Month: May 2017

When Aggie Football Was Great

As the Founder, President, and main client of the Make Aggie Football Great Again Movement I often get asked when Aggie Football was ever great.  Obviously it was great in 1939 when the Aggies won their only official National Championship.  In addition there was the 1956 team that went 9-0-1 and finished 5th in the AP poll, the 1976 team that went 10-2 and finished 7th in the AP poll, and of course in recent memory the 2012 team that went 11-2 finishing 5th in the AP poll.  Those are four isolated seasons where one was definitely great and three others that were really good bordering on great.

For me there was a decade of Aggie Football in recent memory that was borderline great that I think Aggie Football can get back to with the right head coach.  College football is cyclical but there’s a decade of Aggie Football that should the standard by which Aggie Football is judged.  That decade is from 1985 to 1995.  20-30 years ago seems like a distant memory now but it should be a reminder of what’s possible.

In those 11 seasons Aggie Football finished outside of the Top 20 only once.  They finished in the Top 10 in five of those seasons.  They finished with 10 wins in six of those seasons in a period when only 11 games where the norm as opposed to the 12 games that are played now.  There were some 12 game seasons back then but the majority of those seasons were 11 game seasons so 10 wins is a big milestone.  There were three 9 win seasons and only one season of 8 wins and one season of 7 wins.  That’s pretty damn impressive from a win standpoint.  That’s a combined record of 104-27-2 for those 11 seasons for a winning percentage of .782.  That is an outstanding winning percentage over a decade.

Here’s a chart that summarizes each season:

There’s a lot to digest but there’s no doubt that’s a decade of REALLY good football bordering on great.  Win one national championship in there and that’s absolutely a great decade of football.  There were legitimate chances to win it all in 1985, 1992, and 1994.

1985 was a lot like the 2012 season where they opened up with a tough loss to a ranked Alabama team on the road, lost to a ranked Baylor team in the middle of the season, and then got hot and just rolled everyone they played absolutely thrashing their final three opponents in TCU, Texas, and Auburn that included Heisman Trophy winner Bo Jackson in the Cotton Bowl.  Had they not lost one of those early season losses they might have had an outside chance to get Penn St to the Cotton Bowl instead of OU getting them in the Orange Bowl which is how OU won the national championship that year.  Early season losses set this team back just like in 2012.  There’s no doubt though at the end of the season this was one of the best teams in the country.

1992 was an undefeated regular season but like the modern day Big 12, Texas A&M was playing in a wretched Southwest Conference.  So wretched there wasn’t one team in the Southwest Conference that was ranked when they played.  A&M’s only win over a ranked opponent was to open the season against Stanford who was ranked 20th at the time.  At the same time both Alabama and Miami went undefeated beating more ranked opponents than A&M so Miami went to the Sugar Bowl instead of the Cotton Bowl.  Had Bama lost a game that season there’s an outside chance Miami and A&M would have matched up in the Cotton Bowl for the national championship but that’s still a stretch as Miami might have played Florida State in a re-match.  The Southwest Conference did A&M no favors that season because the teams were crap much like what top Big 12 teams face today.  Of course A&M losing to Notre Dame in the Cotton Bowl makes talk of a national championship that season moot but that was a damn good Notre Dame team.  However, A&M didn’t help itself for that game having to suspend Greg Hill for receiving improper benefits.  As it was A&M belonged in the conversation of Alabama, Miami, Florida State, and Notre Dame teams that were just loaded with talent.  That was a great team.  Probably the greatest of that decade for Aggie Football.

The 1994 team technically went undefeated but thanks to Greg Hill not going to his cush job for Warren Gilbert at a Dallas apartment complex they were on NCAA probation.  A&M was banned both from the post season and television that year.  A&M had no chance to win a national championship that season but if Greg Hill goes to his job or doesn’t take the money this potentially could have been a championship team.  The reality is this team wasn’t really all that close as even if they weren’t on probation and hadn’t tied SMU in one of the worst games I’ve ever witnessed as an Aggie fan, an undefeated Texas A&M likely wouldn’t have climbed over undefeated Nebraska and Penn St who had better regular season opponents and impressive bowl victories to remain undefeated.  Playing in the Southwest Conference was just not going to position a team for a National Championship unless a bunch of other teams lost in their better conferences.  That didn’t happen in 1994 but if A&M goes undefeated in 1992 and isn’t on probation it’s not a total stretch to think this team is playing for a national championship assuming they beat SMU that season.

While the Southwest Conference was pretty bad for the most part the statistic that stands out to me during that decade is the record at Kyle Field.  63-5-1 is just flat out amazing.  That’s partially where the mystique of Kyle Field came from in recent memory.  In 11 seasons Texas A&M only lost FIVE games at Kyle Field.  FIVE games in 11 seasons.  That’s unreal.  In 7 seasons Texas A&M never lost a game at home.  There was one tie which is kind of losing but it’s not a loss so we won’t count it that way.  Only one season did A&M lose 2 games and that was easily the worst team of that decade.  A&M never lost more than 1 game at Kyle in any other season and had a five year run where a fan at Kyle Field never saw a loss with just one tie.  That is flat out amazing at defending Kyle Field.  That my friends is absolutely great Aggie Football at home.  I don’t care how bad the Southwest Conference was as there were some big wins over non conference opponents and some solid Southwest Conference teams along the way.  Five losses in 11 seasons.  That’s amazing.

I won’t classify that entire decade as truly great because of the struggle in bowl games and key road losses but it’s not far from it and it’s what Aggie Football expectations should be.  With A&M’s resources there’s no reason why we can’t return to a decade of Aggie football like this and make it even better.  Make the right hire and we can get back there.

The most interesting part of this decade is a conversation I had with Dr. Loftin in 2010 after Nebraska and Colorado announced they were leaving for the Pac 12 and we had flirted with the SEC but didn’t pull the trigger.  This was prior to the Longhorn Network being announced.  Dr. Loftin told me the support for going to the SEC wasn’t as large as it seemed.  He said it was actually divided more to staying as there was a silent majority that was fearful of the SEC.  He told me he had basically divided support for the SEC between two major groups.  One was the recent graduates who were enamored with the SEC because of all the publicity it was getting at the time and the other was those Aggies that had graduated during this decade of Aggie Football and more specifically those that had been in school when Jackie was coach.  Those Aggies didn’t fear the SEC like those that didn’t attend school during that decade.

Dr. Loftin didn’t say this but there’s no doubt those Aggies during that period remember dominating football teams and most importantly dominating Kyle Field.  They weren’t scared at all of the SEC as they know Aggie football can compete at the highest level with the right coach.  This decade of Aggie Football should be the minimum standard of expectations going forward.  If those results aren’t being achieved then we need to be doing a serious study of what’s going wrong and what change is needed.  Shift the mindset that this decade is what Aggie Football should be.  We’re not there from a mental standpoint.  We really aren’t.

If you didn’t experience that decade as a student or fan you don’t know what you’re missing out on.  Kyle Field rocked every game and the biggest reason was the Wrecking Crew.  Defense was the staple of that decade and a coach needs to focus on bringing the Wrecking Crew mentality back.  It won’t be easy in this new era of high powered offenses but A&M needs a head coach that makes recruiting and preparing defensive players to thrash opponents a top priority.  Easier said than done but offense just wins games and the Wrecking Crew can win championships.  If a coach doesn’t understand the importance of bringing the Wrecking Crew back then we stand no chance of ever being great again.

There is no doubt with the right mindset a head coach can absolutely Make Aggie Football Great Again.  There’s a decade that says it’s possible.

#MAFGA

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The Curious Case of Lane Kiffin

I actually planned on writing this blog entry for a while and decided last week to write it.  In researching this blog I learned the day I’d post the link would be Lane Kiffin’s 42nd birthday.  Happy birthday, Coach Kiffin.  I hope you’re on a Florida beach with a beer bottle in hand soaking in your 42 years.  I’d be disappointed if you weren’t.

Everything about Lane Kiffin intrigues me.  The dude has a genius football mind but he can’t seem to keep focus or have any kind of drive to want to be great.  Something I talk about all the time in what I think drives people to be great is channeling losing to get better but losing doesn’t seem to bother him.  He just seems like a frat guy that doesn’t take anything too serious.  He’s extremely gifted for his profession but he doesn’t seem to really care.  He was definitely too young to be named head coach of the Raiders at 31 but in a decade of having major responsibilities as a coach he hasn’t appeared to have grown up or developed any kind of drive to be great.  He’s just living life.

On his 42nd birthday Lane Kiffin will have had the following titles:

  • Head Coach of the Oakland Raiders
  • Head Coach of the Tennessee Volunteers
  • Head Coach of the USC Trojans
  • Offensive Coordinator at Alabama with three straight berths in the College Football Playoffs winning one national championship.
  • Head Coach of Florida Atlantic University

There are coaches in their 60s that would die to have just one of those titles.  Lane Kiffin has done this by his 42nd birthday.  It’s remarkable.  And he hasn’t been terrible at each stop other than Oakland but who hasn’t been terrible in Oakland.  His main issue is he never lived up to the expectations put on him at USC but he was working with a stacked deck against him with postseason bans and scholarship restrictions.

I really didn’t watch much of Lane Kiffin while he was at Tennessee or USC to know what kind of coach he truly was when it came to games.  I remember the remarks he made at Tennessee that pissed off Urban Meyer and some of the shenanigans he had at USC like claiming he didn’t know the ball boy was deflating footballs or whatever it was.  There was some other stuff at USC that I remember thinking he wasn’t taking things seriously as a head coach.

Where I really started paying attention to Lane Kiffin was as OC at Bama.  With A&M playing Bama every year and Bama being the bell cow of college football I started watching a lot of their games.  To me Kiffin has hands down been the best play caller in the country over the last three years.  Sure, he’s working with a ton of talent but the reality is he jump started a Bama offensive that was pretty bland and vanilla before he got there.  Bama started putting a lot more points on the board.  I don’t think Kiffin gets enough credit for it because everyone just points to Bama’s talent and thinks anyone could have done it.

For people that make that argument let me make a counter argument in that Kiffin won the SEC three years in a row with Blake Sims, Jake Coker, and true freshman Jalen Hurts as his QB.  Look at that list again.  I don’t think there’s another OC in the country that even with Bama’s other offensive talent would have won the SEC and been to the College Football Playoff three years in a row with that string of quarterbacks.  The only consistent in Bama’s offensive output in those three seasons is Lane Kiffin.  The dude has been a magnificent play caller in his three seasons as Bama’s OC.

The only game I can recall where I thought Kiffin was questionable was the 2014 CFP Semi Final against Ohio State.  Ohio State took the lead in the third quarter and then Sims threw a pick six which put Ohio State up by two scores.  Bama was able to score and get the game within six and then both teams punted back and forth a little.  On one particular punt the Bama defense pushed Ohio St back to the goal line and Ohio St botched the punt giving it to Bama at the 23 yard line.  That is opportunity pounding on the door if I ever saw it.

Considering Sims had thrown the pick six three series ago I felt Bama should have pounded it down Ohio State’s throat with Derrick Henry.  Lean on their defense and at worst get three points out of the deal while giving the defense some rest.  What does Kiffin do?  On the very first play of getting the ball on the Ohio State 23 he calls a pass play to the goal line.  Ohio State picks it off at the one yard line and returns it to the 8.  Bama had a chance to gain all the momentum back but Kiffin gave it right back to Ohio State.  He trusted his play calling over Sims ability.  Kiffin got greedy instead of being smart and it cost Bama the national championship with that playcall because to me Bama never recovered from that call.  There’s little doubt in my mind they would have beaten Oregon just like Ohio State did had they beat Ohio State that game.  Had Kiffin made a different set of play calls there and then coached the national championship game this year there’s a good chance Nick Saban has three national championships in a row.  I’m dead serious.  If that’s Kiffin’s only blemish that’s still REALLY damn good for his three years at Bama.

Midway through last season Kiffin started getting mentioned as a head coaching candidate again.  Had we fired Sumlin last season I thought the combination of Kiffin running the offense and John Chavis running the defense would be a pretty salty staff.  Kiffin’s actions at the end of the season have given me major pause that he’s matured and is driven to be a great head coach.

Kiffin wasn’t in line for any major coaching jobs it seemed.  I think the best opportunity he had was for the UH job and the rumor is he turned that down because of the restrictions and buyout they wanted to prevent him from leaving after a year or two.  I get him not wanting the restrictions but UH is a good program where he could have spent 3-4 years and then stepped up.  They were going to pay pretty well but instead he took the Florida Atlantic coaching job for less money than he was making as OC at Bama.

There’s no doubt his time at Bama had run its course and he had to move on.  I just don’t understand why he took the FAU job for less money than he made at Bama and much less money than he would have made at UH.  FAU is a crappy job.  They haven’t won a damn thing and as great as I think Kiffin is as an OC he’s not going to turn FAU around overnight.  He’ll need to spend 4-5 years there I believe.  He would have been better off going to UH for more money even with the restrictions.  If he won at UH like Briles, Sumlin, and Herman before him there’s no doubt he’d be set up for a solid head coaching gig in a Power 5 conference.  I don’t know that there’s anything more he could accomplish at FAU over UH and he’s taking probably 1/3 of the money to do it with more risk.  It makes no sense if he’s matured and truly driven to be a national championship winning head coach.  The FAU job is a real head scratcher from a coaching standpoint.

In addition to the UH job there’s another clear better option than FAU.  Kiffin could have gone to LSU to be OC for his buddy Ed Ogeron.   LSU would have likely paid Kiffin $2 million a year to run their offense and there’s enough talent at LSU to beat Bama and win a national championship.  If Kiffin had at minimum beaten Bama just once in two years then SEC schools would have backed up dump truck piles of cash to give him their head coaching job.  There’s no doubt in my mind about that.  I actually think taking the LSU OC job would have been his best move as he would have made twice the money he’s making at FAU and he could have beaten Bama with LSU’s talent.  LSU has every bit of talent as Bama but just doesn’t have the coaching.  With a Bama win under his belt at LSU he could have the pick of SEC jobs.  SEC schools would have fired their coach not named Saban or Coach O to hire Kiffin.  Hell, LSU might have fired or demoted Coach O if Kiffin actually beat Saban.  I’m dead serious.

What I really think happened is he took the FAU gig solely to chase women.  He got divorced a year or two ago and outside of coeds on the Bama campus I can’t imagine there were any single women in Tuscaloosa up to his standards.  He knew Bama coeds were off limits or Saban would actually castrate him.  He thought with the wrong head and headed to Boca Raton where the women for his standards are plentiful and nobody cares about the social life of Lane Kiffin because he’s basically a nobody in South Florida.  I really think that was the main factor for his taking the FAU job.

At USC he made $3.4 million in his last year which was 2013 and he had two years left on his deal so he also made $3.4 million in 2014 and 2015 between USC and Bama.  In 2016 he made $1.4 million which is $2 million less a year from his previous salary.  Then he took a gig for $1 million a year while turning down better opportunities for at least twice the money.  Plus, he’s paying child support and alimony to his ex wife so it’s not like that money is going directly to him so he’s taking a SIGNIFICANT pay cut to coach at FAU.  I really think he just moved to Boca Rotan for the women because he doesn’t care about coaching all that much.  There’s no doubt money isn’t everything but I just wonder if he’s driven to be great.  It doesn’t seem like it’s a driver for him right now.

The other thing that makes me pause for his true drive to be great is how things went down at Bama.  When he accepted the FAU job it was stated he would finish with Bama including the national championship game if they got there.  After beating Washington to get in the national championship game two to three days later it’s announced Kiffin would not be coaching in the national championship game.  That was out of the blue and my guess is Saban told him to pack his stuff because he wasn’t focused anymore.  A guy driven for success would have been so focused to win that game knowing it would help his recruiting at FAU even more by being able to show off back to back championship rings.  If he’s suffering burnout at 41 for being just the OC at Bama it gets much worse trying to be a national championship head coach.

Maybe I’m wrong about Kiffin.  Maybe he has a plan in place for achieving greatness which to me is winning national championships.  Maybe he doesn’t care and just wants to live an easy life away from the stresses of big time college football.  If he truly wants to be great there are better paths to take than the one he’s taking now.  He just turned 42 today so maybe there’s time for him to mature but I believe this is about the time he should really mature and change his focus.  Based on his actions in the last 6-9 months he’s definitely not ready to be head coach at an SEC program competing for national championships in my mind.

Either way he’s accomplished more than most head coaches at the age of 42 so maybe he’s just on the beach with a cold beer in his hand smiling that he figured out the world before it figured him out.

Happy Birthday Coach Kiffin.

Was Colin Cowherd Right about Aggie Football?

If you’re offended by what Colin Cowherd said about A&M underachieving then you’re part of the problem.  He nailed it.  He absolutely nailed it.  I believe Texas A&M is a Top 10 program to win a National Championship.  I’m not talking a coaching job, history, tradition, or anything else that most people look at.  I’m talking in its current state the ability to win a national championship and nothing more.  In the current climate of college football I strongly believe Texas A&M is a Top 10 program to win a national championship.

To put it in perspective I think LSU is the top program in the country to win a national championship.  Nobody has the resources of athletes and attitude to win like LSU.  I firmly believe that.  Nobody has the quality of athletes in one state all to themselves and LSU has the attitude to win.  I think Les Miles definitely under achieved if you’re wondering.  When I measure a school right now I’m simply looking at winning a national championship as that’s all that matters to me.  What you did in the past doesn’t matter to me.  Region, conference, facilities, and support are really all that matter to win a national championship in this day and age.  Just look at Notre Dame and Nebraska to what tradition and history get you in this modern age.

There aren’t more than 10 schools that have Texas A&M’s resources for athletes and facilities to win a national championship.  There is no reason we can’t do what Florida State does on the field.  We’re just missing the attitude.  This attitude has caused us to hire and hang on too long to the wrong coach time and time again.  RC Slocum failed to see the recruiting game changing when OU hired Bob Stoops, LSU hired Nick Saban, and Texas hired Mack Brown.  Blame facilities all you want as RC did but the reality is RC now had competition in recruiting and he struggled.  He was not on the level of Stoops, Saban, or Brown when it came to recruiting.  The attitude of RC being defeated along with administrators being asleep at the wheel for the changing landscape in college football ended the dominant decade from 1985 to 1995.  We were actually dominant for a decade in the last 35 years but so many people forget.  I’ll write about that decade in a later blog.

We replaced RC with Fran which wound up being the greatest criminal act in Aggie football history.  Fran set this program on a downward spiral that we’ve yet to recover from.  In Fran we hired a guy that had already won a national championship in his mind.  This is a guy that honestly already hired a biographer who followed him around and had already selected the title of his autobiography.  Seriously.  I wish I could remember the title as it was clear Fran was always about himself and nothing more.  He didn’t know how to get it done on the field though.  It seemed like a slam dunk hire but it wound up being criminal as Fran cashed big checks producing nothing.

After Fran came a fine man in Mike Sherman but he wasn’t cut out to be a college football head coach.  The man loved Aggieland and was a solid offensive coach but as a head coach he failed.  Mike Sherman was built to be an NFL offensive coordinator.  He was never built to be a college head coach.  He didn’t get recruiting and he didn’t totally get how the college game works.  That hire always boggled my mind because on the Friday night of the announcement of Fran being let go Bill Byrne said we would begin an immediate national search.  Byrne wound up in a hotel room in Hempstead that weekend talking to Sherman and announced his hiring on Monday.  We rushed a hiring on Mike Sherman and then allowed him to finish his coordinating job for the Texans.  While that’s an admirable thing for Sherman to do that wasn’t a winning attitude by A&M.  The whole timing of that hire still boggles my mind.  It wasn’t the attitude to win a national championship.

After Sherman was let go we hired Kevin Sumlin.  This hire kind of made sense as Sumlin had done a fine job at Houston and got Texas A&M as a former assistant under Slocum.  He seemed dynamic and knew the state.  I didn’t mind the hire and when he caught lightening in a bottle in 2012 I thought we were on our way to dominance.  That glory would be short lived as Sumlin wasn’t the secret sauce to that 2012 season.  It was senior leadership on defense, a dominant offensive line thanks to Sherman, a good receiving corps with Evans and Swope, and obviously Johnny Football.  Sumlin just happened to have the headset when lightening was caught in that bottle.

I don’t think Sumlin is a horrible head coach and would actually list him as the top coach of Slocum, Fran, Sherman, and himself.  He recruits well, has a decent staff, and has won a reasonable amount of games.  The problem is his attitude.  He doesn’t hate losing enough.  He has thin skin and wants to be liked.  Losing doesn’t drive him.  It frustrates him because it means a decline in popularity.  He doesn’t consume himself in the game and the game plan all week leading up to the game.  He doesn’t read the flow of the game at all.  His clock management has gotten worse.  He hasn’t changed his approach in 5 years.  Just his staff.  I hope Sumlin wins 9 games this season and proves me wrong.  I want Kevin Sumlin to be coach that Makes Aggie Football Great Again.  I just don’t think he has it in him.

Going back to Cowherd he’s dead on.  Since 1998 we haven’t even played for a conference championship much less won one.  That’s almost 20 years y’all.  20 years since we even played for a conference championship.  I won’t list the schools that have played for a conference championship much less won one in the last 20 years.  The biggest bowl win was the 2012/2013 Cotton Bowl.  We haven’t even sniffed a bowl of that caliber outside of the 2012 season since 1998.  The Cotton Bowl in 2004/2005 doesn’t count as it was a second tier bowl back then.  Plus, Tennessee kicked our ass.  Since that Big XII Championship in 1998 other than 2012 we really haven’t done a damn thing in football.  We really haven’t.  I think it’s all in our attitude.  We don’t hate losing like other schools.  We want to win but if we don’t then it’s no big deal.  We’re just happy being Aggies which is a great thing but those at the top need to develop a killer instinct.

I assume Sumlin is replaced this season because his 5 years indicates he won’t win 9 games to save his job.  If that happens we have to have a killer instinct when it comes to hiring the next coach.  We have to nail this next hire because the college football landscape is changing again as the decline in cable will change things in the next 10 years.  History and tradition don’t matter to recruits as much as it has in the past.  I firmly believe conference, facilities, and most importantly winning are the three factors that matter the most for getting recruits.  We are the ONLY Texas school in the premier football conference in college.  Sure, the ACC has made up major ground but it’s still the SEC and everyone else.  Look at the recent draft.  Until the SEC stops dominating the NFL draft it’s the premiere conference.  Recruits want the dream to play in the NFL and the SEC can sell that dream better than anyone.  You have to sell that and A&M can being in the SEC.  It’s the ONLY school in the state of Texas that can.  It’s huge.  However, like anything it’s not likely to last forever.  There could be a window we’re looking at and we need to take advantage of it while we can before it’s gone.  We need to become at minimum what Florida State is and pronto.

As for facilities we have the largest stadium in the premiere conference.  Facilities aren’t our problem.  We can’t rest on our facilities and not keep updating them but the RC Slocum issue of having facilities that are lagging behind is not even close.  We have the facilities to sell recruits.  We’re in one of the best hot beds of talent anywhere in the country.  Conference and region are major strengths for us.  It puts us above traditional powers.

What we really can’t sell right now is winning.  We’re not losing big time but we’re missing that killer instinct to close out a season.  It’s all about attitude.  With the exception of 2012, Kevin Sumlin’s time has resulted in failing down the stretch.  We’ve seen plenty of Top 10 rankings in under Sumlin but the minute it happens we tend to immediately fall.  It’s all attitude in my mind.  Those in charge don’t get pissed off about underachieving.  At least if they get pissed off they don’t channel it in the right way.  Cowherd is totally right about culture.

I believe this next coaching hire is likely to be the most important hire in Aggie football history.  Maybe more than when we hired Jackie Sherrill and put Texas A&M on a track to dominate for a decade.  We’re sitting in the SEC and not doing anything with it.  We are completely set up to be the Western outpost for the premier conference in college football.  If you’re west of the Mississippi and want to play in the SEC there’s only one school you should consider and that’s Texas A&M.  Technically Arkansas and Missouri are west of the Mississippi but we shouldn’t be competing with them for recruits on a national level west of the Mississippi.  That should be our recruiting pitch – The destination SEC school for any recruit west of the Mississippi.    But I don’t think that’s our attitude.  We’re just happy being Aggies in the SEC.

We need to have an attitude to do better than obvious hires.  Fran, Sherman, and Sumlin were all obvious and easy hires.  They all had ties to either Texas or Texas A&M and were safe and obvious hires.  No dice was rolled when the hire was made.  For this hire Texas A&M needs to either hire a big time guy like James Franklin or a very calculated roll of the dice for someone different than what we’ve hired in the past.  No more obvious hires.  I don’t think there’s a slam dunk obvious hire sitting out there for us like Tom Herman and Texas so we need to do something different.  I think the floor for us should be Chad Morris as that’s an obvious hire but even then we need to look deeper into whom the next coach should be.  Channel the disappointment in losing and make a hire that’s been different than in the past.

Cowherd was 100% spot on.  Even his comment about not being better than Arkansas.  That seems to annoy Aggies the most but he’s right.  The era of Bobby Petrino was on par with any era at A&M since 1998.  They too just hired the wrong coach after Petrino went for that Sunday ride on his motorcycle.  We’re really no better than Arkansas for the most part despite being 5-0 against them in the last 5 years.  Do we really need to remember the 3 games prior to that when Arkansas beat us?  So we’re 5-3 since playing them again.  They ain’t far off.

So it’s all about attitude with Texas A&M Football.  No more hires of guys who are just happy about getting the head coaching job at Texas A&M.  No more making the easy and obvious hire.  It’s all about hiring someone that wants to establish Texas A&M as a Top 10 program for winning the national championship and being the Western outpost for football in the SEC.   Finding someone that hates losing more than they love winning.  Someone that is willing to hire someone they’re not familiar with simply because they realize that hire makes them greater.  Someone with a real winning attitude and willing to put in the work.

Attitude.  Cowherd nailed.  The culture is off.  Until the attitude changes and everyone realizes it’s more than just facilities and conference and it’s about not accepting losing nothing will change at Texas A&M.  I’m not talking about getting angry and throwing chairs or breaking stuff.  That’s channeling losing the wrong way.  I’m talking about using losing as a driver to become a better program.  The hate of losing needs to identify the mistakes that were made, admitting to those mistakes, and not making those mistakes again.  That’s how the attitude changes.  And it needs to be changed.  If Kevin Sumlin doesn’t do it to win 9 games this season those in charge of the next hire need to do it in hiring the next coach.

#MAFGA

Random notes:

Did you know Bill Byrne was the AD when Fran, Sherman, and Sumlin were hired?  He’s the sole person of leadership that has a common tie to all of those hires.  He has the sole hand in the almost two decades of under achieving.

Here are the Top 10 programs I consider having the best capability of winning a national championship in current day college football due to location, conference, facilities, and attitude.  This is in no order other than LSU at the top because I genuinely feel they have the most talented team top to bottom every year.

LSU
Bama
Florida
Georgia
Florida State
Ohio State
Michigan
Texas
Texas A&M
USC

I really feel that A&M is above programs like Oklahoma, Miami, Tennessee, Auburn, Penn St, Notre Dame, Clemson, and others.  Being the only SEC school in Texas is a MAJOR advantage but we’re squandering it right now because of our attitude.  If we had a coach like Jimbo Fisher we’d be there.  There is NO reason we can’t have the success of Florida State because we can get the athletes if we win.  We have to nail this next hire and start winning.