it.
  • Building on Davie’s comments, Von Miller had the quarter of his life in the 1st quarter.  In the end though it was the Arkansas DEs that stood out.  Why?  Arkansas schemed to slow down Von Miller while A&M didn’t do the same for the Arkansas DEs.  That’s getting out coached.  I still can’t fathom how Sherman CONTINUALLY let his OL get exposed by giving his true freshman LT ZERO help.  I feel bad for the kid.
  • RANT TIME – Let’s get over blaming Fran for the lack of talent on the offensive line.  True, he didn’t do a good job of recruiting for the position.  Wait, he did a HORRENDOUS job of recruiting for it but Sherman is in his 16th game and should know what he has and what he doesn’t have.  He’s supposed to be the offensive line guru and he’s now cycled through at least four people at LT by my count in games this season.  If you don’t have the talent then you have to scheme to help that area of weakness.  I equate his desire to leave his LT unassisted to him trying to run the freakin’ I formation last year with no fullback and a weak offensive line.  He’s being stubborn and it’s going to cost him.  A great coach recognizes that weakness and helps out just like the opposing coach is going to exploit it.  I don’t get why he can’t recognize the weakness that he has at LT and address it through help rather than sift through the talent that he has when it’s obvious it’s not there.  Why does he not get taken to task for this?  Everyone wants to point to him being a great OLine coach but I’m just not seeing it right now.  The OLine is not good but he’s not doing a DAMN thing to take the focus of it.
  • There is one thing that I’m not seeing talked about in this game that was an obvious difference than in his first three games.  We continued to run the no huddle but we didn’t push the tempo like we did in the first three games.  In the first three games we would quickly line up, get the play in, and then off we went.  Not only were we locking in the defensive personnel but we were pushing them on their heels.  In this game we did the no huddle where you lineup and then adjust the play call to the defensive alignment by looking to the sideline.  To me this gave the Arkansas defense a chance to regroup and apply pressure.  Not saying we win if we push the tempo but I just found it strange that Sherman decide to play cat and mouse trying to out scheme a defense with such a weak offensive line.  Let’s hope he comes out against OSU and tries to move the ball with a quick tempo, no huddle offense.  I really think slowing the tempo killed us once we got the lead.  I think Sherman got too comfortable and went all NFL trying to protect a lead and never recovered when that lead was lost.  If your OL is in shape (why wouldn’t they be if they’re so weak as that would be your only advantage) it gives them a unique advantage to just line up every time and fire off engaging someone that’s trying to catch their breath.  I really think Sherm needs to go back to this.
  • JJ is HORRIBLE at throwing to his right if he can’t set is feet.  Kid is crazy athletic but if he’s rolling to his right he sails his passes unless he can set.  As long as he can set his feet he’s fine but this was the first time I’ve ever seen him try to throw rolling right and he was sailing every ball.  I don’t think it was him trying to throw the ball away as it was relatively close for the receiver but still out of reach.  All of these were sideline passes.
  • Sherman should be strung up for running JJ out there with 15 seconds left in the game and attempting passes.  It was very Fran-esque to try and get some more passing in there in a blowout with only 15 seconds left.  Of course, JJ almost got decapitated so I hope Sherman NEVER does it again.  NEVER.  You don’t have to kneel it but run the damn ball and end the misery.
  • Christine Michael is not 100%.  Cyrus looked pretty good after I essentially bashed him last week.  He can flat out cut back and forth which looking at it might be the best style from here on out.  Not saying Christine shouldn’t be getting lots of touches but Cyrus might be better served than I originally thought.
  • The poor freshman WRs had a rude awakening playing someone with legit D1 talent.  Powder Puffs no more.  Not sure what else to say as no one stood out and I’m not covering the drop we all know about.
  • All in all, Sherman laid a real stinker in this game.  This is his biggest problem of not coming from the college ranks.  I don’t care that he “gets” A&M as I care more about getting the college game and winning games.  It was clear in that game that Petrino was the better coach.  His team was better prepared for four quarters meaning he picked up more in film than Sherman did to make in game adjustments and knew how to manage the entire game unlike Sherman.

Defense/Special Teams:

  • Won’t hit a ton here but good lord Joe Kines had this unit ready to go from the start.  THREE three and outs is DAMN impressive.  DAMN impressive.  Too bad this gets overlooked.  We knew Arkansas was going to score points but the defense did everything they could to let us get in out in front and control the game.  Unfortunately the offense didn’t oblige.
  • One VERY IMPORTANT turnover.  Once again, the turnover we got gets discounted as it should have been a game changer but the offense sputtered.  I commented when the defense was going out there that we needed a turnover now down by 4 points.  We get that gift and the offense does nothing with it.  Special teams then gets the ball back and the offense turns it over for a TD the other way.  Game, set, match.
  • Our defense is young and they’re going to get better but our offense HAS to help them.  The best defenses have an offense that gives them rest and keeps them in the game.  Our offense did actually win the TOP battle but they couldn’t score any points to force Arkansas into some offensive sets they didn’t want to be in but our offense didn’t do it.
  • Punting sucked.
  • Kick returns were decent but Arkansas actually forced Lionel Smith down the sideline they wanted by kicking short to his side.  Smith did a nice job returning but he was never going to bust one the way Arkansas was kicking to him.  Nice job of coaching by the Arkansas staff as a kick return could have been detrimental to them.  They felt comfortable that their defense had figured out the A&M offense so it looked like they were willing to give up yards on the kick to not have a big return.

Ryan Mallett:

  • Want to give this kid his own section because he’s that damn good.  He’s got to be the best pure passing QB I’ve ever seen in college.  He goes about 6’7” and has an effortless motion with zip.  In addition he has this unbelievably quick release.  He’s a Top 10 pick if he keeps this up.  I sorry that he pounded our ass but it was a real treat watching him sling it around.

Where to go from here:

There is no reason to NOT win 7 games.  That’s four wins over KSU, ISU, CU, and Baylor.  A good coach wins those four games based on what we’ve seen.  A great coach picks one out of OSU or Tech to win and go 8-4 on the season.

I think we win 7 but I don’t see Sherman winning 8 as he’s just not aggressive enough to try and take it to OSU or Tech.  He’ll do the EXACT same thing against OSU and Tech where we’ll come out and do pretty well but the other coaching staff will adjust after figuring out his game plan and Sherman will stick to what he thinks he can do and lose in the end.

I really think we have the talent to surprise OSU or Tech as I don’t think they’re as good as they’re made out to be but I don’t see Sherman rolling the dice.  He’s got too much NFL in him and he thinks he’s too smart in scheming four quarters and never making the in game adjustments.

In the end I think Sherman is going to turn out to be very Fran-esque winning 8 and 10 games a season but never more.  I know it’s only one game but we’ll just have to see.  I got blinded by one great game over UAB but that might have been his high point.  I hope not but we’ll see.  Sherman deserves no credit as to date he still hasn’t done anything at A&M when you really think about it.

Colorado vs. West Virginia

This is the third game that I’ve watched Colorado this season and I just want to go on record to say that Colorado will be MUCH improved if/when Hawkins is replaced by CU.

Hawkins has one pass and it’s to Scotty McKnight.  He gets in McKnight’s range and McKnight does the rest.  McKnight got knocked out cold against Colorado St. but he’s come back and is a solid possession guy along the lines of Ryan Tannehill.

I still don’t feel good about our game in Boulder just yet.  Lot’s of football but paint me skeptical on 10/01/2009.

Updated Arkansas Prediction – 38 to 34 (Hogs win)

I hate doing this but I have to update my prediction on the Arkansas game.  It’s due to John Lopez’s piece on Jerrod Johnson.  It’s a GREAT piece but I feel it’s just too soon.  Here’s the article if you haven’t read it:

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2009/writers/john_lopez/09/30/jerrod-johnson/index.html

Look, I love JJ as I think he’s an amazing kid and I want him to do well.  There’s nothing I’d love more than to see JJ hoisting the Big XII Championship and winning a BCS game.  Nothing more.

However, I think John jumped the gun a bit on this thing.  Prior to this year we all made fun of Tech’s eye popping numbers against weaker teams prior to conference.  Well, that’s us right now.  We haven’t played anyone.

That changes this weekend but like Bill Parcells said about Tony Romo – Let’s not get the anointing oil out just yet.  I just think it’s bad karma on Lopez’s end to write this article this week.  Wait until AFTER the Arkansas game.  Although we’re on TV there are a TON of people that won’t see the game due to OU/Miami and will take Lopez’s article with a grain of salt.  Save this article for after the Arkansas game if it’s warranted.

In case you don’t know Lopez has a serious bias to JJ and that’s not a bad thing.  Lopez was friends with JJ’s Dad and Lopez’s son is one of JJ’s friends.  What Lopez didn’t mention in that article is that he coached that AAU team that he referenced.  I wish he would have disclosed that.

Like I said, don’t take this the wrong way as me not liking JJ.  I want JJ to succeed.  I lost my Dad while I was at A&M to a massive heart attack similar to how JJ lost his Dad.  I can relate to JJ on that and I know how so much of what he’s doing right now is to do something his Dad would be proud of.  Nobody wants him to do that more than me.  Nobody.

I just wished Lopez would have tapped the brakes until AFTER this weekend when no one can question the competition.

Here’s to JJ proving Lopez right and me wrong but I just don’t feel good about us beating Arky after going back and realizing how inconsistent JJ’s been in the three games.  Yes, he’s putting up amazing stats but he’s been inconsistent in doing so if you watched all 3 games.